Dry Skin Acne: Causes, Treatments, Preventions

Around 50 million Americans, with up to 15% of women, suffer from acne problems every year. Though oily skin is more prone to acne, dry skin may also result in acne due to skin rash and cracks. Moreover, not following a proper skincare routine for your dry skin may trigger the situation. The most prominent forms of dry skin acne are pimples, whiteheads, blackheads, cysts, or nodules.

Let’s understand the phenomenon that causes acne to develop on dry skin.

Facts about Dry Skin

The epidermis (the layer of outermost skin cells) acts as a protective barrier between the skin and the external environment. It protects the skin from harmful chemicals or infectious particles and helps retain its natural moisture.

However, certain environmental factors, skin diseases, or general health problems may cause extreme skin dryness, making it rough in appearance. Other possible causes of dry skin may be:

  • Harsh detergent soaps and cleansers
  • Cold weather with less humidity
  • Hot water shower
  • Certain health conditions like diabetes, skin lesions, chronic kidney or liver diseases, or skin cancer
  • Side effects of medicines

How Does Dry Skin Cause Acne?

Sebaceous glands on the skin are responsible for secreting and controlling the oil called sebum on the skin. Blocking tiny skin pores either due to sebum, dirt, bacteria, or dead skin cells clogs the skin pores. It results in minute bumps, whiteheads, or blackheads formation, thus stimulating the acne.

Moreover, due to having a rough texture, dry skin becomes more prone to bacterial infection and pollutants, thus resulting in acne development. The acne may be mild such as pimples, whiteheads, and blackheads, or severe such as cysts or nodules.

What to do for Dry Skin Acne?

You’ve to identify and remove the triggering factors responsible for dry skin acne. Sometimes, it’s easier to manage the causative agents by keeping yourself hydrated and moisturizing your skin. But, it’s not always possible to quickly manage the problem. Harsh cold weather or some chronic disease may take time to be cured. However, seeking medical advice from your dermatologist may help resolve the problem without serious complications.

Here are some tips to prevent dry skin acne:

  • Keep your skin moisturized and hydrated to combat dry skin acne. Drink enough water and eat foods that may help lock the skin’s natural moisture. In addition to this, use dry skin friendly moisturizers and non-comedogenic products to hydrate your skin and prevent acne.
  • Apply quality sunscreen before sun exposure to help protect your skin from the harmful UV sun rays that can damage the skin and cause acne.
  • Consume multivitamin supplements to nourish and moisturize your skin. Research reveals that essential fatty acids, zinc, and vitamins can efficiently treat dry skin acne, and oral supplements make an ideal choice to get all these essential nutrients.
  • Adopt skin hygienic practices to reduce the effects of environmental pollutants and bacterial growth. Use gentle cleansers, mild scrubs, and facial masks suitable for dry skin to treat dry skin acne.
  • OTC medications in the form of creams or gels containing benzoyl peroxide may help treat mild cases of dry skin acne. Retinoid creams and antibiotics may also prove to be beneficial for acne problems.


Dry skin acne can be frustrating to manage, but it’s possible by carefully managing your skin’s hydration and cleanliness. Know the cause of dry skin acne and follow the tips shared above to protect your dry skin from damage and reduce or prevent the acne.

Select your currency
MYR Malaysian ringgit