Dry Skin on the Side of the Mouth
Dry skin is not often serious, reports the Mayo Clinic, but it can be uncomfortable and unsightly. Also known as xerosis, dry skin often produces flaky skin and sometimes fine wrinkles. If you have dry skin on your outer ear, self-care treatments may help clear it up. If the problem is serious, medical attention may be needed.
Dry skin is usually a temporary condition and often related to environmental factors. Lack of moisture in the air is a common reason for dry skin. This often leaves your skin feeling tight; it may even look dehydrated. The dry skin may also itch and present dry flakes of skin. Fine wrinkles, cracks, redness or even deep fissures are also possible if you suffer from dry skin.
The Mayo Clinic indicates that there are many reasons you may have dry skin on the side of your mouth. In the winter, the air is drier and contains less moisture. When humidity is low in the air, it increases dry skin issues. Using central heating or air conditioning also removes humidity from the air. Psoriasis or thyroid disorders are medical conditions that may also cause dry skin. These conditions usually require medical attention.
Severe cases of dry skin on the side of your mouth may warrant the use of medicated ointments, especially if caused by a medical condition such as psoriasis. Your doctor will decide on the best treatment option for you. Dermatitis can result from dry skin on the side of your mouth and lead to redness and increased itching. Often, you will require hydrocortisone creams or lotions to treat the dermatitis. Your doctor might recommend using wet dressings to reduce risk of infection to open areas on your skin.
Self-care treatments can be done at home to improve the dry skin on the side of your mouth. The Mayo Clinic recommends using humidifiers to put humidity back into the air, as well as using thick moisturizers to keep moisture in your skin. When bathing, it's also recommended that you not use water that's too hot and don't' shower or bathe for a long period. After showering or bathing, pat yourself off with a towel, do not rub, and apply moisturizer right away.
Eczema, also referred to as atopic dermatitis, can result if your dry skin is not treated properly. Eczema causes drying, inflammation and redness. Another condition that may arise if you don't treat the dry skin on the side of your mouth is cellulitis, a bacterial infection capable of spreading through your lymphatic system and blood vessels.
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