Dermatologist and laser surgeon Dr Apratim Goel of Cutis Skin Solution, Mumbai, says that sensitive, intolerant, allergy prone skin or easily irritated skin needs special care and the right products
‘Doctor! I cannot use bleach,’ ‘Whatever I apply my on my skin, it causes irritation’— these are some of the most common complaints that people with sensitive skin have. “Sensitive skin will show symptoms like redness and irritation, faking, burning sensation itching and the symptoms of an allergy prone skin are seen when exposed to a particular allergen red patches, oozing and extreme itching,” says Dr Apratim Goel of Cutis Skin Solution, Mumbai.
Talking about the reasons behind such skin issues, she says that although the cause of skin sensitivity and allergy prone skin can be hereditary, it can also be aggregated by frequent use of highly irritating products. “Common allergy producing ingredients include fragrance, preservatives, sulphates, formaldehyde and at times plant extracts too. Other causes of allergy can be skin disorders or allergic reactions like eczema, rosacea, allergic contact dermatitis, urticaria, extremely dry skin and prolonged exposure to environmental factors like sun, wind or excessive heat or cold,” Goel suggests.
If you want to treat your skin allergy and sensitivity, chances are you will be perplexed looking at the number of products available in the market. And despite the claim that the product is suitable ‘for sensitive skin,’ it is difficult to treat everyone with a single product . What may suit someone, may not suit the other as each type of sensitivity is different. However, you can always be cautious and take measures to curb the problem.
“Use a gentle cleanser that is free of fragrance and sodium lauryl sulphate. Soap-free cleansers or most liquid cleansers have less potential for facial irritation. Don’t wash your face too much — not more than twice a day with warm water (not too hot or too cold). Use fragrance free skin care products. Fragrances contain allergic ingredients,” says Goel, adding, “You must moisturise your skin. Moisturisers help your skin from drying out. Apply it while your skin is still damp after cleansing to seal in the moisture. Use a sensitive skin sunblock that has non-comedogenic written on it (non-comedogenic means that the product is formulated so as not to cause blocked pores). Avoid products with retinoids or AHA (Alpha Hydroxy Acids) used for anti-ageing and parabens. Consult your dermatologist first. The simplest clue is to pick products with labels like ‘hypoallergenic’, ‘for sensitive skin’ or has ‘gentle’ written on it.”