An average of 50% of people over the age of 40 live with a dry skin condition. But that doesn’t mean anyone younger is immune to them. In fact, most people will experience dry skin at some point in their lives. A 2019 study even pointed out that 70% of women were more likely to have dry skin, compared to men at 50%.
These statistics show that dry skin conditions are quite common. You’re probably experiencing one yourself.
“Dry skin shows up through physical symptoms of flakiness, redness, irritation, or itch. This develops as a result of an inflammation, which can transform into Eczema or Psoriasis” explains Dr Ryan De Cruz, dermatologist at Southern Dermatology (episode #94: The science of dry skin). However, dry skin isn’t limited to just these conditions and the range of symptoms, root cause, and type of flare is much more complex.
In partnership with Dermal Therapy, we spoke with dry skin experts on understanding, differentiating, and soothing various dry skin conditions.
Cheilitis is a dry skin condition that impacts and inflames the lips. Dr Julia Rhodes, dermatologist, explains that “Cheilitis and its various types can develop from nutritional deficiencies or autoimmune diseases. It can also be the result of acne medications or allergies, particularly linked to nail polish.” (episode #96: Chapped lips 101)
As the lips have a very thin and delicate skin, consistent cracks, wrinkles, and a risk of skin cancer can develop very quickly. Dr Julia Rhodes points out that: “We do so much with our mouth: talking, breathing, eating… and as a result, we constantly expose our lips to different structures that can trigger irritation and inflammation.”
While it is recommended to see a doctor if you experience important symptoms of chapped lips for an extended period, Cheilitis can be soothed and prevented through adequate hydration, nutrition, and application of a good lip balm. The Dermal Therapy Lip Balm Original has been clinically tested to increase lip moisture, alleviate irritation, and heal severely cracked lips.
Eczema Dermatitis is a general condition that includes sensations of irritation, rash and itchiness. Often triggered by an overactive immune system, Eczema can highly vary in flare types and intensity. Dr Ryan De Cruz explains that: “For example, symptoms of itchiness are caused by inflammation. When a nerve fibre is dehydrated, it activates a brain chemical that triggers a need to itch.” (episode #94: The science of dry skin)
However, there are many misconceptions about the role of hydration in Eczema Dermatitis. Tanessa Williamson, dermal clinician at Skin Smart Science highlights: “Overall, true dry skin issues like Eczema are linked to pre-genetic conditions that result in a lack of oil. On the other hand, dehydrated skin is a lack of water content in the skin.” (episode #98 Treatments and Ingredients for dry skin)
She adds: “One way to nurture your skin oil and cells is to ensure you consume enough fatty acids and B vitamins. LED therapy and other holistic forms of treatments can also be beneficial.” And let’s not forget the benefits of applying something topically. The Dermal Therapy Eczema Dermatitis Cream is also recommended by dermatologists across Australia for its efficacy in relieving common symptoms linked to this dry skin condition.
Xerosis refers to abnormally dry skin, which is common in older adults. However, it is also influenced by many factors including change in environment, exposure to extreme weather, bathing habits, stress level, and genetics – which plays a role in the early development of xerosis.
Caylynn Jagg, dermal clinician at Skininfluence Clinic in Brisbane explains: “In a medical dry skin condition like Xerosis, the skin loses its ability to retain moisture. This can cause a reduction in cellular fatty acids, protein, and overall turnover.” (episode #97 Medical dry skin conditions) Xerosis is often uncomfortable, painful, and experienced on the eyes, mouth, and hands. Additionally, Xerosis can also be a cause and symptom of Eczema.
Treating Xerosis comes down to replenishing the skin with moisture. The Dermal Therapy Extra Strength Body Lotion is clinically formulated to deeply penetrate the skin layer and restore moisture.
Psoriasis is a dry skin condition which develops mostly on the scalp, knees, elbows, lower back, hands and feet. Predominantly linked to the immune system, flares occur sporadically in the form of red patches, silvery scales, and cracked skin.
“Psoriasis goes a lot deeper than just the appearance of your skin,” says Stephanie Shepherd, an advocate for Psoriasis. (episode #95 Faces of dry skin conditions: real life stories) Caylynn Jagg, dermal clinician, explains this is because “Psoriasis happens when cells mature too rapidly and the skin loses the ability to retain moisture”. (episode #97 Medical dry skin conditions)
Psoriasis can develop as early as age 16, and in more than seven ways – from Plaque to Guttate Psoriasis. Treating this condition will vary depending on the type and underlying issue of Psoriasis, however, a topical treatment like the Dermal Therapy Psoriasis Cream can help gently clear dead skin cells and minimise skin dehydration.
No matter what dry skin condition you experience sporadically or on a regular basis, it is important to understand what underlying skin phenomenon occurs to treat it appropriately. Seeking dermatological guidance is a must, just as topically applying a product specifically formulated for your condition. Dermal Therapy is an Australian skincare clinically formulated for dry skin and you find the dermatologist-recommended product that best suits your condition.