Signs & Symptoms of Dehydrated Skin

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When Summer comes, it is a good idea to monitor the condition of your skin. Often experienced only in the Winter, dry and dehydrated can actually be a year-round problem, and needs to be treated accordingly. Dehydrated skin can stay with you for your entire life, so it is important to recognize the signs and symptoms of dehydrated skin in order to treat it appropriately. Along with your age, where you live, your health level, and the amount of time you spend outdoors can greatly impact the condition of your skin.

Symptoms

Some symptoms of dehydrated skin include a tight feeling to the skin, especially after bathing or taking a shower. Dehydrated skin can appear to be shrunken or shriveled up, with little elasticity. Skin that no longer appears smooth in appearance, but rough, may be dehydrated. Often, a sign of dehydrated skin may be an incessant itching, which can even become painful.

Signs

Some signs of dehydrated skin may also including flaking, or scaling of the skin, and peeling is sometimes a problem. Dry, dehydrated skin may also develop fine lines or cracks, which can become quite severe and even bleed on occasion; most often, bleeding of dry skin is caused by a deep crack. Redness is another common symptom of dehydrated skin.

Causes

Dehydrated skin is often caused by environmental factors. These can include the heating in your home during the winter months, as well as air conditioning in the summer. Heating especially reduces the amount of humidity in the air inside the home, and will tend to dry out the skin. Weather can also be a factor, most notably in the winter months, when humidity levels are low. Conversely, in desert regions with low moisture levels, dry skin conditions can worsen.

Effects

Taking prolonged baths or showers that are very hot will dehydrate your skin. The more frequent the bath or shower, often the worse it is for creating dry skin, as bathing too often tends to break down the lipids in the skin. Harsh soaps and chemicals used in bath products can also strip the skin of critical lipids and moisture. Deodorants and antibacterial products are notorious for dehydrating skin.

Sun Damage

Dehydrated skin often appears to have been baked in the sun. Tanned skin, as well as sunburnt skin, is dry to the touch and loses its elasticity very quickly. Typically, skin that is sun damaged appears quite dry, as well as wrinkled and saggy. Leathery, loose skin is a sign that skin is dehydrated. Avoiding the sun will do wonders for improving the skin's appearance.

Psoriasis

A chronic condition that sometimes develops with dehydrated skin is psoriasis, where a buildup of very rough, dry skin, forms into severely scaly skin. Consult your physician for the best course of treatment.

Treatment

Usually, most dehydrated skin cases respond well to small changes in lifestyle, including using moisturizers and limiting time in hot showers and baths. If your skin is very dry and scaly, your doctor may recommend an over-the-counter treatment that contains lactic acid. Sometimes a hydrocortisone cream is recommended as well for more severe forms of dehydrated skin.

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