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Sensitive Skin | Everything You Need To Know | Weirdskin

Sensitive skin refers to skin that is more prone to inflammation or adverse reactions. People with sensitive skin may react quickly to chemicals, dyes, fragrances, and temperature changes.

Symptoms of Sensitive Skin

Here are the most common symptoms you will experience if your skin gets sensitized:

  • Redness or rash

  • Itching

  • Burning sensation

  • Dry patches

  • Swelling

  • Blisters or hives

  • Skin discoloration

Causes of Sensitive Skin

Sensitive skin can be caused by several factors, with some genetically induced while others are not.

Dry Skin

Dry skin type is usually characterized by a lack of sufficient oil production and moisture retention, leading to a weakened barrier function and increased sensitivity. 


Rosacea is a chronic skin condition causing redness and visible blood vessels in the face.


Photodermatoses refer to a group of conditions where the skin reacts abnormally to sunlight. These reactions can be triggered by exposure to ultraviolet (UV) rays, leading to skin inflammation, rashes, or other dermatological symptoms. Photodermatoses can vary in severity and include conditions like sun allergies, polymorphous light eruption, and solar urticaria. The exact cause can be genetic, immune-related, or due to certain medications or chemicals that make the skin more sensitive to light.

Irritant Contact Dermatitis

Occurs when skin comes in contact with an irritating substance. This is usually the case when the skin is overstimulated, like during over exfoliation or using too many strong actives together.

Allergic Contact Dermatitis

Contact dermatitis is an allergic reaction to a substance the skin has been exposed to. It's a delayed hypersensitivity reaction, where the immune system responds to an allergen upon re-exposure, leading to skin inflammation. Symptoms include redness, itching, and blistering of the skin at the site of contact. The reaction is typically confined to the area of contact with the allergen.

Contact Urticaria or Hives

Urticaria is often caused by an allergic reaction, but it can also be triggered by factors like stress, temperature changes, infections, or certain foods and medications. It involves the release of histamine and other chemicals from mast cells in the skin, which leads to inflammation and swelling. The primary symptom is a sudden appearance of raised, itchy welts on the skin that can vary in size and shape. These welts may be accompanied by swelling (angioedema), especially around the eyes and lips.

Physical Urticaria

Physical urticaria is a type of hives triggered by a physical stimulus rather than an allergic reaction. Common triggers include pressure, cold, heat, exercise, sunlight, or water. It manifests as red, itchy welts or raised patches on the skin, often at the site of the stimulus. These welts typically appear within minutes of exposure and can last for hours. The severity varies, and symptoms may include localized swelling and discomfort at the affected area.

How to Care for Sensitive Skin

Medical Treatments

Steroid Creams

Steroid creams, containing corticosteroids, are pivotal in managing inflammation and itchiness for skin conditions like eczema and psoriasis. Applied topically, these creams vary in potency, from mild over-the-counter options to stronger prescription versions. While effective, users should be cautious of potential side effects like skin thinning with prolonged use. It's crucial to adhere to prescribed durations and dosages to minimize risks.

Numbing/Analgesic Creams

Numbing creams, infused with local anesthetics like lidocaine, provide temporary relief from skin pain and discomfort. Ideal for conditions like sunburn, insect bites, and minor abrasions, these creams work by numbing the skin surface. Caution is advised when applying, especially near sensitive areas and open wounds.


Antihistamines play a crucial role in alleviating allergic skin reactions by blocking histamine, a key chemical in allergic responses. Available in oral and topical forms, they effectively reduce itching and inflammation associated with allergic conditions like hives. While beneficial, oral antihistamines may induce drowsiness, necessitating caution, particularly in activities requiring alertness.

Pain Relievers

Pain relievers, such as NSAIDs and acetaminophen, are essential for easing discomfort from skin reactions. Typically administered orally, they reduce inflammation and block pain signals. These medications are particularly helpful for pain management in conditions like severe sunburn and post-procedural discomfort.

Home Treatments

Use Very Gentle Cleansers

Opt for hypoallergenic cleansers that are gentle on the skin, and devoid of harsh chemicals, dyes, and fragrances. These products minimize the risk of irritation and are ideal for maintaining the skin's natural balance. Suitable for daily use, they effectively cleanse while preserving the skin's essential oils, ensuring that the skin remains hydrated and its protective barrier is not compromised.


Moisturizing is crucial for sensitive skin care. Select moisturizers that are rich in hydrating ingredients and free from irritants like alcohol and fragrances. These products work by forming a protective layer over the skin, trapping moisture, and preventing dryness. They also aid in repairing the skin's natural barrier, reducing susceptibility to irritants.

Applying Sunscreen

Sunscreen is essential for protecting sensitive skin from the damaging effects of UV rays. Choose sunscreens with broad-spectrum protection and a high SPF rating, ideally formulated for sensitive skin. Such sunscreens should be free from irritating ingredients and provide physical barriers like zinc oxide or titanium dioxide. Regular application, especially during prolonged exposure to sunlight, prevents sunburn, reduces the risk of skin cancer, and prevents the exacerbation of existing skin conditions like rosacea or eczema.

Taking Oatmeal Baths

Oatmeal baths are a time-tested remedy for soothing sensitive and irritated skin. Rich in antioxidants and anti-inflammatory properties, oatmeal helps to calm itchiness, reduce redness, and moisturize the skin. Here is an oatmeal bath recipe you can use.

Using Priobotics

Incorporating probiotics into skincare can be beneficial for sensitive skin. Probiotics help in balancing the skin's microbiome, the community of microorganisms living on the skin. This balance is crucial for skin health, as it strengthens the skin's barrier function and immunity, reducing sensitivity and inflammation. Probiotic skincare products, or even topical application of probiotic-rich substances, can contribute to healthier skin, helping to manage conditions like acne, rosacea, and eczema.

Limit Hot Bath/showers

For those with sensitive skin, it is advisable to limit exposure to hot water during baths and showers. Excessive heat can strip the skin of its natural oils, leading to dryness and irritation. Instead, use lukewarm water and keep bathing time short to preserve the skin's moisture.

Other Care Tips for Sensitive Skin

  • Always pat the skin dry gently instead of rubbing.

  • Use fragrance-free products to reduce the risk of irritation.

  • Always patch-test new products to check for reactions.

  • Avoid scented detergents and fabric softeners.

  • Wear protective clothing to shield the skin from environmental irritants.

Recommended Products for Sensitive Skin

​We recommend a range of cleansers, moisturizers, and sunscreens specifically formulated for sensitive skin. Always consult a dermatologist before trying new products.

Gentle Cleansers

Keep things simple with a gentle and fragrance free cream or gel based cleanser.


Remember to pick moisturizers hydrating moisturizers that also contain skin barrier ingredients like peptides, ceramides, and humectants (hyaluronic acid, panthenol, oatmeal etc).


A good SPF is the foundation of a great skincare routine, irrespective of your skin type. We have an article on how to choose the best sunscreen. Here is our choice selection for sensitive skin persons.


Do I have Sensitive Skin or Allergies?

Understanding the difference can be complex; consult a dermatologist for a proper diagnosis.

What Type of Skin is Sensitive?

Sensitive skin can be dry, oily, or a combination type. It's more about how the skin reacts than its type.

Can Vitamin D Deficiency Cause Skin Sensitivity?

While not a direct cause, vitamin D deficiency can affect skin health.

Why is my Skin Suddenly Sensitive?

Sudden sensitivity can be due to environmental changes, stress, hormonal fluctuations, or new products.

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