Sensitive & Dry Skin

Dry and sensitive skin can occur at any time and without warning. Certain environmental factors, medicines, and cosmetic products can leave your skin feeling rough and tight. Although at one point your skin may have been supple and smooth, it can change due to a variety of irritating substances. Other times, dry and sensitive skin becomes a chronic condition and occurs as a result of an underlying disorder. No matter the reason for your dry skin, it is valuable to receive a skin evaluation from the physicians at Laserderm Dermatology & Cosmetic Laser Surgery who can tell you what substances to avoid, moisturizers to use or diagnose the condition that is causing your skin to have a reaction.

Characteristics of Dry and Sensitive Skin

Both dry and sensitive skin occur as a side effect of certain substances or environmental conditions and can appear as hormone levels change in the body with age. The two conditions are linked together and tend to worsen when our skin becomes less resilient to outside factors. If your skin is dry, it will often feel tight and may sting as it contracts. Dry skin can also itch, crack and feel rough. Skin that is sensitive will usually feel like it is burning or stinging as a result of contact with another substance. Sensitive skin can also look red or bumpy and begin to peel.

Skin Conditions that Cause Dry and Sensitive Skin

Although there are many products and lifestyle habits that can produce dry or sensitive skin, skin conditions can also be a culprit. If you have dry or sensitive skin that seems to reoccur regardless of any moisturizers that you use, contacting a dermatologist at Laserderm Dermatology & Cosmetic Laser Surgery can pinpoint whether you are experiencing symptoms from an underlying condition.


Ichthyosis is a genetic skin disorder characterized by either thick or fragile scaly skin. Currently, there is no cure for the condition, but various measures of treatment may be useful. If you suffer from ichthyosis, you may experience chronic blistering, and other side effects include overheating, infections and dehydration. The condition is usually present at birth and remains throughout your life. Additionally, patients will seek treatment for ichthyosis due to the many psychological concerns the condition creates.

Keratosis pilaris

Keratosis pilaris is a harmless skin condition usually present in teens and adults. The condition is characterized by small, hard bumps that develop on the skin and cause minor redness or swelling. The bumps, however, do not hurt and are not a cause for medical concern, but you may seek treatment if the condition interferes with your appearance. Keratosis pilaris develops on the upper arms, thighs, buttocks and, on rare occasions, the face. Over time, the condition is known to disappear completely.

Seborrheic keratosis

Seborrheic keratosis is composed of a noncancerous skin growth that usually occurs in older adults. The growths can appear as brown, black, or gray patches on the face, chest, shoulders and back and are generally harmless, but they can mimic the appearance of skin cancer. If you have the condition, you are encouraged to schedule regular skin evaluations to ensure you do not, in fact, have skin cancer. Many patients choose to have the growths removed if they are experiencing irritation or have cosmetic concerns.

Actinic keratosis

Actinic keratosis first appears as a lesion on the skin; however, it may not be apparent by sight at first. You may realize that you have the condition by touch when you notice areas of skin that feel like sandpaper. If you do see lesions, they will appear red, pink, or a combination of colors. Usually, these lesions occur on areas of skin commonly exposed to the skin, such as the scalp, face, ears, hands or shoulders. Although they may disappear over time, actinic keratosis will usually reappear later on. Although the condition itself is not harmful, actinic keratosis is a sign that you have sustained significant sun damage that could lead to any form of skin cancer, and it should be addressed as soon as you notice it.

Dry or sensitive skin can occur because of an interaction with an irritating substance or due to and underlying skin condition. If you are experiencing dry or sensitive skin that is not responding to regular moisturization, contact Laserderm Dermatology & Cosmetic Laser Surgery at 631-979-0909 to receive a skin evaluation as well as recommendations on products that might relieve your skin or a diagnosis for a suspected skin condition.