Dry skin on the legs

Dry skin (or xerosis cutis) on the legs is a skin condition that affects many people, especially in colder weather.

A healthy skin is covered by a thin layer of natural fats and oily substances that retain moisture and keep the skin supple and elastic.

The woman is much more concerned about dry skin than the man for aesthetic reasons, because a person with dry skin appears much older.

Dry skin often occurs temporarily (for example, only in winter), but in some cases it persists permanently.
Usually, the skin on the arms and legs is particularly dry, but this is not always the case.

Dry skin can occur on the face, but here is usually a phenomenon observed in which some areas of the face are shiny, others are dry.
The sebaceous glands are located on the forehead, nose and chin. Here, the skin can be oily, while the skin on the cheeks is probably dry.

If dry skin is not treateddermatitis (inflammation of the skin), swelling and possibly infection can develop.


What are the causes of skin dryness or xerosis?

In most cases, environmental conditions or treatments of the skin reduce the fats and leave the skin unprotected.
Rarely, a cause of cracked skin is internal, in a disease, for example, or in menopause or genetic predisposition.

Causes of dry skin on the legs

Although most cases of skin dryness have an environmental cause, there are diseases that strongly affect the skin.

Possible causes of skin dryness include:

  1. Climate
    Usually, the skin is much drier in winter, when temperature and humidity drop.
    This can also be observed in desert regions where temperatures are high but humidity is very low.
  2. Heat
    Heating systems, stoves and fireplaces reduce humidity and dry out the skin.
  3. Hot tubs and showers
    Very hot and long-lasting showers and baths can dry out the skin.
  4. The skin also dries out if you swim frequently and spend a long time in a swimming pool that contains a lot of chlorine.
  5. Low-quality
    soaps and detergents Many soaps and detergents available in supermarkets reduce moisture on the skin.
    Deodorants and antibacterial soaps are particularly damaging.
    Many shampoos can also dry out the scalp.
  6. Sun exposure
    Sun dries out the skin, the ultraviolet rays penetrate far below the top layer of the skin.
    Tanning without the use of sunscreen often causes dry skin on the following days.
    After about a week, you can observe the formation of lighter skin spots under the peeling upper layers of the skin.
  7. Other skin diseases People with skin diseases
    such as atopic dermatitis (eczema) or psoriasis tend to have dry skin.
    Diabetes is not a skin disease, but it can cause circulation problems in the peripheral area, especially on the feet.
    The result is dry and rough skin and the formation of ulcers (diabetes foot).

Symptoms that show up on the legs when the skin is dry

Signs and symptoms of dry skin depend on your age, health, and the environment you live in, the time you spend outdoors, and the cause of the problem. Dry skin can easily have the following effects:

  • feeling of tension on the skin, especially after showering, tubing or swimming,
  • cracked and scaly skin,
  • rough skin texture,
  • itching,
  • mild to severe scaling,
  • fine wrinkles or cracks,
  • in dark-skinned people you can see gray skin,
  • red and reddened skin,
  • deep cracks that can bleed.

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