Our skin is soft and smooth because of oil glands which are dotted under our skin. The skin becomes dry when these glands fail to supply sufficient lubrication to keep the skin soft and smooth.
The cold and dry weather of winter takes its own toll on the skin. The cold and dry weather of winter brings about drying of skin making it scaly. Lack of sufficient humidity out doors also leads to dry skin. Indoor heating further removes the traces of moisture and aggravates dryness of skin. Thus in winter the skin becomes extremely dry. Dry skin condition may occur due to genetic factors which are inherited.
Dry skin condition may arise from nutritional deficiencies due to poor diet.
Unhealthy life styles like exposure to extreme weather conditions, bathing for long time in very hot water, using harsh soaps, swimming in chlorinated water, chemicals and harsh cosmetics can cause drying of skin.
The skin loses its capacity to retain moisture, as we grow old. The extreme climatic conditions to which we get exposed, as we grow old worsen the condition and skin becomes more dry.
Dry skin may arise as an effect of medications like diuretics, antihistamines and anti spasmodics .
What ayurveda says about dry skin ?
According to texts of ayurveda dry skin is caused by vata dosha. When vata dosha increases in body it reduces kapha and makes skin dry and wrinkled. ( Kapha keeps skin soft and smooth where as vata makes the skin dry and rough. Vata dosha’s qualities are opposite to kaphadosha qualities ).
The causes which increase vata dosha in body
- Exposure to cold and dry climate
- Controlling natural urges like urination, defecation, hunger, thirst, etc.
- Keeping awake till late nights.
- Irregular food habits.
- Over physical and mental exertion.
- Consumption of spicy, dry, bitter foods.