What causes dry skin on legs? There are many causes including the extremely dry, scaly, itchy, rough skin on legs including lower leg and on knees. Get all this and more on how to get rid of this dryness with treatments and home remedies.
This is mostly a temporary problem during winter and it could be partially a skin disorder that can result in redness, deep crack, itching and slight severe flaking, scaling, or peeling.
This problem can occur on any part of the body such as your hands, legs, and arms since they are the ones that are mostly exposed to the causing agents.
Causes of dry skin on legs
Why do I get dry skin on legs? There are many possible reasons. Some of the common causes include:
When the temperature levels drop (especially during winter season) even the humidity level plunges too, making the skin to dry. However, for those who live in deserts, a season of the year may not mean much since their legs will be mostly dry during all the seasons of a year.
Exposure to heat r
When you are in places to where there is much heating, burning wood in stoves, fireplaces, as well as space heaters, expect your legs to be dry since they reduce humidity.
Steamy shower and hot baths
Again, when you are showering, avoid too steamy showers since as much as you will like them, they are not good. “I know it feels wonderful to stand in a really hot shower… but it can dry out your helpful natural oils present on our skin more quickly,” Linda Stein Gold, MD, clinical research director of the dermatology department at Detroit Henry Ford Hospital says.
Standing under that hot shower for long enough to sing out your favorite music is also a no-no. Just remember it is a fact that the longer you spend in your hot shower, the more your skin will be dry when you finally come out.
Harsh soaps and detergents
Washing with a harsh soap will send your skin’s natural moisture barrier straight down the drain. While promising to cleanse it well, a number of the common detergents, shampoos, and soaps end up removing all the moisture from it since their basic formulation is to remove oil. When that happens, your skin is likely to remain dry.
Scrubbing down leg skin
Most people feel they need to scrub their legs often for them to be clean. Inasmuch as the idea may seem appealing, remember the fact that “friction strips the skin and enhances the dryness,” says Nanette Silverberg, MD, a dermatology professor at Columbia University. Stay away from this old belief.
As one age, even the hormones changes resulting in the skin becoming thin and parched. Older adults are more likely to develop dry skin. As you age, your pores naturally produce less oil, raising your risk of this problem.
You’re more likely to experience eczema or allergic contact dermatitis if you have a history of these conditions or other allergic diseases in your family. These conditions may result in this dryness problems anywhere on your body including on your legs.
Health condition – diabetes, psoriasis or dermatitis
Do you usually experience scaly and red skin legs? It could be a condition, like atopic dermatitis or psoriasis. It can also be a symptom of diseases such as diabetes or an underactive thyroid gland.
Exposure to irritants on legs
Is your favorite trouser making you itch? It could be the fabric, fabric softener, or the detergent you’re washing it in. Lots of everyday fabrics and products can irritate skin from dryer sheets to perfume.
The Severe dry skin on legs according to the experts at the University of Maryland Medical Center notes you might need to see your physician. Despite it being a common problem that can occur at any age.
It can occur when the upper oil layer on your skin reduces and your cells begin t lose moisture. Many people experience dryness whenever they age or stay in places with low humidity such as indoors where humidity may be forced by air conditioning or air heating.
A rough dry skin on legs might appear as a sign of thyroid problems which reduces sebum and sweat glands activities.
Dry and scaly
A flaky dry skin on legs can result from a number of issues or causes such as bathing them so often, eczema, etc, reports The New York Times Health Guide.
It is a fact that a dry skin is common during the season of winter when both temperatures and humidity are low. This is due to a reduced moisture content in the air hence it will tend to dry faster.
Besides the above, there are other causes including factors such as the following:
- Skin health
- Steamy showers and hot baths etc.
According to DermNet NZ, some cases of dryness could be due to some medical problems including atopic dermatitis.
If it is moderate to a mild case, apply a moisturizer twice or thrice daily especially after you have taken a shower. This can help keep your legs well moisturized.
Itchy dry skin on legs
This can be a sign of a more serious underlying problem and most instances it may be difficult to identify the specific cause.
Some of the causes may include:
- Skin conditions
- Allergies reactions
- Parasites and insect’s bites
- Infections such athlete’s foot
- Other conditions such as depression or anxiety.
- Pregnancy and the menopause due to hormonal changes.
On lower legs
If you have the problem of skin dryness on your lower legs, it can be due to a myriad of reasons such as your diet that does have enough fatty acids, dehydration, excessive showering, excessive soap use, genetic predisposition, old age, hypothyroidism among other disorders. Note that if it is so dry (excessively dry), expect it to feel uncomfortable or even itchy.
Remedy to try
If you often end up with a dry skin, ensure you use a moisturizer immediately after showering. In addition, keep away from direct wind and sun exposure as this can also cause this condition.
In addition, keep it dehydrated by taking lots of fluids. Besides fluids, water is also very essential. Take at least two liters of water daily or until you are able to expel not less than 200ml of urine that is clear in the morning.
For women who have the problem of a dry skin while pregnant, there are many moisturizers as well as creams to stop itching safe for expectant mothers which you can make a use of.
Dry knees can put a big blot on your appearance and even turn into a chronic problem, especially if you live in harsh or extreme climatic conditions.
Experts often point towards strong chemicals, exposure to rough surfaces and adverse climate as the three most common causes of dry knees. All the causes on legs we have looked at can also make your knee skin dry.
How to get rid of dry skin on legs
If you have the problem, you can opt for treatments as well as some simple at home solutions, the so-called home remedies. Let us begin with home remedies.
Home remedies or natural cure solution
To help you deal with the dryness of skin on your legs or any other part of the body, try the below remedies.
Apply olive oil
It is known as a good ingredient for dry skin because it has antioxidants and fatty acids that can strengthen it well and soothes it.
Use milk cream
Take advantage of lactic acid present in your milk cream as it is known to naturally help in dry skin exfoliation.
The lactic acid present in milk cream helps exfoliate it as well as being a good moisturizer. Milk cream has a soothing nature which will ensure its pH levels remain balanced.
Another way to treat this condition is honey, which includes antioxidants, humectants, as well as antimicrobial properties to soften and soothe the dry skin. Moreover, honey contains vital minerals and vitamins that can improve its health excellently.
Do you usually eat yogurt? Your dry skin is being cured properly because yogurt is an antioxidant as well as being a good anti-inflammatory. This will help to soothe the rough skin. Yogurt also has lactic acid that can kill bacteria, which causes itchiness and dryness.
Avocado is great in antioxidants, fatty acids, and vitamins that can enhance your skin complexion from inside out. Additionally, avocado is good for vitamin A that can restore its health perfectly.
For the dryness problem, you can use cucumber for moisturizing and healing it because cucumber is high in water and you can eat cucumber every day to supply enough water to the skin.
At times, this condition can cause dermatitis which will, in turn, make your skin red and itchy. In such cases, opt for treatments using lotions that have hydrocortisone
Buy over the counter best lotions as recommended by your dermatologist such as Eucerin Calming Crème, Clarins Moisture-Rich Body Lotion, Alba Botanica e.t.c
Other lifestyle tips
- Plug in a humidifier in the house to help keep it hydrated during winter months when indoor air.
- Wear cotton and other natural fibers to avoid irritation.
- Drink plenty of water.
- Eat omega-3 containing foods. Essential fatty acids which are known to be vital in fortifying the retaining skin’s natural oils