It’s one of those topics that most people are too busy to ask about.
And yet it’s a topic that I’ve never been able to really find an answer to, until now.
That’s because, while most of us have been in the habit of shaving for decades, we’ve never actually had a definitive answer on why we do it.
While there are a few theories as to why we might shave, it’s still not clear why we need to, or if it’s something we can control.
One theory suggests that we’re biologically programmed to be sensitive to the smell of our skin, which we can’t control.
We also have some genetic predisposition to develop sensitivity to the scent of our own skin, said Dr Michael Raffensburg, an associate professor of dermatology at the University of Pittsburgh School of Medicine and Dentistry.
Another theory is that we are born with a predisposition towards skin sensitisation, which is the result of a combination of environmental factors and genes.
In this case, this could be caused by environmental triggers, such as exposure to allergens or certain types of skin care products, said Raffinsburg.
It’s still unknown exactly why we’re so sensitive to our own body odour, but there are some possible theories, including that it’s because of an enzyme called keratinocyte stem cell-derived protein-1, or K-SCDP1.
K-SCDNAs are also found in our skin.
This protein, which can be found in cells in the lining of our cheeks, is responsible for producing the characteristic red, tan and pink pigmentation we see in our faces, and can be seen in certain skin cancers.
There are also suggestions that it may be a genetic mutation, but the reason why it’s so rare is not clear, Raffenburg said.
He also said there are theories that the smell is caused by an enzyme, called histamine-4-phosphate dehydrogenase, which helps to produce a specific smell in the nose.
“If that’s the case, you might think that our sensitivity is a result of having a genetic predispositions towards keratinocytes, but that’s not really what we have,” he said.
“It’s more like a genetic trait.”
The mystery of why we get so sensitive is what prompted Dr Peter A. Jones, a professor of pathology at the Royal Victoria Hospital, to ask if there was something in our DNA that made us more sensitive.
What’s the scientific answer?
Jones and his colleagues examined skin samples from two groups of people, one who had developed acne, and another who hadn’t.
They were interested in how the two groups reacted to different types of cosmetics, and found that people with acne had a higher level of a protein called K-SCHP1, which was more sensitive to smells.
This protein, Jones said, has been linked to acne and related conditions such as psoriasis, but had never been shown to cause skin sensitised people to react more strongly to a specific type of fragrance.
Jones believes the higher level in skin of K-ScDNAs could be linked to the fact that acne patients are more likely to have more sensitive skin, as well as being less likely to use a moisturiser, and therefore to develop eczema, eczymatous acne or psorias.
The scientists also tested the levels of various skin markers.
Skin tests showed that skin of people who had acne were more sensitive than skin of those who hadn.
Interestingly, people with more skin-sensitive skin had lower levels of a chemical called PEG-8, which has been shown in other studies to cause the development of acne.
However, it wasn’t just skin-related that the researchers found to be more sensitive, they also found that the skin of acne-prone people was more susceptible to environmental triggers and allergens.
When the researchers put their subjects in an environmental stress test, the scientists found that skin in the stress test subjects was more resistant to certain chemicals, such the chemical p-chlorophenylalanine (PCP).
In fact, the researchers say, the people who were exposed to PCP had the most skin-specific sensitivities.
These include skin pigmentation and skin elasticity, which are thought to be indicators of skin cancer, said Jones.
For example, in a skin test, researchers found that someone who had eczemic acne had more skin sensitivity than someone who hadn`t.
Additionally, the more sensitive people were to the fragrance of their own skin (which is what we think of as a skin scent), the more they were prone to developing eczematous or psoriatic acne.
And, importantly, people who developed eczemia had more p-SOD1, a gene involved in regulating the immune system, than people who didn’t.
It was this