The skin is the largest organ of the body and it serves as our first line of defense. Keeping your skin healthy allows you to feel more confident with your physical appearance and it also reflects your body’s good shape.
Many of us experience dry skin or dry patches at some point in our lives, especially due to environmental changes, lifestyle and other causes. Even though dry skin usually occurs during winter months, it can still be experienced in any month of the year.
However, dry patches on the face are not easy to hide. Applying makeup will only irritate the skin and make the problem worse. So, how can we get rid of dry patches on the face to achieve smooth and glowing skin?
Causes of Dry Patches on Face
The sebum released by the skin keeps it soft, smooth and elastic, so low level of production can lead to dry skin. Dry skin is the most common skin issue that affects many people and these also results to dry patches.
Patches are spots of skin that appear to be darker or lighter than your normal complexion. They may also have blue, purple or red shade and can be confused with macules, but dry patches are sensitive, itchy and flaky. Here are the causes of dry patches on face and how to deal with them.
1. Environmental Causes
As the season changes, it also affects the skin and may lead to skin problems like dry patches. Since the face is not always covered when going outside during the winter months or cold season, it can be affected right away by the cold wind. In addition to that, the level of moisture present in the air during winter is very low. This means that your skin cannot get sufficient moisture from the environment.
Aside from winter, hot temperatures during summer can also harm your skin and may lead to many skin issues like dry patches. The harmful ultraviolet rays of the sun damage the skin and reduce its ability to produce natural oils.
2. Liver Spots
Liver spots are flat, black or brown spots that appear when the skin is always exposed to the sun. Despite its name, liver spots have nothing to do with the function of your liver. It is caused by long exposures to the sun or aging, which commonly occur after the age of 40. These spots usually appear on areas like face, forehead, shoulders, back of the hands and forearms.
In most cases, there is no treatment required for liver spots. You can easily improve your skin with bleaching creams or lotions that contain hydroquinone. It can lighten the spots but if your skin is sensitive, it may cause a skin reaction.
Even though liver spots are not life-threatening, it can mark the appearance of your skin. Some people with many liver spots undergo laser treatment or freezing to get rid of them. If the liver spots change in appearance, it is time to see a medical professional.
Eczema also called atopic dermatitis, is a skin condition where patches of the skin crack, become itchy, swollen and rough. When worse, blisters can appear and the patches may release a yellowish fluid. Genetic and environmental factors contribute to the occurrence of eczema. Other factors include irritants, microbes, cold or hot temperature, hormones, certain foods, allergens, and stress.
Some symptoms of eczema include extreme itchiness, rashes behind the knees, elbows, ankles, legs, and scalp. The skin becomes scaly and if not treated right away, the condition becomes worse. Rashes can also develop on the scalp and cheeks. If you suspect that you or someone you know have the symptoms of eczema, seek help from a dermatologist right away for accurate diagnosis and treatment.
Psoriasis can also be a cause of dry patches on face. It is one of the most persistent skin disorders that usually occur on scalp, elbows, knees, palms, torso, soles of the feet and face. Psoriasis can range from mild to severe.
According to your condition, the symptoms include plaques of red skin and painful and itchy scales. There are times that the scales crack or bleed and irritated lesions spread to other areas. Other symptoms of psoriasis are discoloration of the nails and crust on the scalp.
Many doctors recommend the application of salicylic acid ointment. This treatment makes the skin smooth and speeds up the shedding of the scales. However, applying this ointment to a large part of the skin may cause your body to acquire too much and may result in a side effect.
Too much application can weaken the hair shafts and temporary hair loss. If you or someone shows symptoms of psoriasis, it is best to visit a dermatologist for proper diagnosis and prescriptions.
Vitiligo is a skin condition that causes discoloration. It affects not only the face but also other parts of the body. It can appear inside the mouth and can also affect the eyes. The color of your skin, eyes, and hair is determined by the production of melanin. When the production of melanin stops, vitiligo starts to appear.
Many people are experiencing vitiligo and it is more visible to people with a darker complexion. This skin condition is not contagious and not dangerous. However, the patches can make someone feel embarrassed and it can lower one’s self-esteem.
There are many treatments to improve the color of the skin but the results vary from person to person. Some medications also have side effects. There is no drug to stop vitiligo, but there are drugs or surgeries that enhance your skin tone.
Other Causes of Dry Patches on Face
A person can have dry patches when taking a bath in too cold or too hot water. Taking a bath frequently can make the skin dry. Swimming pools, which are chlorinated, can also dry the skin and result in dry patches.
Harsh cosmetic products and detergents also contribute to this problem. The chemicals present in makeups can destroy the skin’s natural oil production and may result in irritation.
Home Remedies for Dry Patches on Face Fast
For mild skin problems, you can do these treatments at home to keep your skin healthy and hydrated.
1. Aloe Vera Gel
Aloe vera gel is very effective in keeping the skin moisturized. It has anti-inflammatory and anti-fungal properties which help reduce the itchy irritations of the skin and heal the dry patch on the face.
It also contains a lot of vitamins and minerals which will improve your dull skin, repairs the damaged skin, improves your immune system and smoothes the skin. Aside from dry skin, the gel from aloe vera is also used for treating sunburns.
Simply cut one leaf and take the gel out of it. Apply the gel directly on the dry patches on your face. You can also apply it to other dry parts of your body to enhance the texture and appearance of your skin.
2. Prevent Exposure to Sun
When going outside, make sure that you apply lotion with at least SPF 15 to keep your skin protected from the harmful ultraviolet rays of the sun. Since your skin is dry, exposure to the sun can make your skin condition worse. You can also bring umbrella and hat with you to keep your face covered. Applying lip balm is also important to prevent chapped lips.
3. Mild Cosmetics and Detergents
Cosmetics and detergents contain a lot of chemicals that can make your skin condition worse. If you think that your skin has a negative reaction from your soap, makeup or detergent, you are not using the right product for your skin. Simply switch to mild, fragrance-free cosmetics and do not use anti-bacterial soaps that can dry your skin even more.
4. Moisturize Frequently
Whether it is summer or winter time, do not forget to apply moisturizer to keep your skin hydrated and nourished. After washing your skin every morning and evening with mild soap, apply your non-fragrant moisturizer.
You can also buy lotion or creams that contain vitamin E oil, aloe vera extract or olive oil which are effective ingredients to keep your skin healthy. You can also use petroleum jelly over the dry areas of your skin to lock in the skin’s natural oil.
5. Proper Diet
Dehydration and malnutrition can make the skin dry and result in dry patches. Simply drink plenty of water every day and improve your diet to ensure that your skin is getting its required nutrients for staying elastic, smooth and radiant. Recommended foods for dry skin are fatty fish such as salmon, trout, tuna, and herring. Avocado, nuts, sweet potato, olives, cucumbers, and oysters are also healthy for the skin.
6. Run an Air Humidifier
Dry air can result to dry skin. You can increase the level of moisture in your home by having an air humidifier. Alternatively, you can place naturally humidifying plants such as bamboo fern and Boston’s palm.
When to Seek Medical Help
Dry patches on the skin usually disappear with simple home remedies. However, there are some conditions that require medical attention. Visit your doctor right away if you are experiencing these symptoms:
- Inflamed blisters or bleeding blisters.
- Severe dry skin that lasts for a long period of time and moisturizers are not effective.
- Hair loss.
- Thickened layers of skin.
- Severe dandruff and hair loss.
- Discoloration of fingernails.
- Joint pain.
If you have any of the symptoms mentioned, visit your doctor right away as you may have atopic dermatitis, psoriasis or seborrhea dermatitis.