Along with other changes you may experience, as you get older, skin becomes thinner and drier. In fact, many older people have dry skin, often on their lower legs, elbows and lower arms. Dry skin also can be caused by health problems, such as diabetes or kidney disease.
In winter, dry skin can get worse—both drier and itchier, especially if you don’t drink enough liquids and don’t protect exposed skin when you go outdoors in very dry air or if the air in your home lacks humidity.
If you have thin skin, dryness can be especially dangerous—scratching dry skin can cause bleeding that may lead to infection. Since some medications can make your skin itchier, talk to your doctor if your skin tends to be very dry and itchy often.
Changing some common habits can restore the health of your skin and protect against dryness and its negative health consequences. No need to wait for the deep freeze to set in—here are simple steps you can start taking right away: