Dry flaky skin occurs when the natural oils produced under the skin, start to dry up.
Oil or sebum as it is called, and water, also begin to dry up and therefore the skin becomes dehydrated. This causes the uppermost layer of the skin's surface to die and thus it begins to peel away in small thin slivers called flakes.
This may result in red flaky patches on the skin’s surface. We usually give more attention to dry flaky skin on the face, but it is equally important to treat flaky skin on scalp or feet. Sometimes we might notice flaky skin around our eyes also
What Causes Flaky Skin?
Mostly cold weather contributes to flaky skin, as a combination of cold
dry air outside, and heated air indoors and lack of humidity, rapidly
dries the skin.
• Frequent exposure to heat such as hot baths,
heated swimming pools, saunas and so forth, can cause the skin to dry up
and result in a flaky skin.
• Some drugs or chemicals taken orally or that you may be exposed to, can lead to flaking of the skin.
With aging, the skin has the tendency to become dry and parched and
that’s why elderly people are more prone to flaking skin.
flaky skin may be irritated and worsened by frequent bathing and
showering, especially with harsh soaps and hot water.
• Some people also have a genetic or hereditary tendency to develop flaky skin.
• Some shampoos and lotions containing alcohol can cause flaky skin.
Treatment of Dry Flaky Skin
skin can disappear on it's own, but sometimes, moisturizing skin
care is needed. It is best to always lightly steam the skin before
Mild scrubs can help exfoliate the skin and can help
get rid of dry scales. It is advised to use physical scrubbers with
beads and look for exfoliates with fruit enzymes in them such as papaya
Natural Remedies for Flaky Skin
• Avoid using soaps that contain fragrances and/or antibacterial qualities.
• Add aqueous cream to your bathing water.
• Remain in the shower for not more than 3 minutes.
• Bath in tepid, not hot water.
• Avoid using soaps that contain Lanolin.
• Place a humidifier in your room.
• Protect your skin from free radical damage, by eating fruits and vegetables with anti-oxidant properties.
• Drink lots of water to keep your skin hydrated from within.
• An oatmeal bath can help hydrate the skin and acts as a natural moisturiser. Just put half a cup of raw oats into a sock, tie a knot on top and place it in your bath water. Make sure to wring it out a few times in the bath, to get most of the oatmeal milk into your bath water.
Flaky skin can create easy entry for bacteria into the skin. If you have flaky skin which exhibits other symptoms, including: cracks or breaks in the skin, red swollen areas that are hot and/or tender, unexpected stiffness in joints, blurred vision or genital discomfort, then it is best to seek prompt medical attention.
By Poonam Bindra
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