With the changing season, we need to take care of our body as our skin sometimes become dry and leads to various skin problems. If something like this is also happening with you, beware, as this is more than just dry skin!
Xerosis is a disorder that needs to be taken care of especially during this season. "The normally fine lines in the skin become more visible, the skin feels rough and appears dull and flaky. In more advanced cases, fish net like cracks resembling the fine fracture lines of cracked porcelain can occur. Dry skin occurs most commonly on the arms and legs, but can also affect the trunk of the body. Dermatologists often call dry skin 'xerosis' or 'asteatosis'," said Dr Amit Vij, consultant dermatologist and cosmetologist, Max Hospital, Noida.
The Dry Skin Cycle inhibits skin's ability to hydrate itself, renew (exfoliate) its outer layers, replenish natural moisturising factors (NMFs) and repair its moisture barrier.
During the Dry Skin Cycle, a frenzy of skin cell overproduction takes place in an effort to compensate for the disrupted moisture barrier. The desquamation process slows, producing a thick, dull cell layer. "In the course of everyday life, we move through a sequence of both outdoor and indoor environments that, over time, quietly assault the skin. Therefore, proper care must be taken to avoid the dry skin diseases such as xerosis that lead to rashes, etc earlier but afterwards causes various skin problems," he said.
- An important aspect of treatment is to identify and tackle any factors that may be contributing to the dry skin. It is natural to think that applying water alone to dry skin would help control the problem. However, water alone (especially hot water) can actually worsen the problem of dry skin by removing the normal, protective skin oils. Hot, soapy water depletes the natural skin oils to the greatest degree. However, water followed by the application of oil such as a moisturiser (also known as an emollient or lubricant) is of great benefit for dry skin. The oil in the moisturiser helps trap and seal water in the stratum corneum and makes the skin softer, smoother and less likely to become dry, cracked and itchy.
- A mainstay of management is attention to proper bathing techniques and liberal use of the most effective moisturisers. You should take a short bath or shower (not more than 10 minutes) only once in 24 hours. For adults, showers are generally better than baths. While longer baths or showers, especially in hot water, can be quite relaxing, they will also increase the loss of natural oils from the skin and worsen skin dryness. The bath or shower should be in warm rather than hot water.
Dos and don'ts
- Don't use soap. The chemicals and ingredients in soap make your skin dry, so if possible, it's a good idea to use a moisturising body wash or body bar. This will help your skin retain moisture and make it less likely to become dry and flaky.
- Avoid alcohol-based moisturisers. Moisturisers and lotions that are mainly alcohol-based aren't as effective as others and will actually end up drying your skin.