"Just because something is “natural” does not make it safe for sensitive people."
Q. “Why me? Why do I suffer with dry and sensitive skin?”
If you have dry and sensitive skin, out of control, you
probably suffer because of one of the many drying factors
we have discussed in this book. Every factor adds fuel to the fire. You may be young and atopic or you may be on the older side. You may have neglected your skin by sudsing with soap and failing to moisturize with heavy cream. You may wash your hands with soap twenty times a day. You may have an underlying medical condition associated with dry skin. You may have abused your skin in the sun, or you may be eczema-prone. You may have inherited eczema from mom or dad.
You may have one of several reasons, but there is one common factor that ties everyone together: Every dry and sensitive skin person has a fragile skin barrier. A fragile damaged skin barrier is the common problem you’ll see in all dry and sensitive skin related conditions. From simple excess soap and dry air, to atopic dermatitis, to diabetes, you see a fragile skin barrier. So, why do you suffer? Whatever your age, whatever the reason, whatever the underlying or causal factors, if applied daily, The ABC’s of Dry and Sensitive Skin can help to control your dry and sensitive skin for life.
Q. “Can you please give me an example of the average dry and sensitive patient? I want to know how I fit in.”
Always remember our two examples of typical dry and sensitive skin patients, Ed, an adult, and Amy, a child, can be reviewed in Chapter Two of my book, The ABC's of Dry and Sensitive Skin.
Q. “I am usually dry and sensitive. What can happen if I don't moisturize, and I neglect my skin barrier?”
If you neglect your skin barrier, your skin barrier will neglect you. If this happens you will probably have: Increased Dryness: With a neglected skin barrier, as we now understand, the sensitive skin patient is dry because of increased skin water loss. Sensitive skin has difficulty holding moisture in. This problem is worsened by false moisturizing methods. Sensitive skin quickly soaks up lotion and dries out by the next day. Water evaporates, and you are left as dry as a bone.
Increased Infections: Unfortunately, water is not the only substance that can pass through sensitive skin. A broken skin barrier also allows passage of harmful bacterial, fungal, and viral particles that cause infections such as strep, staph impetigo, tinea foot fungus, yeast infections, herpes, molluscum, and warts. With decreased skin barrier function, you also get easier fungal, bacterial, and viral skin infections.
Increased Allergies: Decreased skin barrier function allows easier penetration of allergic agents that can set up allergic reactions in sensitive skin people. Thus, the patient may have brisk allergies to Neosporin™, Bandaids™, certain metals, hospital bedding, and other “itchogens.” Contact allergies occur in patients with dry and sensitive skin, and most problems are allergy related.