Any skin which has heightened sensitivity can be very difficult to live with. Hypersensitive skin can be a problem, when every type of product either at best, does not have any effect and at worse, exacerbates the problem.
With the help of some experts, we find out a bit more about hypersensitive skin.
Hypersensitive skin is defined as skin that is hyper-reactive to different factors of varying harshness that are well tolerated by normal skin. A more extreme and frequent version of sensitive skin, hypersensitive skin is characterised by unpleasant sensations and visible reactions when sufferers come into contact with usually innocuous internal or external stressors such as extreme temperature, chemicals or UV rays. These sensations, and their intensity, vary from individual to individual and this can make diagnosis difficult.
There are three signs and symptoms that are commonly experienced by sufferers — a compromised skin barrier, very reactive sensory fibres in the epidermis and redness, often caused by inflammation. Collectively they can be termed the Hypersensitive Skin Triangle.
The impaired skin barrier results in increased trans-epidermal water loss, making it more prone to irritants.
The hyperactive or over-stimulated sensory fibres in the epidermis react faster and much stronger than those in normal skin. These sensory fibres trigger unpleasant skin sensations which have been described as, among other things, stinging, burning or tightness of the facial skin or scalp none of which show any visible symptoms.
In more serious cases, these non-visible symptoms can be supplemented with dryness and pimples or redness.
While it’s possible to have dry skin or acne as a result of having hypersensitive skin, unless it is accompanied by unpleasant sensations, the skin is not considered hypersensitive. Similarly, redness can lead to Couperose-prone skin and ultimately Rosacea when experienced alongside the sensations, but redness is not exclusive to hypersensitive skin.
Due to its compromised skin barrier hypersensitive skin is vulnerable to stressors.
Rosacea is a chronic inflammatory disease that affects up to 10% of the adult population. Symptoms include diffuse redness of the cheeks, chin, nose and forehead and this can be accompanied by couperosis, blemishes, pustules and, if the ocular area is affected, styes and conjunctivitis. At its worst, sufferers can experience rhinophyma — a thickening of the skin, and excess tissue, that can appear on the nose making it look large and bulbous.
Abloomnova stocks a range of products for hypersensitive skin.