Why Experts Struggle to Define Sensitive Skin


Erin Azuse

Was this helpful? (9)
This content is created by Healthgrades and brought to you by an advertising sponsor. More

This content is created or selected by the Healthgrades editorial team and is funded by an advertising sponsor. The content is subject to the Healthgrades medical review process for accuracy, balance and objectivity. The content is not edited or otherwise influenced by the advertisers appearing on this page except with the possible suggestion of the broad topic area. For more information, read the Healthgrades advertising policy.


Recent research has uncovered some surprising information about sensitive skin.
Kitchen faucet

What to Avoid With Sensitive Skin

It’s difficult to identify the triggers that might bring about sensitive skin flare-ups. Try these tips to minimize irritations.
person scratching skin on arm

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

2018 Healthgrades Operating Company, Inc. All rights reserved. May not be reproduced or reprinted without permission from Healthgrades Operating Company, Inc. Use of this information is governed by the Healthgrades User Agreement.