Sensitive skin

Written by: Dra. Aurora Guerra Tapia
Edited by: Top Doctors®

There are five types of healthy skin from the cosmetic point of view: normal, fat, dry, mixed and sensitive. The latter is the most delicate. It requires special care and often, it is the preamble or the companion of cutaneous diseases.

Sometimes someone in our environment says: "I can not use that cream because I have sensitive skin" and we all affirm sympathetically with a face of commiseration and regret. But why? Is it a disease?

Well really not. It is a way of being, it is a delicate skin that although healthy, requires specific care to reduce the dryness, roughness and the cracked appearance that occasionally presents. The fundamental symptoms are feeling of tightness, loss of flexibility, and often itching and stinging.

Sensitive skin has:

Color: pink or reddish.

Pore ​​size: invisible.

Touch: dry.

Brightness: scarce and only in the central areas.

Imperfections: red superficial veins on the nose and cheeks.

With the assessment of its appearance and its symptoms, the diagnosis can be assumed. But if in addition to the time of applying a cream or a makeup almost never manages to feel comfortable, then there is no doubt.

Care of sensitive skin

In general, the essential steps in skin care are four: hygiene, hydration, protection and repair of defects acquired by inadequate care or simply by the passage of time.

In the case of sensitive skin, hygiene should be with milk or cleansing cream that does not cause irritation. If cleaning with water is preferred, an extra-fat or cold-cream product should be used that does not completely remove the hydrolipidic cutaneous mantle.. This mantle consists of two components:

1. Natural moisturizing factor, composed of the epidermal cells that are constantly eliminated, linked to the lipids and amino acids they produce.

2. Sebum of sebaceous glands, sweat and water that assiduously evaporates from the skin (perspiratio insensibilis).

Many moisturizing cosmetics have a composition similar to the natural moisturizing factor while others try to mimic skin lipids. The hydration to be applied on sensitive skin should be similar to the natural moisturizing factor, to avoid the risks of contact allergy. It is very convenient to apply a sunscreen daily, or use moisturizers that contain it. This prevents the appearance of spots, wrinkles and other signs of aging by ultraviolet rays (photoenvironment).

At night you can use anti-aging cosmetics, but those of an intrinsically irritating nature, such as retinoid derivatives or alpha hydroxy acids, although effective, are not usually well tolerated.


In some women, especially those with whiter skin, sensitive skin can be accompanied over time, around 35-40 years, the appearance of a rosacea that manifests with small veins (couperose of the French) and small papules and injuries with pus. Other times sensitive skin is part of atopic dermatitis, in which the eczema on plaques scattered throughout the body accompanies sensitive skin. The contact allergic eczemas are another of the pathologies common to this type of skin. In case of doubt, the dermatologist will be the right expert to achieve a beautiful appearance and absence of discomfort.


*Translated with Google translator. We apologize for any imperfection

By Dra. Aurora Guerra Tapia

Specialist Medical-Surgical Dermatology and Venereology. He graduated in Medicine and Surgery with the number one in his class and 20 Distinction, also obtained excellent cum laude in the Degree of Doctor of the Faculty of Medicine at the Complutense University of Madrid. He is currently Head of the Dermatology at the Hospital October 12 and Professor of Dermatology at the Complutense University of Madrid.

*Translated with Google translator. We apologize for any imperfection

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