Sensitive Skin Care
Sensitive skin is a common condition that affects millions of people. Sensitive skin is defined as skin that may become irritated or inflamed when it comes in contact with certain products, substances, or environmental factors such as sun or extreme heat or cold. It may also develop as a result of other skin conditions such as eczema, psoriasis, rosacea, or allergies. Symptoms such as stinging, burning, and redness of the skin are common in people who suffer from sensitive skin conditions. Sensitive skin reactions may also cause dryness, flaking, pimples or even blisters.
People with sensitive skin should take precaution in caring for their skin by choosing products that will not irritate the skin and adhering to the following recommendations to protect their skin:
- Avoid cleansers or products that contain acids, alcohol or retinoids
- Do not use soaps that contain deodorant or fragrances
- Gently wash the skin with a soft cloth; do not use an abrasive material
- Wear soft, natural fabrics and loose fitting clothes
- Wear sunscreen year round that contains zinc oxide
- Avoid extended exposure to the sun
- Take showers with warm water instead of hot water which can dry out the skin
Before anyone with sensitive skin uses a product for the first time, it should be tested behind the ear or on the wrist. If no reaction has occurred after several days, it is safe to use the product.
People who suffer from frequent rashes or reactions may consult with a dermatologist to determine whether they are having an allergic reaction to a specific product or ingredient. The dermatologist will review the patient's symptoms and perform a patch test. Dermatologists perform patch testing by applying the ingredient to the skin and looking for a rash to develop within one to two days. If a specific reaction is identified, then that substance can be avoided in the future.
By avoiding products that may irritate the skin and following a gentle cleansing routine, sensitive skin problems can be avoided.
- National Institutes of Health
- Centers for Disease Control and Prevention
- Eunice Kennedy Shriver National Institute of Child Health and Human Development
- U.S. Department of Health & Human Services
- U.S. National Library of Medicine
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