The skin will probably have to be one of the toughest organs to manage, most especially when you have vulnerable skin. While most dark skin issues can be managed with the help of skin brighteners, skin darkening caused by this condition will have to be dealt with by a combination of lifestyle changes and adjustments made to your skin care regimen.
Vulnerable: Does That Mean High Maintenance?
Vulnerable skin will have to be somewhere in between high and low maintenance. That’s because, most of the time, when you do either so little or, too much for your skin, that’s when this skin condition sets in.
What is vulnerable skin anyway? According to the “Pathophysiology of Vulnerable Skin” by Dr. Mieke Flour, this condition is characterized by the “malfunctioning in one or more of the (natural processes of skin repair and regeneration), by giving way to mechanical stress and tearing, by not being able to balance biological homeostasis or by defective immunological functions”. Normally, the skin will adjust to internal and external factors that can damage it so as to fight off damages by keeping the integrity of your matrix intact.
More specifically, vulnerable skin can be characterized as follows:
- Weak skin barrier which causes it to break or become infected more easily
- Poor wound healing properties
- Becomes easily irritated and inflamed, and takes longer to heal and treat
- Chronically dry and flaky
- Exhibits signs of multiple damage and premature aging
- Too low or too high acidity which causes the skin to become reactive and the matrix to break
When this skin type is not successfully managed, not even a skin brightener will be able to easily correct hyperpigmentation that can manifest every time an inflammation is triggered. Other skin conditions that may arise with poor management of this skin condition are as follows:
- Thicker or thinner than normal skin suffering skin’s elasticity and resistance to breakage
- Increased vulnerability to wrinkling and other signs of skin damage associated with aging
- Increased sensitivity to UV damage
- Lower levels of natural oils causing chronic dryness and flaking
- Increased levels of transepidermal water loss causing skin to become itchy and swollen
How To Care For Compromised Skin
The skin covers you from head to toe to protect you from external and internal causes of damage and infections. When your skin is unable to perform its protective functions well, you should take the symptoms seriously or, your condition might worsen and you’ll have to live with the consequences for the rest of your life.Needless to say, vulnerable skin needs highly specialized care but, in no way does that have to mean complicated, in most instances, at least. Here are some tips to better manage your vulnerable skin:
Tip No. 1: Work on improving your skin’s protective barrier function. Your skin is always inflamed for the primary reason that it is weak and broken. Strengthen your skin barrier by:
- Using soap-free cleansers and moisturizing creams that contain ceramides and other barrier healing and strengthening ingredients
- Minimizing baths and washes, and making sure to use water that is neither too hot nor too cold when you do
- Keep hydrating your skin on-the-go to make up for trans-epidermal water loss
Tip No. 2: Nourish with nutrients that help improve your skin health. Omega-3 fatty acids, zinc, magnesium, and Vitamins A, C, E and B3 (Niacinamide) are just some of the nutrients that you can derive from your diet which can significantly improve your skin’s moisture levels and barrier functions as well.
Tip No. 3: Detoxify periodically. Several underlying conditions that cause vulnerable skin cannot be corrected using skin brighteners but, working on your gut health can. Many skin diseases are considered as autoimmune conditions that cause toxins to exit through your skin rather than through normal excretory pathways as a result of poor digestion and metabolism.
Tip No. 4: Improve the pH balance of your skin. Acidity or alkalinity that is too high or, too low causes your skin matrix to break. The right, pH balanced products can help you achieve pH-balanced skin. You should also steer clear of products that contain well-known allergens, that includes SD alcohol, fragrances, artificial dyes, and preservatives and antiseptics such as Triethanolamine and Chlorphenesin.
Tip No. 5: Sleep, relax and recreate.Lack of sufficient sleep worsens skin conditions, so does chronic stress. Learn to control your emotions so that your system does not switch on mechanisms that compromise your skin.
Challenging skin conditions can be harder to manage but, it is not impossible to rise above it. Just keep in mind that your skin cannot be managed by factoring in your skin care regimen alone. You should also make significant adjustments to your lifestyle choices.