Dry skin is deviation from normal, healthy skin and should be managed immediately. This skin disorder causes flakes and patches of dryness on the skin, which then leads to inflammation and itchiness. Due to the intense irritation, sufferers cannot help but scratch, which consequently leads to the skin becoming inflamed. Dry skin is more prone to cracking, and developing fissures, all of which are more serious and can lead to serious complications.

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Advances in the medical field now enable professionals to treat cracked skin. But before discussing what treatment options are available, it would be well to understand the main causes and predisposing factors of cracked skin.

Causes of Cracked Skin

• Age

Dry skin is an inconsequential part of growing old. Reduced production of natural oils by the is one of the biological changes that occur with old age. While this isn’t particularly a serious problem, the constant scratching and the poor skin care regimens are leads to cracked skin.

• Winter

Our skin isn’t particularly adapted to handling cold temperatures. That’s the reason why we have to cover up when the winter season comes around. With the temperature drop comes a fall in the levels of humidity as well. This strips the skin of the little moisture that it holds on to, and leaves behind dry skin. If exposed for extended periods, the skin becomes more predisposed to cracking after the mildest scratches or traumas. Indoor heating isn’t particularly helpful since it doesn’t correct the humidity problem too. Instead, get a humidifier for the indoors, and make sure to cover up exposed skin regions when outdoors.

• Hot Showers, Harsh Soaps

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The relaxing benefits of hot steamy showers are well understood. But when you have dry or cracked skin, you should try to minimize the amount of time under hot showers. A warm bath, no more than ten minutes long should suffice. Ideally, a moisturizing soap should be used. Other products will emulsify the essential oils in your skin, leaving it dry. The more hot baths you take, the drier it gets, and the more predisposed it becomes to developing cracks.

• Disease, Medication

There are some medications that cause skin dryness. These include cholesterol and high blood pressure medications. There are also some medical conditions that are associated with dry, cracked skin, such as atopic dermatitis. When there is underproduction of thyroid hormones, or when the body is not getting enough nutrients, dry skin is most often a side effect.

From all examples mentioned above, it can be concluded that cracked skin is often the end result of dry skin. In other words, what starts off as dryness ends up as cracks or fissures on the skin. Cracked skin can be avoided if the skin is treated when the first signs of dryness are treated and managed accordingly.

Caring for Cracked Skin

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When the skin is dry, the most important thing to do is to rehydrate it. The use of moisturizers has been demonstrated to effectively heal dry skin. Staying in humid environments is also helpful.

When the skin is cracked, you need to nurture it back to health. As one of the most vasculated organs of the body, the skin has outstanding regenerative power, and will easily heal when cared for. Use of prescribed ointments will prevent infections, and help the skin seal the cracks, and become moist and supple again. There are a lot of medication treatments that heal cracked skin in the most efficient means possible.

When the skin is infected, a combination of ointments and antibiotics are needed to prevent the infections from turning to more serious skin disorders. A doctor’s visit should be prioritized at the first sign of a skin infection.

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