Sensitive Skin – FAQs
Do you suffer from sensitive skin? Here are some of the most frequently asked questions answered.
What is sensitive skin?
Though there is not one single definition, but it usually refers to skin that is particularly reactive to allergens and environmental stimuli resulting in frequent irritation and inflammation.
Are there any medical tests for sensitive skin?
Dermatologists can conduct patch tests to determine allergy related causes, however, there is no one definitive medical test for the condition.
How can I tell if I have sensitive skin?
There isn’t a test for sensitive skin, so it may be useful to seek the opinion of a dermatologist and check the symptoms are not the result of another medical condition.
What causes sensitive skin reactions?
- Skin disorders including eczema, rosacea or contact dermatitis.
- Allergic reactions (to soap, jewellery, fragrances, cosmetics, etc).
- Damaged or dry skin.
- Environmental factors and irritants.
How do I select the right skin care products?
Try and look for products with fewer ingredients. Avoid fragrances or products containing alcohol or antibacterial ingredients. Though the term hypoallergenic may be used to describe products that are gentle on sensitive skin, it is best to test any new skin care product on a small area before adding to your routine.
How do I care for sensitive skin?
Select soap-free and fragrance-free moisturising cleansers to avoid irritation. Moisturise regularly with a rich cream that both draws and seals in moisture, as well as providing a protective barrier from the environment, like O’Keeffe’s Skin Repair.
Does diet play a role?
A nutrient rich diet and adequate hydration are both important for healthy skin in general. One thing to keep in mind around skin sensitivity is the allergy component. Keep an eye on foods that may potentially be contributing to an allergic reaction.
What diseases and conditions are linked to the problem?
Skin disorders including acne, psoriasis, contact dermatitis, rosacea and eczema increase the likelihood of sensitive skin.
Is it inherited?
In some cases, sensitive skin can be inherited. Skin disorders including acne, psoriasis, contact dermatitis, rosacea and eczema tend to run in families.
How do I protect my skin?
Protect the skin from the elements where possible. When outside, use either a zinc oxide or titanium dioxide suncream. These offer physical rather than chemical protection from the sun and will not cause a reaction.
Keep fabric in mind as well. Certain fabrics are less irritating than others for sensitive skin. Generally, smooth fabrics like silk are less likely to cause a reaction than, more rough alternatives like wool.