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Red, Dry Skin on the Chin

Red, Dry Skin on the Chin Red, Dry Skin on the Chin

Overview

Dry skin can develop anywhere on the body and for a variety of reasons. While dry skin is often benign, it may signal the onset of a more serious disease, so it's important to watch the condition closely and get it checked out by a health care provider if you don't see improvement or it worsens. There are several over-the-counter and home remedies available that should help clear up the problem.

Identification

Red, dry skin can be just an annoying development or it could be the signal of a more serious, but still treatable, disorder. In general, dry skin is caused by environmental factors such as dry heat in your home or an allergy to a cream or lotion you applied to your face. Shaving can irritate delicate skin too, as can any aftershave you may choose to wear. In children, dry skin on the chin can be caused by drooling or dribbling food. Simple dry skin will be dry to the touch with some flaking. It may itch and redden as you scratch or rub it. Additionally, it may develop cracks and fissures that could bleed if it is left untreated.

Significance

It is important to treat your dry skin, not only to ease your discomfort but also to rule out other, more serious problems. If your dry, red patch of skin becomes painful, spreads significantly or is moist or oozing, the problem may be eczema or psoriasis, reports the Mayo Clinic. Additionally if the dry skin appears on places other than the chin and doesn't respond to over-the-counter treatment, you could have a sluggish thyroid.

Prevention

Preventing dry skin is difficult if you live in a cold, dry climate where the heat is often blowing in your home, but it's possible to at least minimize the effect. Turn the water in your shower down to lukewarm, remove any harsh soaps and other drying agents, forbear rubbing the skin on your face when drying it, and use a soft, blotting motion on your skin after shaving, as recommended by the American College of Osteopathic Dermatology. Additionally, use sun block and moisturizer, an unscented variety if possible, liberally. Consider adding a humidifier to your home, too, as the ACOD recommends an indoor humidity of 45 to 55 percent.

Complications

Don't leave dry skin to heal on its own, warns the Mayo Clinic. Unchecked dry skin can lead to the red, dry, cracked skin of eczema, folliculitis, an inflammation of the hair follicles, or cellulitis, a bacterial infection that can compromise the lymph and blood systems. If self-care with creams and moisturizers doesn't clear up the redness after a few days, see your health care provider.

Warnings

Don't use any creams or powders if the dry patch is on the chin of a young child who may ingest the substance. Seek the advice of a pediatrician if the dry skin is on your child's face.

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