Skin Conditions that causes flaky and dry skin
There are many factors that come into play when it comes to dry skin. Genetics and hereditary patterns can leave some with skin conditions that require stronger treatments to help resolve or maintain. While these are not the only skin conditions out there, these are some of the most commonly treated.
This condition is unique in the sense that it tends to come and go rather than appear consistently. It can often show up as a pre-cancerous condition, mainly due to frequent skin tanning, both from the sun’s UV rays and tanning beds. Without treatment, it can turn into squamous cell skin cancer and many more steps will need to be taken to combat the issue.
Painful to the touch, this condition at its worst results in thick, scaly, and discolored patches of skin that can flake off if aggravated.
Characterized as a reddish-purple scaly rash on the skin, this skin condition is also correlated to the weakening of the muscles over time. As the condition continues to affect the body and skin, there is the potential for symptoms to occur such as rashes on the eyelids, nose, knees, back, and other areas of the body.
Though muscle weakness can be a direct result of this condition, there are several patients who don’t report experiencing muscle aches once diagnosed.
Also known as “atopic dermatitis,” this condition consists of scaly, red patches on the skin's surface. It is often misdiagnosed or not treated early enough due to the ability to simply consider it drier, more sensitive skin.
There are different types of eczema that can also affect people depending on their age. For example, eczema on the hands makes the skin on your palms and fingers become dry. This dry skin can even cause cracks that lead to bleeding, especially during drier seasons. Eczema that creates crusty spots on the chins and cheeks in particular often only affects babies and young children.
Thankfully, children who are diagnosed with eczema are usually able to outgrow the condition. Even so, some adults are still able to get eczema, similar to those who get chicken pox in their older years.
Despite so many who suffer from this condition every year, medical professionals are still not quite sure what is the direct cause. There are many contributing factors that lead to eczema, such as reactions to wool products and various soaps, perfumes, and make-up products applied by people daily. Even chlorine and smoke from cigarette products can trigger the condition to appear.
Also referred to as “fish scale disease” or “ichthyosis vulgaris,” the former is often milder and has the potential to go undiagnosed as long as the skin is well-moisturized. It can cause the skin cells to build up faster than they regenerate, creating thick, dry areas on the skin that resemble fish scales.
Ichthyosis is typically a skin condition that is passed down through family lines. It is typically a lifelong condition that one must treat and can be diagnosed as early as childhood.
Commonly stemming from those with autoimmune disorders or Hepatitis, lichen planus is a frequent skin condition experienced by patients. It typically starts out as reddish-purple bumps on areas such as the wrist, lower back, and genital areas. It can also affect the nails and sides of the mouth. To this day, doctors aren’t certain why the condition seems to affect solely middle-aged adults.
Whereas lichen planus affects adults, pityriasis rosea tends to only affect women, ranging in age from 10 to 35. Often mistaken for ringworm, this condition shows as a single round, tan-colored spot, or “herald patch,” on the skin that is usually found on the arms and legs.
Once the “herald patch” appears, is usually followed a few weeks after with a cluster of round spots with raised borders, as well as headache and fatigue. While doctors aren’t entirely sure of the cause, they presume that Herpes viral infection numbers six through eight can be a culprit.
One of the more commonly-known skin conditions, psoriasis is known for its white patches of skin that become discolored with redness, resulting in skin peeling and flakes. This is a sign that a person’s immune system isn’t working as intended and can be occurring due to a number of reasons, such as family genetics.
When new skin cells are growing faster than the old cells can shed, they end up mixing together. Once combined, they create thick white/red scaly patches of skin that require different methods of treatment depending on the individual.
This condition is often considered the most common cause of dandruff, mainly concerned with the head. Dandruff is primarily characterized by its white, oily flakes that fall from the hair, which are dead skin cells that have shed. Aside from the flakiness, the scalp itself feels greasy and can affect the skin behind the ears and sides of the nose.
- Dehydration & Overbathing
Dehydration is a common reason for the recurring issue of dry skin in patients. When the skin becomes dehydrated and isn’t retaining enough moisture, it ends up tightening and getting dry faster, especially in drier climates which allow water in the epidermis to evaporate at a faster rate.
This is why it’s important to maintain hydration levels in the body and to consume enough water throughout the day. A healthy diet is also beneficial to supporting the skin as well as the use of skin care products to help retain moisture.
If you’re a fan of long, hot showers, which is understandable as they can be therapeutic, these can also be terrible for the skin. Prolonged exposure to hot temperatures or cleansing too frequently can irritate the skin and remove the skin’s natural moisturizing oils.
To avoid skin irritation from cleansing, breaking up the process can be helpful. Washing your face with a full regimen at night can make up for a quick rinse being performed in the morning with facial cleansers. Pat drying the skin after a bath or shower can also help reduce irritation, inflammation, and skin peeling.
- Change in Weather Patterns
While many look forward to the fall and winter seasons each year, these seasons also bring about new challenges for our skin. No matter how frequently we prepare or deal with harsher climates, sometimes the skin refuses to adapt. In the winter, the air is drier in general and makes it harder for the skin to retain moisture.
Skincare products with ceramides, fatty acids, and cholesterol work to replenish the top layer of the skin in these environments. It can also be beneficial to utilize thicker ointments and creams during these seasons to keep the skin well-moisturized.
- Skincare Products & Medications
While skincare products and prescription medications are there to help us in our time of need, they can also cause adverse reactions that many of us don’t want when it comes to the health of our skin. Some of these effects can make the skin porous, which makes the skin more susceptible for moisture to escape.
Products that contain retinol, cholesterol, and the consumption of diuretics (water pills) all have the capability of causing dry skin. If you’re prone to acne and require medications for this condition, these treatments may also be a contributing factor to your dry skin symptoms.