Wednesday, October 14, 2009

Part I: Living (Happily Ever After) with Sensitive Skin

My skin is the most critical (and reliable) barometer of my overall health. In fact, as I write this post, I have a huge fever blister on my lower lip and my chest is covered in red under-the-skin splotches. Not pretty at all. But these two skin conditions are often my predictors that I'm fighting off a virus or other health issue. I chalk it up to another blessing (or curse) of sensitive skin.

So what exactly is sensitive skin? Well...this is not an easy question to answer as there is little agreement on its true definition. According to Dr. Leslie Baumann, MD, FAAD, director of the University of Miami's Cosmetic Medicine & Research Institute and professor of dermatology at the University of Miami Miller School of Medicine, there are four distinct types of sensitive skin — acne, rosacea, burning and stinging, and contact dermatitis (allergies and irritants) — and they all have one characteristic in common: inflammation.

While I don't have diagnosed rosacea and very little acne, I will get burning and stinging from certain products (and ingredients) and I definitely have experienced contact dermatitis from time to time. Most of my flare ups are from my own doing. And regardless of the specific type of sensitive skin that I have, it's all in how I deal with it. Yep...it's up to me. I can either suffer needlessly, find ways to calm it down, or even try to alleviate its common triggers.

For the next several days, I will share my journey with skin sensitive skin. My goal is help you living happily ever after with the skin you're in.

Keep reading...tomorrow, we'll explore some of the common triggers that I've encountered.

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