The importance of a healthy skin barrier
As your body’s largest organ, your skin is your first and best defence against external aggressors. When your skin is healthy, its many layers work hard to protect you, but when its condition is compromised, its ability to work as an effective barrier is impaired.
Analysing the state of your skin barrier is an important part of our Visia Skin Consultation, because until your barrier is repaired, you won’t get the full benefit of your prescribed skin care regimen.
Tell-tale signs that your skin barrier may be impaired
So how can you tell that your skin barrier isn’t functioning to it’s full potential? Here are some important signs which could suggest an impaired skin barrier:
- Itchy skin (sometimes with fine flaking)
- Skin that is dull and dry in places
- Skin with tender, red patches
- Skin that stings with the application of products
- Skin dryness and “tightness” that doesn’t improve with your prescribed medical grade skin care regimen
What damages your skin barrier?
UV exposure, changes in climate and temperature and the use of chemicals in the workplace or harsh cleansing products at home can overtax skin’s natural neutralising capability, impair its ability to bind in moisture and weaken its effectiveness as a protective barrier. As a result skin can dry out, become sensitive and prone to the exacerbation of diseases such as Dermatitis.
Washing too frequently with water that is too hot can also cause skin to dry out, damage its permeability barrier and trigger skin conditions.
An unbalanced diet, little or no exercise, stress, a lack of sleep, smoking, dehydration and certain medicines all influence skin and impact its ability to operate as a protective barrier.
Skin is also affected by a number of internal factors: genetics, biological ageing, hormones and specific conditions such as diabetes.
What can we do to help you?
For patients with an impaired skin barrier, our aesthetician will prescribe an individualised treatment plan which prioritises the repair process first, and includes certain superficial chemical peels and skin care products. By restoring your barrier and your skin’s optimum pH, we support its natural defences, making it more resilient and less sensitive. Our aim is to keep your skin working and looking it’s natural best!
This blog post was featured in Skin Therapy – Specialist Aesthetic Clinic’s August Newsletter