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Dry Patches on Skin

Though our skin tends to get dry during winter, there could be other contributing factors for the appearance of dry patches on the skin. This BeautiSecrets write-up lists out a few natural remedies for keeping the skin healthy.
BeautiSecrets Staff
Exposure to cold winds and harmful ultraviolet rays of the sun often has an adverse effect on the condition of the skin. Medically referred to as xerosis, dryness of the skin results when the epidermis (outermost layer of the skin) doesn't contain the required amount of natural body oils. Lipids present in the epidermis protect the skin by preventing it from getting dehydrated. With the lack of these natural body oils, the skin becomes prone to dermatitis. More often than not, dry patches appear on the face, arms, hands, and legs. Medical help must be sought, if dryness is accompanied by other symptoms like redness, itching, and flaky skin.
Contributing Factors
Xerosis could be caused by a wide range of reasons such as:

Prolonged use of cosmetic products (bathing soaps, shower gels, lotions, etc.) that contain chemicals
Taking hot showers frequently
Nutritional deficiency
Lack of skin care
Loss of elastin and collagen with aging
Skin conditions (Eczema, psoriasis, dermatitis, fungal infections, skin reactions, etc.)
Adverse effect of certain drugs

Since the skin could become dry due to the use of cosmetic products, make sure that you identify your skin type, and use the products that are meant for your skin type.
Treatment Options
First of all, the underlying cause of dryness should be identified. Topical application of medicated creams or lotions can prove beneficial, if the underlying cause is a skin condition. Over-the-counter emollients can also be applied. Also, the use of oral vitamin supplements (vitamin E, vitamin B) can also help. If the dryness is accompanied by itching, you can use anti-itch creams or ointments that contain ingredients such as camphor, vitamin E, menthol, pramoxine, and diphenhydramine.
Remedies
The issue of dry skin can be resolved by taking a few self-care measures, and making a few lifestyle-related changes. The following measures can help restore the body oils in the epidermis:

Increase Your Intake of Water
Keeping your skin hydrated is extremely essential in treating and preventing skin problems. Water not only keeps your skin hydrated, it also helps in the process of production of natural oils from the sebaceous glands. You must consume plenty of water throughout the day. Drink fresh fruit and vegetable juices as well.

Keep Your Skin Moisturized
Moisturize the skin with a good moisturizer that is meant for the dry skin type. Moisturize the area at least thrice in a day. Avoid the use of cosmetics or soaps on the affected area. Make sure you that moisturize the area immediately after it is exposed to water.

Protection from the UV Rays of the Sun
Prolonged exposure to the harmful UV rays of the sun is one of the most common reasons behind most skin problems. So, minimize the exposure to the sun. Wear a broad-rimmed hat, and apply a sunblock or sunscreen lotion with a high SPF whenever you step out in the sun.

Follow a Skin Care Regimen
Make sure that you follow a skin care routine religiously. Exfoliate and moisturize the problem areas on a regular basis. Exfoliation will help in getting rid of the dry, flaky skin and rejuvenate the skin cells.

Follow a Healthy Diet
Following a healthy diet is essential for keeping the skin healthy. So, follow a diet rich in vitamin E, vitamin A, vitamin C, and other essential minerals to get rid of dry skin.
On a concluding note, follow the aforementioned remedies to prevent your skin from becoming dry. If the problem persists, consult a dermatologist for proper diagnosis and treatment.
Disclaimer: The information provided in this article is solely for educating the reader. It is not intended to be a substitute for the advice of a medical expert.
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