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Sensitive Skin

Sensitive, is a general team used to describe skin that reacts to a wide variety of triggers. What causes a reaction in one person, may be different in someone else.

Finding what triggers your symptoms is the best way to reduce the frequency of reactions. This can be difficult however, as the list of triggers is varied.

Signs and Symptoms

    • Flushed, red cheeks, chin, and nose most commonly, but can be any part of the face or body
    • Burning or stinging sensation on skin
    • Veins may become more visible at times
    • Blotchy skin or uneven skin tone
    • Outbreaks
    • Dry patches with peeling and flaking
    • A combination of the above

Causes

Very hard to define, although sensitive skin may be thinner or more finely-textured. Due to it's this, iriitants may be able to penetrate the skin more easily and cause reactions.

Triggers

  • Weather conditions. Sensitive skin will often react to extreme heat and cold.
  • Reaction to a particular food. Some people find excluding dairy and wheat (common intolerances) improves the skins general appearance.
  • Ingredients in some skincare products and cosmetics can cause irritation and redness.
  • Alcohol intake or in products you use, can dry out and irritate the skin
  • Lifestyle factors such as increased stress and improper diet considerations can increase skin's sensitivity.
  • Chlorinated water can dry out skin and sensitise it.
  • Fragrance in products and perfumes can contain many synthetic chemicals that may trigger a reaction

Self Care

  • Use barrier creams or ointments when in extreme weather.
  • Products containing beeswax can form a protective barrier.
  • If in extreme heat, increase water intake.
  • Avoid soaps as the alkaline pH will strip the acid mantle from the skin, leaving it more accessible to pollutants and irritants
  • Avoid alcohol in products you use.
  • Check your diet for additives and saturated fats, and eliminate.
  • Look at using natural perfumes and products, as they contain less irritants. Some especially sensitive people may also find triggers in natural ingredients. Always patch test.
  • Keep a food diary to look for triggers in diet.

It reacts quickly to both heat and cold; therefore, it sunburns and windburns easily. It is commonly dry, delicate and prone to allergic reactions. Temperature changes, some detergents, cosmetics and alcohol (used on the skin) can all cause irritation, leaving the skin red and blotchy, with visible surface veins.

If you have this type of skin, use sun-screen lotions or creams. Choose products that do not contain potential allergens such as fragrance or PABA sunscreens. Wash your face with mild baby soap, rinse thoroughly and pat the skin dry with a soft towel; do not use rough towel. Never use any makeup or perfume without first trying a little of it on the inside of your wrist to see the reaction of your skin to it, for very few items of makeup agree with a sensitive skin. Every night apply home-made moisturising cream on your face before retiring for the night.