Ask a Dermatologist: Why is My Skin So Dry?

Welcome to Ask A Dermatologist. In this series, we’re putting the big skin questions in front of some of our favorite dermatologists. First up: board-certified dermatologist Dr. David Kim on everything you need to know about dry skin.

Let’s start with the basics: what causes dry skin? Is it genetics? Environmental?

It’s mostly due to genetics, but we can extrinsically cause dryness by excessively cleansing our face. It’s very similar to how many people are experiencing dry hands from using hand sanitizer and washing their hands multiple times a day now. Patients with eczema also have much more sensitive skin and they’re at an increased risk of having dry skin.

Is age a factor?

Age plays a role too. As we age, we lose our ability to hold onto moisture so moisturization, not just to the face but also to the hands, arms, and legs, becomes very important.


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