The winter months may lead to skin dryness, irritation and redness. For many, it means the painful flare-ups of sensitive skin conditions such as eczema

Sensitivity or intolerance? There is often confusion between them and it is also a question of degree.

Sensitive or intolerant skin may react excessively to the slightest aggression and become itchy, tight, get red and become scaly. In this case, it is time to choose products containing very few ingredients. Eczema-prone skin is generally dry and appears dull and rough.

During flare-ups, crisis areas display symptoms of extreme irritation with red flaky patches that first ooze and then thicken and dry up. This causes severe itching and discomfort and can have a devastating impact on your daily life.

Sensitive skin, intolerant skin or both?

In cases of sensitive skin as well as intolerant skin, which may or may not be sensitised as a result of an immune reaction, it is key to respect its requirements by using products that are highly tolerant and very gentle.

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People who think they have allergic skin often have sensitive skin, even intolerant skin, which overreacts to certain products, topical medications, dermo-cosmetic cleansers and moisturisers.

Skin sensitivity can either be natural or occur on an occasional or chronic basis, causing discomfort and tightness. An allergy is caused by an immune response. The symptoms may be severe and include redness, strong itching and even swelling.

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Sensitive skin 

Naturally sensitive skin

Your skin is thin, light, often a little dry; its top layer might get scaly, it flushes easily (maybe the beginning of couperosis)

Reactional sensitive skin

Cold, sun, wind, ill-suited cleansers or moisturisers “hurt” your skin. Your skin might react strongly to a peeling or a laser procedure.

Occasional skin sensitivity

Skin disorder such as seborrheic dermatitis, rosacea acne. These situations can increase your skin’s sensitivity

Environmentally sensitive skin:

Immediate reaction to the slightest upset.

Sensitised or allergic skin

An allergy is caused by an immunological response (to an allergen).

Obvious clinical symptoms can be observed on the skin: Red patches with small eczema bumps, strong itching, swelling and oozing along with more or less intense pruritus.

For more information on skin products to manage sensitive, sensitised or allergic skin visit Eau Thermale Avène