Sensitive skin is a skin problem that is triggered by different substances and environmental triggers. In most cases, sensitive skin involves the central region of the face. The skin may feelitchy or burning and may appear red, swollen, or flushed.
The exact process that explains why substances trigger sensitive skin is not fully understood. The main hypothesis is that the outermost layer of the skin, known as the stratum corneum, becomes thin and becomes more prone to the penetration of chemicals. There is also water loss, which contribute to the decreased integrity of the stratum corneum.
When the substances penetrate the skin, they activate the release of body chemicals that trigger inflammation. The inflammatory chemicals then irritate the nerves, hence the feeling of itchiness, burning, or stinging sensation.
The triggers that cause flares vary from person to person. People with sensitive skin may experience strong irritation to some ingredients of cosmetics and skin products. In fact, cosmetics are considered as the main aggravating factors of sensitive skin, especially in women.
Cosmetics and skin products that contain alpha-hydroxy acids, propylene glycol, alcohol, and fragrances can irritate sensitive skin.
Environmental factors such as allergens, sun exposure, wind, and intense temperature changes, can also cause flares in sensitive skin.
It is best to avoid the substances and environmental factors that act as triggers in sensitive skin. It is always handy to know which specific substances cause flares in your case. Check the ingredients of facial and skin products for these substances before you use them on your skin.
Since sun exposure is one of the factors that trigger sensitive skin, it is important to use products with SPF and avoid prolonged sun exposure.
You can also boost the health of your skin by eating fruits and vegetables that are rich in Vitamin C and antioxidants. Fruits such as oranges, mangoes, and kiwifruits are rich in Vitamin C. Green leafy vegetables are rich in antioxidants that help prevent skin damage. Do not also forget to hydrate by drinking 8-10 glasses of water each day.
There is no definitive cure for the condition itself but the symptoms could be managed.
The use of calming facial products can help relieve the symptoms and soothe the skin. Moisturizers and other products with hyaluronic acid and ceramides help repair the external cracks of skin and restore its protective function.
Symptoms can also be relieved by applying topical steroids that may be used for 3-4 days.