When it comes to symptoms like dryness, itchiness, thickening, swelling, redness, and burning to name a few, the label “sensitive skin” might seem obvious, but it’s not that simple.
According to Lydia Sarfati, CEO and founder of Repêchage, estheticians cannot diagnose or treat medical conditions, but they do need to be able to clearly identify sensitive skin types and create a plan of action.
Here, she explains the types of sensitive skin:
- Sensitive or reactive skin is characterized by dry skin or dry patches, stinging, itching, light burning, tightness, or sensitivity to perfumes.
- Eczema is a more general term for all types of dermatitis, with symptoms like erythema (redness), edema or swelling, inflammation, and extreme dryness.
- Atopic dermatitis is a more severe and long-lasting form of eczema and is often characterized by itchy, inflamed skin. Atopic dermatitis tends to flare up when the person is exposed to trigger factors, such as irritants; allergens; low humidity; heat; high humidity; sweating; and emotional stress, which produces skin inflammation, and in turn, triggers itching and redness.
- Irritant Contact Dermatitis is an inflammation of the skin that occurs when the skin is exposed to an irritating or sensitizing substance, including solvents, industrial chemicals, detergents, soaps, fragrances, tobacco smoke, paint, wool, acidic foods, and alcohol. This form of contact dermatitis is often associated with burning, stinging, itching, and redness.
- Allergic Contact Dermatitis is caused by subtler trigger factors and can occur 24 to 48 hours after contact with the offending substance. It is the result of prior exposure to a sensitizing agent and is classified as delayed-type hypersensitivity and may include redness, swelling, itching, and fluid-filled blisters.
- Ichthyosis is a skin disorder characterized by dry, rough, scaling, darkened skin that occurs because of an excess amount of keratin.
- Rosacea is characterized by flushing, persistent redness, swelling, pustules that appear to be acne, and visible blood vessels.