This is an informal part II to last week's post where I talked about not doing too much to your skin since this can cause irritation.
The most common reactions are burning, scarring (discoloration) and small patches of bumps (classic case of irritation). I've broken down what has helped me in those three instances and I threw in a few more tips.
I don't put any harsh chemicals on my skin, so these are all natural remedies.
There are tons of remedies, but these are the ones that have really worked for me and they are also really simple.
I've tried all these remedies (because I've messed up several times) and they really work.
Three most common types of skin irritation
Burns: This, in my opinion, is the worst reaction to have. I've used products that have literally burned my skin and made it raw in some spots. I burned my cheek area pretty badly by using way too much tea tree oil about two years ago and it took months to heal (about 4-5 months).
I was left with patches of tiny flakey bumps that were super stubborn. When the bumps finally went away I was left with discoloration.
Burning of the skin cells usually happens when using something too strong, for too long or using too much of a product.
The only thing that worked for me was aloe vera. I'd put both fresh aloe and aloe vera gel on the burned patches of my skin every morning and night. The aloe calmed any burning/tingling sensation without further irritating my skin.
Scars: When my skin finally healed I was left with some discoloration and light scarring (I still have some spots but it's not very noticeable).
Vitamin E oil was, and still is, the go to. I'd apply 2-3 drops on the affected area a few times a day and within a few weeks they were no longer visible. I'd apply an extra amount at night so it could soak in my skin while I slept.
Tiny under the skin bumps (itchy/irritation): Sometimes using products that don't agree with your skin can cause patches of tiny bumps under the skin that can be itchy, red or sting.
The best way to get rid of this is by scaling back for a few days until it goes away. That means, washing your face no more than 2 times a day with a mild, unscented soap and using a light layer of moisturizer.
Try to avoid wearing makeup or using scented products, the point is to give your skin a break by not adding more potential irritants. This type of reaction subsides within a few days typically.
Also, applying ice to the area helps calm the skin.
Cold compress: Use cold water and ice to help calm the skin down. Hot water can be too harsh and strip the skin of oils that are needed to protect and heal naturally.
This is the most effective for calming the skin quickly. I get a paper towel/face towel, wrap some ice up in it, and apply it to my face until it feels better. This works for burns, itching, bumps, swelling and more.
Oatmeal masks: Oats are super soothing and help to relieve eczema and just about any other type of skin irritation.
Keep the mask super simple by mixing equal parts ground oats and water until it forms a paste. Then, apply to the affected area for 10-20 minutes.
This can be done 1-2 times a day for a few days in a row depending on the severity of your skin.
Coconut oil: Coconut oil is a natural anti-bacterial and can help restore the skin back to its glowy and elastic texture. This is good for inflamed, itchy or red skin, just apply a thin layer to the skin and let it soak in.
I've used this on my face and body. I usually avoid coconut oil on my face however because it's too thick and can cause clogged pores, but for a quick fix I wouldn't knock it.
Be gentle: If your skin is burning, itchy, red, etc., be cautious and delicate. The last thing you want to do is add more abrasion to an irritated area. Lightly handle the affected area(s).
Don't touch: I know it can be hard, but avoid touching any type of irritation excessively. Whether it's on your face or leg, don't keep touching it! Our hands carry germs that you don't want to spread, especially when trying to get rid of inflammation and irritation. Don't forget that your skin is your largest organ therefore, it has many layers. So, if you are impatient and can't keep your hands off, you will constantly be interrupting the healing process.
Give it time: Like I said earlier, I waited about 5 months for my skin to fully heal. It sucks, but your skin needs time to fully restore itself-- and it will!