A dry skin rash can develop for a number of reasons. Skin doctors or dermatologists often refer to this type of skin rash as xerosis.
Basically, this problem occurs because natural fats and oils that are in the skin to help prevent moisture loss get stripped away. If these barriers to skin moisture loss are not replaced, then a dry skin problem can develop.
Many factors can contribute to a dry skin rash. If a person is older, there is less production of natural fats and oils and this can lead to dry skin. On the other hand, infants have underdeveloped oil glands and therefore these individuals are more vulnerable to a dry skin problem.
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Susceptibility to getting dry skin may be inherited. Some individuals simply lose the essential oils from their skin more easily than others because of their genetic make-up. It may be that some individuals also do not produce enough protective oils for the skin to remain moisturized.
Work activities can lead to dry skin. Occupations where repeated contact with harsh chemicals occurs, for example cleaning products, will cause a dry skin problem.
Over washing or over cleansing the skin is problematic. The skin on the hands and face are usually the areas that get affected most by this dry skin causing factor.
A dry skin rash can also be caused by a poor diet, consumption of too much alcohol or drugs, smoking, health problems such as thyroid disorders and diabetes, and skin problems such as psoriasis and eczema.
The most common of reasons why this type of skin rash develops is due to the environment, in particular cold dry or low humidity weather. Low humidity means that the air wants to extract moisture from the skin. If the humidity in the air is high, then there is no driving force for water to leave the skin. Skin that is not protected from the sun, hot and dry conditions, cold temperatures, or dry windy conditions will develop a dry skin problem.
A person with dry skin will experience very itch skin that is scaly or flaky in nature. Sometimes no real skin rash is plainly evident and just the itch occurs. However, in many cases the dry skin symptoms are more obvious. The skin can be dull in appearance, inflamed, have a burning sensation, show redness, swelling, and show many fine lines and small cracks that repeatedly bleed or weep fluid. Infection is possible because of the open areas of the skin.
Without treatment the condition will get worse unless the factors causing the chapped skin rash are eliminated. Treatment involves moisturizing the skin and re-establishing the protective moisture barrier that the skin should naturally have.
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