It's More Common Than You Think
The phrase “sensitive skin” is a term that people use in everyday conversations. Symptoms you may experience include: itching, burning, redness, flushing, pustules, dryness, peeling, scaling, bumps, hives, leathery skin, and other visible changes.
The two top levels of the epidermis comprise your skin’s natural barrier. The stratum corneum is composed of 15 to 20 layers of dead skin cells, along with ceramides and free fatty acids including cholesterol. The surface level is a thin, mildly acidic coating of sebum and sweat, called the “sebum barrier” or “acid mantle.” As a whole, your skin barrier protects deeper, living epidermal cells by locking out destructive pathogens, allergens, pollution and other free radicals, while sealing in moisture.
When your skin barrier is healthy, its mantel is intact and acidic, and the cells of the stratum corneum are organized into a neat brick-and-mortar pattern with ceramides and fats acting as the mortar. When the barrier has a compromised seal and damaged, disorganized cells, moisture escapes more easily. A weakened barrier also leaves the underlying living cells more susceptible to injury and reduced function.
While other skin issues could be to blame, any of the following may be tipping you off to barrier damage:
- Dryness or tightness
- Flaking or peeling
- Redness & inflammation
- Sensitivity, reactiveness
- Rough texture
For any questions related to skin products and treatments for sensitive skin, schedule a consultation with one of our knowledgeable providers.