Many people experience severe skin sensitivity, and the condition can be very unpleasant and at times feel almost unbearable. The condition has many different causes. Typically sensitive skin can result in skin reactions that form pustules and bumps; very dry skin that exposes nerve endings; and flushing reactions.
There are a number of ways to tell if you have sensitive skin: if you tend to go blotchy after shaving; if you skin feels irritable after using a shower gel or soap; if you skin burns after applying perfume or aftershave; if you skin goes dry in cold weather; or if you are sensitive to any cosmetic products. If any of these apply to you then you almost certainly have severe sensitivity.
Sensitive skin conditions can result from skin disorders and allergic reactions, for instance eczema, rosacea and contact dermatitis; very dry skin; and exposure to the sun or cold weather conditions. Age, gender and race can also play a part. If you think you are allergic, then you should ask your doctor to carry out a skin patch test. There is also an association between migraine and sensitive skin; a recent study carried out by the American Academy of Neurology found that 68% of migraine sufferers also suffered from exacerbated skin sensitivity that resulted in discomfort or pain during ordinary activities such as putting on clothes.
People with severe skin sensitivity need to take special care regarding cleansing and should avoid fragranced soaps. Soap free cleaners are generally recommended. Moisturising products that help the skin retain moisture can help considerably.
It helps to wear a hypoallergenic sunscreen (SPF 30 or higher) all the year round and stay out of the sun as much as possible, especially when the sun is at its strongest. A wide brimmed hat is a good idea along with sunglasses. Remember that tanning can damage your skin so don’t sunbathe even with a strong sunscreen.
In the winter if your skin tend to go dry, flakes, itches and cracks, then you can help the condition of you don’t overheat your home, so turn the thermostat down, take warm rather that hot baths and showers, and keep them short; as mentioned before use a soap free cleanser. After bathing pat (rather than rub) your skin dry and apply a moisturiser while you skin is still a little damp.
You should also be careful when choosing your clothing fabrics. The best fabrics to wear next to the skin are natural fabrics such as fine cotton and silk. They are both absorbent and will wick body moisture away from the skin. Wool worn next to the skin can be an irritant as can certain man made fibres. Also avoid tight clothing.