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

The skin in elderly individuals tends to have diminished amounts of natural skin oils and lubricants. Areas such as 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.

Frequent hand washing and sanitizing cause evaporating and dryness. Dry skin may also be a side effect of some medications as well as a by-product of some skin disease. The upper layer of the skin is normally composed of fat and protein. The fat portion help prevents skin dehydration. Basic dry skin prevention steps include avoidance of harsh soaps and chemical cleansers.

Dry skin causes can be classified as external and internal. External factors include cold and low humidity temperate zones.  

DRY SKIN

Causes of dry skin:

  • High blood pressure        
  • High cholesterol   
  • Allergy
  • Diabetes        
  • Acne medications        
  • Skin disease
  • Thyroid disease        
  • Malnutrition    

Atopic dermatitis 

Symptoms generally present with:

Itching-Rough and dry skin-Red plaques of eczematous skin: The itchy feeling may worsen the severity of dry skin. Itching can lead to the development of the ‘itch-scratch ‘cycle. That is as a person feels itchy, he or she scratches in response, which exacerbates the itch, and so on. The itch-scratch cycle is often seen when conscious control of scratching is low or absent, e.g. in sleep. The most common areas are the lower legs, hands, arms. Constant scratching, rubbing, the skin may cause the skin to become thick and leathery. For others small, red, raised, bumps may appear on their skin, and these bumpy spots can be irritated opened and infected if scratched. 

Winter itch: Winter itch is a common name for the skin symptom generalizing itching in the winter. It is primarily caused by dry skin and is most common in the elderly. Winter itch caused by dry skin may also be seen in those with a history of eczema. External factors including cold temperatures, low humidity, and the use of central heat end to worsening dry skin during the winter season. 

Therefore, some people refer to the condition of dry skin in winter as winter itch’.

Prevention of dry skin:

  • Daily lubrication with an emollient     
  • Moisturization       
  • Proper hydration  

Homeopathy and its role in Dry skin 

Homeopathy is a branch of medicine which is based on the Law of Similar. It works by administering a very minute dose of active ingredient or disease-causing substance in the patient to cure the disease. The idea behind this is that it stimulates the body's own healing mechanism. The treatment not only depends on the disease but also on the patient. The homeopathic treatment focuses on the patient as well as a pathological condition. It has been proven to be safe and successful in treating skin problems.

(Caution: Do not self- medicate, take homeopathic medicine under the supervision of a Homeopathic Physician)