Dry red skin is a common skin condition in places of low humidity and cold temperatures. Anyone can develop dry skin with redness and peeling. It is commonly seen on the face as facial skin is thinner and is exposed to the elements. Dry facial skin is also prone to developing fine lines, roughness, dullness and flaking. There can be many possible causes of dry skin. Identifying its underlying cause can help in treating this skin condition effectively.
Causes of Dry Facial Skin
The human skin is made up of several layers and the outermost layer is called the stratum corneum. The stratum corneum forms a barrier against pathogens from entering the body. It also regulates the amount of water that is released into the atmosphere from the body. The cells of the stratum corneum hold water and natural oils that are produced from underlying layers of skin cells. Natural oils also play a very important role in retaining the water in stratum corneum. It is the presence of water which makes the skin soft, supple, and smooth to touch.
Several factors like excessive use of soapy water, cold temperatures, exposure to strong chemicals like sodium laureth sulfate, and various dermatological diseases like eczema and dermatitis, decrease the amount of natural oils. As a result, there is a marked decrease in the water content in the stratum corneum. The dry and moisture deficient stratum corneum shrinks and develops small cracks. This exposes the underlying skin cells to microbes and environmental allergens. In other words, the dryness of the skin makes it susceptible to infections, which in turn causes redness of skin.
Some other probable reasons of skin dryness accompanied by redness and peeling are use of certain skin creams and/or ointments, allergic reaction to certain plants or food items, indoor heating, and rosacea. Sometimes the face cleansers that we use contain too many chemicals which might cause dryness. In such a case it is best to switch to mild or natural cleansers.
Remedies for Dry Red Skin
The best way to treat dry skin is to identify what caused it in the first place. If you wash your face too many times a day with water and cleansers, then this might be the cause of dry red skin.
- Washing your face excessively removes the natural oils from your skin, making it wrinkled and dry. Use of hot water for showering also leads to redness, inflammation and dry skin. So it is best to avoid over washing and to use lukewarm water for bathing.
- Dryness around the mouth and nose is usually due to use of harsh cleansers. In such a case it is best that you switch to a mild cleanser that contains ingredients like glycerin, chamomile, licorice extract and vitamin E. These will not only prevent any dryness and redness, but will also soothe irritated skin. Ideally, you should use cleansers that are free of preservatives, alcohol and fragrances.
- Apply a rich and creamy moisturizer to combat dry and flaky skin. Moisturizers that contain ingredients like ceramides, shea butter, jojoba, and niacinamide are your best bet. These rich moisturizers penetrate deep within the skin, hydrating it and making skin smooth and supple.
- Exfoliating dry skin is very essential if you want to get rid of the dryness and redness. Choose a gentle scrub that does not contain any abrasive particles in it. Exfoliating the skin is the best way to gt rid of dead and dry cells.
- One of the best ways to calm redness of skin is to apply 1 percent hydrocortisone cream. You can also opt for a cream or serum that contains feverfew and ginkgo biloba leaf extract which are anti-inflammatory.
- If humidity is causing dry flaky skin, then you should invest in a humidifier.
- Follow a healthy diet that is rich in proteins, fruits, vegetables. Fruits and vegetables contain vitamins and minerals which are good for skin.
- You can opt for some homemade face masks to moisturize your skin. A very good example is of a teaspoon of honey mixed with a tablespoon of any fruit pulp. Apply it on your face and leave it on for 10-15 minutes, and rinse it off with plenty of warm water.