ZocdocAnswersWhy does my skin go from being very oily to very dry?

Question

Why does my skin go from being very oily to very dry?

When I wake up in the morning my skin feels really oily but then when I take a shower it gets really dry. What is going on? Do I have bad skin or dry skin or oily skin or what??

Answer

Oil is produced by specialized glands in the skin. The oil serves an important function, because it keeps the skin protected from dehydration and damage from the environment. The amount of oil that are produced by the glands is determined in part by genetics - some people have oiler skin than others. At the same time, oil production is also stimulated by damage to the skin. For example, when you shower with hot water and soap, you may be excessively drying out the skin, leading to irritation of the skin. This irritation may provoke a reflex increase in oil production by skin glands. Therefore, if you shower at night and dry out the skin, you may wake up in the morning with oily skin. The solution here, obviously, is to decrease the amount of showering you are doing and also to work on better moisturizing your skin! I suggest that you talk to a primary care doctor or a dermatologist about this issue, especially if the symptoms continue after working at a better skin care and moisturizing routine. Sometimes additional cleansing products or moisturizing products may be necessary, and your doctor can examine your skin and give you individualized recommendations on what to do next.

This answer is for general informational purposes only and is not a substitute for professional medical advice.

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