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4 Chronic Conditions That Cause Dry, Flaky Skin

4 Chronic Conditions That Cause Dry, Flaky Skin

Dry, flaky skin can be embarrassing if it’s on your face or other visible areas, such as your hands or arms. You may have tried to control it with moisturizers, lotions, and creams. But if it keeps coming back, the problem may extend beyond your skin.

Several chronic conditions may manifest with dry, flaky skin as one of the symptoms.  Some of them are treated similarly. Some need unique approaches.

At Specialists in Dermatology, our expert dermatologists do an in-depth examination of your dry skin and investigate your medical and personal history to determine what’s causing your skin to flake. We then customize a treatment plan at our offices in The Woodlands, Texas.

Does your dry skin need more than moisturizer? Following are four chronic conditions that could be causing your chronic discomfort.

1. Eczema

Eczema refers to a number of inflammatory, dry-skin conditions that are often caused by allergies and genetics. The most common type of eczema is called atopic dermatitis (AD). Across the globe, AD affects approximately 20% of children and 1%-3% of women and men. In the United States, about 16.5 million adults have AD. 

 If you already know you have allergies, your dry skin is likely caused by AD or another form of eczema. Eczema treatments include:

If you can’t identify or avoid all of your triggers, and if you don’t respond to emollients or steroids, you may benefit from immunotherapy, which trains your body to tolerate the allergens.

2. Psoriasis

In contrast to eczema, which you may have had since you were a baby or child, psoriasis usually first appears between the ages of 15 and 35 years. These rashes tend to be raised, red, and may be covered with silvery plaques or scales.

Unlike eczema, which can be extremely itchy, psoriasis tends to itch less. However, the rashes and plaques may be flakier and more disfiguring. You might also notice that you break out after being outdoors in the sun; that’s a classic sign of psoriasis.

Many of the treatments for psoriasis are the same as for eczema, since they both involve an overactive immune system and inflammation. If you don’t respond to emollients and medications, you may benefit from biologics, which are drugs that decrease the cells in your immune system that may be causing your psoriasis.

3. Rosacea

Rosacea is a skin disease that affects about 16 million women, men, and children in the United States. Usually, if you have rosacea you have pale skin and are descended from Northern Europeans.

The most obvious sign that your dry, flaky skin is the result of rosacea is facial redness. If you have red cheeks, a red nose, or blush easily, you probably have rosacea. Rosacea may be caused by an overreaction to or overabundance of the Demodex mite, which is found on normal skin, too.

Rosacea is worsened by exposure to heat, both in the environment and in the temperature of foods and beverages you consume. Treatments for rosacea include:

You may need to combine several methods to control the redness, dryness, and flakiness.

Underlying disease

Some serious medical conditions can affect your skin, too, probably because the disease causes dehydration throughout your body. Examples include:

If your dry skin hasn’t responded to your remedies so far, you deserve to know why. You may find that the solution is simple, or you may discover an underlying condition that needs to be treated.

Find out what's causing your dry skin and get the treatment you need by contacting us by phone or online form today. If you’re in The Woodlands or Houston, Texas, area, there’s a Specialists in Dermatology office near you.


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