If you have dry skin, chances are that you’re not new to the annoying dry flaky skin around your nose (and sometimes the sides of your mouth). This is often itchy and irritable; you cannot stop scratching, leaving your skin even more flaky and red. Even if you do not have dry skin, you might have encountered this flakiness at some point before. Why do we get this flakiness, and how do we say goodbye to them?

Why do we get this flakiness?

  • Low temperatures, low humidity, and harsh cleansers are the main culprits that lead to, or worsen, dry skin. When your skin is dry, the skin cells do not hold together as well and may start to flake or peel. The area around our nose may be more sensitive and therefore more prone to this flakiness.
  • Certain medications, for example retinoid products that treats acne and wrinkles, may lead to flaky skin around the nose and mouth area, and also peeling skin.
  • The flaky skin may also be the result of your diet – your body might not be receiving enough iron or biotin.

How to get rid of them/prevent them from appearing?

1. Wash your face gently
cleansing washing face

Avoid washing your face with hot water as it makes the flaky skin even more irritable and pulls moisture out of your skin – go for lukewarm water. Also, opt for cleansers that are gentle and free of fragrances and harsh chemicals. Some cleansers are so harsh they strip your skin of its natural oils and moisture. After cleansing, gently pat your face with a towel or facial tissue instead of rubbing it dry.

2. Exfoliate and moisturise

moisturise

Do some gentle exfoliation (pay special attention in exfoliating away the flaky skin), and follow this by applying moisturiser. Do not just pick up any moisturiser you see at the drugstore. Be sure to choose a moisturiser targeted at your skin type. Reapply moisturiser (especially to the flaking parts around your nose) throughout the day until the dry skin clears up.

3. Cool down the area by icing it

ice

If the itch is too unbearable and starts to get inflamed (due to your constant scratching), place an ice cube in the paper towel and put it over the irritated area to reduce the itch and pain. Remember to pat it dry with a tissue paper or towel instead of leaving the wet patch behind on the area.

4. Drink more water and watch your diet

Lastly, keep your skin hydrated by drinking lots of water and keep a balanced diet (ensure you’re getting enough iron and biotin)!

If the flakiness doesn’t go away…

It could be due to common skin conditions like seborrheic dermatitis (an inflammatory condition that occurs most frequently in oily areas, characterised by flaky, white to yellowish scales) or eczema (an itchy rash characterised by dry flakes). If you do not feel that the flaky skin is the result of dry and unmoisturised skin, it would be best to consult a dermatologist.