We sat down with Dr. Dendy Engelman, Board Certified NYC Dermatologist and a mom to 1 year old Gadsden, to chat about the misconceptions around sensitive skin & scalp she sees every day in her practice. Check it out:
What are the most common misconceptions you see in your practice surrounding skin sensitivity?
- There is widespread confusion when it comes to the sensitive skin category, and I see it firsthand in my practice every day. Many of my patients have some sensitivity to various ingredients, but that doesn’t mean skin is necessarily classified as sensitive – it just means skin might have s sensitivity to certain ingredients/products.The scalp is an extension of the skin, so likely if your child has skin sensitivity that also translates to the scalp. Using products the wrong way, over-aggressiveness with products and using harsh and/or irritating ingredients can all contribute to patients misdiagnosing skin as sensitive.
What should you do if you think your child has sensitive skin or scalp?
- I encourage my patients to come into the office before diagnosing themselves – as a professional I can identify certain signs of sensitive skin and genetic issues that cannot be seen in a mirror. Especially in babies and kids it can be hard to differentiate between some of the most common issues like Eczema, Dandruff, Folliculitis, Tinea Amiantacea, Cradle Cap, Psoriasis, etc., so it is important that parents visit a doctor or dermatologist regularly to diagnose and treat issues.
How do you know if products are safe for those with sensitivities to ingredients or sensitive skin & scalp?
- Most of my patients automatically assume that products in the baby aisle are sensitive especially the “all-natural” ones but they do not realize that the vast majority contain at least one irritating ingredient. Common ingredients like lavender and shea butter can seem to be soothing and hydrating but in reality can be irritating, so make sure to do your research.It is also important to remember that irritating ingredients are different for everyone – the options can be overwhelming and confusing and it can be hard to know which ingredients to avoid, which is why I recommend SoCozy’s new Hush collection to my patients – it is a complete solution for sensitive scalp for both babies and kids!
Can using one “sensitive” product solve the problem?
- I tell my patients that they need to be committed to a complete regimen of clean ingredients and formulations, especially when I prescribe medicines to treat symptoms – products used in conjunction that are irritating can undermine any progress made.
Is what you put on your skin and scalp just as important as what you eat or drink?
- YES! When it comes to ingredients, I see that parents tend to pay more attention to the ingredients in their children’s food than in the products they apply to their skin and scalp, even though those applied to the skin/scalp are also absorbed into the bloodstream and are therefore just as important as what you consume. For example, a nut allergy can translate to an allergy to products with nut ingredients as well, so using a line like Hush that is free of all irritants including gluten, nuts, etc. is of the utmost importance.