Having dry skin patches on the face or arms is not only a beauty concern but also a health concern. What causes dry skin patches and what can be done to get rid of them? Read on to find out more.
Dry Skin Patches on Face
Dry skin patches can be irritating and embarrassing especially if they occur on the face. These patches are usually flaky, rough and sometimes itchy and can steal your skin’s shine and lead to formation of fine lines and wrinkles on the face making the skin look aged.
This is not only a beauty concern, but can also make the skin more prone to other skin diseases. For instance, you may have the urge to scratch the affected area. This can worsen the problem and increase the risk of bacterial infection.
The risk of dry skin patches is highest in winter months when humidity levels and temperatures are lowest and harsh winds are common. This is because these harsh elements rob the skin of its moisture, leading to a dry out. Heating furnaces also takes away moisture in the house and from the skin.
Harsh cosmetics and skin care products such as soaps and cleansers can also rob the face of its natural oils making it dry and often leading to dry patches. Surfactants, such as laureth sulphate which is often found in such cleansers as a foaming agent, is one likely culprit for skin dryness and patches-formation. Alcohol containing lotion and creams can also lead to skin dryness and so are fragrances in soaps and cleansers.
Smoking, stress, and excessive drinking of alcohol can also cause dry skin patches on the face or any other part of the body.
Here are a few interventions you can take to heal dry skin patches on the face:
- Quit smoking and excessive drinking. Not the easiest of options but it is very effective.
- Use gentle cleansers that are ideally non-foaming.
- Use moisturizing lotions and creams after a bathing or showers. Non-comedogenic and “hypoallergenic” moisturizers are particularly a great option.
- Wash your skin with milk to rehydrate your skin. There are many home remedies for dry skin you can as well consider.
Dry Skin Patches on Arms and Legs
The skin on the arms and legs can as well get dry, flaky, chapped, or cracked or even develop visible patches. This can happen due to exposure to harsh weather especially strong winds and low humidity. The drying effect of heating furnaces and thermostats typically used during winter can further aggravate this condition by decreasing the moisture levels in the living environment.
Prolonged exposure to the sun can also lead to dryness and skin patches on the legs and arms due to loss of the skin’s natural oils.
Curing dry skin patches on the legs and arms start by identifying any moisture robbing conditions and halting them, followed by adoption of moisture restoring conditions and practices.
For example, you may start by getting rid of the harsh soaps and detergents and instead switching to gentle cleansers and soaps. After that you may consider using appropriate lotions and creams for the dry skin. Aquaphor and Cetaphil moisturizing lotions are great options. A humidifier in your bedroom will also do wonders to your skin by preventing further loss of skin moisture.
Dry skin patches on the legs and arms can also be an indication of skin ailment e.g. eczema and psoriasis, and other diseases such as diabetes and Hyperthyroidism. Arms, legs and chest are especially prone to eczema. So, if the above moisture restoration practices don’t seem to make an impact on the dryness or makes the patches worse, you should consider seeking the attention of your doctor.
Pictures of Dry Skin Patches
Dry skin patches can affect any part of the body, but tends to affect the hands, legs, and chest areas more. It can also occur on the scalp or all over the body. The patches can appear scaly, flaky, reddish, or crusty or even has raised bumps depending on the specific ailment or underlying cause.
We have included some pictures of dry skin patches to give you an idea of how they look like. These pictures are intended to provide you with a reference with which you can compare your skin to determine if you are really suffering from this skin condition.
Red Dry Patches on Skin
The skin is naturally rich in moisture and natural lipids that make it smooth, soft, and healthy-looking. However on exposure to harsh environmental factors or when someone suffers from certain skin ailments such as eczema, the skin can lose its valuable moisture leading to dryness and sometimes, red patches. This can be embarrassing as much as much as it can be a self-esteem killer.
Red dry patches can occur on any part of the body including the face, elbows, legs, buttocks and neck among other. In addition to loss of skin moisture, skin ailments such as psoriasis can lead to red patches on the skin. Psoriasis is characterized by red, scaly patches on the skin.
Red dry skin patches on the skin can also occur due to bacterial infection, especially if you give in to the desire to scratch itchy areas of the dry skin. Using over the counter hydrocortisone creams can help, but should the problem persist or appear to be worsening, you should see your doctor immediately.
Dry Itchy Skin Patches
Dry, itchy skin is often associated with red, flaky, or scaly patches. Itchiness often results from exposure to allergenic agents. For example, fragrances in skin care products such as soaps and lotions are a leading cause of itchiness. Exposure to coarse materials such as woolen beddings can also lead to itchiness.
To rid the skin of dry itchy patches, you should first of all get rid of any potentially irritating products in your home. Go for products labeled “hypoallergenic” especially soaps and moisturizing lotions which are great for sensitive skin.
Home remedies as easy as taking baking soda bathes and washing your skin with milk also works great in relieving the skin of itchiness while eliminating the dry patches.
Over the counter hydrocortisone creams and oral antihistamines can also be used to relieve itchiness.
Dark and Brown Dry Patches on Skin
Dry skin can result from exposure from too hot or cold conditions or autoimmune system disorders. In some cases, dry skin may be accompanied by dark and brown patches on the skin.
In addition to dehydration of the skin, skin dryness and discoloration can result from skin ailments such as contact dermatitis (skin rash due to contact with skin irritants or lack of vitamin B), eczema, and psoriasis. In case of eczema, the red, flaky patches that usually form on the skin may later turn on become dark brown. People suffering from psoriasis may on the other hand have dark patches that look rough, flaky and scaly.
With lifestyle changes and adequate moisturizing of the skin, dark brown patches can clear. Over the counter cortisone creams can also be used to treat the condition but if the patches seem to be persistent or worsening, it is advisable to see a dermatologist.
White Dry Patches on Skin
White dry patches can occur on the skin due to factors such as loss of skin moisture, prolonged exposure to the damaging effects of the sun, exposure to certain chemicals or as a side effect of certain medications. White dry patches can be experienced on the arms, legs, stomach, and other parts of the body.
Good moisturizing regimes can relieve your body of these patches. Emollients such as Vaseline and baby oil are especially great for people with dry skin. You can also use Aquaphor and cetaphil lotions.
Above all, drink plenty of water; at least eight glasses each day is recommended. If moisturizing doesn’t help, consider seeing a doctor.
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