Why Experts Struggle to Define Sensitive Skin

By

Erin Azuse

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Studies suggest that about 50% of Americans self-report having sensitive skin. Yet dermatologists and other experts find it hard to come up with one consensus definition for sensitive skin or one specific method of diagnosing it, so the term is often used to refer to a number of troublesome skin issues. But definition or not, this doesn’t minimize the discomfort experienced by those with sensitive skin. Let’s take a closer look at what the condition entails and why it is hard to narrow it down.

Sensitive skin characteristics are wide-ranging.

Sensitive skin is most likely to occur on the face, but it can also affect others areas of the body, such as the hands, scalp, or genital area. More women report sensitive skin than men, though a large number of men experience it as well. The incidence of sensitive skin increases with age, but some children suffer from it too. 

Living with sensitive skin can be uncomfortable and difficult, but you can find relief—it’s all about finding what works for your skin.

Medical Reviewer: William C. Lloyd III, MD, FACS Last Review Date: Apr 28, 2017

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