What causes winter dry skin?
Winter brings changes in humidity and temperature that create perfect conditions for causing dry skin, also known as xerosis.
The outermost layer of the skin is called the epidermis. The thin outer surface of the epidermis is the stratum corneum, also known as the skin barrier.
A combination of lipids and dying or dead skin cells makes up the skin barrier. The skin barrier forms a layer of protection that prevents harmful toxins from entering the body. When the skin barrier sustains damage, the skin appears dry or irritated.
Moisture is essential for the skin barrier to perform well. ResearchTrusted Source has shown that there is less moisture in the skin during winter than in the summer, as well as fewer lipids in the skin barrier. These differences contribute to dryness and irritation.
During the winter months, people often turn their indoor heating up high, which reduces humidity and affects how much moisture is available to the skin.
At the same time, the cold outdoor weather, harsh winds, and rain can strip the skin of its natural, moisturizing oils.
Taking hot baths or showers can also damage the surface of the skin, leading to dryness, according to the Baylor College of Medicine.
The level of moisture in the skin also varies with age, gender, ethnicity, and environmental factors.
Symptoms of winter dry skin
redness, in lighter skin tones
a raw, sensitive-to-the-touch feeling
People may experience several of these symptoms at the same time. The right treatment should reduce their severity.