Tuesday, 6 December 2011

Sensitive Skin

Early this week, I shared about identifying your skin type. In this post, I am going to share further about some of my readings on dealing with sensitive skin.

Many people say they have sensitive skin because:
  • Certain skin care products, or household products that contact their skin, cause stinging, burning, redness, and/or tightness.
  • Although they have no visible effects after contact with a product, it always makes their skin feel uncomfortable.
Dermatologists, doctors specializing in skin, consider the diagnosis of sensitive skin when they:
  • See skin reactions such as pustules, skin bumps, and/or skin erosion.
  • Observe excessively dry skin, which doesn’t adequately protect nerve endings on the skin and may lead to skin reactions from cosmetics or skin care products.
  • Notice a tendency to blushing and skin flushing, which may also be signs of sensitive skin.

What causes sensitive skin reactions?

  • Underlying skin disorders or allergic skin reactions related to immune system dysfunction such as atopic dermatitis (eczema), urticaria (hives), 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.
  • Less well defined are genetic factors and age, gender, and race differences in skin sensitivity. For example, a type of eczema called nummular dermatitis is most commonly found in men over age 60

  • Caring for sensitive skin, especially for face

    Cleansing. Dermatologists say that people’s sensitive skin responds differently to different cleansing methods. But most agree that “deodorant” soap or highly fragranced soap contains strong detergents and should not be used on the face. Soap-free cleansers such as mild cleansing bars and sensitive-skin bars, along with most liquid facial cleansers, have a lower pH than soaps. They have less potential for facial skin irritation, along with cleansing creams and disposable facial washcloths.

    Moisturizing. These products help your skin retain moisture so it resists drying and abrasion.

    What to look for in skin care products?

    Specific guidelines are lacking, but more “skin-friendly” products contain:
    • Only a few ingredients
    • Little or no fragrance
    • Methylparaben or butylparaben as preservatives
    What to avoid?

    If you have sensitive skin, avoid products containing:
    • Antibacterial or deodorant ingredients
    • Alcohol 
    • Retinoids or alpha-hydroxy acids

    Source: Webmd.

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