Scaly Skin on Face: Causes and How to Prevent It

Scaly Skin On Face: The Causes And How to Prevent It

Having scaly skin on your face can be humiliating since it makes your skin rough and itchy. It is not a gender or age-related skin disorder. As a result, it affects people of all ages and genders. This prompts the question, “What actually causes and prevents scaly skin on the face?”

The above question is always reoccurring, so we will briefly discuss the causes, symptoms, prevention and skincare routine. Most importantly, we will shed more light on improving scaly skin on face.

What is Scaly Skin on Face?

Scaly skin, also known as rough, flaky or rough skin on face is medically known as xerosis or xeroderma. Dry patches on different face areas quickly identify it. This may happen temporarily or seasonally, but some are long-lasting and annoying.

 During the dry season, these patches are more visible, leaving your face dry, rough and white. However, many signs or symptoms can indicate that you have scaly skin on face.

Scaly Skin on Face: Causes and How to Prevent It
Image from Mayo Clinic

Symptoms of Scaly Skin on Face

Scaly skin often happens temporarily or seasonally, mostly the winter season. However, some people experience it for a longer time. Signs and symptoms of scaly skin on face might be influenced by age, health status, skin tone, environment or exposure to the sun. These signs and symptoms include:

  • Skin appears and feels rough: Some of us might have experienced a time when we had a dry, rough face. This usually happens more during winter or cold periods.
  • Skin tightens or frequently hardens: If your skin hardens or often tightens, especially in hot or warm weather conditions, it might be a sign of scaly skin on face. You need to take extra care of your skin so it doesn’t become severe.
  • Itchiness: If you experience constant itching on the face, then you might need to pay attention to your face, as this might be a symptom of scaly skin on face.
  • Skin Colour: Severe scaly skin sometimes comes with this ash-like appearance that can be seen on people with dry brown and black skin. Also, you can experience colour changes. For example, reddish on white skin to greyish on brown and black skin.
  •  Fine lines or cracks: The appearance of fine lines or cracks on the face is usually associated with having scaly skin on face.
  • Skin starts peeling or shedding off: If the skin on your face consistently starts peeling or shedding off, you might as well possess scaly skin.
  • Cracks and blood: You might experience deep cracks on the skin on your face, which, if adequately mishandled, lead to severe bleeding.


Scaly Skin on Face: Causes and How to Prevent It

Causes of Scaly Skin on Face

Scaly skin on face is caused by frequent water loss from the outermost layer of skin called the “Epidermis.” It might be caused by the following:

  1. Heat: If you stay in a place with wood-burning stoves, fireplaces, space heaters or central heating and the exposure to these heat-producing mediums is high, you must watch out for scaly skin on face. These heat-producing mediums reduce humidity and moisture on your skin.
  2. Environment: If you recently just moved to an environment with high exposure to cold, low-humidity climates or windy conditions, then you just have to watch for the signs and symptoms of scaly skin on face.
  3. Age: As people grow older, the skin thins out and produces less of the oils needed for the skin to retain moisture, hereby causing scaly skin on face, if the proper skincare routine isn’t applied.
  4. Incessant bathing or scrubbing: Visiting the bathroom or shower more than twice daily can remove the natural oils from your skin. Also, spending more time than usual, having hot showers or baths, and scrubbing your skin too much can ultimately dry your skin
  5. Harsh soaps and detergents: Most popular soaps and detergents are formulated with ingredients and chemicals to remove oil, thereby reducing the water-retaining ability of your skin. Therefore, to avoid developing scaly skin on your face, make sure the soaps and detergents are suitable with your skin tone.
  6. Skin conditions: People with skin conditions like psoriasis or atopic dermatitis (eczema) are more susceptible to having scaly skin on their faces, so they have to properly take care of their skin with the right skin product.
  7. Medical treatments: Some people may develop scaly, rough skin after undergoing treatment for cancer or while receiving dialysis or taking certain drugs. Also, constant exposure to light, heat or rays can induce scaly skin.

Prevention of Scaly Skin on face

We believe that the attention you pay to little details goes a long way in improving or preventing certain things, so we have gathered some tips you can try to prevent scaly skin on your face. Be rest assured that adding this to your daily routine will work wonders and leave you with that radiating beautiful face. The tips include:

 Sometimes, less is more

Firstly, keeping your bath and shower time to 10 minutes or less is excellent. Our skin is sensitive and delicate for excessive scrubbing or bathing, so why not be gentle and leave the rest for your skin?

Also, try warm water instead of hot water if you are not a big fan of cold water, as hot water comes with more heat. Rinse and pat dry. Lastly, try to bathe not more than twice a day. You could scrub with your sponge in the morning and wash up with soap and water at night.

You can also check out: The Best Homemade Face Packs for Instant Glow and Fairness

Why Moisturize and sunscreen?

If you don’t have a moisturizer, I respectfully recommend that you get one. A moisturizer’s primary job is to keep your skin moist due to its water-locking properties, while also keeping your skin healthy and well-protected.

 Applying a moisturizer daily, especially on the face is a life hack against scaly skin on face. Another life hack is using sunblock moisturisers or a broad-spectrum sunscreen with an SPF of at least 30.

Scaly Skin on Face: Causes and How to Prevent It

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Apply a gentle cleanser or allergen-free cream or soap. 

Make use of a light cleansing cream or shower gel. You can also use hydrating soap that contains no scent, alcohol, or allergen-causing ingredients, such as hypoallergenic soap. Above all, apply your moisturizer while your skin is still damp.

Scaly Skin on Face: Causes and How to Prevent It

Read also: The Best Skin Care Routine For Beginners In 2023

Jelly Up!

I hold dear to my heart the petroleum jelly my mother introduced us to growing up. Petroleum jelly keeps your skin smooth and soft and makes skin relaxed. If you don’t want to appear as the new ice king, always apply a thin layer of petroleum jelly (Vaseline and others) while the skin is still damp.

Not to mention that it makes your skin look shiny and radiant, which is far superior to the appearance of dry, scaly, and rough skin.

Scaly Skin on Face: Causes and How to Prevent It

A shave with care is bliss and just great!

Often times, shaving leaves your skin scaly. Use a lubricant before you start shaving so it keeps your skin moist. Then, try shaving in the direction of how your hair grows. Lastly, use a sharp blade after each stroke and rinse it with clean warm water. After shaving, ensure you apply moisturizer.

Recommended: The Causes Of Ageing Face, Dry Skin And Wrinkles

Scaly Skin on Face: Causes and How to Prevent It

Cold or windy weather isn’t the right time to show too much skin.

Weather extremes will always leave your skin scaly or dry. Cover up with garment items such as scarves, gloves, and caps to preserve your skin and keep it from drying out at the slightest moment when you’re outside. Finally, use scarves or hoodies to protect your face from cold or wind, which can cause white dry scaly skin on your face.

Read this: Fair Olive Skin Tone: The Best Skincare And Make-Up Products

A cup of water and more.

First off, you must avoid all forms of caffeinated drinks and instead inculcate the habit of drinking water, especially when you are dehydrated. Water gives your skin an extra boost to stay still and moist. Also, consuming non-caffeinated drinks daily will help keep all your body’s tissues, and most importantly, your skin, hydrated and healthy.

Scaly Skin on Face: Causes and How to Prevent It


If you are bored of the look or appearance that scaly skin gives you, you should bookmark this site since it contains information on the causes and prevention of scaly skin on the face. As the saying goes, a thousand miles begin with a single step, therefore implementing the aforementioned preventive measures will aid in the treatment of scaly skin on the face.

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