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Skin Health Emporium

Skin Reactions

When your skin has had, or is having an adverse reaction to a product this does not necessarily mean you have had an ‘allergic reaction’.

There are two types of adverse responses your skin can have a product when it is applied to your skin; a hypersensitive reaction and an allergic reaction.

Here are some simple and easy ways you can to remember differences between a skin reaction and an allergic reaction. If ever in doubt always seek medical advice

Hypersensitive Reaction Allergic Reaction
Cause Reaction triggered by an impaired Barrier Function of the skin through lack of care or incorrect product usage. Barrier Function is the skin is impaired through genetic factors where the skin is in a constant state of hyper-reactivity.
Reaction Time Reaction is usually felt and appears instantly Reaction may take anywhere from 6-48 hours to develop
Feels Like Stinging, burning, itching instantly Stinging, burning, itching that increases in intensity as the immune system responds
Which Skin Types are prone? Any Skin Type can have a hypersensitive reaction to a product Sensitive Skin Types prone to flushing, irritation and possible system illnesses such as asthma, hayfever and eczema more likely to have allergic reactions
Time it takes for the reaction to subside Reactions subside within 10 minutes of removal of the product Allergic reaction can take 6-48 hours to develop and weeks to subside
Localised or Systemic Only appear where the product has been applied meaning it is a localised reaction May appear all over the body not always just where the product has been applied meaning it is a systemic reaction that occurs
Medical Attention Doesn’t normally require any medical intervention; immediate removal of the product and cold compressing settles the discomfort Requires medical intervention and attention – anaphylaxis is a risk for some
Where to from here? Avoid the use of the product and reintroduce later when the skin barrier is repaired Have skin testing conducted by a medical specialist to find the exact ingredient causing the allergic reaction and avoid it for future

Please note: this chart is designed as a guide only and should not be used as a medical diagnostic tool.
Seek immediate medical attention in the event of anaphylaxis.

Good skin care and a regular routine is always the key to maintaining the health of the barrier function of your skin to prevent hypersensitive – and minimise the chances of allergic – reactions.

S·H·E Reads

Identifying Inflammation by Annet King

Sensitive Versus Sensitized: The Genetic Difference by Dr. Diana Howard

A comprehensive online rosacea information resource

National Rosacea Society
A website about the medical condition rosacea

Super Skin Smoothers S·H·E Loves!