• reactive skin
• visible capillaries
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Sensitive skin is characterised by hyperreactivity, increased permeability or weak barrier function and a low tolerance threshold. This combination rapidly triggers an excessive inflammatory response that can manifest as itching, tingling, tightness, stinging, irritation, intense localised burning, dryness, itching, pruritus and intermittent redness or erythema. These can even become permanent or result in dilated capillaries or spider veins, usually found in the centre of the face.
Vascular problems worsen over time and can become chronic, taking the form of flushes, erythema (erythrosis), spider veins (telangiectasia), couperose, rosacea and rhinophyma. Redness can be caused by multiple physical, chemical and/or biological factors: pollution, cosmetics, skin treatments, UV-induced erythema, stress and nerves, some spicy foodstuffs, alcohol, environmental changes and thermal, neural or medicinal stimuli.
Furthermore, the weak barrier function associated with sensitive, reactive or delicate skin increases skin dehydration, as well as penetration by potentially irritant external agents. In all these skin types, the hydrolipidic barrier is out of balance.
Intolerant skin types’ nerve endings are also believed to secrete excessive amounts of neurotransmitters, as well as cytokines that encourage inflammatory processes. Finally, sensitive and intolerant skin types are characterised by over-production of free radicals.
There are two types of skin inflammation: immunogenic inflammation and neurogenic inflammation. The first is caused by external substances (pollen or pollution). The second is caused by the nervous system (e.g. stress).
Hypersensitivity occurs in varying degrees. The more sensitive the skin, the lower its tolerance threshold. In the case of sensitive skin, reactions are transient and sporadic. In that of intolerant or reactive skin, reactions are frequent, or almost constant, and the tolerance threshold is minimal.
Sensitive skin is extremely common and affects 1/3 of the adult population, particularly women. Family and genetic factors also mean that some skin types are more prone to sensitivity than others. Sensitive skin may also be a clinical manifestation of a facial pathology like rosacea, eczema or seborrhoeic dermatitis, for example.
At last, more beautiful,
nurtured and protected skin
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