By Dr. Rohan Anand, Dermatology
People tend to believe that they have sensitive skin when they use certain products that don’t suit them and causes some redness, itching, blotches, rashes, etc. However, this is not true. Sensitive skin is actually used to describe a condition when the skin develops rashes, skin bumps, erosions, pustules, blotches, redness and so on when exposed to harsh weather conditions such as extreme heat, wind or cold.
There are some common skin ailments for that may harm a sensitive skin; i.e. Acne, rosacea, burning and stinging as well as contact dermatitis or irritants and allergies. Skin can be sensitive on any part of the body, including legs, arms, hands, etc. but it is most noticeable on the face though. The degree of sensitivity varies from person to person. Sensitive skin easily reacts when exposed to sunlight or wind. Also, such a skin is more prone to dryness, itchiness and redness. So, in case you have a sensitive skin you need to be extra cautious with the foods you eat and the products you use.
Precautions to be taken in case of sensitive skin:
- First of all, you need to find out what is causing the problem. Is it food, weather or a product and stop using/avoiding those things to protect your skin.
- Wash your face with a mild cleanser twice a day.
- Do not overload yourself with several skin care products like toners, scrubs, packs, and a variety of creams.
- Keep a healthy, balanced diet which is rich in antioxidants such as Vitamins A, C and E. Also increase your intake of anti-inflammatory spices such as turmeric, ginger, cinnamon and black pepper.
- Exercise daily to ensure good circulation to the skin.
- Drink at least eight glasses of water daily. Adding lemon gives your skin the much needed Vitamin C.
- Choose natural and soft fabrics such as silk and cotton for sensitive skin.
- Avoid exposing your skin to too hot or cold water.
- Avoid using skincare and cosmetic products that have alcohol, harsh exfoliants, petrochemicals, acids, or synthetic fragrances as these can irritate the skin.
- While trying a new product make sure to do a trial test on the skin especially on your inner arm or behind your ear.
- Use a good broad-spectrum sunscreen which is non-comedogenic, paraben and fragrance-free.
- Try to reduce stress in life by resorting to activities such as meditation, yoga, or walking.
- Get enough restful sleep to enable your body clock to function normally, which will give you clear skin.
However, if you do have any prolonged, unexplained skin reaction then you should visit your dermatologist who might conduct a skin allergy test to identify the root cause of the problem. Finally, limit your alcohol intake.