The skin barrier is what protects us daily from environmental allergens, irritants, harsh products and germs. It also protects the skin from dehydration by holding on to water.

Continue reading to learn more.

WHERE IS THE SKIN BARRIER LOCATED? 

The skin barrier is the outermost layer of the skin called the epidermis. Therefore, it is your skin’s first defense against the environment.

HOW DOES THE SKIN BARRIER PROTECT YOU?

Think of your skin as a brick and mortar model. The mortar is what holds the skin cells together.  The mortar is composed of lipids (oils) that hold the skin cells (brick) together. If the mortar is compromised, the skin will lose water, a process called transepidermal water loss. And that is when the skin appears dry, scaly and inflamed.

HOW DO YOU KNOW IF THE SKIN BARRIER IS DAMAGED? 

You can tell that your skin barrier is damaged or weakened if your skin is itchy, dry, scaly, sensitive and or inflamed. Eczema and atopic dermatitis are examples of skin barrier compromise. If you think that you may be experiencing a breakdown of your skin barrier, you can take steps to help repair it.

WHAT ARE THE FACTORS THAT CONTRIBUTE TO SKIN BARRIER DYSFUNCTION? 

The environment, genetics, diet and lifestyle habits all contribute to skin barrier dysfunction. For example, hot water strips the skin for the lipids in your skin, allowing water to evaporate from the skin. It can lead to dryness, itching, redness and skin sensitivity.

HOW DO YOU PROTECT YOUR SKIN BARRIER?

Choosing the right moisturizer can be confusing. It is best to look for the right ingredients in your moisturizer. Here is a breakdown of some of the elements that may be listed in moisturizers:

WHAT MOISTURIZER SHOULD YOU USE FOR YOUR SKIN TYPE? 

It is essential to choose the right moisturizer for your skin type.

CARE FOR ATOPIC ECZEMA / DERMATITIS SYMPTOMS

Eczema/dermatitis is a rash-like skin condition that can show symptoms anywhere on the body. This condition can cause the skin to be red and itchy. If scratched, the skin will become inflamed. There are many different types of this condition. Still, if you suffer from atopic eczema/dermatitis, in particular, you may notice worsened symptoms when you are having problems with your skin barrier.

Your dermatologist may recommend any of the following courses of treatment to help alleviate your symptoms and heal your skin:

VISIT YOUR DERMATOLOGIST | THE DERMATOLOGY CENTER FOR SKIN HEALTH, PLLC

Keeping your skin barrier healthy is essential for more than just cosmetic reasons.

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