How To Treat Sensitive Skin
Skin sensitivity varies in degree. For some it is a chronic condition for others it depends on specific triggers.
For chronic conditions, it is important to choose treatments that can be used over a long period of time to inhibit or ease symptoms. Products should be used consistently for up to eight weeks in order to see significant results.
For others, identifying specific triggers and reducing exposure is a key preventative measure. While this kind of sensitivity typically goes away after prolonged separation from the trigger, spot treatments and creams formulated to treat acute sensitivity can be effective.
Some Beauty Products Cause Burns Or Stinging
Dont discount the possibility that your skin is just allergic to certain types of artificial skincare products. Some beauty products, including makeup, foundation, sunscreen, moisturizers, or even cleansers can cause reactions on your skin due to harsh synthetic ingredients.
Many people with sensitive skin have thin, easy to irritate skin layers that are especially susceptible to the chemical side effects of some beauty products. This is one of the reasons why its always better to use skincare treatments made with natural ingredients over their synthetic counterparts.
If your skin only becomes sensitive with a particular type of soap or makeup, try using another product to see if the condition dissipates. For many people, even regular bar soap is far too alkaline for their skin. Soaps made for sensitive skin like Suki Skincares Sensitive Cleansing Bar can make a huge difference in skin sensitivity while still providing good cleaning results.
Distinguishing Between Irritant And Allergic Contact Dermatitis
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Determining If You Have Sensitive Or Non
Theres no process to this one, but identifying whether you have sensitive skin isnt all that difficult. Skin that isnt sensitive typically wont respond to triggers the way sensitive skin does.
If your skin is sensitive, it often:
- Reacts to detergents, soaps, fragrances, and certain skincare products.
- Reacts to things like sunlight, hot or cold air, and harsh winds.
- May feel dry and possibly flake frequently.
- May look red and inflamed.
- Might itch annoyingly or break out in unsightly bumps.
- Might flush red, develop a rash, have dry skin patches, or even show dilated blood vessels.
Additionally, if you suffer from eczema, rosacea, or any other underlying skin condition, this may indicate that you may have sensitive skin. It’s important to note that you can have sensitive skin and still be one of the three main skin types. So you can have oily skin and be sensitive at the same time. That just means you have to be very careful in selecting your skincare products!
How To Test For A Sensitive Skin Reaction
Before using any new skin care product, perform a patch test to determine a reaction.
Apply the product as directed to a small area of skin on your forearm and wait 24 hours. For a more thorough test, repeat the application every 24 hours over the course of three days. If you do not experience a reaction, consider the product safe for use.
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You Probably Do Have Sensitive Skin If
1. Redness and irritation appear on your face and body. If the problem’s only on your face, there’s a good chance you just overdid it with an antiaging product.
2. You have allergies or hay fever. There’s a correlation between having allergies and having sensitive skin, particularly eczema.
3. You haven’t recently switched up your shampoo, makeup, skin care products, or laundry detergent, and your skin is still irritated. If it is, see your dermatologist to figure out what’s wrong.
Weather And Seasonal Changes
As the seasons change, pollen counts in the air increase, which is a common allergen for many people. Hot weather can cause dehydration, which means your skin starts to produce excess oil to make up for the loss of moisture. Meanwhile, cold weather may often be a source of dry, flaky patches on the skin. These flaky patches can weaken your skin to outside forces and cause discomfort.
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Sensitive Skin Isnt Really A Clinical Term Its More Of An Expression For Skin Thats Easy To Irritate
Even though most dermatologists have a general idea of what you mean when you say you have sensitive skin, its not a clinical diagnosis, , M.D., Ph.D, a UCSF dermatologist and expert on dermatitis , tells SELF.
Instead, your dermatologist will likely take it to mean your skin has a tendency to be more reactive than average. It means skin that is easily irritated, either by environmental things like sun, wind, cold, or topical products, like lotions or fragrances, Melissa Piliang, M.D., who specializes in dermatopathology at Cleveland Clinic, tells SELF.
That irritation usually manifests with symptoms like redness, stinging, burning, itchiness, and general discomfort after your skin comes into contact with a particular ingredient or environmental trigger.
Since sensitive skin is more of a nebulous blanket term than a medical one, your doctor will still need help understanding exactly what youre dealing with. means different things to different people, Dr. Nagler says. Its something someone presents with, and then its a dermatologists job to figure out what that means.
Q: What Ingredients Should People With Sensitive Skin Avoid
If you have sensitive skin stick to gentle, hydrating cleansers and avoid exfoliating products that can disrupt the outer skin layer and do not skip out on moisturizing! Zeichner explains that it is essential to make sure to apply a moisturizer twice daily as it will help to fortify and maintain a healthy skin barrier and reduce your skins overall sensitivity.
SPF is another must to avoid any weather-based irritation. In this case, consider a mineral-based sunscreen that contains iron oxide. Mineral sunscreens tend to be less irritating than chemical ones. But, overall, he suggested a less is more approach using too many products or too many harsh ingredients can make sensitivity worse.
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Use Skincare Made For Sensitive Skin
One of the best ways you can help your sensitive skin return to normal, is to properly take care of your skin with gentle skincare products. This means products without chemicals or fragrances, or even those specially formulated for those with sensitive skin.At Colorescience were dedicated to creating natural, mineral-based skincare options that are safe for sensitive skin and some of which cater specifically to the problems that those with skin sensitivities face. For example, our All Calm Multi-Correction Serum helps with redness and calming when your skin is irritated. Our calming primer can help balance out redness while also providing the usual benefits of a good primer. Its important to note that sensitive skin can also be more prone to sunburns. With skin thats sensitive to sun exposure, you may experience itching and rashes when you spend too long outdoors. With that being the case, you should prioritize protecting yourself. Sunscreen can help you protect your skin from sun up to sun down, and should be applied frequently and liberally. Not only can it help to keep your sensitive skin protected and irritant free, sunscreen can help with acne, keep away fine lines and wrinkles, and help you to maintain healthy skin overall.
Is Sensitive Skin A Sign Of Early Pregnancy
Each body is different, and when it comes to pregnancy, it can have unique effects on your body. If you are starting to see signs of sensitive skin, and you have been trying to conceive, there may be a chance that you are a step closer to starting or adding to your family. About 1 in 5 pregnant women experience changes to their skin while they are pregnant. So, while it isnt the only sign that you may be expecting, it could indeed give you an insight to your future.
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What You Need To Know
According to the American Academy of Dermatology , there are five primary types of skin: oily, dry, normal, combination, and sensitive.1 Each skin type has its own set of unique characteristics and needs that can affect the look and feel of your complexion. By first understanding what type of skin you have, you can begin to make informed decisionsgiving your skin the customized care and protection it needs now and for years to come. If youre not sure what your skin type is, keep reading. Were covering all the basics about how to identify your skin type below, plus tips for choosing the ideal skincare products and routines for each type.
How Can I Prevent Having Sensitive Skin
One of the best ways to prevent sensitive skin is to be selective with your skin care products. This starts by avoiding certain ingredients that are known to irritate skin.
The most common culprits are fragrances. Most fragrances are derived from flowers and trees. At first, this sounds great. Flowers and trees are natural, right? But, in this case, natural may not actually be better. Just because a product advertises as all natural, it does not mean it is actually good for your skin. For example, poison ivy is natural, but you wouldnt want to bathe in it.
Every year, allergy experts from the American Contact Dermatitis Society pick a skin Allergen of the Year. They have done this for 20 years to highlight potential allergens that are commonly used in American products. In addition to fragrances, the list includes preservatives , metals , and hair dyes . Limiting use of products with these ingredients can help prevent sensitive skin.
It also helps to get familiar with brands that avoid potential skin allergens and irritants in their products. Some examples include:
Be wary of advertisements for clean products. Product labels are not regulated by the Food and Drug Association. As such, manufacturers may write attractive slogans or phrases on the label that dont represent the ingredients inside. Its better to know which ingredients can irritate your skin.
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When And How Do Doctors Diagnose And Treat Sensitive Skin
Most people with sensitive skin donât seek medical help for mild irritation from skin care products. Instead, they try different products until they find one that doesnât irritate their skin. They typically only see a dermatologist if their skin condition worsens.
When consulted, the dermatologist will first check for skin conditions such as eczema, rosacea, or contact with a skin irritant. They may give you skin patch tests to check for allergies. The dermatologist will also ask about your skin care plan, identify any potential irritants, and recommend milder skin care and household products that are less likely to irritate sensitive skin.
How Do You Get Rid Of Sensitive Skin
Unfortunately, its impossible to get rid of sensitive skin completely. However, by figuring out your potential triggers and taking steps to avoid them, as well as taking steps to soothe your irritated skin, you can help manage and minimize the severity of your skin sensitivity. Here are some sensitive skin care tips:
- Be sure to moisturize your skin regularly to minimize any chances of dryness and dehydration.
- Use skincare products designed for sensitive skin, and read the labels carefully to ensure all products you use are free of sulfates, artificial fragrances and dyes, and other harsh chemicals.
- Incorporate nourishing oils into your skincare routine. Examples of oils for your skin include:
Sensitive skin can be extremely frustrating, but once you determine your main skin type, you can look for suitable skincare products with ingredients that nourish and pamper your skin without causing undue stress. With time and consistency, you will have a healthy glow in no time.
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Most Of The Derms We Spoke To Actually Singled Out Fragrances As The Biggest Sensitive
Fragrances, both natural from essential oils and synthetic, irritating to the skin and a frequent cause of allergic contact dermatitis, Dr. Piliang says. This is why dermatologists often include at least one or two fragrance mixes when they do testing for skin allergies, Dr. Newsom says. That can determine whether you have a reaction to a litany of naturally and synthetically derived chemicals commonly found in fragrance formulations. Since these chemicals can simply show up on the ingredient labels of skin-care or beauty products as fragrance, it can be hard to pinpoint what exactly is bothering your skin until a doctor investigates.
Other times, Dr. Piliang says, a fragrance agent will be hiding in the ingredients list under the name of the specific ingredient being used, instead of fragrance, which can also make it tough to identify the offending substance. You do have to read the list carefully, she says.
And always look for labels that say fragrance-free, not simply unscented. As the Environmental Protection Agency notes, unscented products may still contain fragrances or other chemicals that mask the scent of other ingredients to create a neutral-smelling product.
Sensitive Skin: 6 Signs You Have It And How To Care For It
- Sensitive skin is easily irritated by stimuli that would not normally cause unpleasant reactions
- Causes include dryness, skin disorders and allergies, and environmental factors
- Symptoms are many, and include redness, itchiness, burning and stinging
- Sensitive skin can be managed with fragrance-free, hypoallergenic products and identifying and avoiding exposure to triggers
Sensitive skin can occur due to internal or external factors. Genetic makeup, disease or a weak immune system can make people predisposed to this skin condition. External factors can also negatively affect the skin barrier the outermost layer of skin that maintains moisture and protects against external threats.
When compromised, skin becomes irritated and uncomfortable. This condition can affect any age and skin type, but is not a cause for serious concern.
If you are in good health and you suspect your sensitivity is a result of environmental factors, there are steps you can take to reduce flare-ups. You can identify and avoid your triggers, and create a skin care regimen that omits irritants and includes soothing ingredients.
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Signs Of Sensitive Skin
A lot of you who have sensitive skin might have realized by now that sensitive skin gets easily irritated. You may also find that there are certain products that can cause you to have red, itchy skin or even breakouts. There are a few medical conditions that can cause sensitive skin.The best way to understand the problem and to resolve it is to meet with your dermatologist. If you have sensitive skin, you need to start treatment as soon as possible. Check for these signs to see if your skin needs some extra care.
How Is Sensitive Skin Treated
If you have sensitive skin, the first steps to better managing it is to prevent triggering it through everyday sensitive skin care tips:
- Avoid taking very hot showers
- Choose sensitive skin body wash, face wash and moisturizer, as well as sunscreen formulated for sensitive skin
- Avoid scented beauty products and laundry detergents
- Apply moisturizer regularly to prevent dry skin
“Taking these steps is often all that’s needed to help ease and avoid irritant contact dermatitis and mild allergic contact dermatitis,” says Dr. Jih.
If you have moderate allergic contact dermatitis, over-the-counter medications such as anti-itch creams and antihistamines can help manage symptoms if they’re triggered.
“Chronic skin allergies or more severe eczema may require treatment with topical corticosteroids or other medications,” says Dr. Jih. “Your dermatologist can help you understand the best course of treatment for your specific form of sensitive skin.”
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With An Unfamiliar Skin Care Product How Should I Test For A Sensitive Skin Reaction
Before putting a new product on your skin, do the following:
- For several days, apply a small amount behind an ear and leave it on overnight.
- If your skin does not become irritated, follow the same procedure, this time applying the product on an area alongside an eye.
- If you still don’t see irritation, the product should be safe for you to apply on any area of your face.
What Causes Sensitive Skin Reactions
Causes of sensitive skin reactions include:
- Skin disorders or allergic skin reactions such as eczema, rosacea, or allergic contact dermatitis
- Overly dry or injured skin that can no longer protect nerve endings, leading to skin reactions
- Excessive exposure to skin-damaging environmental factors such as sun and wind or excessive heat or cold
Genetic factors, age, gender, and race differences in skin sensitivity are less well-defined but still may play a role in causing skin reactions.
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