Many people have a problem with the skin on their elbows which is usually rather dry. While in many cases, the skin on this area is just dryer than the skin on other parts of the body, some people experience real discomfort because of this dryness. In some cases this is an issue you can address on your own, however, you should be aware of the fact this can also be a symptom of some health condition. Let’s try to figure out together what can be done if the skin on your elbows is too dry.
Why the skin on the elbows tend to be dry?
In point of fact, dry skin on your elbows is its natural state which is the result of the features of this skin itself. The skin covering your elbows is not the same as the skin on other parts of your body.
First of all, the structure of the layers of this skin is different since it is not capable of producing natural skin oils. As far as you might know, these oils are essential for creating a protective layer on your skin, however, it is not the same with the skin on your elbows. This skin is not protected against the loss of water and, thus, is prone to drying up.
Another crucial feature of the skin on the elbows is that it is in the state of a constant movement since it is located on your joints. These movements are making your skin stretch and thicken. This also happens with the skin located on other joints, for instance, on your knees.
As you can see, having dry skin on your elbows is natural and it is not something dangerous, yet, if it becomes to dry, it can start pilling and even cracking which can lead to the development of injuries which can be attacked by pathogenic microorganisms. This can lead to more serious skin conditions.
What makes the skin on your elbows even dryer?
The majority of people notice worsening of the condition of the skin on their elbows during a cold season. The major reasons for this deterioration of the skin health are dry air at home and work because of the central hitting and the temperature fluctuation since it is rather cold outside and pretty warm at home. In addition to it, during autumn and winter, your elbows are constantly covered with clothes which creates additional friction.
Still, the skin on your elbows can become rather dry during the summer as well.
Firstly, anyone who tends to keep their arms on the table switching the weight on the elbows, adds extra pressure on these joints which, of course, affects the skin as well. As you now know, this makes the skin thicken.
Undeniably, washing your body with too harsh cosmetic products make the skin rather dry as well. For example, regular soap has an alkali pH which is detrimental for the acidic oil protective layer of your skin. Generally, after washing your skin with such soap, the body will need up to six hours to regenerate the layer.
Staying in a swimming pool with the water containing chlorine is also a procedure you should avoid since chlorine is itself harsh for skin, while it can cause a really severe reaction in such a vulnerable part of your body as the skin on your elbows. Even taking a bath ruins the protective layer, let alone, when the bath is really hot.
The problem can also be internal. Usually, the vitamin and micronutrients deficiency is making the skin rather dry, especially when it is already dry like the skin on your elbows. The most useful substances for the health of your skin are zinc, biotin as well as the E and A vitamins.
When the dry skin on your elbows is a result of a health condition?
One of the most popular health condition causing the dryness of the skin on your elbows and the skin in general is hormonal imbalance. There is a number of hormones which affect the condition of your skin up to a particular extent, however, one of the most crucial hormones for the health of your skin is oestrogen since it is responsible for keeping the skin moisturised. Naturally, the fluctuations of the level of oestrogen take place during periods, pregnancy or menopause, however, other health problems can cause such imbalance. For instance, the problems with thyroids ca lead to hormonal problems.
Furthermore, skin tends to be drier in people with a low level of haemoglobin in the blood. One of the major reasons for such a problem which is anaemia also known as an iron deficiency. Usually, such a deficiency is a direct result of consuming an insufficient amount of iron. Yet, in rare cases, a person might have other underlying health problems which are blocking the absorption of iron even if he or she are taking iron regularly.
In addition to the previous reasons, you should remember about diabetes which is a widespread reason for causing health problems especially on the elbow and knee joints.
Finally, the problems with the skin on your elbows can be caused by atopic dermatitis also known as eczema or psoriasis. The first one makes the skin on the elbows crack and causes small injuries which do not heal for a long time. The other one looks more like a pilling rush on the skin.