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Sensitive skin symptoms – Poorly understood and considered largely subjective, but treatable nonetheless?

corresponding

HARALD VAN DER HOEVEN*, PETRA A. SCHMIDT
CLR Chemisches Laboratorium, Dr. Kurt Richter GmbH, Bennigsenstraße 25, Berlin, 12159, Germany
*Corresponding author

Abstract

Sensitive skin and its typical symptoms do not represent a single skin condition, but rather include different physiological mechanisms. Therefore investigative dermatologists and the cosmetic industry are still facing a tremendous task in trying to objectify and treat these subjective symptoms. The lactic acid stinging test, developed by Frosch and Kligman, is one of the most widely accepted biophysical tests to subjectively evaluate sensitive skin symptoms, such as neurogenic inflammation. Furthermore in about 50 percent of sensitive skin symptoms, inflammations accompany sensitive skin, mostly erythema caused by mechanical stress. 41 percent of all people report sensitive skin symptoms after shaving. These facts need to be considered when developing a tailor-made active. CLR’s new MGB was objectively proven to significantly reduce sensitive skin reactions, neurogenic inflammation and mechanical stress-induced skin redness.


AN UNDERESTIMATED PROBLEM

Sensitive skin and the best ways to treat it have been a topic of major relevance in popular media in the last few decades. The popularity of the topic and the market it represents for the cosmetic industry are growing still. In fact, it has been reported that the skin care market dedicated to sensitive skin is one of its fastest growing segments (1). Despite the importance of the topic to the consumer, many questions remain about the etiology of sensitive skin and especially its typical symptoms. Part of the reason why scientists have not been able as yet to elucidate the exact physiological processes that lead to sensitive skin symptoms lies in the fact that “sensitive skin” has long been considered not to be a dermatological reality but rather a psychosocial problem (2); the attention given to “sensitive skin” by popular media and the cosmetic industry was considered to play a decisive role in the growth in number of people reporting to have sensitive skin. As a result, this topic has not received the priority by investigative dermatologists which it rightfully deserves.

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