The Christmas season is here, which means the weather is cooler, especially at night. When the temperature is low, there is a tendency for your skin to dry up. Kaycee Reyes, M.D., skin and laser specialist, and the dermatologist behind Luminisce Holistic Skin Innovations in Bonifacio Global City, schools us on this issue.

What is dry skin?
Dry skin can be seen as rough, cracking, flaking and itching. 


Who can experience dry skin?

What is the cause of dryness? This can be due to genetic predisposition. This is when the patient has a mutation in the profillagrin gene, resulting to reduced lipids levels in the upper layer of the epidermis, which results in rapid water loss—caused of atopic dermatitis. But it can also be simply due to combination of environmental stimuli such as:

Age 
As we age, dead skin cells move up slowly and is not exfoliated properly, thus leading to buildup, contributing to drier skin.


Weather 
Super cold weather during winter, or dryness due to climate in the desert.


Work description 
Hairdressers, doctors, nurses, housewives—those who need to wash their hands and use harsh soaps are more likely to have dry skin.


Low-humidity environment 
Dry air causes reduction of water content.


Pathological diseases 
Such as diabetes and thyroid problems (hyper and hypothyroid problems)


While dry skin can be graded according to Kligman’s system below, we should rule out or exclude skin diseases that might have caused the dry skin, says Dr. Kaycee. These include atopic dermatitis, psoriasis, thyroid problems, and itchyosis.


0= surface smooth, no peeling
1= slight dryness; sparse, small scales
2= moderate dryness; larger, more numerous scales
3= extreme dryness; prominent large scales, densely covering the surface


How can dry skin be cured?
Don't take a bath for more than 15 minutes. Try not to use hot water since it strips the skin of natural oils. Apply a medical-grade emollient right after showering and hand washing.

Apply emollients on dry skin three to four times a day. They help seal moisture in by reconstituting skin water-lipid film that holds on to water  in the skin.

Use a soap substitute or non-soap cleanser because soaps remove the oil from the surface of the skin.

Try not to use alcohol-based moisturizer.

Try not to rub your skin.

Drink plenty of fluids to avoid dehydration.


What should you do if you use lotion but continue to have dry skin?
Try to use medical-grade emollients that are high in ceramides. Visit your skincare specialist to rule out concomintant skin diseases.  


If your skin starts to peel, Dr. Kaycee recommends that you apply sunblock three times a day or every four hours from 9:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m. because peeled skin is a new skin, and its reaction to sun exposure is to form more pigments (pigmentation) for protection. Most importantly, moisturize and put on sunblock.

Doctor’s note: Don’t forget to apply moisturizer first, and then after sunblock after five minutes, if you plan to go out.

PHOTO: Stocksnap

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