Why You May Be Getting Those Random Dry Patches On Your Face

While some people might associate dry patches of skin with winter, this problem can strike at any given point in time, especially if you don't moisturize regularly. When you happen to notice a random dry patch on your face, you may immediately panic. Not only can it be unsightly but it can also be difficult to mask with makeup.

As board-certified dermatologist Dr. Flora Kim explains to Women's Health, dry patches of skin on the face often appear differently on each person. While some may be pink, others might be red in color, depending on the severity. Flakiness, crustiness, and scaliness are all unpleasant symptoms that may arise as well. If you suspect you have a dry patch but are unsure, the texture of the patch can be a giveaway — a rough, sandpaper-like area of the skin is often a dry patch.

Inflammation and irritation can also come along with these dry patches, making them uncomfortable to handle, but what causes them? Dr. Flora Kim tells Women's Health that while a lack of moisture can be the culprit, it isn't the only cause. In fact, your environment might be to blame, as well as certain underlying health conditions. Some cases may even require a medical professional for proper treatment. Let's take a look at the most common causes of random dry patches that develop on the facial area.

What causes dry patches of skin?

As Medical News Today explains, our skin naturally creates an oil known as sebum, which hydrates and protects the skin. The underproduction of sebum can result in dryness, and this can result in the formation of rough, dry patches in the facial area.

Cold weather and dry air are often to blame for these patches, but they aren't the only causes. Some of the chemicals used in soaps can dry out the skin, and overwashing your face, in general, can exacerbate the issue. In other cases, people who experience chronic dry skin have underlying medical conditions. For example, psoriasis can cause dry, scaly patches with uncomfortable symptoms. Hypothyroidism, a thyroid gland condition, can result in dry skin over time as well, according to Medical News Today.

If you notice recurring random dry patches of skin on your face or other areas of your body, contact your doctor. They may refer you to a dermatologist, who can help you identify the cause of your dry skin. Many of the symptoms of conditions, such as eczema, can be treated, per the Mayo Clinic. This can allow you to live more comfortably in your own skin.

How to treat your dry skin patches

Once you've ruled out any underlying medical conditions that may be causing your dry skin, you can try a few tactics to restore moisture to those unsightly patches. As Healthline notes, you may want to trade in your hot showers for lukewarm ones. Hot water is known for drying out the skin and removing the body's naturally occurring, moisturizing oils.

Next, steer clear of skincare products — soaps, face washes, and cleansers — that include harsh ingredients. Ingredient labels that include alcohol, retinoids, sulfates, and even fragrances should be avoided until your dry skin recovers. On the flip side, products with ingredients, such as polyethylene glycol and lanolin, can help your skin retain moisture.

Finally, the American Academy of Dermatology Association recommends treating your dry skin with an ointment or cream, rather than a lotion. This is because they can be less irritating to already-inflamed skin. Seek out ingredients, such as jojoba oil and shea butter, on the labels of products you intend to use. As always, consult with your doctor before introducing any treatment into your skincare regimen if you're already coping with dry skin. Doing so can help you avoid making the situation worse in the case of issues, such as unexpected allergies to skincare product ingredients.