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In the News

Don’t Be So Sensitive

Have you ever been in an upsetting situation, and a well-intended friend tells you not to be so sensitive? Does this piece of advice ever help? I believe there is not a quicker way to get a more painful reaction. Telling somebody to be different, without the ability to teach one how, is never helpful. You were already feeling bad, then someone points out your faults, “you need to be more thick-skinned” and then they wonder why you feel even worse.

There is an entry in the Oxford English Dictionary, earliest quotation 1582 for “thickskin”, “a person dull or slow of feeling,”

Hmmm, is this really what I would like to be?

For all of my Sensitive, Thin-Skinned Friends

  1. How do I know if I have sensitive skin? The skin is a living, ever changing organ and is constantly susceptible to damage. As we age, damaged skin presents as hyperpigmentation, dullness, lines and wrinkles, laxity and dehydration. Patients with sensitive skin experience burning, stinging or redness after applying skin care products. Severe signs of sensitivity may present in the form of pustules, scaling, or rash-like symptoms.
  2. Who is most likely to have sensitive skin? Sensitive skin can affect anyone, however, we see it more often in individuals with thin, dry skin. These individuals generally have a damaged skin barrier function, which could be hereditary but may also result from environmental damage such as cold, wind, heat, dryness, pollution and even contact dermatitis.

Don’t Be So Sensitive

  • The number one way to protect your skin is to minimize exposure to UV light, wear a broad-spectrum sunscreen.
  • Apply a topical antioxidant such as a Vitamin C Serum, which will defend the skin against oxidative stress.
  • Apply a retinoid, Vitamin A, which will boost collagen to reduce fine lines and speed cell turnover to even out discoloration and smooth the skin, as well as unclog pores.
  • Stay hydrated.
  • Apply a good moisturizer, which hold moisture, preventing water loss improving hydration to the skin.
  • Wear rubber kitchen gloves when using hot water and chemicals.
  • In the winter, don’t take hot showers, don’t overheat your house, use a humidifier to keep moisture in the air.

Hopefully, the next time you hear a person say, “Don’t be so sensitive”, you will already have the tools to teach them how to do exactly that.