Dry skin: what does it mean and what to do?
Xerosis or xeroderma is a condition in which the skin becomes very dry and destroyed. The reason for this violation lies in errors in the work of the sebaceous glands. They produce too little or no fat secretion at all. It is necessary to retain moisture in the epidermis. Risk factors also include diseases of internal organs, living in ecologically unfavorable areas, work in hazardous industries.
- What does dry skin mean?
- Types of dry skin
- Causes of dry skin
- Dry skin symptoms
- Diagnosis of diseases that provoke dry skin
- Principles for treating dry skin
- Cosmetology procedures for dry skin
- How to eat with dry skin?
- Prevention of dry body skin
What does dry skin mean?
Dry skin (xeroderma) is a symptom that the epidermis is not getting enough moisture. The epidermis is the outermost layer of the skin, which is represented by horny scales. There are no living cells in the epidermis. It contains little water, about 20%. When this level of moisture decreases, the layer of skin located under the epidermis begins to evaporate intensively. As a result, metabolism is disrupted, the skin becomes dull and vulnerable. Pathogenic microorganisms easily penetrate through such a weak layer. They can cause various diseases.
Types of dry skin
Dry skin can be of 2 types:
- Skin with increased tone. The elasticity of this dermis is not compromised. If a person takes proper care of her, then premature wrinkles will not appear. In the absence of care, the tone of the dermis quickly decreases. Such skin is typical for young people.
- Low-toned skin. This dermis is dry and thin, it is prone to wrinkles. Caring for it is difficult, it is difficult to restore it with the help of cosmetics. To fight premature aging, a person needs to resort to various methods, since standard cosmetic kits do not allow to cope with the problem.
Determining your skin type is not difficult. It is enough just to hold it between two fingers and release. If folds are smoothed out slowly, then it is dry and not sufficiently moisturized.
Causes of dry skin
So that the skin does not dry out, it is endowed with a water-lipid layer that covers its cells. The water-fat film also protects the dermis from moisture loss.
Its main functions:
- Maintaining skin elasticity.
- Suppression of the growth of pathogenic flora.
- Maintaining a normal pH level.
- Elimination of toxins from the body.
When the dermis loses lipids and moisture, it loses its protection and becomes vulnerable to external factors, that is, it becomes dry.
External (exogenous) causes
Causes leading to excessive dry skin:
- Environmental factors: ultraviolet radiation, wind, frost, hot air, harmful emissions contained in the air, etc. These factors can cause drying of the skin even in absolutely healthy people.
- Improper use of cosmetics or improper skin care: excessive application of liquid soaps, gels to the dermis, washing with hot water, etc.
- Not enough rest time, overwork, too hard work, etc.
- Contact with household chemicals without the use of protective equipment. Many manufacturers indicate on the packaging that gloves must be worn when interacting with their products. However, people often simply ignore these tips. As a result, aggressive chemistry destroys the skin. The dermis becomes dry and tight, lesions appear on it.
- Frequent peels. If exfoliating products are overused, the skin will become dry and thin.
Smoking, drinking alcohol. These bad habits negatively affect the condition of the dermis. They dry it out, change its color and contribute to the appearance of wrinkles. The vessels that feed the skin suffer. It becomes so thin that the capillaries begin to shine through it.
- Features of professional activity. Work in the field of mechanical engineering or glassmaking, in hot workshops, in the canteen negatively affects the state of the dermis. The skin loses moisture and becomes very dry.
- Taking certain medications. Dry skin is often observed in patients taking retinoids, diuretics, hormones, corticosteroids.
Internal (endogenous) causes
There are many internal causes that can lead to xerosis.
The most common ones include:
- Hereditary factors. Dry skin is often a genetic feature. Xerosis accompanies various genetic diseases, for example, it is characteristic of atopic dermatitis, psoriasis, ichthyosis.
- Errors in the diet. The skin can lose moisture due to the fact that a person does not receive enough vitamins, minerals, proteins, fats and just liquid. An overabundance of spicy, salty and spicy foods in the menu is negatively reflected in the state of the dermis.
- Hormonal imbalance. During hormonal surges, the dermis often becomes dry. A similar problem plagues many adolescents, pregnant women and women in the menopause.
- Renal failure Most patients with severe kidney problems have dry skin. Organs do not cope with their functions, harmful substances are not excreted with urine, but accumulate in the body, poisoning it. In addition to dry skin, patients suffer from excessive fatigue, thirst, dry mouth, nausea and lack of appetite.
- Chronic colitis. With this violation, the lining of the large intestine becomes inflamed. A person suffers from diarrhea, which exhausting the patient, leads to weight loss, weakness and fatigue. Vitamins are removed from the body, vision suffers, symptoms of vitamin deficiency develop. Dry with such a violation will be not only the skin, but also the mucous membranes.
Hypothyroidism This pathology is characterized by a malfunction of the thyroid gland. In patients, the skin is very dry, the hair begins to fall out, and edema appears. Other complaints include constipation, decreased blood pressure, and excessive weakness.
- Diabetes. With this disease, most metabolic processes fail in the body. Disrupted carbohydrate, protein, water-electrolyte and fat balance. The main symptom of the disease is frequent urination. The body loses water, the person wants to drink all the time. Other signs of the disease include: dryness and itching of the skin, increased weakness and fatigue, blurred vision, ulcerative processes affecting soft tissues. Skin defects do not go away for a long time, which is associated with a deterioration in nutrition at the cellular level.
- Dystrophy. In this disease, the tissues lose or accumulate substances that should not be in them. The skin of a sick person becomes dry and pale.
- Deficiency of vitamin A and vitamin PP. The patient's skin becomes dry and flaky. Such a vitamin deficiency occurs as a pityriasis lichen (external signs).
Sjogren's disease. This disease is of an autoimmune nature. Various glands of secretion are affected. Dry skin is a clinical sign of this disorder. Other symptoms of the disease include: photophobia, blurred vision, caries, stomatitis, etc.
- Stress. Emotional shock is accompanied by an increase in blood cortisol levels. Excessive amounts of this hormone cause dry skin.
Dry skin symptoms
The following symptoms will indicate that a person has dry skin:
- Tightness of the dermis. Even with a slight impact on it, it is injured. Skin flakes and flakes.
- Ash shade - if a person's skin is dark, then it acquires just such a shade. This is the main symptom of her dryness.
- Cracks in the skin. They can be deep and painful. He experiences discomfort during water procedures, during movements, etc.
- Itchy skin. This symptom significantly reduces the quality of life of a person and causes severe scratching.
- Excessive dryness of the skin of the arms, legs, abdomen and back. There are few sebaceous glands in these areas, so the dermis is especially dry on them.
- Premature aging of the skin. It loses its elasticity, fine wrinkles appear on it. First of all, the face suffers: the corners of the eyes, the nasolabial triangle, and also the neck. If measures are not taken in time, the wrinkles will become deep, their number will increase.
Diagnosis of diseases that provoke dry skin
If a person notes excessive dryness of the skin, then he should consult a doctor. The doctor will conduct a complex of examinations and establish the cause of moisture loss. The basic diagnostic scheme looks like this:
- Taking anamnesis, listening to patient complaints.
- Blood donation for biochemical and clinical analysis.
- Delivery of urine for general analysis.
- Donating blood for hormones.
- Microscopic examination of the dermis. To do this, make her scraping.
- Allergy tests.
- Immunological studies, if necessary.
- Ultrasound (appointed at the discretion of the doctor).
To make a diagnosis, the doctor must pay attention not only to dry skin, but also to other symptoms that may indicate certain diseases. If a person takes any medications, then he must warn the doctor about it. Sometimes medications can change the clinical picture and mislead a person.
Principles for treating dry skin
Dry skin is accompanied by excess sebum and sweat separation, loss of moisture and disruption of blood vessels. As a result, a person develops all the symptoms described above, and the quality of life also decreases. To deal with the violation, you need to take action.
Hygiene measures for dry skin care
- There are general recommendations that a person with excessive dryness of the skin needs to follow: drink enough water (about 1-1.5 liters per day or more), eat right, give up bad habits, lead an active lifestyle, and engage in physical education. The menu should include vegetables and fruits. If you have to spend time in the sun, you need to apply protective creams to your skin.
- During hygiene measures, it is necessary to monitor the temperature of the water. It shouldn't be too hot or too cold.
- You need to take a shower for about 10 minutes. The longer the dermis is in contact with chlorinated water, the more moisture it will lose.
- Do not use soap and other aggressive alkaline agents for washing.
- When wiping, you do not need to rub the skin too roughly or stretch it.
- Moisturize your skin before applying makeup. To do this, half an hour before using the foundation, the dermis is lubricated with nutrient formulations.
- The air in the living area should not be too dry. To deal with this problem, you should purchase a humidifier.
- You need to ventilate the room at least 5 times a day.
Therapeutic cosmetics for dry skin of the face and hands
Basic rules for dry skin care:
- It is necessary to exclude products that contain alcohols and acids.
- The composition of the caring cream should contain natural substances that will keep moisture in the dermis.
- You should use not only night creams, but also masks. They can be purchased at the store and prepared at home yourself.
- It is recommended to use a special milk or micellar water to remove cosmetics from the face.
- To prevent the dermis from drying out during the daytime, it must be moistened with thermal water. The pH level of such water should be neutral.
Whole lines of cosmetics have been developed for dry skin. They allow you to take good care of the dermis, keeping moisture in it. It is believed that French cosmetics are in the lead in this regard. Topical products contain lipids and water. They are represented by an emulsion. Their use makes it possible to normalize the disturbed skin barrier, since they are as close as possible in their structure to the dermis's own lipids.
Emollients are another class of effective cosmetics for combating dry skin. They prevent moisture loss and help restore the lipid layer.
Emollients include such means as:
- Lyarosh Pose Lipcar.
- Mkstela Stelatopia.
- Ksemoz based on Uryazh thermal water.
- Lines of funds from the Vichy and Ducré laboratories.
If we turn to the French language, the term “emollients” comes from the word “molle”, which means “soft”. Emollients work simply, they fill the voids in the skin and increase the level of bound water in the stratum corneum. This contributes to the fact that the skin becomes firm, elastic and flexible, all of its indicators are improved.
If the epidermis contains enough moisture, then fine wrinkles are smoothed out by themselves. This is an advantage of using emollients. In addition, they have a disinfecting and anti-inflammatory effect.
Drug therapy for dry skin
If a person has dry skin, then he is advised to use special ointments that help restore its cells. They allow you to cope with unpleasant sensations, get rid of flaking and itching, and stop inflammation.
Creams that can be used for dry skin:
- Bepanten. It can be used during lactation. It is allowed to apply the cream to the skin of a newborn baby. Bepanten's cost is 350 rubles.
- Lukobase Ripea. This cream is used to treat very dry skin. It does not allow moisture to leave its cells, "locking" it from the inside. The price of the drug is 450 rubles.
- Dardia Lipo. This cream maintains the normal lipid balance of the skin. It can be applied to the face, hands and body. The cost of the drug is 540 rubles.
- Depanthenol. This cream allows the dermis to resist environmental factors, enhances the production of collagen and elastin. Thanks to its use, burns heal quickly, skin cells regenerate well. The cost of the cream is 340 rubles.
- Radevit. This cream allows you to stop the existing inflammation on the skin, promotes cell renewal. Its use makes it possible to get rid of itching and flaking, from "pimples". Radevit acts in a complex way, it moisturizes and nourishes the skin, evens out its tone and structure. The use of this product makes the dermis velvety and soft. The cost of the cream is 400 rubles.
- We see. This cream allows you to get rid of dry skin, helps smooth out fine wrinkles, and relieves inflammation. Through regular application of the product to the skin, its cells are restored. Therefore, it is prescribed for dermal injuries of various origins. The cost of the drug is 220 rubles.
- Losterin. This cream has a broad spectrum of action. It does not contain a hormonal component. It is used to eliminate itching and flaking of the skin, for facial care. The cream is often used by adolescents with problematic dermis and people in years. Losterin helps to eliminate skin tightness, promotes moisture saturation and high-quality cell nutrition. The cost of the drug is 350 rubles.
To decide on a preparation for dry skin, you need to contact a dermatologist-cosmetologist. After the diagnosis, the specialist will select the most suitable dermis care product. If there are indications, the doctor may prescribe the intake of vitamins, minerals, trace elements, antioxidants, drugs for cleansing the liver. It can be such means as: Vitrum Beauty Elite, Vitrum Beauty Q10, Special dragee Merz, Aevit, Vitrum Beauty, etc.
Cosmetology procedures for dry skin
To get rid of dry skin, cosmetologists offer their clients a wide variety of techniques. They allow you to quickly get rid of the problem and achieve a positive result.
Experts recommend a comprehensive approach to the problem of dry skin. It is necessary to use home remedies along with professional procedures. This will prevent the loss of moisture, keep it in the cells of the epidermis, stimulate the processes of renewal of skin cells, make it more elastic and softer.
Procedures offered by beauty salons:
- JetPeel hardware gas-liquid peeling. This is a modern procedure that is carried out using special equipment. It involves exposing the skin to a jet of compressed gas. The keratinized scales are removed, the dermis is renewed. This type of peeling is considered one of the most gentle. The processing cost varies from 2,500 to 8,500 rubles. It all depends on how much work the specialist has to do.
- Microcurrent therapy. This method allows you to speed up metabolic processes, improve blood circulation, and restore the epidermis. Under the influence of currents, the skin is renewed, acquires a healthy color, fine wrinkles go away, and its elasticity increases. You will need to pay about 1,500 rubles for the procedure. To achieve the desired effect, you need to undergo a course of treatment, which consists of 8-12 sessions.
- Mesotherapy with hyaluronic acid. During the procedure, microscopic punctures of the dermis are performed, due to which certain drugs are injected under the skin. To cope with the dryness of the epidermis, hyaluronic acid-based products are used. It retains moisture in the skin, makes it firm and smooth. You will have to pay 2800-4500 rubles for the procedure.
- Biorevitalization. This procedure allows you to start the process of elastin and collagen production in the skin. If it is dry, it is recommended to use preparations with hyaluronic acid. Peptide-based injections are also performed. The cost of biorevitalization is 2500-3000 rubles.
How to eat with dry skin?
Often the skin is overdried in people who do not receive enough vitamins and minerals from food. The lack of vitamins of group B is negatively reflected in the condition of the dermis. To replenish their reserves, you need to include eggs, fish, green vegetables, brown rice, dairy products, black bread, cookies, nuts and fruits in the menu.
Regular consumption of fresh fruits and vegetables helps boost collagen production. The liver of animals acts as a source of proteins.
Vitamin C is also good for the skin. It can be obtained from citrus fruits. It is found in large quantities in sea buckthorn juice.
The menu must include fermented milk drinks and dairy products. They are the building blocks of skin cells.
The dermis also needs "good" cholesterol. Its source is fatty fish. You can get vitamin A from red vegetables and fruits. They need to be eaten at least 0.3 kg per day. These can be tomatoes, carrots, bell peppers, red apples. If you cannot replenish the supply of vitamins from food, then you can resort to the help of special supplements.
Canned food, chips, semi-finished products, crackers, salinity, pickled foods negatively affect the condition of the skin. In order not to disturb the water and electrolyte balance in the body, doctors recommend reducing the consumption of coffee and carbonated drinks.
Prevention of dry body skin
In order to prevent drying out of the skin, you need to adhere to the following recommendations:
- Refuse bathing in hot water.
- Use gloves when in contact with household chemicals.
- Do not be in direct sunlight during their maximum activity.
- To refuse from bad habits.
- Eat properly.
- Do not use cosmetics containing alcohol.
- Treat all chronic diseases on time.
- Avoid stress.
- Do not contact with allergens.
Experts recommend being outdoors more often, as this helps to increase immunity. To keep your skin healthy, you need to get rid of problems with the digestive system.
Article author: Mochalov Pavel Alexandrovich | d. m. n. therapist
Education: Moscow Medical Institute. IM Sechenov, specialty - "General Medicine" in 1991, in 1993 "Occupational Diseases", in 1996 "Therapy".