We are all familiar with the symptoms of irritated skin. Redness, itchiness, or any sort of abnormal discomfort is a clear indication that something either internally or externally is compromising your skin and its capability to act as an effective barrier. Skin irritations are common and can be caused by a number of reasons. Here are eight possible causes for your irritated skin:
1. Your Skin Type
An often overlooked indicator that can cause your skin to be irritated is your skin type. We are each born with a skin type and genetics typically categorize our skins into one of four different types: normal, oily, dry, and combination. Our skin type, however, can change and become more susceptible over time, which is why learning more about your skin and its symptoms can help narrow down the possible causes of any sudden irritations. For more information about skin types, check out our blog article “How to Care for Different Types of Skin.”
Allergies can cause skin irritations to appear in the form rashes, itchiness, bumps, redness or, in more severe cases, eczema. There are many forms of allergies that can result in a skin irritation—contact dermatitis, for example, is caused by a direct contact with something that results in an allergic reaction. Other allergies, like food or seasonal allergies can also appear in the form of a skin irritation; therefore, it’s important to rule out any possible allergens when determining the root cause of irritated skin.
3. You’re Using the Wrong Products
Cosmetics, soaps, and other skincare products that are made with harsh chemicals and artificial ingredients can increase your skin sensitivity and ultimately lead to irritations. Always review the ingredients and opt for a more natural alternative. Also, be sure to select the best product according to your skin type.
4. A Poor Diet
A nutrient-deficient diet can likewise aid in triggering mild to severe skin irritations. Like all organs, our skin needs a constant, well-balanced intake of nutrients to properly function and, while the results of a poor diet probably won’t reflect immediately on your skin, it may occur over time. Similar to a domino effect, a poor diet, which includes not drinking enough water or eating excessive irritating foods (spicy food, coffee, alcohol), can cause your body to react adversely and eventually take it out on your skin’s performance, resulting in sporadic breakouts and irritations.
5. The Environment and Pollution
Excessive exposure to harsh environmental changes along with chemical pollutants in the air are also common causes of skin irritations. Studies performed in Brazil and the United States showed that higher temperatures were associated with poorly controlled atopic dermatitis. Additionally, pollutants like tobacco smoke have an irritant effect on skin and have been proven to diminish skin barrier function.
6. Stress and Anxiety
Stress and anxiety can affect your body in many ways, and your skin is no exception. The chemical response that occurs in our bodies as a result of stress can heighten skin sensitivity, provoking itchiness, redness, and hives. Said stress can even cause or worsen more severe skin conditions like eczema, rosacea, and psoriasis. Learn more by visiting our blog article “How Stress Affects Our Skin.”
7. Taking Certain Medications
Irritated skin can also arise as a side effect or allergic reaction from a particular medication. Any medicine, including antibiotics and over-the-counter medicines, can potentially irritate your skin and cause rashes. These drug-induced rashes usually fade after discontinuing the medication, however, in some cases, it may last for days or weeks afterwards.
8. You May Have an Underlying Health Issue
Certain health issues caused by your nervous system or immune system may also be responsible for any lingering skin irritations. If you have a persistent skin irritation, always consult with your doctor to help you diagnose the underlying causes.