All about Dry Skin
How does the barrier function?
The most important part of the skin under the barrier functions of the horny layer or stratum conium. This layer is constantly renewed and repaired if necessary, from the outer skin (epidermis). This happens because skin cells at the base of the epidermis continuously created and gradually move to the surface. As the cells closer to the surface of the skin they change in hearing more and more cells. These horny cells are surrounded by an envelope of skin fats: These are fatty acids, cholesterol and creaminess. These skin oils are like the “cement” between the coenocytes.
What is dry skin?
Normally the evaporation of moisture from the skin very precisely regulated. When the amount of skin lipids in the skin, the skin is reduced, however, easily permeable to water and the proper balance of moisture in the skin dries out the skin and disappeared. This makes the skin red and scaly. Furthermore, small cracks in the skin.
What causes dry skin?
When the skin is washed regularly with soap, the skin is indeed clean, but also literally scoured: the skin oils are washed away. This allows the moisture to evaporate easily into the skin. Many washing with soap and water causes a dry skin. People in everyday life with lots of water, soap and detergents work are also at increased risk of dry skin, especially on the hands.
In some occupations there is a significant risk of dehydration of the skin. For example, because many professional hands need washing or by direct contact with substances that can dissolve skin fats. These include nurses, doctors, cleaners, cooks, mechanics, etc.
There is also an increased risk of dehydration of the skin in the winter with central heating in the house that provides a dry atmosphere, dry and frost and cold wind outside.
Summary of the major causes of dehydration:
- other cleaning agents
Another (‘physical’) factor
- dry air
How is dry skin covered?
In dehydration, the skin itself to produce more skin oils washed away the skin oils to replace and repair the skin’s barrier. This recovery takes about 1 week, provided the skin is left alone and given time to recover. By the surface of the skin with a protective fatty cream to rub the skin gets really a chance to fully recover.
A cream containing petrolatum generally works very well. Examples are:
- Vaseline cream (10% in petrolatum cetomacrogolcreme)
- Vaseline / paraffin cream (50% Vaseline and 50% paraffin).
The disadvantage of these products is that they often withdraw and slow especially when using the hands; the hands long ‘fat’, so that they are especially at night before bedtime practicable.
Some specially designed for dry skin creams contain additional barrier lipids such as free fatty acids, cholesterol and creamed. In the case of a much damaged skin, these cream an additional contribution to the recovery of the skin.
How do I prevent dry skin?
- Possible, avoid direct contact with substances that damage the skin. Examples are solvents and soaps (including ordinary soap and shampoo!) Which defeat the skin. Especially in combination with hot water, these harmful!
- Wear gloves when possible. Wear rubber or PVC gloves under preferably cotton gloves link.
- Heating the house too hot so the air is not too dry. Provide moisture evaporators to central heating radiators to the humidity of the air to maintain.
- Protect your skin in cold weather with proper clothing and gloves
- Always use a good protective cream.