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What is dry skin a sign of?


Dry skin is a very common skin condition characterised by a lack of the appropriate amount of water in the most superficial layer of the skin, the epidermis. While dry skin tends to affect males and females equally, older individuals are typically much more prone to dry skin.

The skin in older individuals tends to have diminished amounts of natural skin oils and lubricants. Areas such as the arms, hands, and particularly lower legs tend to be more affected by dry skin. Environmental factors, such as humidity and temperature, have a profound effect on the amount of water retained within the skin.



Dry skin isn’t usually serious, but it can be uncomfortable and unsightly.

It can be as a result to hormonal imbalance or an under-active thyroid. This skin type cant be changed, but can be infused through treatment and products.

Serious dry skin conditions — an inherited group of disorders called ichthyosis — can sometimes be disfiguring and upsetting. Fortunately, most dry skin is caused by environmental factors that can be at least partially controlled. These factors include hot or cold weather, low humidity, and soaking in hot water.

You can do a lot on your own to improve your skin, including using moisturisers and avoiding harsh, drying soaps. Chronic or severe dry skin problems may require evaluation by a therapist (dermatologist).

Dermatitis is the medical term for extremely dry skin. There are several different types of dermatitis.

Contact dermatitis
Contact dermatitis develops when your skin reacts to something it touches, causing localised inflammation. Irritant contact dermatitis can occur when your skin is exposed to an irritating chemical agent, such as bleach. Allergic contact dermatitis can develop when your skin is exposed to a substance you’re allergic to, such as nickel.

Seborrheic dermatitis
Seborrheic dermatitis occurs when your skin produces too much oil. It results in a red and scaly rash, usually on your scalp. This type of dermatitis is common in infants.

Atopic dermatitis
Atopic dermatitis is also known as eczema. It’s a chronic skin condition that causes dry scaly patches to appear on your skin. It’s common among young children. Other conditions, such as psoriasis and type 2diabetes, can also cause your skin to dry out.

At Biodermal we offer a dry skin programme. We use our technology base equipment in conjunction with products as a treatment.

You can do a lot on your own to improve your skin, including using moisturisers and avoiding harsh, drying soaps. Chronic or severe dry skin problems may require evaluation by a therapist (dermatologist).

Most cases of dry skin respond well to lifestyle and home remedies. See your therapist if:

  • Your skin doesn’t improve in spite of your best efforts
  • Dry skin is accompanied by redness
  • Dryness and itching interfere with sleeping
  • You have open sores or infections from scratching
  • You have large areas of scaling or peeling skin

Dry skin (xerosis) often has an environmental cause. Certain diseases also can significantly affect your skin. Potential causes of dry skin include:

  • Weather. Skin tends to be driest in winter, when temperatures and humidity levels plummet. But the season may not matter as much if you live in desert regions.
  • Heat. Central heating, wood-burning stoves, space heaters and fireplaces all reduce humidity and dry your skin.
  • Hot baths and showers. Taking long, hot showers or baths can dry your skin. So can frequent swimming, particularly in heavily chlorinated pools.
  • Harsh soaps and detergents. Many popular soaps, detergents and shampoos strip moisture from your skin as they are formulated to remove oil.
  • Other skin conditions. People with skin conditions such as atopic dermatitis (eczema) or psoriasis are prone to dry skin.

If you experience occasional dry skin, you can likely prevent and treat it using simple lifestyle changes and over-the-counter moisturisers. If you develop severe dry skin, make an appointment with your therapist.

If left untreated, dermatitis can get worse. Early treatment will help you to feel comfortable sooner. It will also lower your risk of complications, such as open wounds from scratching and skin infections.


Some products may differ depending on your skin treatment and the severity of your condition.  Please consult with your therapist on which products are best for you.