Some people have naturally dry skin and might experience frequent symptoms. However, even the oiliest skin can get dry at times.

Dry skin is an uncomfortable condition marked by scaling, itching and cracking. It can occur for a variety of reasons.

Q: What causes dry skin?

A: Lack of moisture – specifically in the outer layer of skin cells known as the stratum corneum – is the cause of dry skin.

Q: Can dry skin be serious?

A: At worst, dry skin may be a symptom of eczema, ichtyosis and hyperkeratosis.

  1. Can psoriasis become worse in the colder weather?
  2. Dry air and low levels of exposure to sunlight’s ultraviolet rays can aggravate psoriasis symptoms. As the days become shorter, most people tend to spend less time outside, lessening the exposure to ultraviolet light from the sun, which eases psoriasis in spring and summer.

Also, the lack of humidity in the air outside and the dry heat indoors can rob your skin of moisture.

Q: What should I know about itchy skin?

A: Itchy skin can be irritating, painful and accompanied by a rash. Symptoms of itchy skin may be red bumps, blisters and thick, leathery skin. Many different things can cause itchy skin. Proper treatment is important for long-term and even instant relief.

Q: What can I do to prevent dry skin?

A: Bathe with cool water, use non-detergent cleansers – and moisturize. Your fall skin routine might differ from your summer routine.

If you’re feeling uncomfortable about how you look or feel, you should consult your dermatologist for a program customized for you.

Q: Is sunscreen helpful after the summer season?

A: Sunscreen isn’t just for summertime. It protects the skin from the long ultraviolet A rays and helps prevent redness. Apply a broad-spectrum sunscreen to your face and hands about 30 minutes before going outside. Reapply frequently.

Taking proper care of your skin can do more to enhance your appearance than all the lotions, creams and makeup that are often applied to cover up unhealthy skin.

If you are experiencing persistent or uncomfortable dry skin problems, call a dermatologist.

Dr. Oswald Lightsey Mikell, certified by the American Board of Cosmetic Surgery, is the owner of Dermatology Associates of the Lowcountry.