Dry skin is a very common skin condition, there are varieties of reasons for dry skin and also there might be an underlying health factor attached to dry skin on legs. The skin becomes dry when it’s not getting enough water in the top layer by using the body’s natural oil, dry skin on legs can be caused by this same factor and these cracks can be annoying when discovered.
Dry skin on legs is a bit common among old people and this can affect the ability to sleep or make one become irritable, knowing what dry skin on leg means will help you take proper care of your skin and find a suitable treatment.
What is going on your skin can be a mirror to what is going on within your body or probably your legs are having a reaction to the cold weather, the post contains all you need to know about dry skin on legs.
What Are The Symptoms Of Dry Skin On Leg?
Symptoms of dry skin on your leg should be looked out for first and this happens according to the root cause however here are some notable symptoms (1).
- Skin that feels dry after being in water swimming or bathing
- crusty sores that ooze
- Cracked and peeled skin
- Grey or ash looking skin
- Fine lines
- Bleeding sores
This symptom does vary and happens only according to how severe the condition is.
Causes Of Dry Skin On Legs
Dry skin occurs when it’s not able to get enough water in the top layer by using the body’s natural oil and here are some reasons why that is likely to happen.
Eczema is a skin condition that is linked to genetics and though to be triggered by the immune system, it causes the skin to become red and patched, eczema can occur on any part of the body hence this means the possibility of it happening on the leg is high as we tend to ignore the leg often (2).
Another common condition for dry skin on the leg is psoriasis, it causes skin cell to build up rapidly on the surface of the skin, it tends to speed up the life cycle of the cells and leads to red patches that can be itchy and annoying (3), psoriasis signs and symptoms are different for everyone and these symptoms can become more severe if no treatment is used on time.
3. Harsh Products
Some soap and cleansers can be very drying or not for your skin type which in turn dries your skin out, just like every other part of your body, your legs do have a sensitive reaction to these products, some is an emulsifier that removes oil from the skin, therefore, it’s a common cause of dry skin.
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4. Weather Changes
Weather can be pretty tough on anyone’s skin although this does not apply to all seasons, people might notice an increase in their dry skin during some certain time of the year, like when the weather is cold or there is low humidity which takes place during winter, this is where your lotion might have to be changed to avoid drying your skin out even more (4).
5. Allergic Dermatitis
Allergic dermatitis is another common condition for dry skin, this happens if the skin comes in contact with a substance that triggers a reaction from the immune system, on the legs, it could be a body wash, shaving cream or an allergic reaction from something outdoor or a pet (5).
Age is usually disregarded as causes of dry skin on legs but this is definitely a possibility, as the humans get older, the skin tends to produce lesser oil which makes it easier for the skin to dry out and this includes your legs.
How To Prevent Dry Skin On Your Leg
Dry skin on legs can be irritating and often times the itching stops you from sleeping comfortably however there are ways you can limit the possibility of having dry skin on your leg. In addition to moisturizing, making a couple of changes to your diet and lifestyle would go a long way in preventing dry skin on your leg. Here are a few things to do (6):
- Use a humidifier during winter, set it to around 60% if the air in your home is dry then make sure to set it to a level that is sufficient enough to replenish the top layer of the skin.
- Minimize your bathing to 5to 10 minutes of bath daily, more than this minute will only strip your skin of necessary nutrients and also use lukewarm water rather than hot to avoid washing away the natural oil from the skin.
- Minimize your use of soaps as well and if necessary, choose moisturizing preparations such as basis, olay, and dove or rather go for soap-free cleansers like Cetaphil, Oilatum-AD, and Aquanil. you should also steer clear of deodorant soaps, perfumed soaps, and alcohol products, which can strip away natural oils (7).
- Apply moisturizer immediately after bathing or washing your hand to immediately lock in moisture
- Drink plenty of water throughout the day
- Avoid wearing wool or other fabrics that can irritate the skin.
- Eat antioxidant-rich food.
- Protect your skin from the sun with the use of sunscreens.
- Use a fragrance-free detergent at all time and avoid fabric softeners
Is Dry Skin A Serious Health Problem?
Dry skin is usually not a serious health problem and if you can easily get rid of it with some of the home remedies listed above then there is no cause for alarm, dry skin on legs should be worried about if some serious complications like red patches or bleeding from fissures that have become deep enough to disrupt capillaries in the dermis, you should consult your dermatologist if you notice any of these symptoms (8), (9).
If some of the measures listed above are taken and there are no changes, your dermatologist might need to prescribe a cream containing lactic acid, urea, or corticosteroids and ensure to always use sunscreen even in winter to protect your skin. (10).
Dry Skin On Legs Treatment
There are many different reasons for dry skin on the leg, some of which are associated with a medical condition and this is why moisturizing is a very important beauty routine to adopt, in some cases moisturizing alone is enough to ward off dry skin but in a more severe case, your dermatologist might suggest some of these common treatments listed below (11).
- Light therapy
- immune-suppressing medications, like biologics
- oral antihistamines to reduce itching
- steroid creams
- retinoids (12).
Dry skin is usually not a serious health problem and if some preventive measures are taken on time, it can be prevented, there are many causes of dry skin on leg ranging from weather changes to medical conditions but no matter what the cause, it’s possible to get relief and restore nutrient to it. Using moisturizers and making some simple lifestyle changes can be enough to get rid of dry skin on the leg.
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