The Appearance Of Dry Skin
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”.
Zealous Handwashing Can Lead To Redness And Irritation
“Some people with dry skin just wash their hands constantly,” Forman Taub says. That wont help the dryness because too much washing can lead to dry, cracked skin, according to Piedmont Healthcare. This can be a big issue for people who work in industries that require frequent handwashing, such as health care. To mitigate the drying effects of your sanitary habit, use lukewarm water , avoid alcohol-based soaps, and blot your hands dry instead of rubbing them with a paper towel, according to EveryNurse. Ointments tend to be thicker than moisturizers, so keep an ointment on hand and apply after each wash.
Dermatologist Tips To Soothe Severely Dry Skin
As we’ve explained in our article about dry skin, the most effective ways to treat dry skin is through a combination of ingredients. Similarly, treating extremely dry skin requires the inclusion of nourishing ingredients plus a few modifications to your skincare routine. We’ve asked Dermatologists to share their top tips to soothe severely dry skin and here’s what they recommend:
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Soap May Sap Moisture From The Skin And Scalp
Many soaps, detergents, and shampoos subtract moisture from your skin and scalp, as they are formulated to remove oil, says Gretchen Frieling, MD, a board-certified dermatopathologist in Newton, Massachusetts. Its important to carefully choose face washes, body washes, and laundry detergents. Using only moisturizing body wash is better than a harsh bar soap, says Jeffrey Benabio, MD, a dermatologist at Kaiser Permanente in San Diego. Joel Schlessinger, MD, a dermatologist in Omaha, Nebraska, warns against harsh detergents and even fabric softeners if you have dry skin. Instead, look for gentle laundry soaps like Seventh Generation Free and Clear.
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Itchy Dry Patches On Face
Skin conditions that make your face rough, flaky with scaly patches can also lead to itchy skin that can make you feel uncomfortable. The sensitive skin of the face can easily develop pain or irritations that are caused by skin disorders.
Your face can also be affected by dry patches that are not itchy. Presence of non-itchy dry patches on face does not mean you are safe because they can as well affect your beauty and make your skin look unattractive to eyes.
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What Should I Eat Or Drink With Dry Skin
Certain foods and drinks can pull water from your body and cause dehydration. Avoid food and drinks that contain:
Are there side effects of having dry skin?
Untreated or severely dry skin can cause your skin to crack open and bleed. Open sores or wounds from these cracks expose your body to germs that can cause infections. Rarely, dry, itchy skin can indicate a more serious health problem, such as diabetes or kidney disease.
Reach For A Hydrating Lotion Or Cream
According to GH Beauty Labs testing, “face lotions and creams are generally more hydrating than oils, serums, and other formulas and they can increase skins moisture for hours,” says GH Beauty Lab Director Birnur Aral, Ph.D. Look for products with “humectants, such as glycerin and hyaluronic acid, which can bind or hold on to water effectively,” Aral says, and “ingredients that help repair the skin barrier, such as niacinamide and ceramides.”
Our top pick is Good Housekeeping Seal star Olay Regenerist Micro-Sculpting Cream. In our tests, it raised hydration by 50 percent over 24 hours, more than any other facial skin care product the Lab has evaluated. See this along with the GH Beauty Lab’s best-tested moisturizers for dry skin on the face, below.
Olay Regenerist Micro-Sculpting Cream
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Does My Child Need To See A Doctor About Dry Skin
Probably not. But you should take your child to your GP if your child has:
- dry skin that doesnt get better with the treatment described below
- patches of dry skin that are inflamed and itchy
- patches of painful dry skin
- dry skin that has yellow or inflamed spots on top.
Your GP might send your child to see a dermatologist if the dryness doesnt get better with standard treatment.
Use A Mild Face Cleanser
Cetaphil Daily Facial Cleanser
Dont grab any old soap: Some face washes can over-cleanse skin, exacerbating dryness. A sulfate- and soap-free cleanser specifically for the face will be pH-balanced and gentle to maintain skins barrier without stripping, says Whitney Bowe, M.D., a New York City dermatologist and author of The Beauty of Dirty Skin.
For dry skin on the face, choose a formula that also contains moisturizing ingredients, such as glycerin. Cetaphil Daily Face Cleanser was a winner of the GH Beauty Labs face cleansers test, scoring well for making skin feel soft and hydrated, and helps to sweep away dirt and makeup without stripping skin of oils or leaving skin feeling dried out.
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Avoid Washing Your Face Multiple Times A Day
If youre experiencing dry skin, it may be best to only wash your face at night, unless youre working out.
This cleanses your face after a long day of collecting dirt and helps prevent you from eliminating necessary oils from the skin.
Dont exfoliate your skin on a daily basis. Instead, try just once per week. This can reduce irritation associated with harsh scrubbing.
Be Sure To Use Products For Your Skin Type
From the very start of my esthetics career, I learned that every skin is unique. The one-size-fits-all approach is simply not effective in achieving healthy, balanced and beautiful skin. Classifying skin into the standard oily, normal and dry skin types is just so limiting. Many cosmetic companies still say, this product is for all skin types but all skin types have such different needs! I believe there are nine different types of skin. My skin type quiz will let you know exactly which one you are. Take my Skin Type Quiz to find out yours.
I recommended that Tracey purchase skin care products formulated for skin type #9. She was apprehensive about purchasing the complete collection, as she has experienced so many false promises from other skin care professionals and salespeople. However, Im thankful that she trusted me because she felt that I really understood her skin and the underlying cause of her concerns. I will say that I definitely suggested she introduce the products slowly by only using one new product every few days. To start, I suggested for the first few days that she use Phytolipid Comfort Creme and add a few drops of Pro Remedy Oil to it.
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Dry Peeling Skin On Face
Dry skin patches on the face can also be associated with peeling of the uppermost layer of the skin. Skin disorders can damage the skin tissue to weaken, break and separate into different layers. This encourages the upper layer of the skin to peel out.
Some skin infection has a burning effect on the skin. For instance eczema, fungal attack, psoriasis, and rosacea can cause patches that resemble a burn that finally result in skin pealing.
Psoriasis: Treatment And Prevention
While there is no exact cure for psoriasis, the goal of psoriasis treatment is to stop the skin cells from regenerating so quickly. You can do this with topical therapy, light therapy, or oral and injected medication. The treatment method you should use depends on the severity of your psoriasis. You can also do various things to prevent psoriasis flare-ups, such as avoiding cold weather, taking good care of your skin by moisturizing regularly, reducing stress, and using a humidifier.
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Is Rosacea Causing Your Red Irritated Face
Know the signs of rosacea
Rosacea is a common skin condition. Yet, many people are unaware that they have it. Because treatment can reduce the discomfort and prevent rosacea from worsening, its helpful to know the signs.
Flushing and blushing
Rosacea usually begins with a tendency to flush or blush easily. Do you flush or blush more easily than most people? Does the flushing happen when you feel stressed, drink alcohol, become too warm, or eat spicy food? These are early indications that you could have rosacea.
Redness lasts longer
Do you have redness in the center of your face nose, cheeks, forehead, and chin? Does the redness come and go? Has it started to last longer? As rosacea progresses, these things can happen. These are all signs of rosacea.
A permanently red face is the most common sign of rosacea. The redness appears in the center of your face. With time, it may spread to your ears, scalp, neck, upper chest, or back.
Without treatment, acne-like breakouts can appear. Youll see these along with redness on your face. Your face may also feel oily. These signs are often mistaken for acne.
Visible blood vessels
Skin is easily irritated
When to see a dermatologist
All content solely developed by the American Academy of Dermatology
Treatment For Dry Skin
The best way to treat dry skin is to manage the underlying causes:
- Try to make the environment less dry. For example, use a humidifier and encourage your child to avoid long periods of air conditioning and direct heat on their skin.
- Dress your child in loose cotton clothing if possible, or add a cotton layer under woollen or synthetic clothing. Avoid overheating with too many layers.
- Keep bath or shower times short, and keep the water warm but not hot.
- Use plain water or a soap-free liquid wash in the bath or shower.
- Add fragrance-free moisturising bath oils to bath water. You can get these from pharmacies.
- Consider fewer baths or showers. In particular, younger children dont need baths every day, especially in winter and when the humidity is low.
Its essential for your child to use a fragrance-free, non-irritating moisturiser, emulsifying ointment, aqueous cream or sorbolene with 10% glycerine cream. Ointments are often better and less likely to sting than creams, because they have fewer added ingredients.
If you dont know which moisturiser to get for your child, ask your pharmacist or child and family health nurse. They might even be able to give your child some samples to try. Your child might need to try several different moisturisers before they find one that suits.
Your child can also use moisturiser after they wash their hands and before and after swimming.
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How Long Does A Lupus Rash Last
This varies with the type of lupus that you have. Some rashes like the butterfly rash usually clear in a few days to weeks. After the rash clears, some people see discolored skin.
If you have discoid lupus, the raised, thick, and scaly patches can remain on your skin for months or years.
To see what the different types of cutaneous lupus look like, go to: Lupus and your skin: Signs and symptoms.
ImagesUsed with permission of the American Academy of Dermatology National Library of Dermatologic Teaching Slides.
ReferencesFemia AN, Vleugels RA, et al. Neonatal and pediatric lupus erythematosus. Medscape. Last updated 5/17/2021. Last accessed 7/13/2022.
Gryka-Marton M, Szukiewicz D, et al. An overview of neonatal lupus with anti-Ro characteristics. Int J Mol Sci. 2021 Aug 27 22:9281.
He Y, Sawalha AH. Drug-induced lupus erythematosus: An update on drugs and mechanisms. Curr Opin Rheumatol. 2018 Sep 30:490-7.
Lee LA, Werth VP. Lupus erythematosus. In: Bolognia JL, et al. Dermatology. . Elsevier, China, 2018: 662-80.
Nozile W, Adgerson CN, et al. Cutaneous lupus erythematosus in skin of color. J Drugs Dermatol. 2015 Apr 14:343-9.
Vleugels RA, Desai S, et al. Discoid lupus erythematosus. Medscape. Last updated 6/11/2020. Last accessed 7/13/2022.
Common Causes Of Dry Skin
Some potential causes of dry or dehydrated skin on the face include:
- spending too much time in direct sunlight
People can treat dry skin using several different methods. The best treatment option will depend on the cause of someones dry skin and its severity. Treatments also vary among different skin types, which can be normal, dry, oily, or combination.
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How Is Dry Skin Diagnosed
Dry skin can be easy to diagnose by its appearance. Your healthcare provider will diagnose dry skin after a complete medical history, a physical exam and learning more about your symptoms.
Depending on the severity of your symptoms, your healthcare provider may order tests to check for health conditions that cause dry skin, such as:
- Allergy test to identify substances that cause allergic reactions.
- Blood tests to check for problems like diabetes or kidney disease.
- A skin biopsy or tissue sample to test for eczema or other skin conditions.
Slather On An Antioxidant Serum
While most summertime products get swapped out come winter, serums are the one exception to that rule. As long as its alcohol-free, an antioxidant serum is perfect for year-round usage, says Marchbein. No matter the climate, skin gets attacked by free radicals, she explains, causing sun spots, the breakdown of collagen, and premature fine lines. To prevent the damage, apply a vitamin C formula as a first layer in the morning, before layering on heavier products. And dont forget the sunscreena daily dose of SPF 30 will keep skin covered, even on cold, cloudy days.
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Can You Have Lupus Without Having A Rash
Yes, you can. Only people who have some type of cutaneous lupus always develop a rash, sores, or other marks on their skin.
Some people who develop SLE, drug-induced lupus, or neonatal lupus never have signs of lupus on their skin.
Someone who has drug-induced lupus may have muscle and joint pain, flu-like symptoms, or discomfort caused by inflammation around their lungs or heart.
Signs of neonatal lupus in a newborn include liver disease, heart disease, and a low blood count.
Redness On Your Hands And Arms
Atopic dermatitis. Itâs a type of eczema that causes dry, itchy, and red skin. It often shows up on your hands, feet, and the inside of your elbows. You can also get it on your face and legs. Symptoms usually include itchy, red or brownish-gray patches.
Contact dermatitis. This type of eczema is caused by things that irritate your skin and lead to an allergic reaction. Examples include poison ivy or certain ingredients in soap or lotion. The rash could form in minutes or hours and last weeks. It may be painful and may become swollen and infected. If this happens, talk to your doctor about treatment options.
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When To See A Board
Because many conditions can cause your face to turn red, its essential to get the right diagnosis. Board-certified dermatologists are trained to treat thousands of conditions that affect the skin.
If the redness on your face lasts more than 2 weeks, make an appointment to see a dermatologist.
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ImagesImages 1,2,3,4,5,8,9: Used with permission of the American Academy of Dermatology National Library of Dermatologic Teaching Slides.
Images 6, 10: Used with permission of Journal of the American Academy of Dermatology:
6 – J Am Acad Dermatol. 2008 58:959-63.
10 – J Am Acad Dermatol. 2017 77:719-27.
Image 7: Getty Images
ReferencesChamlin SL and Lawley LP. Perioral dermatitis. In: Wolff K, et al. Fitzpatricks dermatology in general medicine . McGraw Hill Medical, USA, 2008:709-12.
Cohen DE. Irritant contact dermatitis. In: Bolognia JL, et al. Dermatology. . Mosby Elsevier, Spain, 2008:223-30.
Cohen DE and Jacob SE. Allergic contact dermatitis. In: Wolff K, Goldsmith LA, et al. Fitzpatricks Dermatology in General Medicine . McGraw Hill Medical, New York, 2008: 135-46.
Costner MI, Sontheimer RD. Lupus erythematosus In: Wolff K, Goldsmith LA, et al. Fitzpatricks Dermatology in General Medicine . McGraw Hill Medical, New York, 2008:1515-35.
Crawford GH, Pelle MT, et al. Rosacea: I. Etiology, pathogenesis, and subtype classification. J Am Acad Dermatol. 2004 51:327-41.
Change In Body Hormones
The sudden change of body hormones has a consequence of dry patches on face. Hypothyroidism is an example of hormone disorder that may cause a dry flaky skin on face and on the entire body surface. The decline in production of thyroid hormone in the body can affect the skin to develop dry spots like scales.
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Allergic Contact Dermatitis Of The Face
Allergic contact dermatitis means the skin has touched something that provoked an allergic reaction, causing inflammation and irritation.
“Contact” means the allergic reaction came from touching something, not from consuming something. The first exposure to the substance sensitizes the immune system, and then the second exposure actually causes the symptoms.
The most common causes of allergic contact dermatitis are:
- Nickel, a metal often used in belt buckles, the buttons on pants, and jewelry, including piercing jewelry.
- Various types of perfumes, including those founds in soaps, fabric softeners, and detergents.
- Of course, there are many more.
Symptoms include red, itching, scaling, flaking skin that may be painful due to the irritation and inflammation.
Diagnosis is made through first avoiding contact with any suspected substance, to see if the dermatitis clears. Patch testing can be done if the results are not certain.
Treatment involves fully avoiding the allergy-provoking substance and using topical steroid cream as prescribed. Cool compresses and calamine lotion can help to ease the discomfort.
Top Symptoms: facial redness, face itch, scabbed area of the face
Symptoms that always occur with allergic contact dermatitis of the face: facial redness