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There are many causes of ashy skin.

Dry skin, sometimes known as ashy skin, can affect different parts of your body. For some people, dry skin is only a minor annoyance. For others, it can lead to uncomfortable itching, cracking, or burning.

How to treat and prevent ashy skin is one of the causes we will explore. Daily habits that help keep your skin hydrated will be explored.

person's ashy knee
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The phrase “ashy skin” is used to describe dry skin on people with darker skin tones. People of all skin tones experience dry skin.

You may notice that your skin is ashy.

  • Looks gray or ashy.
  • It feels rough or bumpy.
  • It has thin, cracked lines on the knees and elbows.

Depending on how dry your skin is, you may also notice that your skin is cracked, bleeding, flaking, or peeling.

Ashy skin does not reflect your self-care routine. Even with proper treatment, it is possible to have ashy skin.

Ashy skin is caused by a lack of moisture, which leaves your skin dehydrated. It can appear on essentially any part of your skin. It’s also common for the skin on your arms, legs, and face to become dehydrated and ashy.

Most of the causes of ashy skin are environmental. This includes:

  • cold, harsh weather, when the temperature is low and the air lacks humidity
  • The water exposure from baths and showers is long.
  • Personal products that contain harsh chemicals include soaps, detergents, and creams.

All these things can cause your skin to dry out and appear ashy. In some cases, ashy skin may also be caused by underlying medical conditions, such as:

  • irritant contact dermatitis, which happens when an irritating substance affects the skin and causes it to become inflamed and dry
  • eczema, or atopic dermatitis — a skin condition that causes an itchy red rash, most commonly on the arm folds and backs of knees
  • psoriasis, which is an autoimmune disease that leads to pink scaly plaques on the skin, commonly on the knees and elbows

Adding a few extra steps to your daily skin care routine is what treatment for ashy skin involves. Try the following at- home remedies to treat your skin.

Change your bathing habits

Take a shower with warm or warm water and limit the amount of time you spend in it. If your shower gel, hair product, and conditioner contain harsh chemicals, consider changing them.

Try this sensitive skin soap bar: Dove Beauty Bar for Sensitive Skin.

Moisturize daily

One of the most essential home remedies for ashy skin is moisturizing daily. You should moisturize your skin right after the bath or shower and before spending time outside in harsh, dry, or cold weather.

There are many different types of moisturizers on the market, but creams and ointments containing emollients are the best moisturizers for dry skin.

Cetaphil, CeraVe, Vaseline, and Aveeno are all good for dry, ashy skin. Since they do not lock in much water, they are not preferred.

Try this daily moisturizer: CeraVe Moisturizing Cream.

Use plain petroleum jelly

Plain petroleum jelly is the best for keeping the moist environment. It is not appealing since it is greasy.

“It can cause a lot of problems, so don’t use it on the face.”

Try plain Vaseline: Vaseline’s Healing Jelly Original.

Use sensitive skin products

Chemicals in skin care products can cause dry skin. It is important to use gentle skin care products.

Daily cleansing may also be beneficial to dry skin. One older 2014 study found that using a mild cleansing bar as part of a daily skin care routine reduced ashy skin in study participants.

Try this sensitive skin cleanser: Cetaphil Gentle Skin Cleanser.

Try a humidifier

Constantly running the heat in your home during the winter can cause your skin to dry out. Humidifiers can be especially helpful during the winter to restore air moisture.

A single-room humidifier can help keep your skin moisturized and prevent dry, ashy skin.

Try this humidifier: Homasy Cool Mist Humidifier.

Drink enough water

You should also make sure to drink plenty of water each day. This will prevent your skin from becoming dehydrated.

Aim to drink eight 8-ounce glasses of water every day. You may need to drink more than this, depending on your body weight and activity levels. Ask your healthcare professional what amount is appropriate for you.

Visit a doctor

If your skin is red, itchy, or feels uncomfortable, you should visit a skin care professional. They can help you determine if there is a medical cause or a skin condition.

After you receive a diagnosis, your skin care professional can prescribe a variety of treatments to help restore your skin to a healthy state.

If you have begun treating your dry, ashy skin, you may be wondering how to prevent it from coming back. Consider including these skin care tips in your daily routine.

  • Moisturize daily, especially before bed and after bathing. This can help ensure that you maintain soft, moisturized skin.
  • Follow a healthy skin routine. This may involve using hydrating creams, fragrance-free sensitive soaps, and proper bathing.
  • Turn your humidifier on before bed. If you have a humidifier with a timer or a low setting, consider giving your bedroom a little extra moisture overnight.
  • Protect your skin when leaving the house. Always use sunscreen to protect your skin, even on cloudy days. Consider using creams or Vaseline for harsh, cold days to protect your skin from the elements.

Incorporating these tips into your daily life can help keep your skin hydrated and protect it from dehydration.

It is possible to have ashy skin with proper treatment. If the over-the-counter products are not working, talk to your skin care professional.

Ashy skin is a common occurrence when your skin becomes dry or dehydrated. There are many causes of ashy skin, including harsh weather, skin products, and underlying skin conditions.

Treatment for ashy skin includes using gentle creams and using sensitive soaps, as well as lifestyle changes.

If you feel that your dry skin is not getting better with at- home remedies, you should talk to a skin care professional.