Dry Skin – When Disease is to Blame
It can be a nightmare of a battle to get rid of dry, patchy skin. Cracked, peeling, and irritated skin can seem like it is taking over your life. While there is a great deal that you can do to alleviate your suffering and cure your dry skin, there are times when more is needed. If your skin condition seems particularly persistent and no treatments have helped, there might be an underlying condition for your flaky skin.
There are several medical conditions that cause dry skin. Any one of them could be responsible for your skin condition. To cure dry skin caused by a disease or medical condition, you must first treat the medical condition. Under normal circumstances, your skin condition will take care of itself once you address the main culprit. But first, you need to find out what underlying condition is contributing to your skin woes.
Diseases that Cause Dry Skin
Renal disease – Renal disease, otherwise referred to as chronic or acute kidney failure, can cause dry skin during its later stages. Symptoms associated with renal disease include nausea, fatigue, weight loss, easy bruising, decreased urination, decreased alertness, and seizures. Acute renal disease is normally sudden and can be reversed with treatment.
Chronic kidney failure, on the other hand, requires ongoing treatment and may even require a kidney transplant. In order to combat dry skin caused by renal disease, be sure to follow all of your doctor’s instructions for combating your disease. If your renal failure is under control, it will be easier for you to topically treat your dry skin.
Thyroid disease – Hypothyroidism is a disease in which the thyroid gland fails to produce the amount of thyroid hormone that your body needs. This results in dry skin; brittle, thinning hair; ridged and brittle nails; dermatitis; and a yellow skin tone. To combat thyroid disease, your doctor may prescribe an oral medication that will help increase the levels of thyroid hormone in your body. He will also want to check your level of thyroid hormone every so often by way of a blood test. Once your thyroid levels are normal and under control, it will be a lot easier for you to treat your dry skin.
Diabetes – The high glucose levels that some people with diabetes experience can contribute to dry and scaly skin. If you have diabetes, be sure to keep your glucose levels under control through diet and insulin injections. If you do this, your skin will have a better chance at remaining healthy despite your diabetes. Proper wound care is also vital when dealing with diabetes as the disease can make it more difficult for the skin to heal and repair itself.
Biliary disorders – Liver and biliary disorders can also cause dry skin. Again, addressing the disease is your best bet for alleviating your skin symptoms. Be sure to follow all of your doctor’s instructions. If your skin condition becomes especially bothersome, talk to your doctor about it. He may be able to prescribe a special cream that will cure your skin condition.
Hodgkin’s disease – Hodgkin’s lymphoma is a disease that affects the lymphatic system which is responsible for filtering fluid from the skin back into the bloodstream and fighting infections among other things. Hodgkin’s disease is treated through radiation therapy, chemotherapy, or a combination of both. Fighting dry skin caused by Hodgkin’s disease can be very tricky as the treatment courses for the disease contribute to the worsening of the skin condition rather than cure it. If your skin becomes especially tender and itchy, talk to your doctor. You may need a prescription to help treat your skin condition.
Once you have addressed the medical cause of your dry skin, you can go on hydrating your skin as you normally would. Here are a few ideas:
- Apply lotion after every shower and several times throughout the day.
- Avoid harsh soaps and cleansers that can dry your skin.
- Never take extremely hot showers.
- Use a humidifier in your home.
- Cover up exposed skin when going out in harsh weather.
- Use sunscreen and avoid tanning beds.
- Drink plenty of water.
Remember: dry skin that is caused by an underlying disease requires that you treat the disease first. Applying lotions and ignoring the main cause will not get you very far in your attempt to cure your skin condition. If you treat your medical condition, on the other hand, your dry skin may take care of itself.