1. What is sensitive skin?
It is a condition characterized by hyper reactivity to environmental factors. Individuals experiencing this condition report exaggerated reactions to topical personal care products that may or may not be associated with visible symptoms
Four types of sensitive skin exist :
- Prone to develop open and closed comedones and pimples and is known as acne type
- Characterized by facial flushing becaue of heat, spicy food , vasodilatation of any cause and is known as rosacea type
- Associated with burning , itching or stinging of any cause
- Susceptible to develop contact or irritant dermatitis. Often associated with impaired skin barrier.
2. How do I know if I have sensitive skin?
Blushing, itching, and easily sun-burning are all tell-tale signs of sensitive skin.”
3. 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.
4. Are there medical tests for establishing a diagnosis of sensitive skin?
Patch testing may identify signs of allergies that are causing or contributing to sensitive skin.
5. Should men be concerned about sensitive skin?
Yes. The look of healthy skin is just as important for men as it is for women.
6. What are some tips for caring for sensitive skin, especially on face?
From one person to the next, sensitive skin responds differently to different cleansing methods. But majority agree that “deodorant” soap or highly fragranced soap contains strong detergents and shouldn’t be used on the face. Soap-free cleansers such as mild cleansing bars and sensitive-skin bars along with most liquid facial cleansers have less potential for facial skin irritation than soaps. The same is true for cleansing creams and disposable facial washcloths.
Scrubs to be avoided
Moisturizing products help skin hold on to moisture so it resists drying and abrasion.
- Usage of cosmetics with few preservatives.
- Silicone-based foundation for minimal skin irritation
- Avoid water proof cosmetics
- Liquid eyeliners contain latex and may cause an allergic reaction.
- Discard old cosmetics as they can spoil or become contaminated.
7. What should I look for in skin care products that will make them less irritating to sensitive skin?
Only few ingredients
Little or no fragrance
Avoid products containing:Antibacterial or deodorant ingredients
Retinoids or alpha-hydroxy acids
8. 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:
Every day for 5 days, apply a small amount behind an ear and leave it on overnight.
If your skin does not get 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.
9. What are some tips for protecting my sensitive skin in summer and winter ?
First, wear a sunscreen year-round. Use one with a sun protection factor (SPF) of at least 30, and use it every day that you will be in the sun for longer than 20 minutes. The sun’s skin-damaging UV rays are strongest between 10 a.m. and 4 p.m. Avoid going out in the sun during these hours whenever possible, any time of the year.
In summer, keep in mind that tanning damages your skin. Don’t lie out in the sun, even if you’ve applied sunscreen. If you do go out, wear a wide-brimmed hat and sunglasses and tight-woven clothing that covers your arms and legs. Apply your sunscreen 15 to 30 minutes before going out, and reapply it every two hours, after swimming, or if you’ve been perspiring heavily
In winter, to help prevent skin dryness, flaking, itching, and cracking do the following:
Minimize skin dryness after bathing: Pat your skin dry and apply moisturizer while your skin is still moist.
Use a moisturizer containing petrolatum, mineral oil, linoleic acid, ceramides, dimethicone, or glycerin.
10. What should I look for in a sunscreen to protect my sensitive skin?
Your sunscreen should be rated SPF 30 or higher. Its active ingredients should be only zinc oxide or titanium dioxide. This is because you cannot have an allergic reaction to these physical sunscreens. They deflect the sun’s UV rays instead of absorbing them as chemical sunscreens do.
11. When and how do doctors diagnose and treat sensitive skin?
Most people with sensitive skin don’t seek medical help for mild irritation from skin care products. Instead, they try different products until they find one that doesn’t 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 a skin patch test to check for allergies. The doctor 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.
12. Which clothing fabrics are less irritating to sensitive skin?
Smooth, soft, natural fabrics, such as fine cotton and silk, feel best worn next to the skin. Cotton is cool where silk is warm; both are absorbent, helping to draw body moisture away from the skin. Rayon and linen are also comfortable for sensitive skin but are heavier than cotton or silk. Clothing should be loose fitting with a minimum of creases and folds.
13. What diseases and conditions may be associated with sensitive skin?
If you have skin disorders such as acne, psoriasis, contact dermatitis, rosacea, or eczema, you’re likely to have sensitive skin.
14. Are skin care products labeled “hypoallergenic” safer for sensitive skin?
Hypoallergenic skin care products are not necessarily safer for sensitive skin. There are no federal standards governing manufacturers’ use of the term “hypoallergenic.” So it can mean whatever a particular company wants it to mean.
15. Can healthful eating help sensitive skin?
Eating healthfully is good for your whole body, including your skin.
16. Can a child with a disease or condition related to sensitive skin outgrow it?
A child with sensitive skin due to eczema has a very good chance of outgrowing it before age 5 and a 40% to 50% chance of outgrowing it by the time he or she is a teen. About 80% of people aged 11 to 30 have outbreaks of acne. For most of them, acne typically goes away sometime in their 30s. Psoriasis is considered a chronic, lifelong disease.
17. Can sensitive skin be inherited?
Yes. A number of the skin diseases and conditions linked to sensitive skin are known or believed to run in families. They include acne, eczema, psoriasis, and rosacea. Skin irritation from a reaction to a skin care, cosmetic, or household product is not inherited