Dry skin


Dry skin is the exact opposite of oily skin, and certainly does not indicate good skin health. In oily skin, as we have seen, the main factor is constitutional and there is a genetic and family predisposition: the sebaceous glands have specific receptors for androgen hormones that respond more and the consequence is a more intense production of sebum.

Even in the case of dry skin there may be a constitutional factor, i.e. a lower sensitivity and response of the receptors. This actually occurs in a low percentage of cases and, generally, at an advanced age when the hormonal stimulus is reduced and the vitality of the dermis (and the quantity of hyaluronic acid) is reduced due to aging (senile skin). A more frequent cause of dry skin is a deficit of some specific lipid (fatty) molecules such as ceramides and essential fatty acids: this reduces skin hydration and can lead to real skin pathologies.

In summary, the skin can be dry for 2 reasons:

  1. less sebaceous secretion (dry with lipid deficiency)
  2. less hydration due to reduced capacity to retain water (dehydrated with hydrophilic deficiency).

We can therefore classify dry skin into:


  • non-pathological: senile skin, xerotic skin, sensitive skin
  • pathological: atopic dermatitis, ichthyosis

ACQUIRED DRY SKIN, caused by external factors:

    • excessive exposure to UV radiation
    • climatic factors: low environmental humidity (dry climate), wind, heat or cold
    • environmental factors: radiators and stoves (hot-dry), sea salt
    • wrong cosmetic habits: too frequent showers or baths, saunas, aggressive cleansing soaps, exposure to aggressive chemical substances: chlorinated swimming pool water, sulphurous water, vapors
  • Dermatological therapies: exfoliants, retinoids
    • other therapies: diuretics

    Upon examination of the skin, it is characterized as follows:

    Subjective feeling:

    • tension, itching

    Touch test:

    • rough, thin, dry,
    • desquamating, hypoelastic

    Visual exam:

    • Opaque, pinkish-greyish
    • dry, invisible pores
    • quadrellate fissures
    • wrinkled, flaking

    Dry skin is a more frequent problem in women, because their skin is less oily and thick than that of men, so it tends to dehydrate more and be more damaged by the sun.

    After the age of 30 this skin disorder becomes increasingly more pronounced, because the skin also begins to feel the progressive reduction of hyaluronic acid present in the dermis and mainly responsible for the degree of hydration and firmness of the skin.

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