Very sensitive skin?

 

More and more people are complaining of skin hypersensitivity. Such skin reacts with redness, burning and itching on many influences – for example, on the application of regular cosmetics, on cold windy weather, or even on washing with tap water. Normal skin has an adapting resource for external conditions, while hypersensitive skin is differed by low stress tolerance: even a slight deviation from ideal conditions causes an irritation reaction.

 

 

Why can this happen?

Violations of the barrier function of the skin. Normally epidermis – the top layer of the skin – is covered with protective hydrolipidic mantle, which is formed due to the work of the sebaceous and sweat glands, as well as due to the formation of epidermal lipids during the maturation of keratinocytes (the cells of the upper horny layer). Filaggrin is a key protein of the epidermis responsible for the strength of the protective barrier of the skin, its hydration; it is part of the system of Natural Moisturizing Factor (NMF).

Due to the weakening of the barrier properties of the epidermis, moisture evaporates intensively through it, in the upper horny layer forms micro cracks, and undesirable microorganisms can penetrate into deeper layers. In response to this, exactly here initiated an inflammatory process, the signs of which are redness, irritation and itching.

Deficiency of epidermal lipids and filaggrin may be determined genetically (some people naturally have very dry skin). In addition, with age, decreases the level of sex hormones, on which depends the activity of many functional structures of the skin. Thus, after about 40 years of age, the skin becomes drier and more vulnerable.

Contact reactivity. Even if the formation of epidermal lipids naturally is in sufficient quantities, it can be constantly removed due to exposure of chemical  substances – for example, with  wrong selection of cosmetics, frequent use of aggressive household cleaning products, or repeated hand washing  throughout the day (for those working in medicine, in the field of catering, etc.)

Problems of local immunity. In some cases, the skin shows hypersensitivity even with a normal epidermal barrier and the absence of contact irritants. Here, the reason is an inadequate response of the skin’s immune system, which in its turn can be caused by a wide range of factors. Among the most common are emotional stress, past infections, and disorders in the composition of the intestinal microflora, for example, after a course of antibiotic treatment.

Doctors also pay attention to the negative role of chemical antiseptics such as triclosan, chlorhexidine and the like. They are often used for hand or oral cavity disinfection. They inhibit the reproduction not only pathogenic, but also beneficial microflora, which ultimately can contribute to the formation of resistant pathogenic strains, of dysbiosis and to the development of skin hypersensitivity.

How to avoid skin irritation outbreaks? Hypersensitive skin care should be thoughtful and careful. It is better to refuse spontaneous purchases and experiments with cosmetics. High-quality soothing and soften products for this type of skin contain lipids to provide barrier function and mild components to reduce sensitivity. Preference should be given to products which are developed under the supervision of dermatologists and have passed the necessary clinical tests.

 

 


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