Damaged skin barrier - causes, symptoms and treatment

Everything you need to know about the skin barrier: Damage, symptoms and treatment

The role of the skin barrier for skin health is vital. It acts as the name suggests, as a barrier to the harmful effects of the environment and helps maintain moisture in the skin. When the protective barrier is damaged, it can lead to many skin diseases and problems. In this article, we discuss the importance of healthy skin barrier, the symptoms of its damage and treatment options.


What is damaged skin barrier?

The skin's protective layer consists of fats such as lipids and ceramides and moisturizing factors such as hyaluronic acid. This mixture forms a surface layer on the skin that helps retain moisture, thus protecting the skin from external stimuli.

Damage to the skin barrier can occur for many reasons, such as:

  • Excessive washing: Cleansing the skin unnecessarily often or using cleansers that are too strong for the needs of the skin can remove the skin's natural oils and thus weaken the protective barrier.
  • Excessive exfoliation: Exfoliation is recommended for every skin type, but using too strong products or exfoliating unnecessarily often, can easily damage the skin's protective layer.
  • Dryness: Climatic conditions, such as cold or dry air, can dry out the skin and cause damage to the protective wall.
  • UV radiation: Excessive exposure to the sun's UV radiation can damage the skin's protective wall and cause, among other things, premature aging of the skin.
  • Chemical substances: Certain chemicals can irritate the skin and damage the protective barrier. For example, chemical peels that are too strong are a good example of this, but active ingredients that are too strong or the wrong type for your skin type can also cause damage.
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Symptoms of damaged skin barrier

Damage to the skin barrier can appear in many ways, such as:

  • Dryness: A decrease in the moisture content of the skin is one of the first signs of damage to the protective barrier. The skin may feel dry and scaly.
  • Rashes: Weakening of the skin's protective wall can expose the skin to infections and rashes, such as eczema or psoriasis.
  • Irritation: Skin irritation and redness can be signs that there are problems with the balance of the skin barrier.
  • Sensitivity: A damaged skin barrier can make the skin more sensitive to external stimuli, including cosmetics.
  • Itching: Dryness and irritation of the skin can cause itching, which can be a sign of a weakening of the protective barrier.


Treatment of damaged skin barrier

Fortunately, there are many ways to treat and strengthen the skin barrier. Here are some tips:

  • Moisturizing creams: Use moisturizing products that help restore moisture to the skin and strengthen the protective layer.
  • Gentle cleansing: Avoid strong cleansers and instead prefer gentle formulas that do not dry out the skin.
  • Sunscreen: Remember to apply sunscreen every single day to protect the skin from UV rays, to prevent both damage to the protective barrier and premature signs of aging, of which UV radiation is definitely the biggest factor.
  • Diet: Eat a balanced diet rich in antioxidants and fats that can help strengthen the protective barrier from the inside.
  • Avoid irritating ingredients and formulas: Avoid strong cosmetic products, such as mechanically exfoliating scrubs, which can irritate the skin and thus weaken the protective barrier.


The best ingredients and products to treat damaged skin barrier

Here are some of the best ingredients and some product suggestions that can help strengthen and repair the skin barrier:

Skin care products containing these ingredients can help improve the health of the skin barrier and promote the well-being of the skin. However, it is important to remember that the needs of each skin are individual.

The health of the skin barrier is an essential part of the skin's overall well-being. Its damage can lead to many unpleasant symptoms, such as dryness, irritation and rashes. Fortunately, there are many ways to treat and strengthen the protective barrier to keep the skin healthy and well-being.

Our cosmetologist advises on choosing the right products even for sensitive skin. However, if you have persistent skin problems that do not settle with care products selected for the condition of the skin, you should always consult a dermatologist for further instructions and treatment.


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Credits: Baumann, Leslie. "The role of ceramides in skin care and skin health." Journal of Cosmetic Dermatology 3.2 (2004): 101-108.
Draelos, Zoe Diana. "The latest cosmeceutical approaches for anti-aging." JDDG: Journal der Deutschen Dermatologischen Gesellschaft 4.11 (2006): 935-938. Pappas, Apostolos. "Epidermal surface lipids." Dermato-endocrinology 1.5 (2009): 72-76. Rawlings, Ann V. "Trends in stratum corneum research and the management of dry skin conditions." International journal of cosmetic science 25.1-2 (2003): 63-95. Sivamani, Raja K., et al. "Clinical effects of hydration, moisturization, and pH of the skin of human stratum corneum: A systematic review and meta-analysis." JDDG: Journal der Deutschen Dermatologischen Gesellschaft 17.7 (2019): 663-677.

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