Learn if you have a damaged skin barrier with the key symptoms given here.)
Does your skin remain dry even with a moisturizer? Do you often experience red patches, flakiness or itching? It might be because of your damaged skin barrier.
What is the skin barrier?
It is the outermost layer of your skin consisting of the skin cells and the protein-based substances that bind the cells together like glue. As the name suggests, it protects your skin against pollution, UV, smoke and harmful substances so that your internal skin can function well.
What damages your skin barrier? There are many factors that reach harm to your skin barrier. They can be irritating ingredients, pollutants, overexposure to UV, extreme temperature changes, stress and even lack of sleep. Such factors take a toll on the barrier, leading to adverse effects.
With a damaged skin barrier, you are prone to dryness, itching, sensitized skin, and tightness. (Note: Sensitized skin is not the same as sensitive skin that can be eczema or psoriasis. Sensitized skin is caused by a damaged skin barrier.)
Here is how to tell that you might have a damaged skin barrier.
Despite Using a Moisturizer, You Skin Feels Dry and Tight:
One of the red flags of having a damaged skin barrier is that the waxy lipid bi-layer in the outermost layer of the skin has been damaged or stripped. This is the layer that captures in moisture, if it is damaged, your skin won’t be able to retain its moisture. This is why you feel dry and tight skin despite using a moisturizer all the time.
Experiencing Tender Red Patches of Skin:
When your skin barrier is damaged, the skin is vulnerable to foreign bodies like dust, radiation, bacteria, viruses, and pollutants. They can get into the lower layers of the skin. As a result, the body produces inflammation to fight those foreign bodies. This inflammation triggers red and inflamed skin. Despite being a defense mechanism, inflammation negatively affects your skin and may make it look like aged.
Some Products Don’t Go Well with Your Skin:
Some products get access to the lower sensitive layers of the skin due to the damaged barrier. They settle down there only to cause a painful and irritating sensation.
Itchy and Fine Flaking:
You experience itchy skin and there’s sometimes a little fine flaking. That can be a sensitized skin that is more common with the fair or light skin. Sensitized skin occurs only when your skin barrier is damaged. Or you can say that it is temporary. Dark skin with damaged skin layers can vulnerable to fine flaking of the skin. It comes with itchiness and it couples with tightness, sensitivity, and dryness.
Dull and Dry Patches:
Dryness means the loss or lack of natural oils in the skin. As a result, the skin looks dull and lifeless. Damaged skin barrier makes you vulnerable to both dull and dry skin. They uppermost striping of the layer means that your skill will dull and dry.
How to Repair Your Skin Barrier?
- Avoid using harsh skin care products. For example, foaming cleansers contain sulfate that strips off oil and friendly bacteria. Use only the skin-friendly products or the one being compatible with your skin.
- Avoid excessive exfoliation as it tears and removes the several layers of the skin.
- Avoid taking stress as it triggers the body’s defense known as inflammation. And this adds to the woe of the skin.
- Make sure to use sunscreen every time you step outside.
- See your dermatologist if the things are beyond your control.