A feeling of tightness, especially after a shower, bath or swim
Ichy skin (pruiritis)
Skin that feels and looks rough
Slight to severe flaking, scaling or peeling
Fine lines or cracks
Gray, ashy skin in people with dark skin
Deep cracks that may bleed
Dry skin is usually a temporary condition. For example, some people get dry skin only in winters. Howevere, some people may have dry skin throughout their whole life.
Although skin is driest on the arms and lower legs, this may vary from person to person. The signs and symptoms may also depending on age, health, where a person lives, amount of skin spent outdoors and the cause of the problem.
The causes of dry skin include:
Weather including winters when temperature and humidity levels plummet and weather in desret regions where temperatures can soar, but humidity levels remains low.
Heat from central heating, wood-burning stoves, space heaters and fireplaces which reduce humidity and dry the skin.
Taking long, hot showers or baths and swimming in heavily chlorinated pools.
Certain soaps, detergents and shampoos.
Exposure to the sun can dry the skin and it's ultraviolet radiation penetrates far beyound the top layer of the skin. This can lead to damage that occurs deeper, causing deep wrinkles and loose, sagging skin.
Other skin conditions, such as atopic dermatitis (eczema) or a skin conditions marked by a rapid buildup of rough, dry, dead skin cells that form thick scales (psoriasis).
4 Making a Diagnosis
Making a diagnosis of dry skin is done by performing several tests.
A physical exam and a medical history including when a patient first had dry skin, bathing habits, diet and how a person takes care of the skin may help doctors to diagnose dry skin.
Other tests can be carried out if a doctor suspects other underlying conditions such as hypothyroidism.
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