The sensitive skin syndrome

Hadar Lev-Tov, Howard I. Maibach

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

17 Scopus citations


Sensitive skin syndrome (SSS) is a common and challenging condition, yet little is known about its underlying pathophysiology. Patients with SSS often present with subjective complaints of severe facial irritation, burning, and/or stinging after application of cosmetic products. These complaints are out of proportion to the objective clinical findings. Defined as a self-diagnosed condition lacking any specific objective findings, SSS is by definition difficult to quantify and, therefore, the scientific community has yet to identify an acceptable objective screening test. In this overview we review recent epidemiological studies, present current thinking on the pathophysiology leading to SSS, discuss the challenges SSS presents, and recommend a commonsense approach to management.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)419-423
Number of pages5
JournalIndian Journal of Dermatology
Issue number6
StatePublished - Nov 2012


  • Cosmetic intolerance syndrome
  • sensitive skin syndrome
  • status cosmeticus

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Dermatology


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