April 08 2019 – Tyra Johnson-Brown
Skin irritation affects almost everyone at some point in their life, whether it is a daily condition, like eczema, or a temporary pain, like bug bites and sunburn. Redness, swelling and bumpiness are some effects of skin inflammation. The weather is warming up and you are bound to experience some changes in your skin. Some of us more than others. There are several things you can do to calm irritated skin immediately and to keep it from happening again.
What Causes Skin Inflammation
The causes of chronic inflammatory skin conditions are still not entirely understood, although instances of acute inflammation begin as the body’s response to an irritating or potentially harmful trigger. Acute inflammation is a necessary part of the skin’s healing process. An example of this is the red, itchy rash you might get if you brush up against a poison ivy plant. The inflammation you temporarily experience is part of your body’s defense mechanism to alert other cells of a threat. Once that threat is gone, you should notice signs of inflammation, such as redness, blistering, and itchiness in the case of poison ivy, diminish and your skin should return to normal.
In cases of chronic inflammation, on the other hand, the acute inflammation that is supposed to be helpful to your body becomes a problem in and of itself, because it doesn’t diminish. Instead, it hangs around and can even travel to other parts of the body or skin through the bloodstream, where it can produce free radicals and other harmful compounds. Therefore, chronic conditions like eczema can be challenging to manage, because underlying inflammation can continue to cause flare-ups of your symptoms.
Upgrade your moisturizer. If you struggle with an inflammatory skin condition, whether something temporary like a sunburn or a chronic condition like eczema, you’re probably battling severely dry, flaky, and red skin. To help calm these symptoms, you need to be careful about which moisturizing products you’re using. Look for a body cream that is free of fragrances, preservatives, parabens, petrolatum, and other ingredients that can be irritating to the skin.
Avoid triggers. The sun’s UV rays, harsh skin care and personal care products, and very hot or cold weather can all trigger an inflammatory response from the skin.
Soothing Sensitive Skin Naturally
Whether your skin is dry, prone to irritation, inflamed, or suffering from skin conditions like rosacea, eczema, or dermatitis, there are some basic steps you can take to improve your skin’s comfort and appearance.
- Avoid hot water
It strips the skin of its natural oils, promoting dryness. Use lukewarm water most all the time.
- Don’t soak
If you stand under the shower for long periods of time, again, you’re stripping your skin of its natural moisture. Wash your face last and apply toner and moisturizer immediately after getting out.
- Avoid harsh soaps
Most soaps are drying. Use soap-free cleansers that have nourishing ingredients.
Sun damage is the number-one cause of skin aging. It can also exacerbate inflammation and redness. Protect with hats, sunglasses, and a safe sunscreen.
- Use care
Sensitive skin needs more tender care. Avoid harsh scrubs, brushes, and loofahs and clean and treat gently, using only non-irritating products.
- Watch out for chemicals
Read the labels on your skin care and other personal care products, avoiding harsh chemicals, and pay attention to your laundry products. Many can irritate skin because of harsh surfactants.