Do you have red or itchy skin? Around 60 % of Americans suffer from sensitive skin. Many factors can trigger it, including a day in the sun, a glass of red wine, a new soap, or other environmental factors. Sometimes you have no idea why your face turned red, or why your skin is dry and itchy. Having sensitive skin can be embarrassing and stressful, but luckily, there are a few things you can do to make those uncomfortable episodes few and far between.
What Does It Mean to Have Sensitive Skin?
Having sensitive skin means that you may have skin that reacts to the environment. It could be due to genetics, sun exposure, irritants in soap or detergent, or allergies, just to name a few possibilities. Sensitive skin is dry, red, inflamed, and itchy. Sometimes, you may even have raised patches like hives.
Skin issues can be challenging to diagnose. Some skin issues appear seemingly overnight, while others linger and emerge due to stress or lifestyle factors. Some skin issues, meanwhile, seem to have no known trigger. People who suffer from sensitive skin often experiment to find a cure, and other times the problem goes away on its own.
According to experts, contact dermatitis is often the culprit for sensitive skin. Contact dermatitis is a rash that appears when you come into contact with a specific trigger in the environment or a certain substance. Possible causes are chemicals, makeup, fabric, jewelry, the sun, sweat, pollution, or other environmental factors.
The rash is a reaction like an allergy and is often temporary. In most cases, once you identify the cause and remove it, your skin will improve. However, in some cases, more intense skin disorders like psoriasis or eczema are the cause of skin irritation.
As you age skin can change, and sensitive skin is not necessarily permanent. For women, menstrual cycle hormones can cause breakouts and flare-ups. For both men and women, stress can be a trigger that brings an outbreak.
How to Care for Your Sensitive Skin
Caring for sensitive skin doesn’t need to be complicated or expensive. Here are some simple solutions you can incorporate into your daily routine.
- Use gentle, fragrance-free soap and detergent.
- Drink plenty of water. Dehydrated skin is dry and flaky.
- Find healthy ways to manage stress. Stress can negatively affect your skin.
- Know your triggers. Be aware of when you have skin flare-ups in order to identify the causes.
- See your dermatologist to determine if irritants or an underlying condition causes your sensitive skin.
- Use oils rather than perfumes as they can be harsh on your skin.
- Use organic cleaning products in your home. Chemicals from cleaning products can irritate sensitive skin.
- Eat probiotic foods like yogurt and oatmeal. Avoid sugar, processed foods, and spicy foods as these cause inflammation.
- Be incredibly careful when removing unwanted body hair. This applies to both men and women. Shaving and waxing can irritate and damage already sensitive skin. For unwanted body hair in areas where you have sensitive skin, consider laser hair removal. Laser hair removal can help prevent sensitive skin flare-ups because it reduces ingrown hairs and razor burn. If you are considering women’s or men’s laser hair removal in Manhattan, it’s important to see an expert esthetician like Laser by Monica.
Try these suggestions for a few weeks and see if you notice an improvement in your skin. Consider keeping a journal of your daily diet and routine so you can match that with when your skin flares up. It is an excellent way to try and pinpoint the cause(s). If not, it might be time to make an appointment with a dermatologist to get expert help.
How NOT to Care for Your Sensitive Skin
When your skin has flared up, it’s difficult to resist trying new lotions and potions. Trying a new product is not always the best answer, however, and in some cases, it can exacerbate the issue. It’s essential to avoid these four things when trying to manage sensitive skin.
- Don’t take hot showers. The heat can burn sensitive skin.
- Avoid touching or picking at your skin.
- Avoid overwashing. Overwashing dries out your skin even more.
- Say no to alcohol. Alcohol dries out the skin and breaks capillaries leaving irritated, red, dry skin.
What’s Right for Your Skin?
If you have sensitive skin, you can test your skin to determine what type of of irritants make your react.. Once you know what is triggering your skin sensitivity, it will be easier to get to the root of the problem and figure out products, foods and lifestyle choices you should avoid.