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When I was a student, studying in class 9, teachers taught about cells and tissues. That was the time when I came to know some facts about the skin.
Do you know that our skin is made up of 19 million skin cells, and it makes about 15% of our total body weight? Can you imagine a single square inch of skin has about 300 sweat glands?
From that time, I was always curious to know more about skin.
I see many patients coming to Janvi multispeciality hospital for rashes on the skin, red spots on the skin. People think that it is normal and will go away with time.
But as a skin specialist, I know what it means for your skin. It is medically called skin sensitivity. People confuse allergy with skin sensitivity, hence today I took time out of my busy schedule just to share with you many things about skin sensitivity.
I am not a writer, so kindly avoid typos! With so much UNWANTED information available on Google, I wanted to guide you about the ‘Truth’ behind skin sensitivity and I hope you will love the information.
Sometimes I think that Google should show limited information about diseases…. What are your views? Do let me know. Just Google the topic ‘Skin Sensitivity’ and you will understand what I mean!
As of now let’s start with our topic for today, ‘Skin Sensitivity’.
Ready for a deep dive? It’s going to take a bit long so stay hydrated… and relax.
What is Sensitive Skin?
Before you understand what sensitive skin is, it is important to understand the structure of the skin. Don’t worry, I am not going to teach you the medical stuff!
Coming to the basics, we were taught about the different layers of the skin in schools. For those of you who wish to dive in deep, here’s the diagrammatic representation of the skin.
Just as our forefathers told us, our skin has 7 layers that help to guard our internal organs. Our skin has mainly three layers, Epidermis, Dermis and Subcutis with further subdivisions.
Our skin protects us from external factors and also retains moisture. All these processes take place in the skin’s horny layer made up of cells and lipids.
The effectiveness of these cells depends on enzyme activity. Often it is observed that enzyme activity is weaker in sensitive skins.
Any portion of the skin can be prone to sensitivity but the most affected area is generally the face.
Symptoms/Signs of Sensitive Skin
More than us, the skin specialists, it is you who can judge whether you have sensitive skin or not. This is because you come across the symptoms daily after using certain products, or due to certain environmental conditions.
You can judge whether you have sensitive skin if you observe the following signs or symptoms.
At this point, it is very essential to differentiate it from an allergy. While an allergy triggers these reactions after using certain products or due to certain other factors, it is not so with sensitive skin.
If you really wish to dive in deeper, the book ‘The Sensitive Skin- Treatment Modalities and Cosmeceuticals’ written by Dr Rashmi Sarkar will be informative for you.
The difference between Sensitive, Reactive and Allergic Skin.
REACTIVE AND ALLERGIC SKIN
THEIR SIGNS, TRIGGERS AND SOLUTIONS
|Skin Type||Sensitive Skin||Reactive Skin||Allergic Skin|
|What your dermatologist sees:||Nothing, skin appears normal||Slight redness||Redness, swelling, oozing, blisters…|
|What you feel:||General discomfort: Pulling, tingling or burning sensations||Burning, pulling or tingling, mild itching, flushing sensation||Intense itching|
|Where:||Face, neck and décolleté||Face, neck and décolleté||Face and body|
|When:||All the time: Symptoms are ongoing||Symptoms are short-lived following internal or external trigger||Symptoms occur 24-48 hours after contact with an allergen, and the rash can take several weeks to fade|
|Trigger factors||External: Pollution, temperature changes, changes in skin pH, UV exposure, unsuitable cosmetics Internal: Stress, strong emotions, hormonal changes||External: Pollution, unsuitable cosmetics, temperature changes, wind Internal: Spicy foods, alcohol, stress, strong emotions||Contact with allergens such as fragrances, preservatives and plant extracts in unsuitable cosmetics|
|Solution||Adopt a skincare routine adapted to sensitive skin.||Avoid trigger factors as far as possible. Select skincare tested on sensitive to reactive skin and recommended by dermatologists.||See an allergist he/she will determine exactly what you are allergic to and eliminate from your diet, environment, cosmetics, etc.|
Factors responsible for Sensitive Skin
There are various factors responsible for sensitive skin. Although it won’t be possible for me to explain it in greater detail, here is a gist.
Although we do not have any statistical data to prove this, generally we observe that skin type 1 and skin type 2 people and Asians are more prone to sensitive skin.
The presence of sensitive skin is more in young patients than the old ones. You might be wondering that generally our skin wrinkles with old age, so why old people aren’t vulnerable?
This is because tactile sensitivity decreases with age so they are less prone to skin sensitivity.
There are different studies that suggest the presence of skin sensitivity in males is due to the fabric that they use whereas in women it is due to the cosmetics.
Apart from cosmetics, another factor that affects skin sensitivity among females is hormonal imbalance.
Site of the affected body part:
As said earlier, the face is the most commonly affected body part. In a study conducted on 1039 individuals, it was observed that 77.3% of people have skin sensitivity on the face, 60.7% on the body, 56.3% on the genital skin.
The most affected area on the face is the Nasolabial fold.
If you have pre-existing skin conditions like dermatitis, rosacea then you have a large chance of getting sensitive skin.
If you are in an industry that exposes your skin to cosmetics or chemicals then you might be prone to skin sensitivity.
Pollution, extreme weather conditions like too hot or too cold can trigger skin sensitivity.
It is interesting to note in this regard, that I even found some of my patients who developed skin sensitivity due to the use of air conditioners.
Fabrics have their ubiquitous presence and they are the prime factor for skin sensitivity after cosmetics and environmental factors.
Not just the fabric, but even the detergents that we use for cleaning clothes are not free from chemicals and they can cause skin sensitivity.
I am a skin specialist working with Janvi Multispeciality hospital and you know what…. Skin infections take time to heal.
But more than that, writing about it takes time. I know so many things about skin that I need to restrict myself from writing it here. Anyways let’s continue….
Causes for Sensitive Skin
Changes in the levels of estrogen hormone can cause your skin to become sensitive. It is typically noticed in the areas of your breast. Breasts become tender in some cases.
Lack of Sleep
A human being needs at least 7 hours of peaceful sleep to stay healthy. So lack of sleep can also be a cause of sensitive skin.
You might be thinking that all doctors list ‘stress’ as a common cause for all diseases. We, dermatologists, aren’t an exception to it.
Stress alone will not cause skin sensitivity but it will lead to other problems which will, in turn, lead to skin sensitivity.
Addictions of any sort like caffeine, smoking, alcohol can damage your internal organs which in turn can lead to skin sensitivity.
Although much research is not done in this regard, it is very necessary that you stay away from supplements for a healthy body.
Poor Eating Habits
Have you heard the story of ‘Aladdin ka Chirag’? People today are obsessed with ‘looks’ and a false trend of ‘fitness’. Let’s learn from the magic lamp that you just need to take care of your body to let the emotions flourish.
In the magic lamp, you rub the lamp for the genie to appear…in life take care of your body, love it for the emotional health and resilience to appear!
Remember, it did not matter whether the lamp was fat or thin or ugly or beautiful!
Fit does not work if you are not fine!
Why I am stressing about emotions is because much depends on how we feel. So not only eating nutritious things but eating them with the right mindset is important.
Maybe I am going out of the way, but that is why our elders asked us to pray every single time we eat something. It carries positive vibes which are very essential to stay fit.
I think I need not elaborate more on this point. You are smart enough to understand this point
Well, I know you might be just skimming the content and thinking that you already know about the harmful effects of UV radiation.
But there is surely more to add to it which might be important for you. Discussing it a little later.
How Does the Sun Affect Our Skin?
I am sure you all must be feeling that the Sun is the source of Vitamin D. It is correct but as our elders say, ‘anything in excess is bad’.
We have three types of radiation from the Sun viz, UVA, UVB and UVC. We need to worry only about the first two because the Earth’s ozone layer protects us from UVC.
Frequent exposure to the sun for a long period of time for many years can lead to skin problems and even skin cancer.
So you should always wear clothing that helps you prevent direct exposure to the Sun and also use sunscreen lotion with an SPF above 30 every two hours to stay protected.
You will be surprised to know that now there are special clothes available in the market which can prevent you from the UV radiation of the Sun.
Brands like Cooliebar and Solartex have developed swimsuits that help to prevent the ultraviolet radiation of the Sun.
Places you miss when you apply sunscreen lotion
According to the American Academy of Dermatology Association, you should apply sunscreen lotion to all parts of the body that are exposed to the Sun.(I have deliberately quoted American Academy so that you know that not just Indian dermatologists, but even the other dermatologists from all over the world are recommending the use of sunscreen lotion)
If you fail to apply the sunscreen lotion then in the long run, a longer duration of exposure can cause large problems…
Too many ‘L’ words… I know.
Coming to the point, I have specifically observed that we miss applying sunscreen to the following parts of our body.
Neck and Chest
Which tests are conducted to judge Sensitive Skin
Generally, we lookout for the symptoms and that is enough to guide us but sometimes we do patch tests or blood tests to diagnose.
For those of you who have fallen in love with your skins here is something that will interest you.
Tips for Sensitive Skin
Taking care of your skin is essential because it covers most parts of your body. The outermost layer of your skin is most prone to skin infections or sensitivity.
You should use the following health care products for your skin.
Cleaner- It helps to clean the skin thoroughly.
Moisturiser – Keeps the skin hydrated.
Scrub – Helps to replace the dead cells
Sunscreen lotion – To protect your skin from UV radiation.
|Skincare Product||Skin Type||What It Does||Expected Results|
Best for dry or normal
Gently cleans without soap
or harsh ingredients, such
Cleure Lotion Cleanser
gently cleans without
leaving your skin feeling
tight and itchy. Instead
your skin feels clean,
smooth and soft.
Face & Body Bar
For all skin
as it cleans, oatmeal helps
soothe away problem
Used daily for face and body
cleansing, skin becomes
softer and smoother
with each use. Great
for the whole body.
|Face & Body Wash||Oily skin|
removes impurities without
stripping the skin of natural
Your skin feels better and
clearer when you use
the right cleanser for
your sensitive skin type.
Best for oily, adult
This is the final step for
cleaning your face. Toner
helps prevent breakouts by
cleaning and closing pores.
Helps clean by gentle
Cleure alcohol-free toner
leaves your skin pH balanced
for perfectly healthy and clear
complexion. It’s important
to only use alcohol-free
Excellent for adult
acne-prone skin, and
Acne, sun damage and
ageing skin can cause the surface of your skin to
appear unhealthy and dull.
Daily or bi-weekly
exfoliation helps remove
the build-up of dead skin cells.
Cleure Exfoliating Scrub
gently removes dead cells
from the surface, leaving
your skin smooth,
radiant and healthy. This
should be an important
part of a daily skincare
routine to prevent acne,
and premature ageing
of your skin.
|Facial Mask||All skin types|
Kaolin clay and dead
sea mud help add vitally
nutrients to a dull complexion.
A regular at-home facial
with scrub and mask is
vital to healthy
complexion. Fruit acids help
improve skin’s resilience.
Your skin will feel refined,
soft and smooth with
|Day Cream Moisturizer|
Dry, or combi-
Moisturizer with shea
butter and antioxidants
help rebuild natural
the barrier of the skin,
damaged by the environment-
Keeping your skin
hydrated is important
for preventing ageing and
for healthy skin. Anti-
oxidants help fight
|Oil-Free Facial Lotion||Oily skin|
important for oily skin.
The wrong type can
cause clogged pores and
Hydrates without oily
feel or resulting clogged
pores. Your skin feels
smooth, healthy and clear.
Normal to dry
Helps repair while you
help fight free radicals.
Apply nightly and
you’ll notice repair and
rejuvenation while you
|Sunscreen||All skin types|
Protection from the
UV rays of the sun
is extremely important
for healthy skin.
Cleure SPF 15 and
SPF 30 help protect your
skin with zinc oxide
and titanium dioxide
ingredients or greasy feel.
|Emu Oil||Very dry skin|
Penetrates deep to relieve
even the driest skin. Must
be purified properly and
have seal of the American
Emu Association. Has
with no side effects.
Emu oil can be used
on nail beds, feet and
any area that’s very dry.
Will not clog pores and
has no known side
effects on the skin. Excellent for
When to see a Skin Specialist?
Skin conditions take a long time to heal and therefore it is very much essential that you approach a skin specialist or a qualified dermatologist before it is too late.
I know it has been a really ‘long read’ for you but as a doctor, it was my duty to guide you and hence I explained every little thing (which you can understand) in somewhat detail. I hope you didn’t get bored.
Take care of your skin, that is what I want all of you to do.
About Dr Mansi Buch
Dr. Mansi Buch in Vadodara is a professionally qualified dermatologist, cosmetic dermato-venereologist, and hair transplant surgeon.
She works with Janvi Multispeciality hospital as a Skin Specialist. She has 2+ years of experience in the medical sector. And practising Dermatologist with an experience of 6 years.
Treatments by her include: Skin Treatment, Skin Care ClinicLaser Removal, Pimple Treatment, Acne Treatment, Scar Treatment, Dark Circles, Dark Spots Filler & Treatment, Botox Treatment, Cosmetics, Infection, Ringworm, Fungal Infection, Keloid Treatment, Skin Tag Removal, Anti-ageing Treatment, Wart Removal, Mole Removal, Fairness Treatment, Wrinkle Treatment, Hair Fall Problem, Laser Treatment, Hair Treatment, Female Dermatologist, Skin Whitening Treatment, Skin Glow Treatment, Stretch Marks, Skin Glow Treatment