All skin has a degree of sensitivity, and this makes it challenging to distinguish truly sensitive skin from skin that may simply be experiencing a reaction to something. In fact, millions of Americans have what is termed “sensitive” skin, but the term, in relation to skin type, is actually commonly misunderstood, overused and even confused with other similarly related issues like rosacea.
Because it is easy to misdiagnose, understanding the key attributes of sensitive skin and being able to differentiate between skin sensitivities and other issues, is fundamental to creating an effective treatment plan to rebuild and strengthen the skin. As with other skin challenges, skin with sensitivities will respond best with a customized treatment plan designed to meet its specific needs. There are, however, several ingredients and treatments that have proven effective in restoring sensitive skin types to optimal health. But first, you must be able to identify the signs of sensitive skin and possible contributing factors.
Common Signs of Sensitive Skin
Nearly all skin has a degree of sensitivity. This is because skin is a reactive mechanism that responds to various elements and disturbances inside and out. But it is the level of reaction that will help you pinpoint whether skin is truly sensitive or not.
To start, sensitive skin tends to be thinner, and more prone to fragile capillaries. It also is generally more susceptible to reddening and can develop rashes in response to an outside influence. Keep in mind, however, all skin reacts to external factors such as pollution, sun, wind and smoking. Sensitive skin will overreact to these elements. When it comes to skin topicals, most sensitive skins are typically reacting to inferior ingredients or formulations, such as those containing dyes, preservatives or perfumes.
Reactions in sensitive skin will often show up as a flushing of the skin, redness or rash. It is not a chronic or progressive issue like rosacea, rather a reaction that typically subsides once the offending element has been eliminated and inflammation is calmed.