Scaly skin can keep you hanging between two painful extremes- minor redness and non-stop painful itching. It just does not stop but only seems to be worsening. Some people also experience symptoms like eczema, excessive dryness, and a hurting sensation affecting their well-being. A dermatologist may help you ride above the difficult issues of having scaly and dry skin, you may help by including tips to address it with non-toxic skin care products. 

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What is Scaly Skin? 

Scaly skin is often a drier part of the skin that is dry, flaky, or cracked. Also known as desquamation, it could be caused due to the weakening of the epidermal layer. It may worsen with an injury or medical condition that could directly affect the outermost layer of the skin. Such circumstances disrupt the cellular structure and moisture content of the skin, this causes the immune system in our body to generate extra skin. This leads to dry and scaly skin.

The process of shedding dead skin cells and regeneration of newer cells is quite natural and it occurs every day. If the skin’s natural exfoliation process is forcefully stopped due to an injury or a medical condition, it may result in scaly or flaky skin. An effective moisturizer may help retain some smoothness, but it won’t last long unless the irritants are removed. 

Let’s take a quick trip to learn more about scaly skin- its meaning, causes, and treatment. 

Causes of Flaky Skin

Our body’s immune system also controls the skin’s cellular growth. If this immune system experiences any undue stress (due to illness or injury), it reduces the nutrition it sends to the skin cells and uses it to fight the change that occurs. This often disturbs the skin’s natural moisture and pH barrier and thus slows down the skin repair issue. 

This causes the dead skin cells to fall off but the newer skin cells are not being replaced. The deeper layers are exposed to the atmosphere, and this makes the skin flaky and scaly. Skincare experts believe that factors like the natural aging process, using poor-quality makeup, and prolonged exposure to sunlight may cause such issues too.

It is important to identify the root cause and trigger that is making your skin flakier. We are listing some of the most common causes that could occur to anyone. Identifying the one that is affecting you could help you start on a positive note: 


Sebum is an oily substance that forms a protective barrier against moisture loss. It works alongside collagen, a protein that helps our skin cells maintain elasticity. The trouble is that the skin’s ability to produce sebum and collagen decreases with age. Its cellular structure also becomes too weak and this makes its texture saggy, dry, and dull.

Environmental stressors: 

Enduring scorching temperatures and drying winds in the summer and winter seasons may disrupt the skin’s moisture level. While climate change can cause obvious damage, the sun’s UV rays too can worsen the issue by creating long-term skin troubles. Amidst these environmental triggers, the skin loses its firmness way before it should.

Harsh soap and detergents:  

Washing hands is a good habit, but one should choose a moisturizing soap. Many popular soaps and handwashes contain harmful chemicals like SLS or Parabens that strip away the skin’s essential oils. Their prolonged usage makes the issue of scaly and itchy skin worse. 

Medical treatments: 

Scaly and dry skin can sometimes also result from an allergic reaction to certain medications or treatments. For instance, health treatments, such as chemotherapy and dialysis, may cause severe cases of scaly skin. Hormonal imbalance during menopause and pregnancy may further trigger more skin troubles in women.

Hot showers: 

Taking hot showers relaxes the bodily muscles. However, bathing in hot water for longer durations every day isn’t good for the skin. It steals natural oils from the skin’s layers and could quickly worsen if you use alkali-based soaps. We thus recommend using lukewarm water and limiting your bathing time to less than 10 minutes a day. 

Did you know? Our body sheds about 30,000 to 40,000 cells every day and replaces them with newer ones. Therefore, one cannot notice them falling or flaking off unless the number of replacements has fallen drastically.

Skin Conditions caused due to Scaly Skin

Our skin contains several layers; the outermost layer combines dead skin cells and several natural oils. These oils are known to have skin’s natural moisture, which keeps skin hydrated and helps in locking-in moisture. When our skin turns scaly, it hurts the outermost layer first. This halts the cell renewal process and leads to severe irritation and persistent dryness. 

Skincare experts warn that there could be many reasons for your skin to be scaly and you should explore all the possibilities before settling on a treatment plan. At a home-care level, you may start better by adopting some positive self-care habits. They might not cure it but they would still give you enough headway to choose a professional treatment.

Some skin conditions could be causing recurring issues, and those conditions may include-

– Eczema

– Ichthyosis Vulgaris

– Psoriasis

– Scabies

– Actinic keratosis

– Fungal infections (e.g., athlete’s foot)

What do the Scaly Skin patches look like?

Scaly skin appears irritated and feels uncomfortable. In addition, the dryness could cause itchiness and weaken the skin’s protective barrier. Therefore, following a CTM routine and adhering to heavy moisturization is critical. If your skin conditions aren’t wiping out with moisturization, you may consult a skincare expert. It starts with small rough patches on your skin and goes up to severe conditions if not treated immediately. 

Along with other skin symptoms, you may also experience the following symptoms:

– High fever

– Sudden and severe blistering

– Allergic reactions like swelling or itching

– Difficulty breathing

– Nausea and vomiting

5 Proven Tips for managing Scaly Skin

Here are some critical tips for managing the appearance of your scaly skin.

1. Focus on using the right ingredients

If you struggle with scaly and dry skin, you should use safe, gentle, and toxin-free moisturizing skincare products. The latter should comprise glycerin, coconut oil, jojoba oil, olive oil, petroleum jelly, shea butter, or aloe vera gel.

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You may also opt for zinc-based products too. The key lies in choosing suitable ingredients and balanced composition- for face mask, serum, or moisturizer. We also advise you to conduct a patch test before putting it on your skin. 

2. Upgrade your diet

Dietary upgradation can do wonders for skin health. While the intake of fluids helps the skin shine, certain foods help in collagen production. You may opt for vitamin C-enriched and water-based fruits, like cucumber and oranges, to encourage better results. You can also include avocado, broccoli, cauliflower, olive oil, and walnuts. 

3. Wear Protective Clothing

Among all the major reasons, UV rays are considered the most hazardous because they can cause painful blisters and persistent soreness. We thus recommend wearing protective clothing before stepping outdoors. Broad-spectrum sunscreen is non-negotiable. In addition, you should wear wide-brimmed hats and gloves to cover your hands and face. 

If you are suffering from eczema or psoriasis, you should wear latex gloves when you do chores such as washing dishes or dusting the sofa set. You should also not try to do anything that could cause more flare-ups. 

4. Clean, exfoliate, & moisturize

You should follow a simple cleansing and moisturizing routine, which will help you prevent many more issues. We advise you to use a sulfate-free face cleanser, a nourishing face toner, and a hydrating moisturizer to complement all the steps. In addition, you should also exfoliate your facial skin every week.

Regularly exfoliating one’s skin removes the buildup of toxins, bacteria, irritants, and pollutants. But one should avoid mechanical exfoliation on dry skin because the process can lead to microtears. It is advisable to follow up the process with an ultra-nourishing moisturizer to restore the lost moisture from the skin.

5. Take proper care of your legs and hands 

Skincare goes beyond facial skin. It is crucial to check the skin on your hands and legs because they are the most vulnerable to flakiness and scales. If you forget to moisturize your hands and legs, you may experience severe dryness in these body parts.

We recommend applying a hydrating lotion with shea butter, glycerin, or petroleum jelly on elbows, knees, arms, feet, and thighs. Keeping the hands and legs moisturized helps calm the irritation and dryness in the skin.

Dermatological Procedures you may consider opting for:

Chemicals peels

Chemical peeling is the most considered option in the treatment of scaly skin. Peels are usually formulated with retinol, salicylic acid, vitamin c, and phenol. This peel scales the uppermost layer to reveal a smoother, even look beneath. 

Lactic acid is also an effective way to calm scaly skin. It is a type of alpha hydroxy acid that penetrates the skin to shed off the dead skin, unveiling fresher skin. Depending on your skin’s condition, skincare experts would offer you a treatment to contain the issue faster.

Laser Resurfacing

Aging and external factors like pollution, climate change, or UV rays can leave you with scaly patches on your skin. This is where Laser Resurfacing scores. It involves peeling off the uppermost layer with extreme precision. After getting the treatment, your skin heals and appears to be firmer, fresher, and younger-looking.

Tips to prevent scaling 

a. Limit exposure to the sun’s UV rays, especially during peak hours. Should you still need to go out, wear full-length clothes and a wide-brimmed hat.

b. Use sunscreen with SPF 50 and PA+++ protection.

c. Slather hydrating cream or ointments on your skin after you shower. This would keep your skin moisturized for longer.

d. Ensure that you keep your entire body hydrated by drinking water. Try to drink at least 5-7 glasses of water daily.

e. Never take a hot water bath, even in winter. Hot showers are the reason skin becomes dry, so try to use tap or lukewarm water.

f. If you are experiencing sunburn or other skin conditions, you should address them first. Similarly, open injuries and infections should not be left untreated.

g. Avoid smoking and consuming alcohol, as they are the primary culprits in skin dryness. Later, they may cause flaky, itchy, or scaly skin.

h. Always go for toxin-free, mild, and paraben-and sulfate-free skincare products. Harmful chemicals like SLS and parabens may cause your skin to become drier and prone to itching.

i. It’s crucial to exfoliate and cleanse your skin within a fixed interval. Please avoid over-exfoliating and over-cleansing your skin to keep the natural oils and moisture content intact.

Mamaearth non-toxic products for dry and flaky skin 

1. Aqua Glow Gel Face Moisturizer 

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This super-hydrating face gel promotes healthy skin as it is saturated with high-end ingredients such as Himalayan Thermal Water and Hyaluronic Acid. In addition, it provides a surge of hydration to the skin while making skin fresh and plump. 

2. Aloe Vera Face Wash 

Our Aloe Vera Face Wash features glycerin, aloe vera, and ashwagandha that help defy scaliness in the skin. This toxin-free face wash contains many antioxidants that help fight free radical damage, calm skin’s sensitivity, and replenish skin’s lost nutrients.

3. Rice Water Face Wash

Cleansing always helps when you are suffering from scaly skin. Made as per a South Asian hair care remedy, our Rice Face Wash is powered by a deep cleansing formula. It primarily comprises niacinamide, rice water, vitamin E, and glycerin that help brighten the skin tone. Using it twice a day provides deep hydration and nourishment to the drier facial skin.

4. Aqua Glow Hydrating Sunscreen  

UV rays can aggravate skin conditions such as dryness and inflammation. Thus, we recommend you use a highly revered SPF that offers hydration and protection. Our Aqua Glow Hydrating Sunscreen comes with Hyaluronic Acid, Aloe Vera, Himalayan Thermal Water, and Calendula. It protects, hydrates, and nourishes the skin.

5. Aqua Glow Face Serum

Aqua Glow Face Serum

Gives 72-Hour Hydration | Restores Skin’s Radiance

Hydration is the key element you need to take care of if you suffer from scaly skin on the face. This ultra-nourishing facial serum has Himalayan Thermal Water, Hyaluronic Acid, and Aloe Vera to boost hydration and help retain the skin’s glow and firmness. 

Products you may try to elevate your glow.

Skin Illuminating Face Cream with Vitamin C and Turmeric

Look radiant, and feel confident with our radiance-boosting Skin Illuminating Face Cream with the wholesome duo of Vitamin C and Turmeric. Formulated to bring out the brightness you have been looking for, this face cream gives you an instant glow. It boosts collagen, targets dry and itchy skin, and makes your skin feel rejuvenated.

It is packed with Turmeric, Glycerin, and brightness-inducing ingredients such as Vitamin C and Niacinamide. This toxin-free face cream thus helps provide an instant glow and seal the radiance with its UV protection formula.


Not every tip or procedure works for every skin type. Hence, it is important to identify your skin texture and the products or ingredients that suit your skin. Above are some recommendations that carry the care of nature and efficiency of well-known ingredients. The key to getting the best out of them is to be regular with their usage and follow healthy lifestyle practices.


  1. How to get rid of dry, scaly skin on your legs?

    Getting rid of scaly skin on the leg may be overwhelming. However, there are some ways you may practice managing your scalp skin and reduce its effects. You should moisturize your legs after taking a bath. Next, you should use hydrating lotions made with shea butter, coconut oil, olive oil, glycerin, etc. In addition, products devised with vitamin A, salicylic acid, and urea can help reduce the appearance of scaly skin on the legs.

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