Tuesday, November 10

Skin care - Causes of skin sensitivity

Causes of skin sensitivity

Skin sensitivity

It is a condition wherein a person experiences blown up response of skin to certain stimuli.
A myriad of reactions are experienced by persons with skin sensitivity like, lesions, inflammations, bumps and raised spots, pustules and red and raw spots. They may also experience pain, stinging, numbness and burning sensations on the skin.

Causes of skin sensitivity

Sensitivity of skin is caused by many unknown factors. Among the known factors environment, food, race, age, gender and genetic predisposition play a greater part.
The list of possible causative agents (allergens) and causes is exhaustive. A few of the causes are listed below:
  • Long exposure to sunlight can be a cause
  • Long exposure to heat
  • Long exposure to cold and cold winds
  • High humidity can be a cause
  • Very dry conditions
  • Heated dry air inside the house in winter
  • Salts from sea water and sea-breeze
  • Exposure to radiation and radiotherapy
  • Dust, dust mites and dander of pets
  • Chemicals in cosmetics
  • Chemicals added to food products and preservatives
  • Certain types of foods
  • Flowers and pollen
  • Medicines and formulations
  • Chemotherapy
  • Chemicals in paints and varnish
  • Formalin and formaldehyde present in products around us
  • Pesticides
  • Antibiotics
  • fungicides
  • plastics, polymers, resins, adhesives, lacquers and rubber
  • Contact with metals like, gold, silver, nickel, copper etc...
  • Alkali in the daily-use products
  • Acids in the daily-use products

Manifestations of skin sensitivity

The most common manifestation is eczema or dermatitis. This may lead to itchy lesions which may be dry, scaly and thickened or wet itchy lesions which may be raw and blistered.
  • Chronic photo dermatitis (chronic actinic dermatitis or photo eczema) is a condition wherein dermis reacts to sunlight or artificial light and becomes inflamed.
  • photo-dermatitis
    Photo-dermatitis (enlarge)
  • Contact dermatitis, a condition of sensitivity, causes lesion on contact with allergy causing substance (allergen) and is usually localized rash. Mostly surface regions (epidermis) is affected.
    This causes itchy and burning inflammation which may take several days for resolving after the removal of the irritant.
  • contact dermatitis
    Contact dermatitis around wound (enlarge)
    Seborrhoeic dermatitis (seborrhoeic eczema) is skin condition caused by unknown factors. This results in red, itchy, scaly and sensitivity and mostly of the scalp and chest are affected.

    Soaps, detergents, hormones and genetic and environmental factors have been found to trigger the rash. In some cases involvement of the fungus Malassezia furfur has been noticed. Excessive intake of vitamin A in children has been associated with this rash. Deficiency of B vitamins like biotin, pyridoxine and riboflavin has been found to cause seborrhoeic dermatitis and sensitivity. seborrhoeic dermatitis
    Seborrhoeic dermatitis (enlarge)
    Atopic dermatitis is chronic, itchy, relapsing and non-contagious inflammation. Though the exact cause is not known factors like food, chemicals and environment have been found to trigger the rash or worsen the existing condition. The inner side skin of the elbows and knees is the most affected. atopic dermatitis
    Atopic dermatitis (enlarge)
    Migraine affected people have been found to suffer from severe skin pain (cutaneous allodynia). Areas of skin which are subjected slight pressure or scratch are sometimes found to give intense pain in persons with migraine and in some cases scratching may trigger migraine.
Though skin sensitivity cannot be completely prevented, steps can be taken to lessen the situation by mitigating the possible causes.

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image courtesy: Amras666, Eisfelder
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