Successfully treating damaged, reactive skin requires precise and specialist care in order to rebuild and restore it back to health as safely as possible.
There are a number of reasons why skin goes on high alert and becomes quick to anger but the main ones include poor health, severe allergies, undergoing surgery or a cosmetic procedure, enduring intense medical treatments, and prolonged bouts of stress. Just one or a combination of these things can significantly weaken the skin, particularly the epidermal barrier, causing it to lose moisture rapidly and allow harmful irritants and bacteria to enter the skin more easily.
When this happens the skin responds in one of two ways; the body’s immune system kicks into gear and attacks the intruding irritant which leads to painful swelling, inflammation and itching at the surface, or the nervous system takes over and releases neuropeptides which trigger the body’s inflammatory responses which, under normal circumstances or in non-sensitised skin, is a positive thing and encourages better tissue repair. When skin has already been damaged, this kind of response aggravates the skin further and causes dryness, itching, burning and inflammation.
Other symptoms of damaged or reactive skin are extreme tightness or discomfort, dryness, rashes or lumps, increased surface temperature and a painful stinging or burning sensation. When these symptoms are experienced infrequently, the skin is simply sensitive to a particular ingredient or product whereas any prolonged and reoccurring symptoms indicate damaged, weakened and thinning skin that needs major TLC.
To treat this kind of extremely delicate skin on the face and body, look for soothing barrier repairing products that are free of the most common irritants such as heavy perfumes, colourings, alcohol and very strong essential oils. Avoid washing the skin with hot water (use waterless cleansers instead), refrain from exfoliating in any way and keep the number of products used daily to a minimum.