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Dry, Patchy Skin on the Face

Dry, Patchy Skin on the Face Dry, Patchy Skin on the Face

Overview

When skin loses water and oil it becomes dry and patchy. It is a common complaint in the aging and is more prevalent when humidity is low and in the winter, per the American Academy of Dermatology, or AAD. Air conditioning and central heating can dry out your skin and though it can be unsightly and uncomfortable, dry skin is usually possible to treat with a bit of patience and a few products.

Dry Facial Skin

Most dry skin is easily treated, according to the Mayo Clinic, although some skin conditions may lead to disfigurement. A dermatologist will be able to give personalized advice on your skin complaint. Dry skin may give the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles or it may lead to peeling and cracking. In very bad cases, it may itch or bleed.

Dry Skin Care

Hot water eliminates your body's natural oils, so the AAD suggests you bathe in warm water and moisturize immediately after, while your skin is still wet. Women's Health recommends using a mild cleanser and to avoid scrubbing the skin. Avoid perfumed products and excessive make up and use a humidifier in dry weather.

Problems

If you ignore dry skin, it may lead to complications such as eczema or psoriasis. If deep cracks in the skin open up and bleed, bacteria may get in and start an infection. Thyroid disorders inhibit the activity of your sweat glands, resulting in dry skin. If you have tried caring for your dry skin to no avail, seek medical help.

Moisturizers

There are two types of moisturizer. Ones that attract water from the inner to the outer skin layer include proteins, urea and glycerin, per AAD, while petroleum, lanolin and mineral oil coat the skin in an oily layer, preventing moisture loss. A dermatologist will be able to help you chose the best moisturizer for your skin.

Cosmetics

Cosmetics can treat excessively oily skin and a dermatologist will be able to help you decide which treatment to chose. Retinoids are a source vitamin A which promotes healthy skin while botanicals protect the skin from radiation. Hydroxy acids can be used to exfoliate the skin, removing dead skin cells and giving a smoother appearance. AAD recommend you wear a sunscreen every day to protect against premature aging and skin cancer.

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