sensitive skin on your hands, feet and scalp too ?

Written by on June 27, 2008 in research with 4 Comments

The common wisdom about rosacea is that is only occurs around the flush zones on your face. A recent paper challenged this idea with a case study of a patient who had rosacea lesions on his arm, and upper chest area.

Another related recent short paper titled Sensitive skin is not limited to the face, that has the conclusion that sensitive skin is also common on the scalp, hands and feet.

From Sensitive skin is not limited to the face, British Journal of Dermatology, Volume 158, Number 1, January 2008 , pp. 130-133(4), C. Saint-Martory, A.M. Roguedas-Contios, V. Sibaud, A. Degouy, A.M. Schmitt and L. Misery.

Background: Sensitive skin (or reactive or hyper-reactive skin) is defined as skin that reacts by erythema and/or subjective symptoms (pricking, burning, pain, pruritus etc.) to stimuli that are not pathogens in themselves (e.g. wind, heat, cold, water, cosmetics, stress). This phenomenon is very frequent, occurring in about 50% of the European population.

Conclusions: The proportion of subjects presenting with sensitive skin is probably overestimated. However, the main result of this study is that sensitive skin is not restricted to the face but rather it is also present at other localizations, mainly the hands, and often the scalp and feet.

Discussion: To the best of our knowledge, this study is the first demonstration that sensitive skin is not restricted to the face and is frequently present in other localizations, mainly on the hands, and often on the scalp and feet. The high prevalence of sensitive skin on the hands suggests environmental factors as the cause of reactive skin by means of sun exposure and frequent use of soaps. Similarly, scalp sensitivity may be associated with sun exposure and mainly by the use of shampoos. Concerning foot sensitivity, a further study might be necessary to differentiate genuine skin sensitivity from muscular and osteo-articular sensitivity.

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About the Author: David Pascoe started the Rosacea Support Group in October 1998. .

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4 Reader Comments

  1. pat milich says:

    I have very red old looking hands. They always feel cold and look awful. I am very selfconsious of my hands and wondered if it is, or could be Rosacea. Or maybe somebody has a remedy for me on how to make my hands look better.

  2. M A says:

    Hi Pat milich

    I have exactly ur problem, I went to lots of dermatologists but none of them knew what exactly I have

    For now I hate really my hands and it is embarrasing for me since anybody see them will ask me why is ur hands are very red

  3. Nischal says:

    Can you get rosacea on hands ?

  4. Sarah says:

    I have “lizard skin” across my first set of knuckles (where fingers connect to hand) and the backs of my wrists (and to a lesser extent the back of my hand) that is extremely dry and flares angry red when exposed to my usual rosacea triggers. Despite my fingers and palms being exposed to all of the same triggers, they don’t exhibit the same symptoms. Unfortunately, though I am finding some success with avoiding triggers on my face, multiple-times-per-day handwashing exposes my hands to largely-unavoidable triggers. Less frequently, I believe due to limited exposure to triggers, the front of my shins from ankle to a few inches below my knee will also develop “lizard skin.”

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