Sensitive skin is a common condition that affects millions of people. Sensitive skin is defined as skin that may become irritated or inflamed when it comes in contact with certain products, substances, or environmental factors such as sun or extreme heat or cold. It may also develop as a result of other skin conditions such as eczema, psoriasis, rosacea, or allergies. Symptoms such as stinging, burning, and redness of the skin are common in people who suffer from sensitive skin conditions. Sensitive skin reactions may also cause dryness, flaking, pimples or even blisters.
People with sensitive skin should take precaution in caring for their skin by choosing products that will not irritate the skin and adhering to the following recommendations to protect their skin:
- Avoid cleansers or products that contain acids, alcohol or retinoids
- Do not use soaps that contain deodorant or fragrances
- Gently wash the skin with a soft cloth; do not use an abrasive material
- Wear soft, natural fabrics and loose fitting clothes
- Wear sunscreen year round that contains zinc oxide
- Avoid extended exposure to the sun
- Take showers with warm water instead of hot water which can dry out the skin
Before anyone with sensitive skin uses a product for the first time, it should be tested behind the ear or on the wrist. If no reaction has occurred after several days, it is safe to use the product.
People who suffer from frequent rashes or reactions may consult with a dermatologist to determine whether they are having an allergic reaction to a specific product or ingredient. The dermatologist will review the patient's symptoms and perform a patch test. Dermatologists perform patch testing by applying the ingredient to the skin and looking for a rash to develop within one to two days. If a specific reaction is identified, then that substance can be avoided in the future.
Dermatologists perform patch testing by applying the ingredient to the skin and looking for a rash to develop within one to two days. If a specific reaction is identified, then that substance can be avoided in the future. By avoiding products that may irritate the skin and following a gentle cleansing routine, sensitive skin problems can be avoided.
According to one recent study, about 25.7% of the United States population currently deals with some type of seasonal, skin-related allergy. These can range in severity from something a mild inconvenience to significant food allergies or even eczema. That, in essence, is why skin allergy testing is so important. During the procedure, a patient's skin is exposed to any suspected allergen they may be dealing with. Medical professionals carefully observe for symptoms of an allergic reaction, allowing them to collect the actionable information they need to help someone treat their issues as much as possible.
The Ins and Outs of Allergy Skin Testing
One of the most common ways that a person's skin is tested for allergies takes the form of what is called the "skin prick" test. Here, a small amount of an allergen is placed on a person's skin. This usually happens on their forearm, on their back, or in a similar area. At that point, the skin is gently pricked so that the allergen can get under the surface. The patient is observed for signs of a reaction, which usually happens within 15 or 20 minutes. The benefit of this approach is that multiple allergens can be tested at once.
Another method is called the intradermal skin test. Here, a small amount of an allergen is directly injected under the surface of the skin. This technique is more commonly used if a medical professional attempts to see if a patient has an allergy to venom, penicillin, or something similar.
All told, patch testing can be used to check for a wide range of allergic reactions. In addition to food allergies and eczema, it can also help collect information about allergic asthma and hay fever. It can be hugely beneficial for people who have had severe allergic reactions in the past, to the point where they may have been in life-threatening situations. The key to treating anaphylaxis safely is learning as much about the patient as possible, which is largely what patch testing was designed to do.
Aventura Dermatology: Your Partners in Allergy Skin Testing
At Aventura Dermatology, we're a full-service dermatology practice founded with a simple goal: we want to help people look and feel their best, with no exceptions. Patch testing is a big part of what we do, but we also offer cosmetic dermatology, beauty enhancements, and more. Our team members are licensed, trained, certified, and passionate, so you can rest easy knowing that your health and well-being are in the best hands.
If you'd like to find out more information about the ins and outs of patch testing, or if you have any additional questions about dermatology in general that you'd like to go over in a bit more detail, please don't hesitate to contact Aventura Dermatology today or call 754-544-9030.