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Dry Skin on the Lower Back

By Nicki Howell ; Updated July 18, 2017

Dry skin on the lower back can be itchy, uncomfortable and frustrating. This skin issue can be caused by a variety of factors, including allergic reaction, irritating chemicals or skin underlying conditions. Learning what causes flareups and partnering with your physician will assist in clearing up dry lower back skin. You can also take steps to minimize this problem in the future.

Causes

Dry skin on the back can be caused by many things. For example, if the lower back experiences friction often, it can result in thickening skin and dryness. Sun exposure can also contribute to developing dry lower back skin. Using irritating laundry detergents and taking hot showers may also be to blame. Sometimes, there is an underlying health condition, such as psoriasis.

Treatments

Treat dry skin on the lower back by taking a warm bath with oatmeal. Use an unscented moisturizer after your bath on the affected area. If the area is scaly, use a nonprescription cream that contains lactic acid and urea, recommends MayoClinic.com. Continue this process until the skin’s appearance has improved. If the dry skin cracks open, apply a wet dressing to the lower back to prevent infection. Your doctor might also recommend applying a hydrocortisone cream to the skin.

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Considerations

Decrease dryness by purchasing clothes made of natural fibers. Cotton and silk allow the skin the breath easier and don’t irritate the skin. Avoid fabrics that cause irritation, such as wool. Also, consider using a humidifier if you live in a dry climate. Dry air can make sensitive skin worse, according to MayoClinic.com. Change the water in the humidifier daily to prevent bacteria growth.

Misconceptions

Some people don’t consult a doctor about lower back skin dryness. However, dry skin on the back could be a sign of an underlying health condition. For example, lower back skin that is red, cracked and inflamed may be a symptom of eczema. Consult your doctor to rule out an underlying health issue for lower back skin dryness.

Warnings

Although anyone can develop lower back skin dryness, it is more common in dry or cold climates, according to MayoClinic.com. People who bathe frequently are also at higher risk. Use an SPF of 30 or higher on the body, including the back, to prevent skin dryness from sun exposure, recommends the American Academy of Dermatology. Even if the weather is cloudy, wear sunscreen to protect yourself from harmful rays.

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