Causes, symptoms and caring for dehydrated skin

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One of the common dilemmas most people face is being able to differentiate when their skin is dry from when it is dehydrated. In everyday life, people use ‘dry skin’ and ‘dehydrated skin’ interchangeably.
In reality, both have very similar symptoms, but they are both very different skin conditions.
In this article you will learn about what dehydrated skin is and how it differs from dry skin.
What is dehydrated skin?
Dehydrated skin is simply skin that lacks moisture. Dehydrated skin is not just limited to dry skin as many people clearly think. All skin types can be dehydrated even oily skin.
The truth is, we all have different skin types –dry, normal, combination, or oily. Everyone is born with a particular skin type, but factors like age, environmental conditions and even weather can change or slightly alter our skin type.
Regardless of what your skin type is, the skin cells need water and moisture, and when they get neither of these, they get dehydrated.
Dehydrated skin is different from dry skin because dry skin is primarily caused by underactive sebaceous glands. What this means is that when your sebaceous gland fails to bring forth enough natural oils for maintaining and balancing your skin’s moisture, your skin becomes dry.
Though dehydrated skin appears and shows symptoms similar with that of dry skin, dehydrated skin can cause severe skin conditions that may require medical attention.

Basic Differences between Dry and Dehydrated Skin

Although dry skin and dehydrated skin have similar symptoms and both cause symptoms like peeling, discomfort and flakiness, it is expedient you learn the basic differences between the both skin conditions.

Key Differences between Dry Skin and Dehydrated skin

Though symptoms like flakiness, itchiness and discomfort are present in both skin conditions, it is a little different if you have dehydrated skin. You will likely experience the following symptoms if you have dehydrated skin:
• Dullness
• Itchy skin
• Sunken eyes
• Dark circles
• Appearance of fine lines, expression lines, and wrinkles
• Redness
• Inflammation
• Tightness
• Skin sensitivity
• Scaly and rough texture
In cases of severe dehydration, you will notice the following symptoms
• Dry mouth
• Dizziness
• Lightheadedness
• Less frequent urination or dark yellow urine
• Weakness
Other symptoms you will notice when your skin is dehydrated.
• Bad breath
• Less saliva
• Constipation (dehydration worsens it)
• Tendency to faint
• Depression, anxiety, insomnia and other mood related issues
If you notice these symptoms, it is very important you visit your doctor immediately. When dehydration is ignored, it could result in a serious health issue.
For most people, determining whether their skin is dry or dehydrated is a mammoth task. That’s why we will learn ways to determine if you have dehydrated skin.

Ways to Determine if you have Dehydrated Skin

To find out if your skin is dehydrated or not by conducting a simple test called the pinch test.

Here’s how to do the pinch test

• Pinch a small portion of the skin on your cheek.
• A few wrinkles may form. However, if your skin doesn’t bounce back the moment you let it go, it shows your skin is dehydrated.

Here’s another easy test to determine if you are dehydrated.

Normally, when you press your finger against your nail bed, it turns white, and when you release the pressure, the blood rushes back. If you are dehydrated, your nail bed takes longer to become pink or reddish again.

Here’s how to do this test

• Hold the hand (on which you will perform the test) right above your chest.
• Using your other hand, pinch the nail bed until it turns completely white.
• Release the pressure.
• See how many seconds it takes to normalize (or turn pink again).
Now if you just conducted these tests and realized you are dehydrated, don’t fret. There are ways for you to get your moisture locked in and your skin rehydrated with a reenergized glow.Read on to find out.

How to take care of dehydrated skin:

• Increase your water intake.

Talk to your doctor to determine how much amount is appropriate for you (as per your activity levels and body weight). It is also very important not to drink too much water as it might cause loss of essential minerals from your body.
• Cut down on caffeine consumption.
• Quit smoking.
• Reduce (or quit) alcohol consumption.
• Exercise regularly and sip water while you workout.
• Eat more vegetables, fruits, legumes, and plant-based foods.
Aside from these changes in your lifestyle and eating, there are also some skin care tips that can help take care of your dehydrated skin.

Exfoliate Regularly

You may not know this but accumulation of dead skin cells can affect how your skin absorbs moisture. This is why you need to exfoliate at least twice or thrice a week to prevent buildup of these dead skin cells.

Use A Hydrating Serum

Before you put moisturizer on your skin, apply a serum. Get a serum with hyaluronic acid. Your skin naturally produces this acid, and replenishing it with serum is key to reduce dehydration.

Apply A Heavy Night Moisturizer

A heavy, oil-free, and non-comedogenic moisturizer prevents moisture loss. It will keep your skin moisturized and repair it while you sleep.

When you use products that are not suitable for your skin, it can aggravate and worsen your dehydrated skin. To make sure you pick the best products, follow the guide below.
Pay attention to the ingredients used for making any product for your skin. There are ingredients that can aggravate and worsen your conditions. Here are a few pointers:
• Avoid products with skin-aggravating ingredients such as peppermint, alcohol, menthol, and fragrances. These can dry out your skin further.
• Avoid using abrasive scrubs and cleansing brushes on your skin. These can damage the skin surface.
• Avoid using wrong combinations of products. Although ingredients like vitamin C, AHA and BHA exfoliants, and retinol are excellent for your skin, using these products every day can make your skin look more dehydrated. Use them moderately.
• Use serums and moisturizers that contain antioxidants.
• Always use mild cleansers on your face (preferably soap-free).
If you do all these and the condition persists, then speak to your dermatologist.

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