Sensitive Skin and Eczema
Sensitive skin is a very common complaint, and often goes hand in hand with dry skin, and is generally used to describe the skin on the face. Eczema patients in particular have a tendency for dryness and increased sensitivity to irritants.
People with sensitive skin are often more prone to allergic reactions, and are more vulnerable to being irritated via common products such as soaps and cleansers. The skin will have reduced protection against temperature changes and will become irritated easily from a change in environmental conditions.
Signs and Symptoms
Signs and symptoms vary widely depending on the individual as well as their severity. Each skin is unique and individual. There are several symptoms that characterize sensitive skin. If you notice one or more of these, you likely have sensitive skin:
- Tingling sensation in the skin
- Flushing-if persistent, Rosacea may be suspected
- Rashes and pimples can also affect the face
- Dryness of the skin and hypersensitivity to potential irritants like soap
- The skin will often react to changes in temperature or humidity levels
- The skin becomes sensitive to certain cosmetic products
Prevention and Treatment
Although one can't change their skin type, or tendencies, they can manage their skin better by making small lifestyle adjustments. Here are some simple and reasonable lifestyle reminders that can help you be more comfortable in your skin.
- Avoid the use of bar soaps whenever possible as they can be harsh and drying. Instead, choose mild cleansers or hard milled soaps which are designed for sensitive skin.
- Fragrance and dye are often culprits that trigger allergic or irritant reactions. If you have sensitive skin, try to choose products that are fragrance free.
- Brushes or loofahs which mechanically abrade the skin should also be avoided as they also irritate the fragile skin of those with sensitive skin.
- Moisturize using simple moisturizers that are fragrance free. Moisturizers should be used frequently to help the skin retain moisture.
- Protect yourself from the sun. UV rays are the biggest contributing factor in premature aging, and can also cause other more serious medical conditions such as skin cancer. For those with sensitive skin, in addition to all of those concerns, even minor exposure to the sun can irritate the skin, causing it to become inflamed.
- Regularly use broad-spectrum sunscreens with an SPF of 15 or higher to protect yourself.
- If your skin is becoming worse despite your best efforts, visit a dermatologist and ask for their professional opinion.
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