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eMed previously Babylon Health

Dry Skin

Reviewed by Dr Claudia Pastides, 24th April 2019

Dry skin can be really uncomfortable – and if it’s located somewhere visible, can be embarrassing and affect self-confidence. It can be irritating and itchy, as well as flaky. Dry skin can also be a sign of another skin condition such as eczema or psoriasis. If you regularly experience dry skin, speak to a doctor to confirm that it’s nothing serious, and discuss the most effective treatments to improve the symptoms and appearance of your skin.

Causes of dry skin

There are a multitude of reasons why you might develop dry skin. Sometimes, it can all come down to lifestyle factors. Too much alcohol, using a particular kind of soap or detergent, or using inappropriate skincare products can all cause dry skin symptoms. The weather and other environmental factors like air conditioning can also be to blame in some cases.

However, there are also some medical conditions associated with dry skin. It’s always best to speak to a doctor to rule out any of these common problems before you try to treat your dry skin:

  • Eczema - this common skin condition causes dry, itchy and cracked patches of skin, usually around the hands, elbows, knees and face.
  • Psoriasis - your body produces new skin cells too quickly and can’t get rid of the old, dead cells, causing an itchy and irritating build-up.
  • Athlete’s foot - this is a fungal infection which, as the name suggests, affects the feet, causing the skin to become dry and itchy.

Treatment for dry skin

If your dry skin is causing you stress or irritation, help is at hand. Whether your dry skin is caused by lifestyle factors, or whether it’s the result of a condition like psoriasis or eczema, there are things you can do to relieve the irritation and help your skin to heal. Speak to a GP today for a consultation. You’ll have the area examined digitally by a professional, who will be able to tell you more about the possible causes of your dry skin, before recommending the right course of treatment for you.

The information provided is for educational purposes only and is not intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. Seek the advice of a doctor with any questions you may have regarding a medical condition. Never delay seeking or disregard professional medical advice because of something you have read here.