Itching, scaly, sensitive skin is uncomfortable, commonly experienced during the colder, dryer months. While sometimes you may be able to relieve dry skin with a good moisturizer, for some cases of extremely dry skin you will need to get treated by our dermatologist at Piedmont Plastic Surgery & Dermatology. Some cases are not related to the weather but reflect a more serious underlying skin condition such as dermatitis.

What is Dry Skin?

Dry skin is an uncomfortable skin condition characterized by skin with feels tight, itchy, and may be rough to the touch. It is often caused by environmental factors such as extreme heat or cold, air that is too dry, or exposure to the elements. You may have a tendency to have skin which is on the dryer side. If treatment with by over-the-counter moisturizers is not alleviating the condition, you should have your skin evaluated by our board-certified dermatologist.

What are the Types of Dry Skin?

When dry skin goes beyond the occasionally itchy sensation, it may be a more serious condition. Dry, uncomfortable skin can be caused by more than just dehydration or related to oil production. It can also be:

  • Contact dermatitis is inflammation and irritation resulting from your skin coming into contact with a toxin. It is often caused by chemicals, cleaning agents, or metals to which you are allergic.
  • Seborrheic dermatitis is caused by excessive oil production, frequently on the scalp. This produces a red, scaly rash which can flake when touched.
  • Atopic dermatitis, also known as eczema, is a chronic skin condition in which dry, scaly patches form on the skin.

How is Dry Skin Treated?

Dry skin can often be treated easily at home using over-the-counter moisturizers. Using a moisturizer at regular intervals through the day may help you soothe dried, cracked, scaly, or itchy skin. If your dry skin is caused by a more serious condition, medicated creams containing ingredients such as a corticosteroid or immune modulator may be prescribed. Additionally, you may need to make changes to your habits or environment, such as wearing rubber gloves when your hands come into contact with soaps or other products to further aid healing.