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Signs & Symptoms of Dehydrated Skin

author image Timothy Townsend
Timothy Townsend is a health and fitness writer whose work has appeared in various online publications. He recently received his bachelor's degree with a double major in education and kinesiology.
Signs & Symptoms of Dehydrated Skin
Skin needs protection, including adequate hydration. Photo Credit skin image by Robert Kelly from <a href="http://www.fotolia.com">Fotolia.com</a>

Dehydrated skin is a condition where the skin has limited or a lack of moisture in the intracellular system of the skin. Skin dehydration can be problematic all year round. Your skin is more susceptible to dehydration in the winter due to aggressive environmental factors. It is very important to monitor the signs and symptoms regularly to treat it when needed. Age, location and amount of time spent outside are all factors that can impact the condition of your skin.

Causes of Skin Dehydration

Skin dehydration can happen for several different reasons. The most common is from environmental factors, including heating and air conditioning in the home during the winter and summer months. Humidity is good for the skin, because it provides moisture. When you run your furnace, it reduces the amount of moisture in the air inside your home. There also is less humidity in the outside air during winter months. Other factors in skin dehydration may include saunas, wind, pollution, illness, certain medications and smoking.

Signs and Symptoms

Signs and symptoms of skin dehydration are similar to a sunburn. The skin can feel tight and you may feel a burning sensation. It will often get irritated and has a lesser ability to heal. The skin sometimes gets flaky and shows dry lines. The texture of the skin will be rough and will not look smooth anymore. A very common sign of dehydrated skin is extreme itching, which can even become painful.

Redness is another common symptom of dehydrated skin.


Taking extremely hot showers and baths will dehydrate the skin. Frequent hot showers cause the lipids to break down in the skin, leading to cracking. Chemicals in soap products can rob the skin of moisture, as can deodorants and sanitizing products.


Psoriasis is an extremely chronic condition. This sometimes develops when dehydrated skin has a buildup of rough, dry skin, which turns into severely scaly skin. Contact a physician or a dermatologist for the best course of treatment.


Dry skin worsens with age, because our skin produces less oil and dead skin cells do not shed as often. Treatments vary based on severity and on the individual. A few of the most common treatments are: wash the skin with a mild, non-foaming cleanser that won't strip lipids from the skin; stay away from bar soap; use a washcloth for manual exfoliation; use a rich, oil-based moisturizer; and protect your skin with a sunscreen that has an SPF 15 or higher.

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