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Dry Skin: Causes, Symptoms and Natural Remedies

Dry skin is a fairly common condition in which the epidermis appears dehydrated and fragile, and often even red and cracked. The causes are different. It can be a temporary situation, present only during the winter months, but still annoying and unpleasant. However, there are also possible pathological causes that the specialist doctor is able to identify. This condition can affect various parts of the body: legs, hands, face etc

Once specific causes have been ruled out, there are tons of natural remedies for dry skin that can relieve discomfort. Let’s get to know them more closely, based on the various parts of the body affected.

What is Dry Skin

Our skin is well equipped to resist external aggressions. A lipid film (i.e. a film of fatty substances) protects its surface and allows water to be retained in the upper layers of the skin with a barrier effect and thus keep it hydrated and soft.

But there may be situations in which there is a sensation of skin that ‘tightens’, inelastic, dry and wrinkled to the touch: it is dryness.

Technically, it occurs when the content of water and sebum, present in the most superficial layer of the epidermis, is significantly lower than the physiological parameters.

It can be a temporary condition, for example when it is caused by winter cold, or constant, if caused by specific diseases. Typically, it affects the skin of the legs and face.

What Dry Skin Looks Like

The skin appears poorly hydrated and not very elastic, fragile, dry and often gray. To the touch, however, it is rough and irregular.

Obviously, not all are the same: it can range from a slight desquamation to an intense xerosis with the presence of even fissures.

Dry Skin Causes

The causes of this condition are varied and numerous. Basically, there can be unfavorable climatic conditions , such as excessive cold and / or lack of humidity, as well as the habit of taking too hot baths or showers. Using a soap , shower gel , or other too aggressive cleanser can also trigger this disorder, as can some skin conditions such as atopic dermatitis .

Since there are so many, let’s summarize the main causes of dry skin:

  • cold temperatures and wind
  • sudden changes of climate
  • wind
  • low humidity in the environment in which you usually live
  • tendency to take too hot and too frequent baths or showers
  • use of soaps or aggressive detergents
  • inappropriate exposure to the sun
  • use of inadequate cosmetics
  • taking certain medications such as diuretics
  • special treatments (dialysis, radiotherapy, chemotherapy)
  • genetic factors (heredity)
  • hormonal influences
  • pregnancy
  • menopause
  • deficiency of some nutrients such as unsaturated fatty acids , vitamins C and E
  • slowing of skin metabolism , which occurs with advancing age
  • cigarette smoke , which contributes to the rapid aging of the skin
  • dehydration , because you drink too little
  • exposure to chemicals
  • extreme atmospheric states

Diseases and Pathologies that Cause Dry Skin

There are also diseases that are closely related to dry skin. The scientific term for this disorder is xerosis. We remember:

  • psoriasis
  • atopic dermatitis
  • keratosis pilare
  • diabetes mellitus
  • diabetic foot
  • kidney disease
  • actinic keratosis
  • sunburn
  • skin infections
  • food intolerance
  • hypothyroidism
  • Hashimoto’s thyroiditis
  • sclerodermia
  • Sjögren’s syndrome

Dry Skin Causes Hormonal

Dryness can also be caused by hormonal factors. A key role is played by estrogen hormones as their lowering is precisely at the origin of dryness, thinning and sagging skin.

How to Tell if Your Skin is Dry or Dehydrated

It is crucial to recognize the distinction between these two states. Normally:

  • dehydrated skin is thin and not very elastic. It is not uncommon to even be able to see the veins under the skin, which mark. The face looks tired.
  • dry skin is dry and fragile. It also often has a dull complexion and is rough and uneven to the touch.

What to do when you have Dry Skin

When it becomes a serious or chronic problem, the intervention of a specialist is necessary. However, before going to a dermatologist, you can try to improve the situation by adopting an appropriate lifestyle.

Therefore, it is essential to prevent and therefore adopt all those behaviors useful to avoid the problem of dry skin.

We see below some useful information:

  • protect the skin from the cold
  • avoid spending too much time in excessively hot or cold environments
  • use a dehumidifier in case of heating
  • prefer clothing in natural fabrics, such as wool, silk and cotton
  • avoid using detergents such as soaps, body wash or other aggressive products , such as containing dyes or other irritants such as artificial perfumes
  • avoid too hot and prolonged showers and baths
  • after washing, dry the skin well by dabbing it gently, without rubbing it
  • apply a vegetable oil or a vegetable butter with high moisturizing power daily
  • drink at least 1.5 liters of water per day
  • always wear gloves when doing housework, both when washing dishes and for cleaning, so as to avoid direct contact with aggressive detergents and hot water

If you feel itchy, cold packs can reduce the discomfort. In some cases, the doctor prescribes cortisone-based creams.

Dry Skin: When to See a Doctor

If the measures described above do not lead to the resolution of the problem, or at least to its reduction, a doctor’s intervention is necessary.

In addition, the consultation of a specialist becomes obligatory:

  • if dry skin is associated with redness
  • if discomfort and itching prevent you from sleeping well
  • if ulcers or infections form
  • if a large area of ​​skin begins to peel or peel

Your doctor may prescribe specific products, such as urea and lactic acid -based creams . In case of skin diseases, such as atopic dermatitis, ichthyosis or psoriasis, the specialist will also be able to give the most specific indications for that particular pathology.

Dry Skin: Natural Grandmother's Remedies

Already our grandmothers, to moisturize the skin of the body and face, often used some products present in the kitchen:

  • olive oil . This food is in fact one of the two best known natural remedies for dry skin. With its strong moisturizing power, you can use it on both face and body skin. To give a pleasant scent, just add a few drops of your favorite essence.
  • oatmeal . With moisturizing and emollient, and also anti-inflammatory power. It should be used in colloidal form, so you have to buy it like this or reduce it into a fine, whitish powder with the help of a coffee grinder or food processor. Mix it with a little water to check that it is sufficiently ground. If the water turns milky-white, it’s ready. You can take a bath with 60 grams of colloidal oatmeal placed in a bag, to be left in warm water for 15 minutes. Close tightly, otherwise you risk clogging the pipes.

Dry Skin: Natural Remedies

While moisturizing your skin is important, you also need to nourish it thoroughly. By doing so, we will immediately have an emollient and velvety effect.

Here are some of the natural ingredients that can give relief to the skin and counteract any loss of moisture, getting to know them more closely:

Sweet Almond Oil

Rich in vitamis A and vitamin E , sweet almond oil is known for its emollient, passive moisturizing and regenerating action. Used pure or in emulsion of other cosmetic products for dry skin, it also serves to prevent the formation of stretch marks.

Argan Oil

Obtained from the pressing of the Argania spinosa fruits , it is precious for the skin because it is rich in antioxidant and protective substances, including tocopherol (vitamin E). In the evening, before going to bed, apply a thin layer on hands and face, it helps the skin to regenerate its natural protective barrier and to better defend itself from atmospheric agents.

Shea Butter

It has a passive emollient and moisturizing effect as it nourishes the hydrolipidic film and, at the same time, prevents the evaporation of surface water with a barrier effect. Being difficult to spread, it is often inserted into the oily phase of various cosmetics, such as creams, gels and cleansers. It also has a healing and restorative action.

Aloe Vera

It has an emollient, soothing, moisturizing, toning and healing action. Used pure, it promotes skin regeneration; while, as an ingredient in cleansers, moisturizers and gels, it is useful for irritated and delicate skin. However, since it is mostly made up of water, it leaves that unpleasant feeling of skin tightening. For this reason, it is recommended to use it alternating with oils or other moisturizing products.

Calendula Oil

Used as a functional ingredient in the preparations of cleansers and moisturizers for dry skin, it has an anti-inflammatory, soothing and moisturizing action. It is indicated in case of dry, reddened and itchy skin, particularly sensitive to cold or frost.

Wheat Germ Oil

 Due to its moisturizing, protective, nourishing and anti-wrinkle action, it is one of the most used ingredients for cleansing and moisturizing cosmetics suitable for dry skin. Furthermore, it is also a precious source of Vitamin E which has an important protective and anti-aging action. It also contains polyunsaturated fatty acids, of the omega 6 series which are protective for dry skin.

Borage Oil

Naturally rich source of gamma linoleic acid (GLA), which has a soothing action, it is very useful when dry skin is also associated with redness and itching.

Hypericum Oil

Healing with an emollient and soothing action, in cosmetology, it is used in preparations for cutaneous xerosis and to soothe inflamed and reddened dry skin. It is  by leobtainedtting the flowers of Hypericum perforatum L. macerate in olive oil, better known as St. John’s wort since it blooms towards the end of June.

Orange Blossom Hydrolat

This product has calming and regenerating properties, which are ideal for dry, dehydrated and cracked skin. The hydrosol can be used pure or diluted with distilled water or other hydrolates suitable for dry skin, such as those of rose, sage and chamomile. It also serves to soothe itching and burning

Chamomile Essential Oil

Chamomile essential oil is a precious cosmetic ingredient for its calming, soothing, anti-inflammatory and protective action, especially in the presence of redness and itching, typical discomfort of dry skin

Mucilage of Mallow

It is often used for its healing and restorative action. It retains water on its surface and forms a moisturizing, emollient, soothing and softening film on the skin.

Dry Face Skin

Let’s now see some examples of natural mask.

  • Liquid cream, zucchini and cucumbers : apply on the skin for 20 minutes.
  • Cold milk and mustard always to be left on for 20 minutes.
  • Green clay and honey to spread on the face for about 15-20 minutes, taking care to avoid the eye area.
  • Egg yolk , to dab on the face and leave on for a quarter of an hour
  • Banana , prevents skin dehydration and contains vitamins and minerals that nourish the skin, making it also soft and radiant. Just crush half of it and apply it on your face pure or combined with 1 teaspoon of honey and 1 jar of yogurt. Hold on for 15-20

All these preparations are able to regenerate the skin making it more elastic and radiant at the same time. They are also perfect when the skin is tight and itchy as they possess soothing properties.

Dry Skin and Nutrition

Nutrition also plays a very important role in keeping the skin hydrated and healthy. In fact, sometimes dry skin reflects a lack of certain nutrients.

So let’s see what are the foods to prefer.

  • Drink a lot , at least 1.5-2 liters of water every day (we can supplement the daily dose of water with  herbal teas , tea , fruit juice , soups and soups)
  • Eat lots of seasonal fruit and vegetables because they are rich in vitamins and antioxidants
  • Eat foods rich in omega 3 , such as salmon, oil and flaxseed
  • Eat foods rich in omega 6 , such as fruits and legumes, borage oil and grapeseed oil

If necessary, supplement the diet with a supplement of omega 3 and 6 fatty acids.

However, all those foods rich in salt and fat, and difficult to digest, should be avoided.

Which Vitamin for Dry Skin?

After having seen the foods to prefer in case of dry skin, let’s now focus on vitamins. Some vitamin deficiencies, in fact, can favor the onset of dry skin. So let’s see which are the most important because they are allies of our skin:

  • Vitamin A : with anti-oxidant action, it fights free radicals and keeps the skin young and healthy
  • vitamin B : counteracts the appearance of dermatitis
  • vitamin C : counteracts free radicals and stems cell aging
  • Vitamin D : in addition to reducing cellular aging and dryness of the skin, it also plays a fundamental role in reducing the incidence of disorders such as eczema and psoriasis
  • vitamin E : has a firming and restructuring action
  • vitamin H : regulates the activity of the sebaceous glands

Dry and Itchy Skin

Often, dry skin itches because it causes irritation. It will be useless to say, but it is good to remember: we must restrain ourselves and avoid scratching because we could cause injuries that could become infected.

So let’s see some remedies that can give relief:

  • drink a lot (water, tea, herbal teas, juices …)
  • locally spray thermal water . Instead of plain water, it is possible to find products based on thermal water or rich in minerals on the market
  • use delicate cleansing oils , without foam and without perfumes because they wash without altering the hydrolipidic film, but rather, favoring its rebalancing
  • prefer a shower , preferably lukewarm. Hot water and too long baths can make the situation worse
  • make water and chamomile compresses to dab on the skin as they perform an immediate soothing and decongestant action
  • for creams of daily use, prefer cosmetic products based on hyaluronic acid , urea , glycerin , shea butter or lanolin

Dry Leg Skin

The legs are a part of the body that is often subject to the phenomenon. After all, it is one of the areas furthest away from the sebaceous glands that secrete protective substances.

ust pass a hand to realize that the skin has lost firmness, softness and vigor. This happens especially in particular places, such as knees and ankles. It is a problem that can affect anyone, men and women, at any age.

Remedying the situation is important, not just for an aesthetic question. This is a clear sign of weakening of the skin. Dry and flaky skin on the legs indicates the loss of those substances that should protect them from external agents.

Once dermatological pathologies have been excluded, the causes are attributable to incorrect climate and behaviors or lifestyles. Among the main causes are too frequent washing with water that is too hot, the use of too aggressive soaps, an excess of chlorine in swimming pools.

Therefore, it is advisable to prefer lukewarm water when washing and remember that, to dry yourself, it is better to gently pat the skin rather than rub it vigorously.

The application of moisturizers , butters and vegetable oils is also very useful. In addition.


  • increase your fluid intake
  • increase the consumption of foods that contain valuable nutrients for skin protection (antioxidants, vitamins and fatty acids).
  • pay close attention to the air that is too dry in the rooms, due to radiators set at too high a temperature.

Dry Skin of the Hands

In winter, it is very common to have dry, rough and chapped hands. In severe cases, even small painful cuts can form, which sometimes even bleed.

This is the clear manifestation of the loss of the hydrolipidic film which maintains the physiological hydration of the skin.

The hands are one of the most exposed parts of the body. For this reason, they are very affected by temperature variations, work stress and the daily use of all those harmful chemical agents often present in the detergents used for house cleaning and for washing dishes.

Useful Remedies and Tips for Dry Hand Skin

First of all, when you go out in winter, protect them with warm gloves. When doing household cleaning, always wear rubber gloves to avoid contact with soaps and detergents

Let’s see now, some simple and very effective natural remedies:

  • oatmeal-based detergent for normal daily washing: it is obtained by mixing the flour with a little water. The paste obtained cleanses and pleasantly perfumes the hands
  • massage with olive oil : spread it well on both hands in the evening and then put on an old pair of gloves. So go to sleep. His hands will immediately be soft and super nourished
  • egg yolk wrap : beat an egg yolk and spread it on your hands. Leave to work for about 15 minutes and then rinse with warm water. Repeat the treatment 3 times a week. When you begin to notice improvements, decrease to twice and then only once a week
  • raw potato mask : mix a raw potato, peeled and grated, with extra virgin olive oil or sunflower oil. Apply the mixture on your hands for about 10 minutes and then rinse with warm water
  •  Aloe hand mask : 1 tablespoon of aloe vera gel mixed with 2 drops of calendula essential oil and 1 tablespoon of honey, add 3 teaspoons of chamomile infusion and 2 teaspoons of coconut butter . Spread on your hands and let it rest for 20 minutes. Rinse with warm water
  • relaxing and regenerating hand bath : boil 6 g of calendula floers in 100 ml of water. Filter, wait for it to cool and immerse your hands for about a quarter of an hour
  • lemon : mix 4 drops of lemon essential oil with 4 tablespoons of sweet almond oil . Sprinkle on your hands. This remedy, very valid even in the presence of chilblains, also strengthens the nails and fights wrinkles

Dry Skin of Newborns

Babies’ skin is extremely delicate and can often be prone to dryness, redness and irritation. Generally, the cause lies in the use of too aggressive detergents or synthetic materials.

So let’s see below some simple tricks to put in place to soothe the annoyance of our little ones:

  • use more delicate and 100% natural detergents
  • prefer clothing made from natural fibers such as cotton and avoid using clothing made from synthetic fibers
  • guarantee the baby the right hydration , making him drink milk (breast or formula) but also a little water during the day or herbal teas indicated for his age
  • perform relaxing and moisturizing massages using a delicate natural vegetable oil , such as olive oil or sweet almond oil
  • take baths by adding a generous spoonful of rice starch or corn starch , or colloidal oat flour, that is pulverized, to the water, especially if dry skin is also associated with redness and flaking

Dry Skin Under the Beard

The problem of dry skin is absolutely democratic. In fact, it affects women and men alike. The latter, in particular, can also suffer from it in specific areas of the body such as, for example, under the beard and also between the eyebrows.

More than dehydrated skin, it is commonly referred to as beard dandruff . The causes can be of various kinds:

  • presence of a fungus :  Malassezia Globosa , a fungus that feeds on sebum and causes the production of oleic acid, which causes irritation, itching and flaking
  • specific pathologies such as seborrheic dermatitis or psoriasis, which cause the formation of white plaques similar to dandruff
  • natural beard growth process which, especially during the first stages, creates intense itching.

To solve the problem it is essential to understand its origin.

If the cause is related to the first phase of regrowth, the solution is simply to avoid scratching.

If, on the other hand, there is doubt that the problem is caused by other elements, such as the presence of a fungus or dermatitis, then it is necessary to contact a specialist to obtain the correct diagnosis and the most suitable treatment.

Remedies for Dry Beard Skin

At this point, once the problem has been identified and the necessary actions have been taken to solve it, it is still necessary to take care of the beard to remove the dandruff already present. Here are the steps to follow:

  • exfoliate the beard with a special beard scrub , in order to avoid ingrown hairs and other skin imperfections. Before proceeding with the scrub, it may be useful to proceed with fumigations or a wash with hot water to open the pores
  • wash your beard using a suitable shampoo. Generally, those for dandruff must contain specific products such as zinc pyrithione , selenium sulfide , tea tree oil and vegetable charcoal.

Once you have done these two basic operations (to be repeated a couple of times a week), you need to learn how to take care of your beard every day.

This means trying different products until you find the one that best meets your needs and inserting it into your daily routine.

You can choose between a specific oil (also available in different fragrances), beard balm , often also called beard wax, a special moisturizing balm or simple coconut oil .

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