09 August 2008

Individual Factors:
  • The oil glands do not supply enough lubrication to the skin. As a result, the skin becomes dehydrated.
  • As people get older, the number of sebaceous glands that give out a type of oil in the skin are reduced, as is the skin's ability to hold moisture.
  • It appears both the skin's ability to hold water and how well it protects the body, depend on the amount of fat the outer layer of skin contains. This outer layer is known as the epidermis.
  • Dry skin could be due to a genetic condition. If relatives suffer from dry skin, you are more likely to develop the condition. In extreme cases, fish-like scaling of the skin is sometimes seen (ichthyosis).
  • Poor diet. Nutritional deficiencies, especially deficiencies of vitamin A and the B vitamins, can also contribute to dry skin.

Environmental exposures :
  • Weather. In winter when cold air outside and heated air inside cause low humidity, your skin is driest. Desert also make skin drying. Temperatures can top 110 F and humidity levels sink to 10 percent or less.
  • Hot baths and showers. Frequent showering or bathing, especially use hot water and take a bath so long,. It could breaks down the lipid barriers in skin. Frequent swimming, can also make the skin dry especially in heavily chlorinated pools.
  • Central heating and air conditioning. Central air and heating, wood-burning stoves, space heaters and fireplaces all reduce humidity and make the skin dry.
  • Harsh soaps and detergents. Many brand soaps and detergents strip lipids and water from the skin. Deodorant and antibacterial soaps are usually the most damaging. Some shampoos, also can dry out the scalp.

Other factors
Other factors, including certain diseases, can significantly alter the function and appearance of your skin. These include:
  • Alcohol & Caffeine. Alcohol and caffeine can visibly dry the skin.
  • Drugs. Prescription drugs such as diuretics, antihistamines, antispasmodic and isotretinoin (Accutane) can contribute to dry skin.
  • Psoriasis. This skin condition is marked by a rapid buildup of rough, dry, dead skin cells that form thick scales.
  • Thyroid disorders. Hypothyroidism, a condition that thyroid produces too little thyroid hormones, reduces the activity of the sweat and oil glands, leading to rough, dry skin.
  • Dehydration. Severe diarrhea and vomiting, a high fever, profuse sweating during exercise or simply not drinking enough liquids can cause the body to lose more fluid than you take in. One of the first signs of dehydration is skin that has lost its elasticity.

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