It’s pretty easy to spot dry skin -- often it appears flaky or patchy, or it’s accompanied by an itch. But dehydrated skin can present other symptoms that aren’t so obvious. Read on to find out more about this common occurrence and how to treat it.
Essentially, dehydrated skin lacks necessary moisture, leading to a host of unsuspecting symptoms. This condition is typically caused by not drinking enough water, but it can have other origins as well.
Sweating excessively when exercising without replenishing those fluids can leave skin dehydrated. Taking certain medications can contribute as well. Even frequent urination from caffeine, diuretics, or bladder infection can lead to dehydrated skin.
Keep in mind that dry skin is a totally separate issue. Dry skin is one of the four general skin types, and patches of it can occur with changes in weather and humidity level. Dehydrated skin, on the other hand, is a medical condition and if it’s not treated, can lead to more serious issues. Here’s how to spot it.
One common indicator that your skin might be dehydrated is the appearance of dark circles underneath your eyes. These may show up in the form of “bags” or they may look like light shadows. They might even be itchy or flaky.
Treating the dark circles with home remedies or in-office treatments can help alleviate the “tired” look, but you’ll also want to address the underlying cause, which may be dehydrated skin.
If you’ve noticed an uptick in the appearance of fine lines, you might be dealing with dehydration.
These little lines can appear more map-like and are often more noticeable if you gently pinch the skin. Crow’s feet or marionette lines are more likely caused by aging than dehydration and can be effectively treated with dermal fillers or other solutions.
If you’re more easily breaking out or even getting rashes, you might have dehydrated skin. The same goes for tight or itchy sensations.
When dehydration sends the skin’s moisture barrier out of whack, bacteria can more easily irritate that top-most layer of the skin. These symptoms differ from eczema, which tends to be ongoing and doesn’t have a known cure.
A tired or dull-looking complexion can also be a sign of dehydrated skin. When the skin’s moisture content is low, its natural exfoliating processes are inhibited.
So whereas healthy, hydrated skin is regularly sloughing off those dead skin cells, dehydrated skin tends to accumulate those cells, clogging pores and leading to dullness.
The easiest way to treat this condition is with some simple lifestyle changes. Continue to slather on the moisturizer several times a day. Up your water consumption and limit your caffeine intake until the issue is resolved. Consider limiting alcohol too.
Replenish fluids after any sort of physical activity, and try to get more sleep than usual. Eating your veggies, especially those with higher water content, like the cruciferous family, will help.
Finally, you might consider a HydraFacial, which is a quick way to restore dull or tired skin and flood your skin with some much-needed moisture.
If you’re in the greater New York City area and suffering from dehydrated skin, don’t wait until it becomes a medical emergency. Make an appointment with Vanguard Dermatology to get the treatment you need.