How to Prevent Skin Irritation

Your lifestyle has a significant impact on good skin health. To prevent skin irritation, healthy diet and good hygiene are essential.
How to Prevent Skin Irritation

Last update: 14 February, 2021

Skin irritation is a very common problem that affects people even if they don’t have sensitive skin. Skin is a dynamic organ that can sometimes react suddenly to a stimulus that previously had no effect on it. Cold, heat, humidity, or lack of humidity, as well as many other factors, can irritate the skin at any given time. Keep reading to learn how to prevent skin irritation.

We know that sweat, friction from clothing, or prolonged exposure to certain agents can also cause skin irritation. All of these factors can result in a stinging or itching feeling, which is technically called ‘excoriation.’

Most commonly, skin irritation shows up as redness, inflammation, and sometimes pain and/ or itching. This discomfort is more intense for those who have sensitive or delicate skin. It’s also very common for the skin to dry out and lose its barrier function.

Skin and irritation

A skin rash.

Our skin acts as an interface between the human body and the external environment. It’s also made up of three layers: epidermis, dermis and hypodermis. All three work together to perform the skin’s functions, which are:

  • Protection: Acts as a protective barrier against trauma, toxins, radiation and microorganisms, among others.
  • Sensation: It’s the organ in control of our sense of touch.
  • Biosynthesis: When touched by sunlight, it converts some substances into vitamin D, for example.
  • Immunity: Can induce immune responses.
  • Homeostasis: Balances the exchange of substances with the environment and helps regulate temperature.

A non-specific rash is called skin irritation. Non-specific means that it doesn’t always have the same causes and doesn’t manifest the same way every time. However, clinical evidence shows that it basically causes redness and inflammation, and it itches on rare occasions. You shouldn’t confuse skin irritation with an allergic reaction.

Main causes of skin irritation

Many factors and agents can cause skin irritation. Some of the most common are:

  • Cleaning products: some soaps or laundry detergents cause skin irritation in people with sensitive skin.
  • Cosmetics: some toiletries may also cause skin irritation.
  • Sun: solar radiation irritates the skin and, when damaged, the skin may be more sensitive to other irritants.
  • Sweat: Humidity caused by sweat can irritate the skin, especially if it’s accompanied by some sort of friction. This type of skin irritation is common on the feet because of footwear.
  • Textile or woven materials: Some synthetic fibers cause skin irritation in certain people.
  • Xerosis: This condition makes the skin drier and weaker, making it more likely that you’ll suffer from skin irritation. It can also make your skin itchy, which will cause you to scratch and will result in greater skin irritation.
  • Atopic dermatitis: This problem makes the skin more permeable to irritants.
  • Allergies: skin irritation is a common symptom of allergic reactions.
  • Chemical substances

Measures to prevent skin irritation

Woman showering.

Proper hygiene is essential in order to prevent skin irritation. If you have sensitive skin, it’s best to use a medicated or neutral soap. The same goes for shampoo, shower gels, and similar products. It’s important that they’re not abrasive and that they have low delipidifying power.

In addition, it’s best to shower instead of taking baths. And, drying off correctly is as important as showering. Use a cotton towel and be sure to not rub your skin; instead, you should pat yourself dry. If necessary, you can use a hairdryer to make sure no traces of moisture remain.

Avoid tight clothing, especially synthetic fabrics. It’s best to wear loose clothing made from natural fabrics, like cotton. It’s also not good to go suddenly from a warm environment to a cold one. Also, maintaining a healthy diet and monitoring your mental health can help keep your skin healthy.

Other interesting points

We recommend the following measures as well, especially if you frequently suffer from skin irritation. They are:

  • Soothing and hydrating mask: it’s best to apply it twice a week. Also, it’s best to use natural products.
  • Deodorants and perfume: these should be suitable for sensitive skin.
  • Thermal water: thermal water is very effective for combating skin irritation.
  • Use sunscreen: this is essential and it’s best if your sunscreen is medicated.
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