It’s usually harmless and easily fixed, but dry skin can sometimes be a clue that you have an underlying health issue. If your skin stays dry no matter what you do, or your dry skin is also itchy or uncomfortable, it is time to take a closer look. Each of the following conditions can impact your skin, leaving it overly dry and uncomfortable.

Diabetes

Diabetes can wreak havoc on your skin; soaring blood sugar levels can lead to dehydration – and dry skin. According to the American Diabetes Association, even pre-diabetes could result in dry and uncomfortable skin that is more prone to infection. Every person with dry skin doesn’t have diabetes, but it is worth getting checked out if you have other risk factors.

Thyroid Trouble

For women over thirty, some dry skin issues can be linked to hypothyroidism, where the thyroid gland stops performing as it should. If you feel tired easily or feel cold all the time, your thyroid could be to blame. Along with the fatigue and constant chill, people who have an underactive thyroid can also suffer from patchy, dry, scaly skin, according to a recent article in the medical journal Dermato Endocrinology.

Christopher Campbell

Kidney Issues

Many of the 26 million adults who have kidney issues don’t even realize that they are suffering from an ailment until they are diagnosed. The tiredness, increased urination and bloating that are caused by kidney disease are often misinterpreted as colds, illness or even premenstrual issues. Kidney issues may have only subtle signs, but dry skin is one of them; if you have a family history of kidney disease or are being treated for high blood pressure, then your dry skin could be linked to your kidneys.

Skin Cancer

Not every patch of dry skin is dangerous, by dry, scaly patches the bleed or won’t go away could be a sign of squamous cell carcinoma. This common form of cancer may look like a dry patch with elevated edges, a wart or even an open sore; any dry patch with this type of appearance should be checked by a doctor right away.

margot pandone

Not every patch of dry skin is a cause for alarm, but understanding the connection between your skin and other underlying health issues can improve your overall wellness and ensure you always look and feel your best. Get any suspect spot checked by your doctor and you’ll get the peace of mind that comes from knowing all is well.