Symptoms of excess dryness of the skin: the skin fells tight and becomes itchy, when scratched the skin cracks; these cracks become highways for bacterial infections that require topically applied remedies.
The skin has a water content of between 10-20%, if the water content in the skin drops below this ti can diminish the skins’ effectiveness of hydrating. The skin then becomes more sensitive and can lead to further irritation when using detergents, water (baths, long showers etc).
Dryness and irritation can be caused by a variety of things: contact, environmental, ingestion and stress.
Contact: can be in the form of wool acting as an irritant, man-made fibers irritating the skin, washing powder granules remaining in the clothes. Try using a different brand of washing powder or a liquid detergent to see if this improves your condition.
Ingestion: there are many foods that can cause allergic reactions. The most common are cows’ milk, peanuts, tree nuts, soy, fish, shellfish, eggs and wheat. An allergy test may determine if any foods are the cause.
Environmental: like ‘hard’ water (high mineral content), tobacco smoke, air pollution. There are many household plants that will help detoxify your environment.
Stress: take some time-out, use some relaxation techniques, exercise also helps to de-stress.