XSS targets the users of the application instead of the server. Although this is a limitation, since it allows attackers to hijack other users' session, an attacker might attack an administrator to gain full control over the application.
There are many different attacks that can be leveraged through the use of XSS, including:
Hi-jacking users' active session
Changing the look of the page within the victims browser.
Mounting a successful phishing attack.
Intercept data and perform man-in-the-middle attacks.
Prior to sanitizing user input, ensure you have a pre-defined list of both expected and acceptable characters with which you populate a white-list. This list needs only be defined once and should be used to sanitize and validate all subsequent input.