Q: My skin has been very dry and flakey lately. Is this indicative of anything going wrong internally?
A: It’s always hard to make a dermatological assessment without actually seeing the skin.
By far the most common cause of dry skin, especially in the winter months, is exposure to dry air. Excessive time in a hot shower can also dry out the skin. So first look at your personal environment.
Next look at your personal skin care regimen. Do you keep your skin appropriately moisturized or have you started using a different soap or lotion that could be irritating your skin?
If you don’t see a relationship between any of these things and the onset of your dry skin, then you may want to consult with a dermatologist to see if a biopsy or a scraping is necessary for diagnosis.
Dr. Brent Ridge is the health expert for Martha Stewart Living Omnimedia. You can call and ask him a question live every Tuesday at 2 p.m. Eastern on Sirius Satellite Radio, Channel 112 (1.866.675.6675). You can also follow along as he learns to grow his own food and raise goats on his farm in upstate New York by visiting www.beekman1802.com.
Got a health question for Dr. Brent? E-mail him at firstname.lastname@example.org.