Advice on seasonal skin conditions
When the weather changes, it is common that some people’s skin becomes red, starts peeling and itchy rashes appear. Not only are these conditions physically uncomfortable, but they also affect a person’s mood and selfconfidence. What causes skin allergies and how can people with sensitive skin find relief? Metropolitan interviewed Yuan Shan, chair of the dermatology department at Beijing United Family Hospital and Clinics (BJU), and she shared some tips for those suffering from skin allergies.
Metropolitan: Why are people with sensitive skin easily affected by skin allergies when there is a transition between seasons?
Yuan: When seasons change, the humidity, temperature and UV rays, as well as bacteria, viruses, plant spores and pollen content all change tremendously. If one’s skin cannot adapt properly, it is easy for skin irritations and allergies to occur.
Metropolitan: How do people with sensitive skin take preventative measures against skin allergies?
Yuan: First, try to find the source of your allergies and avoid direct contact with it. Second, protect your skin from exposure to high temperatures and windy, dry environments by keeping it moisturized. One should also avoid using hot water when washing, and avoid skincare products that contain alcohol. Mild and moisturizing medical skincare products are preferred. Do not over care for the skin, especially with exfoliation treatments. Do not change skincare products frequently, especially during periods of seasonal transitional.
Metropolitan: Could you explain in detail how to use skincare products?
Yuan: Many people who are into skincare change products when seasons change. However, as a dermatologist, I would not recommend that. I believe it is better to stick to one line of products and let the skin adapt to it gradually.
If one needs to change to a new brand, do not change all your skincare products at one time. This way your skin can adapt and you can tell if a specific product causes your skin to have an allergic reaction. Doctors suggest changing one product at a time, starting with the product that has the most direct contact with your skin.
For example, when switching cosmetic lines, it is recommended that one should switch foundations first. Once the skin has adjusted to the new foundation, other products like pressed powder and blush can be changed one at a time.
If someone has sensitive skin, they should not change skincare products or cosmetics without reason. If you continue to see red skin and experience allergies such as rashes and flaky skin, medical treatment is required. Metropolitan: What food or beverages should one avoid if experiencing skin allergies? Yuan: One should limit the intake of spicy food and alcoholic beverages. Metropolitan: What are some of the medical treatments used for skin allergies? Yuan: Do not use corticosteroid ointment without professional medical advice. Ointment, oral medicine, medical care and laser treatment – single or combined treatments – are the most commonly used medical treatments for serious skin allergies. Metropolitan: Are there any people who might not be suitable for such medical treatments? Yuan: Each and every medicine has side effects. So, people with hypertension, cardiac disease, gastric ulcer and an imbalance of trace elements need to clearly state their medical history and be monitored closely.
Any treatment should be carried out under the instruction of a doctor, and one should never prematurely stop a treatment without consulting their doctor.
Yuan Shan, chair of the dermatology department at BJU