Dry Skin Treatment in Barrington, IL
Understanding Your Dry Skin
Dry skin, also known as xerosis, is characterized by skin that is dehydrated and irritated. In more severe dry skin cases, the skin may also be red and inflamed and have deep cracks—called fissures—that extend into deeper layers of the skin. These features can develop on any part of the body but are typically more prominent on the face, hands, arms, and legs.
In most cases, dry skin is a nuisance but does not represent a serious health problem; however, chronic dry skin may indicate a dermatological condition, such as psoriasis or eczema, is at play, or signal an underlying health condition, such as diabetes or hypothyroidism. If you experience persistent dry skin, it is important to meet with a healthcare practitioner who can rule out any underlying health concerns.
Fortunately, many natural treatments, over-the-counter products, and lifestyle modifications are available to help heal your dry, irritated skin. To schedule a consultation with a healthcare practitioner in Barrington who specializes in dry skin treatment, call (847) 393-4057 or contact Dr. David Van Dam online.
What Causes Dry Skin?
Your skin is an organ that relies both on hydration and moisture. The skin's soft and pliable texture is due to its water content; when the skin is dehydrated, your skin appears less supple and may cause itchiness, increased sensitivity, fine lines, and wrinkles. Sweat and oil glands, as well as natural moisturizing factors (NMFs) in the skin, help to maintain the skin's moisture content and prevent water from evaporating from the skin.
Many internal and external factors can influence the moisture and hydration of your skin, including:
- Harsh soaps
- Dry air
- Low humidity
- Taking long, hot showers or baths
- Exposure to environmental toxins
- Medications, including diuretics and topical retinoid creams
The prevalence of dry skin also increases with age due to physiological changes of the skin such as decreased activity of the oil glands, thinning of the skin and loss of elasticity. Hormonal imbalances such as decreased estrogen production can also contribute to dry skin symptoms.
Dry skin may also develop as the result of an underlying health condition. These dry skin conditions include:
- Liver disease
- Kidney disease
- Blood cancer such as lymphoma
Dry Skin Remedies
Treatment of dry skin is often dependent on the underlying factors which influence the skin's hydration and moisture content. For individuals that experience mild to moderate dry skin, treatment with lifestyle changes, moisturizers, and natural remedies can significantly improve the skin's condition. Early treatment can also prevent complications, such as open wounds and skin infections from occurring.
Lifestyle changes typically involve modifying your showering routine, and include:
- Using a moisturizing soap
- Avoiding the use of hot water to shower or bathe
- Avoiding daily showers (switch to every other day)
- Limiting the time in the shower to less than 10 minutes
- Patting skin dry instead of rubbing skin with a towel
- Applying a moisturizing lotion after a shower and several times daily to dry skin
Other dry skin remedies to consider include:
- Avoiding antibacterial soaps and hand sanitizers
- Using a humidifier in your home
- Avoiding behaviors which can aggravate dry skin, such as itching or scrubbing
- Avoiding itchy clothing such as wool
- Drinking at least 8 cups of purified water per day
- Drinking more water during dry or cold seasons, after exercising, and after consuming alcohol
- Adding essential omega-3 fatty acids (found in walnuts, flaxseed, hemp seed and cold water fish such as salmon, mackerel, cod, tuna, and sardines) into the diet or via supplement
- Applying aloe vera gel
- Applying natural oils to the skin as a moisturizer, such as coconut, jojoba and avocado oils
If you experience severe dry skin, your healthcare provider may prescribe medication, such as a corticosteroid or immune modulator, to help alleviate your dry skin symptoms. If one or more dry skin conditions are at play, treatment will also focus on addressing the underlying condition.
With proper treatment, you can help address the causes of very dry skin, restoring ample moisture and hydration to your irritated, red, or cracked skin. To meet with a healthcare provider who can help to identify the signs of dry skin and implement new skin care strategies, call (847) 393-4057 or contact Dr. David Van Dam online.
Van Dam Dermatology & Laser Center
Address738 W. Northwest Highway
Barrington, IL 60010
8:00 am - 5:00 pm
Tue: 8:00 am - 5:00 pm
Wed: 8:00 am - 5:00 pm
Thu: 8:00 am - 5:00 pm
Fri: 8:00 am - 12:00 pm