Dry Skin

What is problem dry skin?

Ordinary dry skin can be caused by a number of factors, including exposure to cold, windy weather, not drinking enough water or repeated hand washing.

Problem dry skin occurs when the skin barrier has a shortage of natural oils, allowing moisture to escape too quickly. The skin cells then shrink and cracks appear. This allows even more moisture to get out and irritants and allergens to get in. The skin can become dry and may be itchy.

Unfortunately, scratching damages the skin even more and can even lead to infection.

Diagram showing cracks between skin cells and oils, allowing moisture out and irritants in, causing inflammation


If you’re suffering from a dry skin condition – such as eczema, dermatitis or psoriasis – your skin barrier is impaired. Certain factors can make dry skin conditions worse, including:

  • Sun creams
  • Air conditioning
  • Central heating
  • Bathing or showering with unsuitable foaming soaps or detergents
  • Use of alcohol-based hand sanitisers, or frequent hand washing with unsuitable foaming soaps or detergents

For more dry skin condition triggers click here

Person washing a kitchen surface

Need to know more?

For further expert advice on managing dry skin, you can visit: