Dry skin can first be identified through sensations. If you encounter any discomfort, tension or ruggedness, you may have dry skin. Those that suffer from dry skin naturally possess less grease on the external layer of their skin leading to a significant loss of water (dehydration) et renders their skin more sensible. Dry skin makes the skin thinner, more robust and more sensible to meteorological conditions. Symptoms are generally temporary or associated to seasons. For instance, an individual may only suffer from dry skin during winter.
Many factors are responsible for dry skin. These may include the sun, the cold, the wind, the over-exposure to water, very hot showers or baths, soaps, medication and ageing. Dry skin may be caused by genetics in addition to serious concerns such as eczema, psoriasis and hypothyroidism.
Generally, dry skin is treated with preparations to be used externally, however to ensure an effective treatment, the used preparation should penetrate the skin and not stay on the surface of the skin. As a general rule of thumb, the thicker the skin, the thicker the products used.
There exists a variety of cremes, lotions, ointments and oils to moisturise the skin and fight against dry skin. These products often contain a greasy base like paraffine, propylene glycol (Vaseline) or glycerine. For each type of skin, a different treatment is advise.
We often find in these formulations disinfectants (dexpanthenol, urea, chlorhexidine, polidocanol) and/or keratolytic, desquamating to allow an even more effective treatment thanks to its curative effect. Urea may allow to augment the level of hydration of the skin by 60%. As such, products including urea are highly recommended.
If you happen to suffer from itching or harsh pains, you can also use a creme or ointment with at least 1% hydrocortisone with a goal in mind to reduce inflammation.
Ask your nearest specialist to find the best treatment for your kind of skin.