A close friend has been raving about a new serum she’s been using, saying that it’s really helped her skin look more refreshed. So you give it a try. But instead of getting the miracle results your friend raved about, you end up with red, angry skin for days.

If you’ve had this experience, you may have sensitive skin. While dealing with sensitive skin can be frustrating, it’s not impossible to get to the bottom of the issue and come up with a skin care routine that helps protect and nourish your delicate skin.

Is Your Skin Sensitive?

It can take some time to get to the root of the issue when it comes to sensitive skin. What’s sensitive to one person isn’t necessarily sensitive to another. Typically, doctors look for three common symptoms when determining whether a person’s skin is sensitive or not. Skin that turns red or flushes easily, very dry skin, and skin that has pustules or a rash on it can all be classified as sensitive.

A person’s skin can become sensitive as he or she gets older for a number of reasons. Prolonged sun exposure can make the skin more likely to react to ingredients. Another skin condition, such as eczema or rosacea can also increase sensitivity, as can the ingredients in the products you use, from your anti-aging products to the nail polish on your fingers.

What You Can Do

Once you’ve determined that your skin is in fact sensitive, the next step is to figure out a way to calm it down. The best options when it comes to caring for sensitive skin are avoiding the things that trigger the sensitivity. For example, if you and your surgeon determined that your skin is reacting to the cleanser you use, it’s a good idea to switch to a gentler cleanser. Avoid ones that contain harsh ingredients, such as sodium laurel sulfate and other detergents, and steer clear of toners or astringents that contain alcohol.

Alcohol and harsh detergents increase sensitivity by drying out your skin. When your skin is dry, it can react to products that wouldn’t bother it under normal conditions, creating a vicious cycle of skin irritation. In some cases, though, it might not be your cleanser that’s irritating your skin, but the products you’re using after cleansing. In the rush to fight the signs of aging, you might be going overboard with products. For example, having a chemical peel in the morning, then going home to apply a product that contains retinol will most likely make your skin very upset. If you’re unsure about which products to use to help address your specific skin concerns, whether they are wrinkles or dark spots, talk to your doctor. He or she can recommend the right products for your skin type.

As a general rule, when choosing products to put on your skin, whether to wash it, moisturize it, or add a bit of color, it’s a good idea to choose those with only a few ingredients. The less ingredients there are, the less of a chance there is that the product will react with your skin.

Anti-Aging Help for Sensitive Skin

As you get older and are beginning to deal with wrinkles and other signs of aging, you might wonder if your sensitive skin prevents you from having certain treatments to battle the signs of aging. The answer is yes and no. While you probably want to stay away from very intense treatments, some are designed for people with sensitive skin.

Microdermabrasion is one option that might be appropriate if your skin is delicate. While the procedure can cause irritation, in the right hands it’s generally very safe. The treatment isn’t for everyone, though, and your surgeon might advise against it if your sensitive skin is due to a condition such as eczema or rosacea.

In some cases, a chemical peel can be an option even for people with sensitive skin. The Sensi-Peel, for example, uses lighter acids and is intended for all skin types. The acids used in the peel are mild enough that the skin itself doesn’t actually peel away.

No matter the cause of your sensitivity, Dr. Kyle Choe, a facial plastic surgeon in Virginia Beach, can help you come up with a solution that is custom fit to meet your needs. You don’t have to go through life with irritated or dry skin. To learn more about how Dr. Choe can help your sensitive skin, call 757.389.5850 for a consultation today.