Whether you’re trying to treat symptoms or discover the source of your skin irritation, discover everything you need to know to soothe your sensitive skin.

right mark

Copied to Clipboard

wrong mark

Sensitive Skin: Causes, Treatment, And Prevention

05/20/20228 min read

Over two-thirds of the world’s population consider their skin prone to reactions like itching and redness. The causes of this sensitive skin, however, range from person to person.

Your sensitive skin could be the symptom of a skin condition or the result of the dry winter weather, among other things. In this article, we’ll look at the causes of sensitive skin, how to treat it, and what you can do to prevent irritation.

What Causes Sensitive Skin?

Woman touches sensitive skin on her face

Dryness

Let’s start with dry skin. It’s something that most of us can’t avoid once the temperature drops, so we feel like we’re stuck with it until spring decides to circle back around.

Unfortunately, having dry skin can lead to skin sensitivity. This is because your skin loses a lot of its moisture and oils that protect it from external conditions. When dry skin isn’t properly cared for, it becomes itchy and red.

Damaged Skin

Dry skin can temporarily disrupt your skin’s natural barrier, but what happens if your skin then becomes damaged?

Damaged skin, when left untreated, also causes skin sensitivity. But this might be the least of your concerns. When your skin can’t protect and heal itself properly, your chances of developing chronic skin irritation and infections increase.

Some common causes of damaged skin include high levels of stress, smoking, UV radiation, and a severe lack of sleep. While damaged skin can create a long list of issues, it is easily treatable with the right care.

Skin Conditions

Man scratches skin on forearm

Living with a skin condition often means managing sensitive skin. Eczema, for example, usually causes dry and itchy patches of skin across your body and is commonly associated with sensitive skin.

Other conditions that are typically linked to sensitive skin include psoriasis, acne, and rosacea.

Allergies

Spring isn’t all clear skies and warm weather for everyone. When winter comes to a close and some people start singing with joy, others are sneezing, coughing, and trying to get rid of that massive pressure headache.

More severe allergies go beyond a build-up of mucus and affect your skin through dryness, scaling, and hives. These conditions might cause you to scratch your way through the season, but that only makes things worse.

When dry, flaky skin is regularly scratched, you risk damaging and scarring your skin’s barrier, leading to sensitive skin. If your allergy meds aren’t doing their job, consult your doctor and get the relief you need.

Stress

Stressed out mom holds daughter with other child in background

There are a million things that cause stress every day. Whether it’s work, school, children, or the recent Kardashian news, stress can feel unavoidable.

However, managing this stress is important. When you feel stressed, chemicals are released in your body that cause inflammation and skin sensitivity. And the more chronic your stress is, the more difficult it can be for your skin to heal.

Diet

You’ve probably heard conflicting information about how your diet impacts your health. One moment you’re told to eat greens, fruits, and lean meats, and then you hear about someone who only eats chicken nuggets completing their fifth marathon this year.

These types of people are impressive, but they’re also outliers. The food we eat is a major contributor to inflammation, and if this inflammation occurs for too long, it can lead to sensitive skin, skin disease, or other conditions.

Processed foods high in sugar are just one of many examples of things that will harm your skin rather than heal it. This is because sugar creates a spike in blood sugar levels, which can lead to inflammation and, as a result, skin sensitivity.

Other foods to eat rarely or in moderation include red meat, saturated fats, fried foods, dairy products, and alcohol.

Natural Sensitivity

It’s not unlikely that your sensitive skin might just be a part of your genetic makeup. This means that your skin is more prone to irritation from factors such as strong winds, sunlight, severe temperatures, or certain types of clothes or skincare products.

Having naturally sensitive skin is nothing to worry about, especially when you know the best ways to prevent dryness or irritation and how to treat your skin if it does show symptoms.

Preventing Sensitive Skin

Woman treating sensitive skin on her shoulder

Protect Your Skin

The first step to preventing skin sensitivity is to protect your skin from irritants and other harmful factors.

This might look different depending on your skin type and what elements you’re sensitive to. But following a few basic steps will keep your skin glowing no matter what’s happening around you.

Moisturizing is an incredibly effective way to protect your skin from irritation caused by eczema. Bodewell Eczema Daily Calming Cream uses colloidal oatmeal and a proprietary blend of botanicals to help your skin stay nourished and healthy-looking.

It’s also critical to protect your skin from severe temperatures. When it’s cold out, layer up! And if you’re out in extreme heat, stay in the shade, use sunscreen, and be sure to drink plenty of water.

Consider Your Diet

As we mentioned above, one of the biggest steps you can take toward healthier skin is to consider the foods in your diet. We all love a good burger or a pint of ice cream every once in a while, but eating these fatty, sugary foods too often can harm your skin.

Limiting unhealthy foods is only part of the skin-loving equation. There are many things you can put in your body that will have a positive effect on your skin, too. The more beneficial foods you eat consistently, the more your skin will naturally retain moisture.

Fruits and vegetables

Certain kinds of seafood, like salmon or sardines, are high in omega-3 fatty acids. This fat is not naturally produced by the body, but it helps hydrate your skin, regulate its oil production, and prevent breakouts and skin sensitivity.

Eating plenty of fruits and vegetables is also an ideal way to protect your skin. Leafy greens, berries, apples, and other similar foods are good sources of antioxidants, which are great for preventing sun damage and helping your skin heal.

Other foods that do wonders for your skin include nuts, whole grains, oranges, and — while it’s not technically a food item — water!

Trust Dermatologists

If you believe your skin requires more preventative measures than those listed above, seeing a dermatologist can be extremely helpful. Not only will they determine the exact cause of your sensitive skin, but they can recommend ways to prevent further irritation or damage.

At Bodewell, we trust our team of dermatologist advisors to make sure our products are meeting the needs of your unique skin conditions.

Treating Sensitive Skin

Woman touches her face and looks in mirror

Know Which Products To Avoid

Sometimes, your skin becomes irritated despite your best efforts to prevent it. It happens! Don’t let it stop you from finding treatment.

To start, identify which products and ingredients to avoid. Your skin will thank you!

Essential oils are known to irritate a variety of skin types. That being said, there are plenty of essential oils designed specifically for skin. Just keep in mind that cheaper and poorly sourced oils will have a very low chance of doing your skin any favors.

Certain sunscreens can also be made with harmful chemicals instead of minerals. These chemicals can absorb UV light, which is an irritant for sensitive skin.

You should avoid abrasive exfoliants, sulfates commonly found in shampoos, and certain cleaning products as well.

Use Natural Ingredients

Oatmeal in a scoop and bowl

Natural ingredients, like colloidal oatmeal, are the perfect way to give your body what it needs without risking exposure to harmful chemicals. Depending on the type of treatment you’re looking for, there’s sure to be something for you.

Colloidal oatmeal, for example, works particularly well for relieving eczema. Not only is it soothing and gentle, but it’s also praised for its effectiveness for allergic reactions to common ingredients.

If itch relief is what you’re after, then shea butter might be the trick. Other products to consider are coconut oil for skin hydration or Gotu kola, an herb that works exceptionally for healing wounds.

Be Gentle

Scrubbing too hard can further damage sensitive skin. Being gentle means lathering your body rather than scouring it, avoiding extreme temperatures (like scalding-hot showers), and using gentle products without harmful chemicals or abrasive ingredients.

For sensitive skin due to psoriasis, we recommend our Psoriasis Calming Cream. It’s uniquely formulated with salicylic acid and a proprietary blend of botanicals to relieve itching, irritation, redness, flaking, and scaling while also improving your skin’s appearance over time.

Soothe Sensitive Skin With Bodewell

Woman treating her sensitive skin with skincare products

There’s an overwhelming list of factors that cause sensitive skin. But from allergies to a natural skin disposition, finding relief is as easy as following our expert guide.

Our skincare products at Bodewell aim to give you what you need: simple management for your skin without compromising its natural beauty.

Whether you’re looking to prevent or treat sensitive skin due to eczema or psoriasis, Bodewell helps you find exactly what you need so you can live life confidently in your skin.

Shop Bodewell