People understand what you mean when you say you have sensitive skin. On the other hand, medical professionals only have a vague idea of the assumption you’re making. “Sensitive skin” is not a medical diagnosis despite your dermatologist nodding to your assessment.
There are many surprising facts about this term that you might not know, and learning about them will benefit your journey towards optimum health.
Skin Allergy Can Be Developed
The National Institute of Health (NIH) reports that skin allergies are developed when your immune system gets frequent exposure to irritants and grows a certain degree of intolerance. These irritants can range from a fabric conditioner to a piece of rubber. Fortunately, it’s not something that happens overnight. It could take years of exposure to develop a skin allergy to a certain substance. The bad news is that once you have an allergy, it’s never going away.
To avoid this, identify irritants that make your skin flare up. Itchiness, rashes, scaly skin, tenderness, and blisters are a few skin irritation symptoms. The tricky thing about determining irritants is that it can take up to 48 hours for your skin to react after exposure. One way to narrow down the possible culprits is to switch to allergen resistant fabrics for your bedsheets. Invest in quality options like cashmere blankets, which are hypoallergenic and gentle on the skin. This is a particularly helpful choice for your baby, too, to prevent future skin complications.
When you surround yourself with things that are less likely to cause irritation and house irritants, it’ll be easier to reduce the chances of developing allergies.
Washing Makes It Worse
The human skin has a fatty outer layer designed to protect it from hazards like wind, heat, and chemicals. If you identify with sensitive skin, there’s a huge possibility that the fatty outer layer on yours is thin and weak.
Dermatologists say that over-washing, over-exfoliating, and using hot water too frequently can damage your lipid barrier. That would explain why a quick, hot bath relieves your irritated skin only for a short while.
Switch to lukewarm or cold water for bathing and washing your face. They’re healthier on your skin because they won’t damage the lipid barrier that protects you from irritants.
Fragrances Aren’t Your Friend
Having sensitive skin means you have to say goodbye to fragrances. Dermatologists identify fragrances to be a primary offender to sensitive skin. This would explain why skin allergy tests include one or two fragrances. They’re often made up of chemicals, both natural and synthetic, which your skin could be reacting to.
“Unscented’ products won’t cut it either. If you read the list of ingredients, you’ll spot fragrances or masking agents to make a product smell neutral. Instead, look for labels that say “fragrance-free.” It might be difficult to source out products that won’t require you to down an antihistamine every day, but soon you’ll have a list that works for you.
Always Seek Professional Help
If using allergen resistant fabric and avoiding fragrances don’t eliminate your symptoms, don’t delay a visit to a medical professional. Sensitive skin can be a symptom of an underlying condition.