Dry skin can be a common uncomfortable side effect of a number of skin conditions and even in some cases make certain skin conditions more likely to develop. In this post, we are going to be covering some of the skin conditions associated with dry skin, as well as what can be done to help alleviate the discomfort associated with it. Keep reading to find out more.
Perhaps the most well-known and common condition associated with dry skin is eczema. This condition usually develops from a young age and can vary in severity. It can be an incredibly uncomfortable and distressing condition to live with, and in severe cases can impact the sufferer’s quality of life. Eczema causes the skin to become incredibly dry and flaky, whilst also causing severe itching and irritation.
Signs of eczema include redness and slight swelling, painful and potentially bleeding patches of skin, blisters, and changes in skin colour and texture. A family history of eczema makes you more likely to develop it yourself. Treatments for eczema generally include emollients and topical steroids, with a focus on rehydrating the skin to reduce the discomfort and tightness of dry skin.
Dermatitis is essentially the same condition as eczema and produces similar symptoms, with dry, flaky patches of skin which can become irritating for those suffering from it. The main difference between eczema and dermatitis is that eczema tends to be a long-term condition that usually develops from a young age.
Dermatitis, however, tends to be acute rather than chronic and appears in short bursts but eventually goes away. Treatments for dermatitis tend to be similar to those for eczema and focus on reducing discomfort for the person suffering from it. Medicated creams can be applied that help to reduce redness, itching, and dryness. These treatments tend to see better results than with eczema as dermatitis is not chronic.
Warts are especially common in those that suffer from dry and cracked skin. This is because warts can develop due to the human papilloma virus (HPV) which can penetrate and infect the skin through open wounds. As people with dry skin are more likely to develop cracks and cuts, this creates more opportunities for the virus to enter. The infection then causes a thicker layer of skin to develop on the site of the infection, which causes a wart to develop.
Keeping skin clean and moisturised to avoid drying are both ways to help prevent the development of warts. Reducing stress levels also helps to keep warts away as stress hormones can affect the immune system’s ability to fight off infections. Warts tend to appear on the hands and feet, or as a verruca. They can be treated by a process of freezing, which is painless and quick and can be carried out by a medical professional. You can also buy creams, sprays, and plasters over the counter to treat warts or a verruca and should eliminate them after several applications.
Psoriasis is a skin condition that causes dry, flaky, and itchy patches of skin. It occurs because skin cells that usually should regenerate are not doing so quickly enough to produce healthy skin. It can also cause painful, swollen joints. This condition although chronic can lay dormant for months or even years before flaring up for varying periods of time. It is believed that episodes of psoriasis can be triggered by stress, anxiety, medications, illness, or infections.
Treatments usually tend to involve creams that are aimed at reducing the discomfort caused by the condition such as dry, itchy skin, and by reducing inflammation. As with other dry skin conditions, it can affect the overall comfort and well-being of the sufferer and lead to issues surrounding self-confidence.
Ichthyosis is a genetic skin condition in which the sufferer develops dry, scaly, and itchy skin patches that become thickened over time. There can be around 20 different forms of ichthyosis, which can be diagnosed by sending skin cell samples to a dermatologist. It can appear anywhere on the body and results in fish scale-like patches of skin. This is caused due to the condition causing a slowing of the skin’s normal shedding process, leading to skin cells building up and creating extra-thick layers of skin.
Although there is no cure for this condition, the side effects can be dealt with by exfoliating the skin regularly to help break down skin cell build-up, and moisturising to help promote healthy skin cells. In the case of infection, your GP may prescribe a course of antibiotics and a skincare treatment plan to help fight the side effects of the condition. Ichthyosis is genetic and can develop at any age but can sometimes improve over time and be less prevalent as a person ages, whilst being slightly more aggressive in younger years.