Sensitive skin or sensitized skin is a growing concern for many nowadays, but what causes it to occur? Keep reading to understand skin sensitivity and ways to treat it.
What is sensitive skin?
Any skin type can experience sensitivity, from oily, acne-prone to dry and mature.
The top layer of your skin, the epidermis, acts as the protective barrier, keeping harmful substances out and locking moisture in. However, sometimes, the skin natural defences can get weakened, affecting the skin barrier, leaving it easily irritated.
Your skin can also become more sensitive at different times, commonly due to sun exposure, environmental pollutants, changes in temperature, hormonal changes during menstrual cycle or pregnancy, dehydration, lack of sleep, harsh ingredients, allergies, existing skin disorders and many other lifestyle factors.
These factors can cause a host of unpleasant symptoms like redness, rashes, itching, tightness, swelling and prickling.
Sensitive skin vs. Sensitized skin
Sensitive skin is caused by genetics; typically affecting those who has skin disorders and allergies. They have a thinner epidermis layer, blood vessels near the skin’s surface and their skin is considered more delicate. This allows irritants to easily reach deeper into the skin causing it to flare up.
Treating sensitive skin requires the right products with a balance of gentle and soothing ingredients to improve the skin’s barrier function, and avoiding known external irritants.
On the other hand, sensitized skin is caused by various reasons including lifestyle, stress, environmental pollutants, medical treatments, over-exfoliation, wrong usage of skin care products, most reasons due to the environment. It is not driven by genetics, but sensitive skin can become sensitized much more easily.
To help control sensitized skin, the cause have to be determined and eliminated. Lifestyle choices like smoking and stress should be controlled to remove it as a cause of sensitized skin.
Seek a gentle cleanser and avoid harsh products like skin exfoliators and products that contain harsh chemicals. Avoid the sun and use sunscreen with SPF daily as UV damage can lead to further the effect of sensitized skin.