Dry skin - the unnoticed disease

Trockene Haut – die kaum beachtete Volkskrankheit

Common diseases are ailments that affect a large part of the population. Back pain is one of them, as are obesity, high blood pressure and diabetes. If you only take the number of people affected as a basis, then - don't laugh! - dry skin must also be included. According to a dermatological study from 2020, around 30 percent of Germans suffer from an epidermis that aches from a significant lack of moisture. But... and this is the real joke: far too few people still care. Dry skin is considered a minor problem, rarely worthy of attention. Comparable with a torn fingernail or a small wound. Motto: It will go away. But not doing anything about dry skin is like parking a luxury car on the street at any time of the year and expecting the paintwork not to be damaged. Or, perhaps this comparison is even more apt: it's like never watering roses and still expecting juicy red petals. Dry skin has the function of a constantly open front door: it invites unwanted guests. Bacteria and germs can penetrate the tissue and trigger diseases. All this does not have to be. Therefore, it is time that we deal with the widespread disease "dry skin".

Protection for the skin barrier

Let's briefly go back to the example of the luxury car. (Because that's how much our skin should be worth to us.) The many layers of paint applied to the well- formed sheet metal now stand for the three layers of our skin. At the very top, as a sort of defensive layer, is the horny layer together with the skin's protective barrier. This barrier binds water and lipids (fatty substances) and is thus the final bastion against external influences. Now it should slowly become clear why it is so important to take care of the varnish, pardon... the skin.

Itching and feelings of tension

In order to approach the topic, perhaps first the information on how dry or extremely dry skin can be recognized. Dermatological expertise is not required. A look in the mirror is enough. If the tissue is pale, looks tired, this is already a first sign. It's like an announcement of the problems to come. In addition, there is usually a feeling of tension or a slight itch. If dandruff or reddened areas form, and the cheeks are covered with thin lines, then the tissue has already been damaged. However, a longer course of treatment is required when the skin has the appearance of cracked parchment. At this stage, inflammation often develops; neurodermatitis, psoriasis or eczema are no longer uncommon. But fortunately it is a longer way until then. Dry skin is a gradual effect and does not appear from one day to the next.

A flaky misery

Before we get to (thankfully varied) ways to restore a glow to the skin, to cure it, let's raise awareness about what triggers dry skin in the first place. Unsurprisingly, there is not THE determining factor. The reasons are many, the causes come from within, but usually external influences are also to blame for the flaky misery. First of all, there is wind and weather. Everyone knows the consequences of moving from winter air to the warmth of an apartment or office. The dry heating air draws moisture from the skin. But the fact that low temperatures also cause the blood vessels to constrict and the blood supply to the tissue to deteriorate is more surprising.

Sweat as a risk factor

At the other end of the scale is summer - and with it comes fluid loss through increased sweating. The skin suffers and must be protected. In any case, in the summer months you are more often exposed to the risk of sunburn, which in turn can stress the skin to the deeper layers. However, the power of the red planet causes problems 365 days a year, and the radiation only diminishes to a limited extent during periods of bad weather. Say: A UV-blocker is mandatory every day of the year.

Peeling against skin flakes

Let's move on to the subject of water. Basically important - because it cleans or moisturizes. But water also ensures that the tissue leaches out, fats and moisture are flushed out. This happens during (too long) bathing or showering. But also during excessive cleaning. Those who still use normal washing lotions with emulsifiers bind the fat in the skin again - and virtually wash them out. This causes lasting damage to the skin's protective barrier. A real vicious circle begins when the resulting dry skin flakes are removed with peeling. The so-called horny layer becomes thinner and thinner. This is then practically an invitation for fungi and bacteria to settle in the skin.

Alcohol, smoke & fast food

But skin health can be affected by at least as many reasons from within. The classic, which really everyone knows: not drinking enough water. Basically, but especially in summer. The skin needs a supply of fluid from within. By the way, this applies all the more to athletes. Those who sweat lose vast amounts of fluids and salts. It is essential to replenish the body with both. Among the no-goes - at least for people who want to have healthy, wrinkle-free skin - are, of course, smoking, alcohol consumption, constant lack of sleep and permanent stress. Honestly, these are all causes that everyone knows about. We should all take a look at our own nose ... or the skin around it ... and check whether we can change our lifestyle significantly. Or want to. In favor of a healthy and fresh skin. Let's call it preventive measures. When natural aging sets in, it becomes increasingly difficult to keep wrinkles at bay! The perfidious thing is, in fact, that in the later stages of our lives - actually already from the 40th birthday - the skin can store less and less moisture and form fats. So even without overexploitation at a younger age, our protective covering becomes thinner and more vulnerable!

When the skin gets thinner

Before we finally get to how to save skin, a quick word about medical causes of dry skin. We at the 48grams blog do not give medical advice, of course, but we do want to tell our readers tips on how to protect themselves. For example, anyone who has been prescribed new medication and suddenly gets - literally - thin skin should definitely talk to their doctor. Numerous drugs interfere with the body's fluid balance or influence the functions of certain glands, including those responsible for fat production in the skin.

Skincare with repair effect

Now that it is clear how varied the causes of dry skin can be, lets talk about the options for treatment: care, care, care. (This includes thorough cleansing of the face with mild creams or gels). Here, care must be taken to ensure pH neutrality when purchasing. Perfume and alcohol must not be processed. It is also obligatory to apply lotion after a bath or shower. This prevents the loss of moisture. If the skin has already taken on the parchment-like character mentioned above, then skincare creams with a repair effect are needed - which have a high proportion of aloe vera (preferably from Mallorca, as this works particularly well) and natural hyaluronic acid. In the case of the latter, it is worth taking a look at the packaging. Many manufacturers process long-chain hyaluronic acid - which does not penetrate as deeply into the skin. Better is the so-called micro (or oligo) hyaluronic acid. Additives such as mastic oil (from the Greek mastic tree) or edelweiss extracts also work wonders. So always pay attention when buying a cream for dry skin.

Effective help with home remedies

Basically said: creams and masks help within a few days - a significant improvement of the skin can be achieved. But if you want a long-lasting effect, you also need to lead a healthier life. Alcohol and fast food must be kept to a minimum - if not completely eliminated - and tobacco and other drugs are taboo anyway. Drink plenty of water - that's always good anyway. In addition, the daily diet should be rich in vitamins and trace elements. The skin will then thank you for this, right down to the pores. Finally, tips from the home remedy department. Yes, Mother Nature has given us many substances that counteract the dehydration of the skin. Besides the already mentioned aloe vera, coconut or almond oil are among them, but also avocado, honey and clay. Mixed with rose water or a valuable oil, the result - either as a mask or also as a cream - ensures that the skin becomes supple again. Dry skin is therefore not a fate to which one must surrender. However, if you don't take care of the tissues in your face, you will soon notice the depletion. Once wrinkles have dug deep or the skin barrier has been damaged, it's a long road back to glow, to healthy and fresh skin. So the bottom line is: if you take preventative measures, you'll feel good about your skin for longer.