Dry skin, which refers to roughened, flaky, or scaly skin that is less flexible than normal and dry to feel, is a relatively common problem in all age groups, but is more common in elderly individuals. The water content of the stratum corneum is of paramount importance in maintaining the normal appearance and texture of human skin. Loss of integrity of the barrier function is a central factor in the development of dry skin conditions.
Treatment Practical points
- Patient should avoid soap and use an alternative cleansing agent such as syndate bar or cream for washing, bathing and showering.
- Even when the skin condition is under control, a daily non comodogenic-emollient routine should be followed.
- The patient should be advised to avoid exposure to precipitating factors that aggravate dryness of the skin.
- Patient should reduce frequency of bathing, have brief baths or showers and use luke warm water instead of very hot water and apply an emollient liberally after bathing when the skin is still wet.
- For very dry skin daily deep moisturizing a moisturizing night cream should be used.
- There are different moisturisers for face & body.
- Patient should drink plenty of water.
- Patient should include omega-3 rich foods like flax, walnuts, safflower oil and cold water fish to supplement body with the essential fatty acids required for fortifying skin’s oil retaining barriers.
- Patient should use sunscreen regularly.
- Patient should avoid wearing wool and synthetic fabric as they irritate dry skin.