Beauty Class: What Makes Your Skin Itchy

Normal Skin.

Normal Skin. The pinky cells represent skin and the reddish one the capillary vessels.

Weeks ago, I introduced to you the world of allergens and external elements that can make your skin dry and itchy. You can read a bit more about it here. However, like some people has questions about it I have thought that it could be a good idea to try to make a more visual explanation. Unfortunately, I am not a biology teacher and I am neither Da Vinci so please forgive me if something it is not really clear in my explanations or draws. I let you the comment section bellow to try to resolve any point in which you could have doubts or I have not explained well.

Our human body is made by millions of cells. Think about them like the bricks of a house. They are put one next to other making walls but, between them there is a thin layer of concrete which keeps them in place. Human body is exactly the same, the only difference it is that the cells are different to others depending of the organ which they shape. A building brick has several sizes, some shapes too, and cells are made the same way but as a microscopic elements.

In this case, I show you a section of the human skin without pores or hair. The draws only represent a tiny section were only skin cells and blood capillaries are represented. Please, excuse me if they look a bit colorless. It is the first time that I scan my draws and I did not know that a scanner can really bleach so much certain colors.

Usually, skin is formed in a structure similar than the one that you see in the picture but it is repeated several times. Human skin is about 5cm thickness and around the eye area it is only 2cm. For this reason, the zone of the eyes is more sensible and it requires special treatments or moisturizers.

Only the most depth cells have the capacity of multiply themselves and become smaller “bricks” but as soon as the most superficial ones start to die the layers of deep ones advance in position to the external skin side making them more vulnerable to external aggressions of all kind. Of curse, this is a long process but it is, in part, one of the principal causes of what we call aging.

External Aggressions. Oops! I have wrote in Valencian the main title in the draw. Language spelling troubles... My bad :(

External Aggressions. Oops! I have wrote in Valencian the main title in the draw. Language spelling troubles… My bad 😦

Each day, our skin suffers all kind of external aggressions from different elements. The UV rays that can trespass several coats of our cells and modify the DNA and all kind of protein structures in them, breaking them. As consequence, we can get red skin, freckles, spots, cancer or more simply decadencies as the lack of retinol and collagen which are the proteins that act like the “cement” to our bricks.

The cold weather can make or superficial cells dehydrate faster and for that we have dry skin. Some beauty products can contain so many lipids or “fats” that can literally make our pores clog and our older and weak cells get fat and explode. Because our “bricks” are not so solid like the ones with which we build houses. Cells are more like balloons filled with water and other components. For this reason, as you can make a balloon explode if you put it in several extreme physical conditions, with your cells it happens the same.

Other factor which really affects your skin are allergens or beauty products which can be more aggressive like, for example, parabens but I do not pretend to scare you with this because that is a different matter which maybe I will explain better other day.

However, do not think that the “cement” which holds our cells in place it is hard as the concrete. As our cells are more similar to balloons than bricks, imagine that this “cement” it is made of several thin strings which hold one balloon to other.

Do you know when you wet a piece of string with any liquid element it can literally moisture the whole string making that everything pass to the other end or side of it? No, you do not know it? Well, other day maybe we will play physics but right now simply believe it because it happens. This cool effect it is called osmosis and it is the responsible that liquids can trespass certain superficies.

Going back to the house example. How many of you have noticed that one day it has rained and the water came from the outside to the inside making in the ceiling an ugly leak. That not only happens because you have a hole on the roof. It happens because the protecting materials of your house have maybe a tiny hole and the bricks and concrete are permeable; the same happens with cells.

Dry Skin with dry patches where skin cells are unattached well and falling from the skin walls.

Dry Skin with dry patches where skin cells are unattached well and falling from the skin walls.

It is for this simple explanation that anything that you put in your skin not only affects the superficial cells if not it arrives to the most deeper ones, in some cases, even killing them before time. That is the main reason sometimes you are using a beauty product and your skin stills itchy even when you are not using it anymore. That moisturizer has reached your inner cells and until it does not pass several days there is nothing else to do. Well, you can always try to use another product but this is not what it matters right now.

When you have dry skin with dry patches that easy peel your skin can look at microscope similar to this draw. The external cells are dead and they start to loose the “cement” around them falling of your skin walls as broken bricks. However, human body it is designed to try to avoid holes in the organ structure so it makes other cells occupy the space that the falling bricks are leaving. The problem is that the human body it is programmed to fill first the external holes but no the inner ones. Everything is question of priorities but what happens then it is that in the inner holes can be trapped the allergen elements which are causing you the itchiness. Other thing that happens is that sometimes that holes collapse and that bubble is filled by the external cells that was trying to cover the external hole. That is the reason that wrinkles show up and this is also the reason dry skins get wrinkles sooner than other skin types.

Although, what happens when you have red skin? Well, it can be caused by several reasons. The most innocuous one it is that your skin cells are very clear and their transparency can make easy to spot the capillaries.

Another reason it is a derivation of the dry skin patch. Let’s say that this allergens trapped keep affecting your inner cells and

Red Skin with a pocket where allergen elements has got trapped. Your capillaries got inflamed and more closer to the external skin layers.

Red Skin with a pocket where allergen elements has got trapped. Your capillaries got inflamed and more closer to the external skin layers.

think of them like hammers hitting the bricks. Some will break, but it is not true that the ones which will not, will they have marks later? That marks are your red skin trying to recover for the external aggressions and then, you really need a good plaster to smooth the whole wall because if not you can always see the reddish mess.

Finally, there is the last option of a red skin which it is the most dangerous one. It happens when the layers of external skin have become so weak and thin that what you are really watching are your capillaries. They can become so external that you can spot in your face “spider webs” or “branches”; this is how I heard that they call them. Anyway, that it is very difficult to resolve. Only laser treatments can make your inner cells reproduce themselves faster and create new capillaries; destroying whole skin layers of superficial skin are the solution. As you can see it is quite risky so, if you have a doubt that any beauty product it is not really suiting your skin please dump it. Maybe you could have lost a considerable amount of money buying it but these laser treatments are quite expensive and they could have other consequences which, in long term, maybe they could not benefit your skin at all. So, please, consider everything before to be blinded by the awesome marketing campaign of some beauty brands. Your skin needs some love and care too. Forget a bit about compulsive shopping expenses and dedicate more time to grow up your real beauty which it is not only inside you but, as you could have learned today it grows from inside to outside from you.