Dry Skin

Dry skin is the state when skin is literally dry. When moisture in the skin is lost, the barrier function of the skin is reduced, and as such, symptoms such as rough hands, rough skin, and itching of the skin occur. To prevent these symptoms, correct skin care to prevent drying is required.

The housewife is among those most prone to dry skin. From washing, cooking and cleaning, and contact with chemicals, detergents and water, the barrier of the skin is easily lost, and causes rough and dry hands and palms. Such a condition is also known as the housewife’s eczema.

In addition, the secretion of sebum is reduced from about age 40, so skin becomes easily dried in women. This is called sebum deficiency. Dry skin can be improved by paying attention to everyday skin care procedures.

Causes of dry skin

The stratum corneum is the outermost layer of the skin, with a thickness of just 0.01mm to 0.05mm. It has an important job to protect the body from a variety of foreign bodies and also to retain moisture in the skin.

However, the barrier function of the skin can be compromised by the reduction of sebum secretion, sped up by constant exposure to hot water and detergents, age, dry air, cooking, cleaning, etc. When the moisture in the stratum corneum is lost, skin becomes dry. The stratum corneum’s protective barrier becomes weak when it’s dry, and it becomes easier for dust and bacteria to enter skin. The main symptoms of dry skin is rough hands and it can cause cracks and itching if it gets more serious.

Three elements that prevent dry skin

  • Moisture
    Healthy stratum corneum contains a moisture level of 10-20%. Moisture is critical to prevent drying and irritation.
  • Fats
    Sebum secreted by the sebaceous glands prevents the evaporation of moisture by creating a barrier of oil against the surface of the skin. This prevents dry skin, so it’s important not to remove the fat content of the skin. Sebum can be lost with the use of detergent and soap in the course of a normal day, and skin moisturising care products help make up for the loss of fats.
  • NMF (Natural moisturizing factor)
    Moisturizing factor NMF is present in the stratum corneum, to keep the moisture of the skin. With dry skin, the amount of NMF is lower but nowadays NMF is been formulated into many skin care creams and moisturisers.

Good skin care

With metabolism, keratin and old sebum will continue to accumulate on the surface of the skin. In addition, cosmetics and dust will have daily contact with the skin. Eliminating these is the first step to maintaining the healthy functions of the skin. Adopt a skin care regime to keep skin clean and the use of a hypoallergenic soap is strongly recommend.

Prevent drying of the skin

After washing the face and bathing, and even when wet, skin can still be dry. This is because the sebum film would have been removed along with the dirt by cleansers such as soap. Use a lotion or cream to replace lost sebum.

Protective measures

For people who are prone to dry skin, be aware of a room with a low humidity level. Use ample moisturising creams or lotions in air conditioned rooms, avoid excessive use of soap in the bath and use gloves when cleaning with washing detergent.