More than 40 percent of Americans consider their skin sensitive. According to the American Academy of Dermatology, many people that think they have sensitive skin because they experience stinging, burning, redness or tightness after exposure to a topical irritant. This misconception is common. The definition of sensitive skin varies based on who you ask. Some common conditions fall under the umbrella of ‘sensitive skin’ like rosacea and dermatitis (eczema). Typically, sensitive skinned patients experience bumps, redness and inflammation. It is unclear what specific factors lead to a person having truly sensitive skin. It can be a combination of genetics, age and race.
Even if you don’t have clinically sensitive skin, it can still become sensitized as a result of over-exposure to harsh topical ingredients or climate. Some common irritants that contribute to this sensitization are: