09 August 2008

Dry skin is a nearly universal problem, but certain factors make you more likely to develop tightness, flakiness and fine lines. These factors include:
  • Age. As you age, your skin tends to become drier because your oil-producing glands become less active. Your complexion can appear rough and dull. The lack of oil also causes cells to clump together in flakes or scales.
  • Sex. Although everyone's skin changes with age, a man's skin tends to stay moist longer than a woman's does. Men experience a relatively small decrease in oil production until well into their 80s, whereas women's skin tends to become much drier after menopause.
  • Sun exposure. Like all types of heat, the sun dries your skin. Yet damage from ultraviolet (UV) radiation penetrates far beyond the top layer of skin (epidermis). The most significant damage occurs deep in the dermis, where collagen and elastin fibers break down much more quickly than they should, leading to deep wrinkles and loose, sagging skin (solar elastosis). Sun-damaged skin may have the appearance of dry skin.

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