Dry skin, also known as xerosis, is not often serious, but it can be uncomfortable, reports the MayoClinic.com. Fine lines and wrinkles may emerge from dry skin, causing your skin to look unsightly. You can self-treat your dry skin if it is a result from environmental factors. For more serious dry skin conditions, you will need to see your doctor for a complete diagnosis.
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Dry skin can appear anywhere on your body and is often just a temporary condition. Winter, because of drier air, is often responsible for dry skin patches. If your skin is dry on the outer ear it may feel tight, especially after you bathe or shower; appear shrunken or dehydrated; look and feel rough; be accompanied by itching sensation; experience flaking or peeling of the skin; display wrinkles, cracks, redness; and it may even produce deep fissures that can bleed in some instances.
There are many possible reasons why you have dry skin on your outer ear, indicates the MayoClinic.com. Weather is a primary reason for encountering dry skin. Winter months have the lowest levels of humidity and therefore often produce dry skin. Use of central heating and air conditioning also reduces humidity levels and increase dryness in your skin. Medical conditions like psoriasis or thyroid disorders can also be responsible for dry skin on your outer ear. Conditions like these usually require medical attention.
For very severe cases of dry skin, you may require medical attention. Your doctor may recommend a medicated ointment to help solve your dry skin problem.
If you have a medical condition, like psoriasis, that is responsible for the dry skin on your outer ear, your doctor may prescribe other medications to treat the condition.
Dry skin can sometimes lead to dermatitis and cause red and itchy skin. Treatment for dermatitis usually involves hydrocortisone creams or lotions. Your doctor may also recommend wet dressings to reduce secretions and reduce risk of infection.
Often, you can undertake treatments at home to relieve the dry skin on your outer ear. The MayoClinic.com recommends using moisturizers that are thicker and will stay on better. You can even use cosmetics that contain moisturizers if needed. Humidifiers are another good way of putting humidity back into the air and helping your dry skin.
Taking shorter baths or showers is also recommended. The water should not be too hot either, as hot water dries the skin out quicker. Patting your skin dry with a towel and applying moisturizers right away will aid in keeping the moisture in your skin.
If your dry skin is not cared for properly it may lead to some medical conditions that can be serious. Eczema, otherwise known as atopic dermatitis, causes redness, drying and inflammation.
Folliculitis is the inflammation of your hair follicles and can result if dry skin is not treated. Cellulitis is a bacterial infection that can be quite serious. If left to spread, it can enter the lymphatic system and blood vessels. See your doctor right away if you have any concerns about the dry skin on your outer ear.