HEALTH GUIDE: Scaly skin

Many people who suffer from flaking or scaly skin at some point ask themselves what they can do about it. This condition can have many causes and is annoying because it is often accompanied by itching. In most cases however, this ailment can be solved very easily. What can help with scaly skin and what is the best way to tackle it? Read on!

What exactly is scaly skin?

This a question many people ask who have already suffered from it. When it comes to flaky, cracked skin, scales on the skin’s surface are clearly visible to the naked eye and can easily be removed. Each scale is made up of dead keratinocytes (horny cells). While the skin is constantly renewing itself – a completely everyday process – it is not normally visible to us. However if the skin’s protective mechanisms become disrupted, the condition that many people have quickly develops.

The causes of scaly skin

It is caused by an impairment of the protective layer which is responsible for the equilibrium between the dying of old and the formation of new skin cells. There are numerous reasons for this. The protective layer comprises moisture and fat, and if the skin is not sufficiently moisturized and the fat content depletes, this leads to an increase in dying skin cells – scaling results. Other causes are cold and heat which, for example, quickly dry out the skin. Unsuitable cosmetic products such as drying soaps, lotions or shampoos can also lead to this condition. Allergic reactions, genetic causes or even fungal infections are further causes of scaly skin. Those who suffer from neurodermatitis will also be familiar with the issue. Psoriasis too, as many people unfortunately experience, also leads to scaly skin. As one can see there are a multitude of reasons for scaly, cracked skin – it is not a phenomenon that just affects a small number of people.

Diagnosis of scaly skin

Being diagnosed with scaly skin is not the end of the world! This is because the cause can often be swiftly identified. In cases when the condition has arisen due to incorrect skin care, it is normally possible to resolve the issue quickly. But if redness and severe itching develop in addition to skin change, a doctor should always be consulted. In such a scenario, neurodermatitis may also be the cause. According to some experts diet also plays a role when it comes to scaly skin. People who eat healthy, balanced diets are probably less likely to encounter the condition than those who eat less healthily. Even though scaly skin and diet are not always directly linked, it is a good idea to be mindful of one’s eating habits.

Symptoms of scaly skin

The symptoms always take the form of scales on the top skin layer and are sometimes accompanied by mild itching. If the itching is severe, one needs to take the matter seriously and consult a dermatologist. It is not unusual for babies and young children to develop scaly skin and this takes on a similar appearance to adults. In the majority of acute cases, an appropriate cream will provide relief. In general the skin should be moisturized both from outside and within so that it does not dry out further, so enabling it to regain the ability to regulate itself. Strongly dehydrating care products and soaps should be completely avoided!

Preventing scaly skin

Is it possible to effectively hinder scaly skin? As long as the skin is properly moisturized, one can usually prevent it from drying out and becoming scaly, as long as the condition is not medical. It is best to use a mild skin care product and, if necessary a special cream that will specifically and effectively take care of the condition. Drinking enough water and making sure that the skin gets the right vitamins and trace elements is also important.

A summary of scaly skin

Whether with babies, children or adults, scaly skin is always unpleasant but it is usually not difficult to remedy. What can help to get rid of it? Even though it invariably depends on the cause, one should rely on using the right care as well as maintaining a healthy diet. While scaly skin and itching usually go hand in hand, a cream can often provide immediate relief, but finding the real cause is the only way to solve the condition in the long run!