Sensitive Skin: 6 Ways to Stop the Itching
Maybe it's a little patch of red, itchy skin that just ... pops up. Or sudden, uncomfortable red blotches that decide to take over your face and neck. If these — or any other unpleasant skin symptoms — sound familiar, then you know how difficult it can be to manage sensitive skin. And you're not alone. According to some surveys, as many as 45% of Americans report sensitive skin symptoms.
When untreated, sensitive skin can be uncomfortable and even painful— and fear of a new outbreak can be stressful for any sufferer and their family.
First things first, recognize the signs. Some of the most common symptoms to watch for include:
- Pustules, skin bumps or skin erosion
- Skin that’s overly dry or injured
- Blushing and flushing on body or face
- Stinging, itching or burning
Only a dermatologist can diagnose you for sure, so if you experience any of these symptoms on a regular basis, get them checked out and talk through your options. And while it's not always possible to isolate the exact triggers, these symptoms could be related:
- A skin disorder called eczema
- Environmental conditions like wind, sun or cold
- Genetic factors
- Reactions to some types of food, including allergic reactions
- Reactions to lotions, moisturizers, sunscreens or laundry detergents
Finally, you need a plan of action. Sensitive skin can be extremely sensitive, so think about everything that touches your skin throughout the day — even the smallest things.Once you have that list in mind, use these 6 tips for sensitive skin to help fight back!
2.Wash Before You Wear.
It may be tempting to tear off the tags and wear it right away, but brand-new clothes that haven’t been washed may contain formaldehyde, heavy dyes and other chemicals. Wash them first (using a sensitive skin detergent) before you wear them.
3.Skip the Scented Soaps.
Highly fragranced soaps can irritate sensitive skin. Look for products with these natural, dermatologist-recommended ingredients: Rose and lavender (they calm inflammation); chamomile (it soothes); witch hazel (a natural toner); blueberry seeds (for gentle exfoliation); and organic aloevera (nature's moisturizer).
4.Wash with Warm Water.
Whether you’re bathing or showering, use lukewarm water instead of hot. Very hot water can strip skin of natural oils. And take short baths instead of long; a long soak can trigger flare-ups.
Maintaining a healthy lifestyle can make a difference. That means skipping spicy, greasy foods, and finding a way to reduce and manage stress — like daily meditation or a relaxing bike ride after work. Also, limit your alcohol intake; alcohol dilates blood vessels, which can make skin reddening worse.
6.Lather on the Lotion.
Moisturizers hold on to water in the skin, resisting drying and abrasion. That's good. But some can stress out your skin, too. Skip products with alcohol, beta hydroxy acids, retinoids, lanolin, parabens, quaternium-15 and a ton of fragrances. Instead, use a moisturizer containing petrolatum, mineral oil, linoleic acid, ceramides, dimethicone or glycerin.
Your skin is your body's largest organ. And when it's uncomfortable, it's no small thing. Luckily, with the right care, it can respond and feel better in a big way. Follow these tips and you or your family can feel relief from head to toe.
• Misery, Laurent. "Sensitive skin in the American population: prevalence, clinical data, and role of the dermatologist," International Journal of Dermatology, article, July 22, 2011 https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/21781068
• "20 Common Questions About Sensitive Skin.” WebMD.com. WebMD LLC, n.d. Web. 31 July 2013.
• Hall, Joanna. “Dealing With Sensitive Skin.” Bodyandsoul.com. NewsLifeMedia Pty Ltd, n.d. Web. 31 July 2013.
• Scirrotto, Julia. "Soothing Solutions for Sensitive Skin.” WebMD.com. WebMD LLC, n.d. Web. 31 July 2013.
• DeNoon, Daniel J. "Rosacea...More Than A Red Face."WebMD.com. WebMD LLC, n.d. Web. 31 July 2013.
Tips to freshen things up
Boost Your Bleach
For less bleach odor but the same whitening, use ½ cup of bleach and ½ cup of baking soda.
Delay the Dryer
After washing a pre-treated item, check to make sure the stain is gone so it doesn’t set in the dryer.
Freshen Your Clothes
For extra freshness, add ½ cup of baking soda to detergent, then another ½ cup in the rinse cycle
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