First Things First: Whats The Cause
There are a few things that could be causing your irritated skin.
Products that contain benzoyl peroxide, alpha hydroxy acids or beta hydroxy acid may be helpful in treating breakouts, but they can also be irritating for people with sensitive skin, said David Lortscher, a board-certified dermatologist and founder of skin care company Curology.
Excessive exfoliation may also be the culprit, Lortscher said, as rough or sharp particles in certain scrubs can actually cause microscopic tears in the skin. Debra Jaliman, a New York-based dermatologist and St. Ives spokesperson, agreed that overexfoliation, and overuse of products in general, can leave skin feeling irritated.
We see people who are red, peeling, dry, irritated skin because of product overuse, Jaliman said. Its either one product theyre overusing, or theyre just using every acid on the block.
If you want to use an anti-aging product, thats fine, but pick one, she said. Dont use every one all together, like a smorgasbord of every product. Thats no good, especially if you have delicate skin.
Angela Lamb, director of the Westside Mount Sinai Dermatology Faculty Practice in New York City, echoed Lortscher and Jaliman, adding that irritation is more common in the winter because our skin can be more sensitive during the colder months.
The serums and exfoliating products that you could use in the summer and spring may be too hard for the fall and winter, Lamb said.
Why Does Dry Skin On Legs Look Like Snakeskin
Ever wondered why the skin on your knees, calves or elbows is the first to dry out? The skin covering these areas goes through a lot of stretching and contracting every day, which means it has to be a bit thicker to deal with all the extra movement.
And as its thicker, it doesnt produce as much of the bodys natural oil, sebum, responsible for providing moisture to skin and offering a layer of protection against UV rays.
Very hot or very cold weather can also rob your skin of moisture too, as well as some cleansing products you may use in the shower or bath. To keep your knees and elbows soft and smooth, check out NIVEAs range of repairing body lotions. This includes the NIVEA Repair & Care Body Lotion, perfect for dry legs made with dexpanthenol and a deep moisture serum that instantly soothes the skin and provides intense hydration for up to 72 hours.
Shield Your Skin From Sun Damage Which Can Increase Itchiness
Warm rays can do a number on your skin, especially if you stay out in the sun and dont protect your skin properly. Chronically sun-damaged skin has a poor stratum corneum, so sun-damaged skin is likely to be drier and thus more itchy at times, says Leffell. According to Harvard Health Publishing, chronic sun damage can even happen to younger people.
Then there are other sun-skin problems. Acute sun injury from a sunburn, for example makes the skin dry and itchy for other reasons: The stratum corneum has been physically damaged, Leffell explains.
So for your skins sake, stay safe when outdoors. The American Cancer Society recommends seeking shade when you can and wearing appropriate coverage: a hat, long pants, a long-sleeve shirt , sunglasses, and sunscreen. The organization suggests avoiding going out in the middle of the day, when UV rays are the strongest .
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Follow Healthy Habits To Keep Skin Inflammation Further At Bay
Have you always wanted to quit smoking? This may give you the motivation you need:
Besides its obvious health risks, smoking damages the skin. Nicotine can cause blood vessels to constrict and reduce blood flow to the skin, causing drier skin yet another reason to quit smoking, says Kwatra. On top of that, smoking can hasten the aging process of your skin, leading to issues like early wrinkles, puffiness below your eyes, and an uneven skin complexion, according to the Mayo Clinic.
Also, banking enough sleep is beneficial for your skin. Thats because a lack of shut-eye can release the stress hormone cortisol, according to the National Sleep Foundation, which leads to inflammation of the skin and, potentially, flare-ups of acne, psoriasis and eczema.
You might want to consider exercising, too. While the National Eczema Association points out that sweat may trigger flare-ups for some people with eczema, movement may be influential because it supports immunity and quality sleep. The society recommends showering directly after you exercise.
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Just Go Ahead And Accept That Patch Tests Should Be A Staple Of Your Routine Before Going All
Use on your inner arm first every day and see what happens, Dr. Piliang recommends. If your inner arm doesnt get irritated after a week, then you can maybe try it on the side of your face. Your neck is also an option if youre not ready to move to your face.
If a product does cause irritation, dont panic. Stop using it, wait for your skin to calm down, and then try something else, Dr. Fassett says. Knowing which will be well tolerated versus which ones will set off your irritation is just a matter of trial and error. If your skin responds with a level of sensitivity thats causing you a lot of stress, pain, or irritation, dont hesitate to see your dermatologist to get checked out.
On a similar note, if you have an actual, diagnosable skin condition like eczema, psoriasis, or rosacea, definitely check in with your dermatologist before adding anything you suspect might be too strong to your routine in the first place. Your skinand walletmay thank you.
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Stick With Products That Are Gentle Fragrance
The basic advice for patients who experience sensitive skin, chronically or just in the short term, is to keep it simple, says Dr. Fassett. This applies to both the number of products in your routine and their ingredient lists, unless otherwise recommended by your dermatologist.
In general, if your skin is more dramatic than a high school theater troupe, stick to things like gentle cleansers free of harsh ingredients. The exact ingredients that will piss off your face will vary from person to person, so it may be helpful to look for products specifically formulated for sensitive skin, meaning they dont contain common irritants like sulfates, dyes, preservatives, emulsifiers, alcohols, certain botanical oils like lavender, and fragrances. That said, you cant always trust a sensitive skin label, since, as we mentioned, there are so many different kinds of skin conditions and sensitivities out there. So, when it doubt, ask a dermatologist for the ingredients you may want to steer clear of, or do a small patch test before putting it all over your face .
There are a lot of inexpensive, over-the-counter options available at every single pharmacy that lack common irritants and fragrances are really good, says Dr. Nagler. Dr. Fassett likes drugstore brands, like Eucerin, Aveeno, Cerave, Cetaphil, and Vanicream: Those are all excellent for people that have eczema and sensitive skin in general.
Cut Out The Acid Toners Opt For Something Hydrating
I know toners with exfoliating acids are popular, but when your skin is in a delicate state this isnt a product you should be using. Since these products are water-based, they penetrate pretty quickly and give skin a quick hit of exfoliating acids. While this can lead to instant results, it can also put your skin under unnecessary stress.
Instead, Im a huge proponent of hydrating, alcohol-free toners. They can be a good tool for combatting irritation when used after cleansing. Tap water can contain chlorine and other minerals that may irritate skin, and wiping your face with an alcohol-free toner is a good way to remove these. In addition, you can choose a toner with soothing, restorative ingredients to help get your skin back on track.
For oily to combination skin types , I recommend Elderberry Soothing Toner. If your skin is normal to dry , try Moisture Infusion Toner. Both toners include soothing ingredients that focus on comforting irritated skin.
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What Foods Can I Eat Or Avoid To Reduce My Risk Of Dermatitis
If you have food allergies, then one of the reasons why you must avoid that food is that it may cause or worsen dermatitis. Up to 25% of people with dermatitis herpetiformis have celiac disease, a sensitivity to gluten. Examples of common allergies include peanuts, dairy, eggs, sugar and alcohol. Pay attention to what you eat. If your dermatitis flares up after you eat a certain food, then you might have an allergy.
Discuss diet changes with your healthcare provider. It may also be helpful to see a dietician. Dieticians can help you create new meal plans.
First How Can I Keep My Skin From Getting Dry
Dry air can cause your skin to become dry and itchy. In your home, use a humidifier to put moisture in the air during the winter and in dry weather.
Some soaps can cause your skin to feel itchy. It’s good to use a soap that is unscented and hypoallergenic. This kind of soap does not contain dyes or perfumes that can irritate your skin. In addition, you can use a mild, unscented, hypoallergenic laundry detergent, avoid fabric softeners, and try using an extra rinse cycle to keep your clothes and bed sheets from making your skin itch.
Choose clothing made of soft fabrics like cotton or silk. Avoid wearing clothing made of rough wool, which can irritate your skin and make it itch.
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What Does Irritated Skin Look Like
Itchiness, reddening, and skin pain can result from pathological causes, or from momentary alterations of the skin.
The pathological causes are primarily skin diseases such as dermatitis, psoriasis, inflammation, allergies, acne. However, they can also be systemic diseases. You must consult a dermatologist for a correct diagnosis.
There are also non-pathological causes, such as:
- external stressors such as the cold, wind, or high humidity.
- exposure to irritant chemical agents
- mechanical stress, such as from shaving, depilation, consistent use of a mask over the face, and so on.
- incorrect or excessive exposure to the sun or tanning beds
- the use of allergenic cosmetic products, or cosmetic products that arent right for your skin type
- Food intolerances
Even in these cases, a visit to a specialist should be the first step towards knowing what has caused the irritation and how to treat it.
Mask Weekly To Pamper Your Skin
If your skin feels uncomfortable, theres no better way to give it a little TLC than with a facial mask. Though theres a mask for nearly every conceivable complexion concern, youll want to reach for one made specifically for dry or sensitive skin. If your skin is reactive, its also best to use a gel formula that rinses off easily to minimize rubbing or pulling at delicate skin.
Our pick for irritated skin is our top-rated Calendula & Aloe Soothing Hydration Mask. This gentle mask contains calendula extract, aloe vera, and antioxidants to hydrate and refresh the skin for a healthier-looking complexion. Its suitable for all skin types, and the lightweight texture and revitalizing cooling sensation of this mask make it ideal for soothing irritated skin on the face.
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Irritated Skin: How To Reduce Redness
Does your skin often feel tight? Does it redden easily? Is it prone to prickling, itching, or tingling sensations? These are all signs that the ecosystem of your skin is out of balance. Find out more about why your skin might be reactive, how to reduce redness, and how to give your skin some long-lasting relief
Atopic Dermatitis Or Eczema
What it is: A chronic and itchy skin condition, “atopic dermatitis/eczema is often caused by a combination of genetic and environmental factors,” says Dr. Henry.
How to treat it: “The best treatment for redness caused by atopic dermatitis is to reduce contact with irritants and allergens. Dermatologists may also prescribe moisturizers or topical steroids,” Dr. Henry adds, suggesting “moisturizers containing ceramides, hyaluronic acid and glycerin are great ways to soothe the skin.”
You can also look for moisturizing products that contain niacinamide to soothe inflammation, says Dr. Zeichner. “Niacinamide is the ultimate multitasker in skincare. At the same time, it soothes inflammation, evens skin tone, and helps strengthen the skin. Hyaluronic acid can also be used to plump and hydrate,” he says. Dr. Engelman agrees: She suggests CeraVe Night Cream which is filled with both powerhouse ingredients. If over-the-counter fixes don’t stop the irritation, Dr. Henry says a dermatologist may prescribe antibiotics, antihistamines or immunosuppressive agents.
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What Products And Ingredients Should You Look For
There are plenty of skin care ingredients natural and otherwise that can be effective when it comes to soothing your skin.
All three dermatologists recommended looking for products with aloe in them, as aloe is known for its soothing and healing properties.
Colloidal oatmeal is another ingredient that can be great for calming the skin and relieving itchiness because it supplies antioxidants, Lortscher noted. Its also said to reduce redness and inflammation.
Lamb said she likes jojoba and olive oils, as they have calming properties. As an added benefit, oils also contain antioxidants and fatty acids that can help with anti-aging.
Soy is another ingredient to look out for, Lortscher said: contains a variety of active components that help restore barrier function and replenish moisture, provide antioxidants, and smooth and soften skin.
Of course, there are also some soothing skin care ingredients that are only available with a prescription. These ingredients may not be right for everyone, and you should always consult with your dermatologist if you think you require more than just natural ingredients.
One such ingredient is clindamycin.
It has anti-inflammatory effects , soothing irritation that can make acne worse, Lortscher said, noting that it also stops a certain type of bacteria from multiplying.
Slather A Thick Cream Or Ointment On Your Skin Right After Bathing
Once your shower is done, theres a crucial step you can take to ensure that your dry skin gets the hydration it needs. After bathing in tepid water, moisturize immediately to help trap water in the surface cells, then pat dry, says J. Morgan O’Donoghue, MD, a dermatologist in Sarasota, Florida. Waiting too long after your shower to apply can cause your skin to get dry and irritated, per National Eczema Association.
When choosing your moisturizer, skip thin lotions, at least while your skin is super dry. Cream-based moisturizers are best for dry skin, says Kwatra, because they help lock in more moisture. One option is Aveeno . If you have severely dry skin, Leffell recommends thinking about an ointment like Aquaphor .
Another option to consider is using a post-shower oil, which prevents water from evaporating on your skin, according to the Mayo Clinic. Make sure any oil, ointment, or cream is fragrance-free, says the American Academy of Dermatology, because added fragrances can irritate dry, sensitive skin.
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One Of The Worst Things You Can Do For Sensitive Skin Is Wash It More Frequently
For most of us, the biggest enemy when it comes to keeping that outer barrier intact isnt time. Its over-washing and over-exfoliating, which is something dermatologists say they see all the time in patients who complain of sensitive skin.
Soap and hot water can diminish your lipid barrier, Dr. Piliang explains. Think about it like butter on a knife. If you put it under cold water, that fat on the knife doesnt go anywhere. But if you put it under warm water, those lipids will melt away. She continues, Its the same kind of issue with the lipid layer in our skin. If you put your skin in hot water or you use harsh soaps, then it tends to wash that outer protective fatty layer away. Instead, use cool or lukewarm water on your face, and dont wash more than once a day.
As for products? Glad you asked…
What Causes Red Irritated Skin On Dogs
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An irritated skin condition on a dog is most likely caused by a number of conditions. Pet parasites, infections, allergies, and diseases are four of the most common causes of dog skin irritation.
Skin diseases such as flea allergy dermatitis and other allergic skin diseases are frequently caused by itching and scratching. One of the most common reasons for dog owners seeking veterinary care is Pruritus caused by skin disease. Is pruritus curable? The severity of your pets itching will be determined by its underlying cause.
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How To Soothe Irritated Skin According To Dermatologists
Our skin is a fickle organ, especially when its on our faces.
It can go from clean and clear one moment to red, itchy and irritated another, with no discernible cause. Its frustrating, to say the least. But dont stress if you find yourself dealing with skin that simply seems angry.
There are a few things you can do to soothe irritated skin. As always, though, its good to consult with a dermatologist if you think the irritation might be due to a more serious issue.