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The skin we're in

The last time I visited with my parents, my mom commented that I looked constantly ruddy-cheeked, and hypothesized that I might be suffering from the same sorts of allergies she has experienced. A brief personal observation period and consult with the internet suggested to me that it would be useful to have a more formal diagnosis from a medical doctor, so I hied off to the doc's office on Monday. He took one look at me and said, "acne rosacea."

My skin has plagued me since adolescence. I wasn't any good at sticking with a tetracycline regimen, so I just washed my face and moisturized up until sometime around age 20. At that point, I wound up with a doctor who was a skincare specialist, who put me on benzaclin (benzoyl peroxide plus the antibiotic clindamycin). She also instructed me to wash my face once a day with a glycerin-based soap and to avoid using or putting other things on my skin. That regimen worked well, but once again I wasn't inclined to stick with it, especially because benzoyl peroxide starts to bleach shirt collars, towels, and pillowcases after a while.

Rosacea looks like it's going to complicate matters. I see that potential triggers include exercise, sun exposure, stress, temperature extremes, allergies, and a tendency to blush easily. Also, a lot of skincare products can worsen rosacea, including cortisone.

I think my first course of action will be trying a gentle moisturizer, probably one with a light sunscreen. To that end - any suggestions?


( 10 remarks — Remark )
Feb. 16th, 2017 05:38 am (UTC)
I have sensitive facial skin prone to redness, though it's fairly mild and have never been diagnosed with any particular condition. On the advice of a friend I stopped using Colgate toothpaste which seemed to make redness around nose and mouth worse. For face moisturizer I mostly use Lush Dream Cream, which is marketed as a body lotion, but works well on my face and seems to soothe it -- not really sure why, and no idea whether this would work for other people.
Feb. 21st, 2017 06:45 pm (UTC)
Thank you for the suggestions! I will take a look at my toothpastes to see if there's anything that might be the culprit, and will add the Dream Cream to the list of things to consider.
Feb. 16th, 2017 05:44 pm (UTC)
Have you tried the "BareMinerals" line? I've had good luck with their moisturizer that has sunscreen in it, but they seem to have redone their product line since I bought mine, so there's no exact match for what worked for me any more. I also default to Neutrogena's SPF100 sunblock. I'm on a low-dose doxycycline permanently, which is also one of the things that gets prescribed for rosacea. It does make me more sun sensitive (hence the SPF100). I'm super picky about soaps... my current soaps are Herbaria's sassafras birch and I love them. I bring my own soap with me when I travel and everything.
Feb. 21st, 2017 06:49 pm (UTC)
The most recent soap I used to use on my face was a glycerine-based Neutrogena product, and that makes me appreciate the advantages of an ideal soap. One page I was reading had some specific suggestions on soap types depending on one's skin type, so I'm definitely going to factor that in as I try out various things.

My roommate L, who spends a lot of quality time with his dermatologist, said his dermatologist recommended against products from companies like Neutrogena because they tend to contain a lot of synthetic ingredients with unknown long-term consequences. I used to use their face sunblock, but am thinking that now I need to do a bit more homework on ingredients on that front.
Feb. 21st, 2017 06:56 pm (UTC)
If you like, I can send you a bar of my favorite. I've got eight. (If you buy six at a time you get a free one, so, it was even free, heh.) Just send me a shipping address. :)
Feb. 17th, 2017 04:27 am (UTC)
A couple years ago I went to the dermatologist for an odd big red spot on my upper cheek, which he promptly told me was mild rosacea. He gave me the same shpiel you got about certain foods, temperatures, etc. making it worse, and prescribed me a hugely expensive cream. I did a little research before filling the prescription and found that the cream was a sulfur compound and that some people reported reduction in redness from taking MSM supplements and using an MSM cream. I started doing both and after about six months the redness was reduced by about 2/3. I don't take the supplements anymore but I do use the cream before cold weather exposure, and put on a few nights a week. I order this product (http://www.iherb.com/pr/MRM-MSM-Cream-4-oz/9040).

I found, to my dismay, that eating a lot of dark chocolate makes the spot flare up a bit. Milk chocolate has a lesser effect.

I haven't found a sunscreen moisturizer that I love, yet, but I recommend consulting the environmental working group website before purchasing, as many sunscreens and sunscreen moisturizers have compounds in them that may, over time, cause skin aging and skin cancer.

Edited at 2017-02-17 04:28 am (UTC)
Feb. 21st, 2017 07:03 pm (UTC)
*shakes fist at the dark chocolate*

Thank you for the recommendation to look into methylsulfonylmethane - that looks like a worthwhile hypothesis to test!

Good thought on consulting the EWG - my housemate L said to avoid things that contain a lot of synthetic ingredients for the same reason. He has had skin cancer, so he is super careful about skin protection.
Feb. 24th, 2017 12:59 am (UTC)
By the dubs, now that I've had a chance to take a look, the EWG sunscreen inventory is fantastic! Thank you SO MUCH for pointing that out!

Given the daunting list of ingredients in many skin products, it's a really helpful shortcut.
Feb. 19th, 2017 05:03 pm (UTC)
i don't know what makes a moisturizer gentle for these purposes, but i love alba botanicals sea moss spf 15. smells strong and prone to separate at high temps, however.
Feb. 21st, 2017 07:04 pm (UTC)
I've found it to be pretty good, but by the end of the day my skin feels a bit greasy. We shall see if there's anything that's any better, in the end... :^) And thank you for helping me with this project! <3
( 10 remarks — Remark )

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