Our skin is the most amazing organ! It is our first line of defense against water loss, heat loss, protects against the cold, infection as well as allergies.
Performing all of these functions requires an INTACT SKIN BARRIER.
Our skin barrier can be leaky for various reasons:
1️⃣ The cells can be damaged
2️⃣ The “cement” between the cells (protein and lipids) can be faulty (eg in eczema)
3️⃣ The “basement membrane” under the skin (a foundation layer) can be damaged
4️⃣ The skin microbiome (a set of bugs that live on our skin) can be unhealthy (eg using harsh products on the skin)
5️⃣ Skin infections can damage the skin!
If the skin barrier is broken, it can lead to:
🅾️ Entrance of allergens, possibly setting up food allergies or eventually respiratory allergies
🅾️ Infection- bugs living safely on our skin surface can enter through a broken skin
🅾️ Water loss- and dehydration of the skin (and potentially dehydration of the body if there is large scale water loss)
🅾️ Large scale inflammation and itch
The skin barrier can be protected by:
✅ Using gentle, soap-free products
✅ Regular moisturizing with a good quality emollient
✅ Prompt treatment of eczema or infections as they arise.
✅ Lots of skin-to-skin care and exposure to a healthy microbiome.
A broken skin barrier is a medical emergency as it can lead to long-term repercussions! Manage it immediately and well!