Sorting Out Inflamed Skin

Dealing with inflamed skin can be a very frustrating and uncomfortable experience. Whether it's due to environmental factors, allergies, or an underlying skin condition like eczema or psoriasis, finding relief is essential.

Being your largest organ, skin can be affected by many environmental factors that lead to irritation and inflammation. When we consider things in our daily environment as a possible trigger, tuning into our routine is a way to identify potential causes. This is where keeping a journal can be helpful to showcase imbalances so you can make adjustments or consult with your dermatologist to help you sort things out. A few environmental triggers to consider include:

  • daily climate including wind and sun exposure
  • use of synthetic fragrances or perfumes
  • pollution and smoke exposure

It it also important to journal about your daily hydration and stress level as both can also have an impact on your skin health. When you experience stress your body releases cortisol which triggers inflammation in the skin. This inflammation can lead to or worsen a variety of skin issues, including acne, eczema, psoriasis, and rosacea. Stress can also disrupt the skin barrier.

When the skin barrier is compromised it becomes more susceptible to damage and irritation with common signs including topical dryness, redness, itching, increased sensitivity and parched skin or dermal dehydration. Without proper protection, the skin barrier may struggle to repair itself, leading to a cycle of inflammation and further damage.

When it comes to identifying an allergy as a possible trigger, it is important consider what is being consumed and what is going on your skin. We recommend researching the ingredients in your skincare products to see if they could be causing an inflammation reaction. While there are many ways to go about doing this, we like using EWG's Skin Deep Database to search by ingredient, brand or product.

We also recommend sticking with a basic routine until you have determined what the allergen is. For our brand, this means incorporating a gentle lipid-based cleanser and moisturizer twice daily along with a hydrating facial mask once weekly to help calm inflammation, provide skin nutrients and repair the skin barrier.

Take note of how your skin feels after using a specific product, a few questions to consider include:

  • Does my skin feel dry or hydrated after cleansing?
  • Does my hydrator absorb quickly or does it sit on the surface of skin?
  • Do I need to apply a hydrator more than twice a day?
  • Does my skin feel warm, tingling or look red after using a product?

In addition to identifying the triggers, scheduling a visit with your dermatologist and minimizing your skincare routine, another way to calm skin and promote healing is with a cool compress. Simply wrap a flexible ice pack in a dry cloth or soak a clean cloth in cold water then place on the affected areas for a few minutes. Cold compresses can help constrict blood vessels and reduce redness and swelling which is beneficial until you can sort out the cause and take steps to calm skin.