Men's Life Today: Expert Q+A
I have sensitive skin -- a lot of redness and itching. How do I take care of it?
When people come to see me with a sensitive skin condition,
they may be referring to breakouts, itching or full-blown dermatitis.
It’s a problem we can all relate to that can range from a
minor blemish to a debilitating allergy.
skin is caused by a number of different issues that can be put into
three broad categories: allergic and irritant dermatitis (inflammation
of the skin), acne and rosacea. All these conditions are often
associated with itching and burning:
dermatitis is caused by something touching and
sensitizing the skin. Poison ivy is an obvious example, but it could be
something more obscure, like a piece of jewelry, latex gloves, your
favorite soap or aftershave.
The first line of defense is to avoid contact with the
allergen -- and if a known allergen does touch your skin, wash it off
immediately. If you’re at all concerned, see your doctor.
Otherwise, non-prescription treatments include oral antihistamines like
Benadryl and hydrocortisone creams, which can be applied to smaller
dermatitis is a compound problem that may have many
treatment starts by removing or minimizing those things you know might
be causing the irritation. Beyond that, look out for cleaning solutions,
detergents and household or workplace chemicals you use. Day to day,
reduce long, hot showers, switch to milder forms of soap and shampoo,
and finish your grooming routine by using a gentle moisturizer.
Everything you do to reduce layers of irritation will help. If all else
fails, try a mild hydrocortisone cream, and if that doesn’t
work, you may need to step up to a prescription medication.
is primarily a result of oily skin -- the buildup of bacteria and
inflammation of hair follicles.
Over-the-counter lotions that contain ingredients like
salicylic acid and benzoyl peroxide that often help with mild
occurrences. Prescription topical treatments and/or antibiotics may be
needed to treat more severe cases.
in which enlarged blood vessels give the face and nose a flushed
appearance, has no known cause. But common triggers include drinking
alcohol, eating spicy foods and even sunshine.
If you suffer from rosacea, always use a good sunblock.
Treatments are similar to those for acne and include antibiotics and
Sensitive skin can be painful
and embarrassing. Always look carefully at the soaps, perfumes and
moisturizes you buy. The products we use play an important role in the
health of our skin, so selecting items with pure, natural ingredients
will likely be a large part of the solution.