As we bundle up and prepare for another winter in the Windy City, it’s also time to prepare for dry skin. Harsh wind, cold air, low humidity levels, and indoor heat all deprive our skin of moisture, leaving it dry and flaky.
At least you’ll be acne-free, right? Not necessarily.
Many people assume that we only get acne when our skin is oily, but it’s common to develop dry skin and acne at the same time. In fact, some people are even more prone to acne when they have dry skin. Keep reading to learn how you can fight both conditions and how The Derm can help.
How can dry skin cause acne?
Acne is the most common skin disorder in the world and affects people of all ages. It’s usually associated with teenagers, but acne can last well into your 30s, 40s, and beyond.
There are three main causes of acne when you have dry skin:
- Hair follicles – Our skin contains millions of hair follicles, where hair grows. When hair follicles become blocked or clogged, they form small lumps in the skin that look like acne. Your provider at The Derm can confirm if you have acne or folliculitis, a skin condition that occurs when hair follicles are inflamed or infected.
- Sebum – Sebum is a natural oil produced by tiny glands near the surface of the skin to prevent skin from drying out. When the glands produce too much sebum, it can block hair follicles and cause acne.
- Dead skin – When your skin loses moisture and becomes dry, other debris like dead skin can also build up. The glands beneath the skin may produce more sebum to counteract the dryness, which can lead to acne.
The Derm treats dry skin and acne together
At The Derm, we have vast experience dealing with dry skin and acne. Your board-certified dermatologist will focus on treating both conditions together without worsening either one.
We’ll begin by conducting a full-body skin exam in a comfortable, private treatment room. This exam covers you from head to toe as we observe your scalp, face, neck, chest, arms, trunk, legs, and feet. We also check your eyelids, ears, mouth, and even the skin between your fingers and toes. Any moles or spots are closely examined for texture, color, border, and size.
Once the skin exam is complete, we take the time to answer your questions and fully explain your treatment options.
Causes of dry skin in Chicago
As mentioned above, cold weather and more time spent indoors often lead to dry skin. With an average daily high temperature below 43 degrees each winter – and of course, the high winds that inspired our city’s nickname – conditions in Chicago are prime for causing dry skin.
Other causes of dry skin that apply anywhere, even in the warmest climates, include:
- Frequent handwashing, showering, and bathing
- Exposure to harsh soaps and chemicals
- Older age
- Vitamin deficiencies
- Certain medications
- Kidney disease
- Thyroid disease
During your consultation at The Derm, we’ll discuss your medical history, lifestyle and habits, and anything else that might contribute to your dry skin.
Home remedies for dry skin and acne
Using a moisturizer regularly, especially after a shower or bath, can help prevent dry skin flare-ups. For most people, a gentle, fragrance-free moisturizer is the best option, regardless of their skin type.
If you have dry skin and acne at the same time, consider continuing your skin care routine as usual with a moisturizer that’s designed for acne-prone skin. Avoid using chemicals, such as rubbing alcohol, because they can dry your skin even more.
These popular home remedies for acne can be added to creams, gels, or masks or applied directly to the skin:
- Aloe vera – An excellent skin moisturizer and protectant that contains sugar molecules, amino acids, and zinc
- Tea tree oil – Has antibacterial and anti-inflammatory properties that can kill the bacteria that causes acne and reduce redness and swelling
- Jojoba oil – A natural waxy substance that helps repair damaged skin and reduce skin inflammation
- Honey – This sticky food has been used for thousands of years to treat skin conditions and help clear clogged pores
Lifestyle changes for less acne
In addition to home remedies, there are some lifestyle changes can help prevent acne flare-ups:
- Stay hydrated – Dry skin can become irritated and damaged, making acne worse. Drinking plenty of water throughout the day ensures that new skin cells develop correctly (and it’s good for your body, too).
- Leave your pimples alone – Touching, rubbing, squeezing, or popping your pimples can introduce more bacteria, making them even worse.
- Use oil-free skin care – Oil-based or greasy products can block and clog pores, causing more acne breakouts. Look for products labeled “oil-free” that make it easier for your pores to breathe.
- Reduce stress – When your stress increases, so does androgen (a hormone that stimulates hair follicles and oil glands in your pores) and your risk of acne. Get plenty of sleep, exercise regularly, and eat a healthy diet to help lower your stress.
Schedule a consultation today
If home remedies and lifestyle changes aren’t working and you need help treating your dry skin and acne, the skin experts at The Derm are here for you. We provide high-quality skin care to patients in Glenview, Park Ridge, Wilmette, and the surrounding areas. Schedule an appointment today!