Laurent Misery


Expert Rev Dermatol. 2013;8(6):631-637. 

In This Article


Non-consensus classifications have been proposed. Yokota et al. defined three different types based on physiological parameters:[10]

  • Type 1, defined as a low barrier function group with high transepidermal water loss (TEWL) and abnormal desquamation;

  • Type 2, defined as an inflammation group with normal barrier function and inflammatory changes;

  • Type 3, defined as a neurosensitive group in terms of normal barrier function and no inflammatory changes.

Mills and Berger[11] proposed to separate sensitive skin into four groups, according to the dermatological context:

  • Group 1: people with chronic dermatologic disorders;

  • Group 2: the same visible dermatologic disease as in group 1, but the signs are minimal or atypical;

  • Group 3: normal people who have experienced an intense trauma in the past, such as a bad sunburn or contact allergy; many years later, the traumatized areas will be unusually sensitive but normal in appearance;

  • Group 4: people who do not fit into any of the above categories but report abnormal sensations without visible responses to topical agents.

Willis and de Lacharrière[12] separated sensitive skin into three subgroups, according to triggering factors:

  • Severe sensitive skin: very high facial skin reactivity to all types of factors;

  • Skin sensitive to topical factors;

  • Skin sensitive to environmental factors.

Instead, according to the severity, I propose a classification into four groups:[13–19]

  • Very sensitive skin;

  • Sensitive skin;

  • Slightly sensitive skin;

  • Non-sensitive skin.