Skincare: pH of Normal Human Skin
Dr. Sirisha Singh
Dr Sirisha Singh, the founding member and partner consultant of The Skin Center, is highly qualified with 8 years of work experience in the United Kingdom. Dr Sirisha Singh is a well known name and keeps in touch continuously with all the latest trends in anti-ageing medicine and Dermatology. She is a trainer for LUMENIS and regularly trains other doctors on the use of skin LASERs. Dr Sirisha Singh is particularly interested in injectables for anti-ageing such as botulinum toxin and fillers.
pH levels indicate the level of acidity or alkalinity of the skin. The normal pH of the skin is acidic in the range of 4-5.5. The pH of the skin is made up by the fatty acids and amino acids which are present in the sweat and oil secretions of the skin. These secretions are called the acid mantle of the skin.
The pH and the acid mantle of the skin can be disrupted by using harsh cleansers (most cleansers are alkaline with a pH of 7.3 and upwards), in skin problems associated with inflammation like eczema and psoriasis. The pH can also be affected by internal metabolic problems like diabetes and thyroid disorders. In winters, when the ambient humidity is low, dryness of the skin can affect the pH balance of the skin.
When the pH of the skin goes towards more alkaline levels, staphylococcus and other microbes sitting on the surface of the skin are no longer repelled by the acid mantle and they penetrate into the skin causing skin infections. Skin which has a more alkaline pH is also prone to develop an allergic rash.
In order to maintain the acidic nature of the skin, it is important to use a gentle pH neutral cleanser and use generous amounts of a soothing moisturiser to try and restore the pH balance of the skin. Regular use of a sunscreen will shield the skin from the harsh UV rays and protect the acid mantle of the skin. Eating a diet rich in green leafy vegetables, soya and fruits like melons can also help maintain the acid mantle.
*Images courtesy: © Thinkstock photos/ Getty Images
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