Dry and itchy skin can be a matter of concern, especially if you notice red, scaly areas on the skin. These can be signs of chronic skin issues such as eczema and psoriasis. However, there’s a lot that separates a typical dry skin from these skin conditions. And if you have dry skin it is best to educate yourself so that you can tell the difference between the three.
Skin types are typically divided into four broad categories, namely, normal, dry, oily and combination. And it is completely normal if your dry skin feels super dry when you’ve skipped moisturiser for a few days or haven’t been drinking enough water. The cold and windy weather in winter also causes your skin to feel to feel stretchy and dry. However, this can be corrected with a deeply nourishing, oil-based moisturiser.
Eczema and psoriasis show similar symptoms on the skin and it is natural to get confused between the two. Eczema or atopic skin dermatitis isn’t your typical skin dryness, it is coupled with an itchy, red or discoloured rash. It affects the skin’s ability to protect itself from outside allergens and irritants. In this condition patches of dry skin swell, crack and sometimes even ooze out fluid. It is also referred to as the extreme form of dry skin. Eczema is usually seen on the inside of the arms, back of the knees and the folds of your skin.
In psoriasis, the immune system triggers skin cells to grow faster than they usually do, therefore dead skin cells sloughing occurs in days rather than months. This results in faster cell forming and build-up on your skin. The thick layer of red, silvery scales on your skin in the form of red patches is a clear sign of psoriasis. Just like eczema, psoriasis is also itchy but in certain people it is coupled by a burning sensation. It is commonly seen on the scalp, lower back, elbows, knees but is can crop up anywhere, including your face.