Did you know that dry skin happens to be a very common issue among Indian women? Improper hydration and ignorance lead to dry skin on the legs and other body parts, especially during the winter months.
In fact, one particular study found that about 31% of women in India do not opt for any moisturizing lotions for their bodies, despite 75% of them being aware of the lack of hydration giving rise to dry, dull and itchy skin.
Your legs can be on the move the most during the day, and friction with clothes can generate more dryness along the way. The good news is that you have a lot of ways to avert dry, flaky skin. But first, let’s take a look at what can be the probable causes of dry skin on the legs.
What causes dry skin on the legs?
When the body's natural oils aren't able to maintain enough water in the top layer of the skin, it becomes dry. Dryness in the legs can be caused by a variety of factors, including environmental variables and medical problems.
- Weather conditions - Many people experience a spike in dry skin at particular periods of the year, such as when the weather becomes colder. The lower humidity in the air, which is typical of the winter season, can also make skin more susceptible to drying.
- Allergic dermatitis - When the skin comes into contact with a chemical that causes the immune system to overreact, allergic dermatitis is likely to develop. Pets, a body wash, outdoor things, or anything else that produces an allergic reaction that causes dry, cracked, or scaly skin on the legs might be the culprit.
- Psoriasis - Psoriasis is an autoimmune disease in which the skin produces an excessive number of skin cells all at once. Itchy, scaly areas develop as a result of the accumulation, which can also break and bleed. Patches of psoriasis are frequent on the knees and feet.
- Eczema - Eczema is a skin ailment that is considered to be induced by the immune system and connected to genetic factors. It might make your skin seem red, dry, itchy, or produce a rash. Eczema can arise on any part of the body, however, it is most typically found on the legs.
- Ageing - Your skin generates less oil as you get older, making it easier for it to become dry, which includes the skin on your legs.
- Harsh chemicals in products - Because they're meant to eliminate oils from your skin, some soaps and skin cleansers can be quite drying.
Certain medical conditions - Dry skin can be a sign of a variety of medical conditions, including diabetes, HIV, liver difficulties, thyroid disorders, and renal problems, to name a few.
How to find relief from dry, flaky legs?
There are plenty of ways to find relief from dry, flaky or itchy skin on your legs which range from keeping them moisturised, exfoliated or making a few lifestyle changes.
- Exfoliate the skin - You may exfoliate your legs using a dry brush, a scrub, or even salicylic acid-containing products. Dry-brushing on a regular basis helps improve circulation throughout your body, and the rough bristles will assist in removing any rough, dry skin cells sticking to the surface of your legs. You may also use a brown sugar or coconut oil scrub to help with exfoliating while also moisturising the skin. If you're thinking about using salicylic acid, it's helpful to know that it not only helps exfoliate dry skin but also helps prevent red bumps and ingrown hairs after shaving or other hair removal treatments.
- Keep the skin moisturised - After exfoliating, use a nourishing and moisturising lotion or cream. Moisturizers, which come in the form of ointments, creams, and lotions, are meant to assist your skin to retain moisture. Applying one containing hyaluronic acid, petroleum, glycerin, oils, and ceramides on a regular basis, especially shortly after bathing, will help to decrease dry skin on your legs
- Avoid irritants - Showering in very hot water, using soaps and lotions with strong aromas, harsh soaps with powerful chemicals, or items that have previously irritated your skin are all examples of irritants that can aggravate dry skin on your legs.
- Using soothing treatments - If your dry skin leaves your legs feeling itchy, red and burning, apply some aloe vera gel or cooling mists with soothing ingredients to help calm your agitated skin.
- Use a moisturizing gel when shaving - Shaving your legs can strip your skin of natural oils that make it nice and supple. It also causes skin abrasions, which can contribute to dryness. Instead of shaving legs with water and ordinary soap, use moisturising shaving foam or gel to help replace lost oils and moisture.
- Stay hydrated - Drink plenty of water throughout the day to keep your skin and body hydrated. This will replenish the moisture in your skin and lead to fewer dry skin problems.
- Protect from sun damage - The UV rays and other harmful rays of the sun can leave your skin damaged and dry. Always apply sunscreen before stepping out of the house to prevent sun damage and protect your skin from drying out excessively.
Dry skin on the legs can be caused by a variety of factors, ranging from allergic reactions to environmental changes to persistent medical issues. However, regardless of the reason, it's feasible to receive relief from itching, peeling, and cracking sensations.
Using moisturisers and adopting lifestyle adjustments may be enough to prevent dry skin in certain circumstances. However, if the dry skin on your legs is the result of an underlying medical problem, you'll need to address that first.