Dr. Asarch authors a column for female athletes called Real Sporty Medicine on GirlsGoneSporty.com each month. This month he has written about managing your sensitive skin issues. Read an excerpt below or the full article by clicking here.
STRONG BODY, STRONG MIND….SENSITIVE SKIN?
By Dr. Richard Asarch, M.D.
Athletes strive for perfection…fine-tuned bodies, competitive personalities and the amazing will to finish what they started. No matter how hard you work to keep your body in top shape and your mind sharp, you can still be slowed down by sensitive skin.
If you have sensitive skin you may experience discomfort upon exposure to certain skin care or household products and environmental elements. Skin can tingle, burn, flush, be excessively dry or even develop bumps or pustules. There are steps you can take to care for your sensitive skin.
Cleansing. Sensitive skin can respond differently to cleansers depending on the individual. In general, “deodorant” soap or highly fragranced soaps that contain harsh detergents should not be used, especially on the face. Aim for a mild, non-irritating liquid facial cleanser with a lower pH than soap or a gentle disposable facial washcloth. Try DermaSpaRx Facial Enzyme Cleanser or Face Off Gentle Cleansing Pads if you are on the go. These cleansers have less potential for facial skin irritation.
Soaps designed for your body may leave you feeling clean, but agents known as surfactants can be agitating to sensitive skin. Sodium Lauryl Sulfate (SLS) is a harsh emulsifier that is found in body washes, facial cleansers, and soaps. It can break down the lipids that bind skin cells together and keep them resistant to dryness and damage. Antibacterial agents such as tetra sodium EDTA and triclosan can over- dry already sensitive skin causing itching and peeling. Instead, wash with soaps specifically formulated for sensitive or dry skin or avoid soap altogether when possible.
Tip: Your bath or shower should be luke-warm, not scalding hot as that leads to the stripping away of necessary skin oils and over-drying. A hot shower is tempting, especially with sore muscles, but don’t give in. Your skin will be better off in the long run.
Moisturizing. Moisturizers help your skin retain moisture so it resists drying and abrasion. Emollients and humectants make up the majority of moisturizing ingredients. Emollients work by forming a layer on the top of the skin that traps water in the skin. Petrolatum, lanolin, mineral oil and dimethicone are common emollients. Humectants, including glycerin, lecithin, and propylene glycol, draw water into the outer layer of skin.
Many common emollients and humectants can be linked to allergic reactions in people with sensitive skin. If you have a recurring problem, to determine the specific ingredients that irritate your skin, schedule an appointment with your Dermatologist for a patch test…read the full article HERE