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Best Home Remedies for Dry Skin

By Dr Rajeev Singh +2 more

Introduction  

Dry skin is a common problem that people of all ages face at various stages in life. Dry skin will feel itchy, flaky, dry, and looks unattractive. Skin dryness is a condition that occurs when the skin loses out moisture too quickly. The skin does not have enough water to keep it feeling soft and supple. People with dry skin may experience rough patches of skin that flake off or look scaly.1   

Your skin may feel dry due to various habits like using deodorants, certain soaps, and harsh cleaning products, that can rob  the skin of natural oils and fats. You can develop dry skin if you take long, hot showers. Living in a dry, and cold place dries the skin, too.2 You can manage dry skin by following simple steps. Read more to find out about some of these remedies.  

Another important thing in dry skin is Infrequent bathing especially in winters and using lukewarm water as in individuals should avoid aggressive skin scrubbing and hot water, which are harsh and strip the skin of protective oils.

Dr. M.G. Kartheeka, MBBS, MD

What Causes Dry Skin? 

You can develop dry skin because of many reasons like-  

1. Climate  

If you live in a dry and dessert-like environment, you are more likely to develop dry skin. This happens because of the lack of humidity or moisture in the environment.1  

2. Health conditions 

Certain health conditions like diabetes and kidney diseases can make the skin dry and itchy.1 

3. Occupation  

Healthcare providers and hairstylists are more likely to develop dry skin due to frequent washing of hands.1 

4. Age  

Older people are more susceptible to experience dry skin due to age-related skin changes which are natural. As people become older, oil and sweat glands of the skin dry up. The skin also starts losing fat and elasticity, making it thinner. 1 

5. Genetics  

Genetics is one of the causes of dry skin as people may inherit certain skin conditions, such as eczema from their parents that lead to dry skin .1 

Dry skin is usually harmless. Untreated or severely dry skin can cause your skin to crack and bleed at times which may lead to an infection on the skin’s surface. Treatment on time in such cases is very critical.

Dr. Ashish Bajaj, M.B.B.S., M.D.

Symptoms of Dry Skin 

If you have dry skin, you might show one or more of the following signs:  

  • Redness of the skin 
  • Flakes or scales on the skin 
  • Cracked, rough-looking skin. 
  • Itchiness1 

Also Read: Effective Home Remedies For Dry Scalp

Suggested Home Remedies for Dry Skin 

These home remedies are simple and can help you not only manage dry skin but also prevent it from worsening.  

1. Use a moisturizer 

Moisturizers are one of the most efficient ways to combat dry skin. They help by smoothening your dry skin and prevent cracking. Moisturizers help prevent the loss of moisture from the skin. In order to trap this moisture, you need to apply a moisturiser immediately after  

  • Washing up when you come back home 
  • Drying off after a shower or bath, while the skin is still damp1,3 

2. Use creams and ointments, avoid lotions 

Creams and ointments are more effective in relieving dry skin as compared to lotions. While selecting any cream or ointment, look for products that contain one or more of the following ingredients: 

  • Glycerine  
  • Jojoba oil 
  • Dimethicone  
  • Shea butter 
  • Hyaluronic acid 
  • Petrolatum  
  • Mineral oil 
  • Lanolin  
  • Lactic acid3 

3. Use a lip balm 

Lip balms are a good way to treat dry lips. While buying a lip balm, pick something that does not irritate the skin. If you feel a tingling or stinging sensation, stop using that product. You can switch to a lip balm that does not cause this reaction.3  

4. Chose gentle, fragrance-free skin care products 

Some skincare products of everyday use, such as deodorant and soaps, are too harsh for dry and sensitive skin. Such products contain chemicals that hide the odours of other ingredients. These fragrant chemicals cause irritation in sensitive skin. Instead, skin doctors recommend using products labelled as “fragrance-free.” Look for products with words such as “unscented”  on its label. 3 

5. Wear gloves  

Hands are the most important part of our body and often the first place we notice dry skin. You can reduce dry and raw skin by putting on gloves before you: 

  • Venture outside during winter 
  • Perform work that requires you to get your hands wet 
  • Get greases and chemicals on your hands3 

6. Herbal oils  

Plant-based oils rich in fatty acids can be applied directly to dry skin. For example, the application of evening primrose oil containing a high amount of fatty acids improves the skin’s texture, retains moisture in the skin, and reduces irritation. Other examples of beneficial oils are coconut, sesame, and sunflower.4  

You can follow these steps to prevent your dry skin from worsening 

  • Limit your showering time to not more than 10 minutes; use warm and not hot water while bathing 
  • Patting the skin dry with a soft towel 
  • Drink plenty of fluids to keep the skin hydrated and prevent dehydration 
  • Minimize sun exposure. Sun exposure removes the oils and moisture from the skin.1 

When to Seek Medical Help? 

If you experience these symptoms along with dry skin, you should seek medical help 

  • Constant itching that interferes with sleep or everyday chores 
  • If you develop a rash 
  • If the skin feels painful to touch 
  • Skin looks infected, as evidenced by redness, or swelling1 

Conclusion  

When the skin loses its moisture, natural oils and fats, it becomes dry. Experiencing dry skin is normal and can happen at any age. But the good news is that it can be easily managed by taking care of your skin. Self-care products like moisturizers, creams, ointments, and oils are the best home remedies for dry skin. Applying these products will get rid of skin dryness and prevent it from reoccurring. You can also follow simple home remedies listed above to prevent your dry skin from worsening. However, if you feel it is becoming too dry, painful to touch and develop a rash, you need to contact your healthcare provider.  

Also Read: 16 Simple Home Remedies for Glowing Skin!

Frequently Asked Questions   

What are the home remedies for dry skin? 

Home remedies for dry skin are – using a good moisturizer, like a cream or gel. Herbal oils like coconut and primrose oil can be applied to the skin to rid of dry skin. Using lip balms will get take care of dry lips and using gentle skincare products are some of the home remedies.1,3,4  

How can I prevent dry skin? 

There are simple steps that you can follow to prevent dry skin, like patting the skin dry with a soft towel after washing, drinking plenty of water to avoid dehydration, reducing sun exposure, limiting showering time and using lukewarm water for bathing instead of hot water.1  

Can dry skin have other complications?  

If your skin is too dry, you might develop some complications. The skin might crack and bleed. These cracks may expose the body to germs and lead to infection. In rare instances, dry still can be an indication of diabetes or kidney disease.1  

Do I need to visit a doctor for my dry skin? 

Dry skin is a common occurrence in people of all ages. However, if your skin dryness is accompanied by symptoms like a constant itch that interferes with daily activities and sleep, the skin becomes painful to touch, the skin develops a rash, or the skin looks infected, you need to visit a healthcare provider or physician.1  

What type of skin products should I use if I have dry skin? 

If you have skin that feels dry, you should use gentle and fragrance-free skincare products. Some skin care products you might use, such as deodorant and soaps, can be harsh for dry skin. Skin doctors recommend using products labelled as “fragrance-free.” If you find any product with the word “unscented” written on it, the product can contain chemicals that neutralize or hide the odours of other ingredients. These chemicals can irritate dry skin.3  

Are oils helpful in treating dry skin? 

Oils can be helpful if you have dry skin. Oils rich in fatty acids can impart smoothness, reduce irritation and help the skin retain moisture. You can use coconut oil or primrose oil for your dry skin.4  

Also Read: Home Remedies For Pink Lips

Also Read: 11 Simple Home Remedies To Get Rid Of Dandruff!

References  

1. Cleveland Clinic. Dry Skin: Eczema, Itchy Skin, Causes, Treatments, Relief, Types [Internet]. Last updated on: 2020 Apr 13. Available from: https://my.clevelandclinic.org/health/diseases/16940-dry-skinitchy-skin 

2. Dry skin: Who gets and causes [Internet]. [cited 2022 Apr 21]. Available from: https://www.aad.org/public/diseases/a-z/dry-skin-causes 

3. American Academy of Dermatology. Dermatologists’ top tips for relieving dry skin [Internet]. [cited 2022 Apr 21]. Available from: https://www.aad.org/public/everyday-care/skin-care-basics/dry/dermatologists-tips-relieve-dry-skin 

4. Ahuja A, Gupta J, Gupta R. Miracles of Herbal Phytomedicines in Treatment of Skin Disorders: Natural Healthcare Perspective. Infectious Disorders – Drug Targets. 2020 Jun 22;21(3):328–38. Available from: https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/32568024/ 

Disclaimer: The information provided here is for educational/awareness purposes only and is not intended to be a substitute for medical treatment by a healthcare professional and should not be relied upon to diagnose or treat any medical condition. The reader should consult a registered medical practitioner to determine the appropriateness of the information and before consuming any medication. PharmEasy does not provide any guarantee or warranty (express or implied) regarding the accuracy, adequacy, completeness, legality, reliability or usefulness of the information; and disclaims any liability arising thereof.

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