Dry skin usually appears on the abdomen, arms, legs, hands or feet, but it's also common on the face, where it creates a sensation of tightness. While dry skin shouldn't be any reason for alarm, it can cause a minor revolution among your skin cells if it's left unchecked. Dry skin occurs when skin cells that are near or past the end of their cellular lives clump together, creating tiny scales. The rest of your skin doesn't like this, especially since these scales leave spaces between them that can easily be breached by allergens, bacteria or viruses. The rest of the skin may suffer, either from contact with an allergen or from an immune-system response to the excessively dry skin. The immune-system response may lead to swelling and inflammation. This is dermatitis.
As we mentioned earlier, you can prevent dry skin by using moisturizer. However, moisturizer can actually cause problems if you don't wet your face first. Many moisturizers are occlusive, meaning they form a layer on your skin that keeps moisture from getting out. But if there's little moisture in the skin to begin with, you're just trapping in the dryness, so to speak. Always splash a little water on your face so the moisturizer will have something to seal in.