What causes Dry Skin on Face, Extremely Dry Rash or Patches

Read on to explore on the causes of dry skin on face, legs, arms, abdomen and hands among others parts of the body.

What causes dry skin on face? Dry itchy skin on face? Scaly, rash and dry patches on face? Read on to get more insights on the causes of a flaky skin on face. This is a better way of understanding your health as well as your appearance.

Everyone experiences a dry skin at one point in life due to various factors that the post explores on. This condition hardly associate a serious medical condition but can cause appearance disappointment and inconveniences as a result of itching, flaking, irritations and low self-esteem.Before getting to know the various ways on how to prevent and treat dry skin on face, it is better to first know the possible causes and comprehensively understand why this problem occurs.

Dry Skin on Face Meaning

“Dry skin, medically known as xerosis or xeroderma, is usually a mild condition caused by environmental factors, although dry skin can also result from some common skin ailments. Inherited diseases of the skin known as ichthyoses, while very rare, can also cause disfiguration and excessively dry skin.”[medicinenet.com]

Extremely dry skin patches
Extremely dry skin patches

This condition can affect the entire body parts or specific areas such as the face, hands or legs. It associate various symptoms such as flaking, dullness, pain, flaking, redness and formation of patches on the skin. There are also patients who experience skin inflammation, peeling skin rash and skin tightness.

Dry skin on face or any other part requires treatment to avoid more complications such as embarrassment, dermatitis, swelling of the skin and infections. Since this condition is mostly external, most of the treatments also involve external applications such as creams, lotions and dry skin moisturizers.

Causes of Dry Skin on Face, Legs, Arms, Hands and Abdomen

Most of the causes of dry skin are environmentally associated while a few involve underlying medical conditions. Here are the major reasons for drying and flaking of skin.

Dry Air and Low Temperatures

Winter is a weather season that associate dropping in temperatures with increase in humidity. This leads to formation of a dry air that carries away moisture from your skin causing itching, flaking and formation of dry patches on the skin.

To prevent your skin from such weather conditions, ensure that you create a moisture barrier that can protect more exposed parts like face, hands, lips and arms. You can use scarf, gloves and long sleeved tops and pants.

You can also install a humidifier in your house or home that is regulated at a constant humidity and temperatures. This will help in keeping the air around moist during winter weather. Apply appropriate dry skin moisturizer while getting outdoors.

Sun Poisoning

Dry skin rash on the face
Dry skin rash on the face

The radiations from the sun are powerful and they appear in various dimensions and spectrum. The UV rays are one of the dangerous rays from the sun and when they exceed the required limit in the body they can cause a serious harm. This is why the ozone layer in the atmosphere helps in reducing the intensity of such radiations. Sun poisoning is the effects of these radiations on the skin.

The skin is made up of several layers of cells. The top most layer is composed of dead skin cells that are usually dark in color. They are useful in protecting the skin from harmful effect of the sun. One of the dangerous property of UV rays is the ability to penetrate these dead skin cells to cause damage to the live underneath cells hence causing a dry skin on face and other exposed parts of the body.

How to Prevent Sun Poisoning Rash

  • The sun is normally too hot during the pick hours. Avoid getting outdoors from 10 am to 4 pm.
  • Wear wide-brimmed hats, sunglasses with UV protection, long sleeved shirts and pants.
  • Avoid medications and drugs that makes your skin vulnerable to the sun poisoning
  • Avoid abuse of substances such as excessive use of mind altering drugs which will impair your judgment.
  • Be cautious while going for short and sequential sun exposure since it can cause tanning and skin cancer in the long run.
  • Avoid tanning beds since they are associated with serious cell conditions such as basal cell carcinoma and squamous cell carcinoma.
  • Young adults and children are at high risk of sun poisoning compared to the aged people.
  • Use sun screen and sun protection while outdoors.

Steamy and Hot Showers

A hot shower is what most people enjoy. It is good in relaxing the muscles as well as soothing the skin but is a devastating thing when it comes to your skin texture. Steamy showers removes natural oils from the skin leaving it dry. Such oils makes the skin supple and glowing.

When you scrub off your skin with a towel after taking a shower, you are also risking a dry skin on face and on entire body. The skin surface usually absorbs some of the moisture and toweling strips such moisture away.

According to Cheryl Karcher, MD, a dermatologist, hot water damages the top layer of the skin and makes it vulnerable to moisture loss.  “Most people with really dry skin are probably using soap that is too strong, or they’re taking long hot shower or baths,”

Therefore on of the best way on how to get a glowing skin that is not dry and flaky is to avoid steamy showers. Make the temperature moderate and take little time. The more you overstay in the hot shower, the more you cause more harm to your skin.

Use of Skin Lightening Products

dry skin on face
dry skin on face

There are many dangers of skin lightening creams reported and observed among many users. According to dermatologists, skin bleaching creams can only be safe when prescribed by a specialist. “Unfortunately, many skin-lightening creams contain illegal compounds that can damage your health,” [Indy Rihal of the British Skin Foundation]. “The most common compounds are high-dose steroids.”

Hydroquinone is also a chemical substance available in most of the skin whitening products. This is a bleaching agent that can also be risky to the body health of the user. Steroids are fine when used in correct doses. “Unmonitored use of high-dose steroids can lead to many problems,” [Rihal]. “Patients are often very distressed by the results of skin-lightening creams.”

Dry skin is one of the possible effect of skin lightening products such as skin whitening creams and skin lightening pills. Avoid products that contain harsh chemical elements. Moisturize your skin to avoid flaking and drying before application of any treatment on how to bleach your skin.

Wrong Moisturizer Use

Moisturizer use is one of the best way to prevent a dry skin on face or any other part of the body. When you don’t use moisturizers correctly, you are also going to be a long term patient of dry skin. This product ought to be applied on damp skin so that it can tap and maintain the moisture on your skin.

Application on a dry flaky skin will not help but will keep you contending with your dry skin for long. Do not also apply on a wet skin, apply it immediately after patting your skin dry with a piece of towel. Allow it to stay and act for few minutes and use you towel to remove the excess.

Use the correct type of moisturizer for your skin. According to experts, you are supposed to use mild moisturizers with no perfumes or alcohol for your dry skin. They recommend a thick and greasy moisturizer since this makes it ideal for sealing and tapping moisture on your skin.

Some dermatologists recommends the dry skin patients to use moisturizers that contain lactic acid that strips off the top dry and flaky skin to allow penetration into the skin. Apply it twice or thrice during the day especially if your skin is too dry.

David McDaniel, MD, assistant professor of clinical dermatology at Eastern Virginia Medical School in Virginia Beach also recommends products containing glycerin or petroleum jelly to apply particularly to the dry spots. According to him, glycerin acts as a humectant hence suitable for attracting and tapping moisture into the skin. Despite the appearance as thick and goopy, its molecules are large enough to penetrate the skin pores.

Use of Soap

severe dry itchy skin picture
severe dry itchy skin picture

Soap is regularly used in daily washing and cleaning of the body without knowledge on the effect. Natural protective oils can be stripped away by the soap leaving your skin dry, cracked and prone to infections. Harsh deodorant and antibacterial soaps forms more lather form that can leave a dry skin on face, hands and other parts.

Experts recommends use of mild skin cleanser especially for people with dry skin. Soaps with no fragrances are also recommended. Wash your body with soft materials and avoid using harsh abrasive sponges and brushes to scrub your skin. For bleaching your skin, there are best skin lightening soaps recommended for you.


The skin is likely to change as people age. There is low secretion of hormones hence little production of natural oils on the skin to maintain moisture. You can use antioxidant and ant aging products such as creams and lotions to help in your skin restoration. There are also irritants such as detergents, fabrics and chemical spillage on skins that can also contribute to this matter

Dry flaky skin on face
Dry flaky skin on face

Use of certain medicines can also lead to a flaky skin rush. There are a number of drugs that have such side effects. Examples include diuretics, drugs for treatment of high blood pressure, retinoid and steroids among others.

Medical Conditions

As said, most of the dry skin cases are linked to external causes while there are some cases that associated an underlying medical condition. Among them include the following:

  • Skin diseases and conditions such as eczema and psoriasis
  • Diabetes due to unregulated glucose levels in the blood can cause dehydration hence dry skin.
  • Underactive thyroid gland hence low level of natural skin oils production.
  • Lack of sufficient nutrients in the body can cause skin disorders and drying of the skin.

In conclusion therefore, you need to take an action to help in getting rid of dry skin on face, legs, arms, hands, abdomen to prevent itching, rash development and cracking of the skin which can lead to bacterial infections and permanent skin denaturing.

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