What is dry skin?
Dry skin, also known as xerosis, is typically temporary and uncomfortable, and can result in significant disruption of daily life. . Dry skin may be your natural skin type, but for many of us living in Utah it can be something we deal with daily due to the lack of humidity.
Dry skin can also be caused by:
- A lack of natural oils that keep the skin soft and supple. The production of natural oils decreases with age. More than 50% of older adults have dry skin.
- A change of seasons
- Living in a cold, dry climate
- Indoor heating or an open fire
- Washing with too hot of water
- Using harsh cleaning products on the face, hands and body
- A job that requires you to constantly put your hands in water like a hairstylist
- Swimming in a chlorinated pool
- Inadequate consumption of drinking water that causes dehydration
- Various skin conditions such as psoriasis, ichthyosis, or eczema
- An underlying health condition such as thyroid problems and hormone conditions
What are the symptoms of dry skin?
Your age, health, where you live and how much time you spend outdoors affects your skin health. Symptoms include:
- areas of dry scaly, red, itchy and irritated skin
- chronic itching
- dull complexion with noticeable fine lines and wrinkles
- rough skin texture
- flaking and peeling skin
- skin that stings, burns or cracks
- chapped skin
- deep cracks that can bleed
Dry skin can be treated at home with:
- creams and ointments
- washing with warm not hot water
- using gentle and fragrance-free cleansers and soaps and keeping this soap confined to the “dirty areas” of the body: hands, feet, under arms, genitals and buttocks.
- applying moisturizer immediately after washing
- Avoiding or minimizing use of irritating skin care products such as retinoids, exfoliators, and strong soaps
- choosing hypoallergenic laundry detergent
- use a humidifier
When to see us at Salt Lake Dermatology & Aesthetics?
When you have tried and can’t find relief it is time to seek professional help. Extremely dry skin is called xerosis and can lead to a dermatitis, or inflamed skin. There are many types of dermatitis and some can create a risk of infections because the skin barrier has been compromised.
Dr. Michael Sotiriou will review your medical history and discuss your symptoms. He will inquire about when symptoms began and what appears to aggravate your dry skin. He will examine your skin and attempt to determine the cause. It may be related to your genetics, immune system, environment and/or exposure to skin irritants.
He will develop a treatment plan that may include custom selected moisturizers with ceramides to improve the skin barrier, and suggest lifestyle changes to improve your conditionAdditionally, he may prescribe topical ointments and creams to treat inflammation and improve symptoms of dry skin.
Contact Dr. Michael Sotiriou at Salt Lake Dermatology & Aesthetics in Salt Lake City, Utah to schedule an appointment today.
At a Glance
Dr. Michael Sotiriou
- Board-certified, Residency-Trained Medical and Cosmetic Dermatologist
- Sub-Specialty Board Certification in Mohs Micrographic Dermatologic Surgery from the American Board of Dermatology
- Fellow of the American Academy of Dermatology
- Learn more