Acne and Eczema | The worst combination

I have acne and eczema. I think it’s the worst combination because you have both dry and oily patches of skin on your face.

I used to only have eczema on my body as a kid. It was pretty bad – itchy and always bleeding. In fact, I still have the scarring under my knees and arms. It stopped for a while and now it’s on the temples of my face.

My acne also just started last year. It flares up once a month and is particularly bad when I’m stressed out. My cheeks are inflamed and it can be hard to sleep sometimes. Once, it hurt so much I couldn’t even wash my face.

When people recommend a really good product to me that is either good for acne or eczema, I am hesitant to try it because I have to balance both conditions. If I try an astringent for acne, it only aggravates my eczema, or if I try something with good moisture, I get breakouts.

I’ve seen many doctors and they all prescribe the same things. There’s no cure but my favourite products to use all contain chamomile or calendula, such as the Khiels’ Calendula cleanser or Aesop’s Blue Chamomile masque. They’s very calming and good for sensitive skin. I find that that’s the only thing that helps both my eczema and acne.

Advertisements

Periorial Dermatitis | I wanted to scratch my skin off

“I suffer from perioral dermatitis. This is an uncomfortable itchiness around my mouth.”

“It causes constant irritation when I have a flare up. I wanted to scratch my skin off. The only way to relieve it is by prescribed creams and ointments.”

 

“Visually, it is read, scaly and just overall unpleasant to look at.”

“It comes and goes depending on the environment such as the sin and the wind. However, most of the time, flare ups are unexpected. It just happens.”

 

“After seeing a dermatologist and doctors, I’ve no learnt how to pick up on certain triggers and which ointments work best. I’ve gradually started to feel more in control.”

“I also like to choose products that for sensitive skin and hypoallergenic. I like it when they are free from parabens too. QV is an especially safe product.”

Acne in High School | “You should get that checked out….”

“I used to get really bad acne in high school. It was not a pleasant experience for me.”

“There was this girl from back then who came up to and said: ‘You should go to the doctors and get that checked out.’”

“And so I did end up going to doctors eventually. I mean, even if the girl didn’t say anything I’m pretty sure my mum would have anyway.”

“Meanwhile, my dad thought it was because I ate too much lobster. That didn’t sound very plausible to me.”

“Still, that comment hurt. I was sad, embarrassed and quite upset.”

“Anyway, I went to the doctor’s and she provide me with a medicated cream.”

“I relied on it a lot. I started out using it everyday and night for a couple of years.”

“When I stopped using it, I continued to get breakouts.”

“It’s not as bad now. It gets oily during the day but I don’t really know what to do with that.”

 

Do you have oily skin? How do you manage it? Leave a comment below or message us on Facebook!

Or read more about the mental health side of things here.

Acne | I went on three types of birth control

“Last year, I went on three types of birth control. It was so sh*t. It obviously works for some people but my acne just continued.”

“It didn’t do anything and I hated taking a pill at the same time everyday.”

“There are also these placebo pills and they make you period become super regular. I didn’t like that either. Too unnatural.”

“Things finally started to clear up when I went to a dermatologist.”

“They gave me this skin medication and my skin just started to get better.”

“Mine was also covered by Medicare. I just found my closest one to be honest and so glad that I went.”

 

“I don’t think anyone likes having acne.”

“It’s hormonal so it has nothing to do with how I’ve been looking after my skin. It’s not as simple as changing a cleanser but it can help with the effects.”

“It can get very frustrating when you have tried a million different things and nothing seemed to work.”

Skin Allergies | I looked like a raspberry and I thought I was going to die

“As a kid, I ate five mangoes and I had to get hospitalised.”

“My skin went all bumpy and left a red streak down my arm. That night, it was so itchy, I couldn’t stop scratching, and everything started bleeding”

“It’s also hereditary. So my mum has the same rashes when she comes into contact with some foods. That was lucky because I thought I was going to die.”

“My skin allergy is caused by mangoes, pineapple, kiwis, crab and lobster.”

“I get rashes, it turns really red and I look like a raspberry.”

“I stay away from these foods now. It’s not so hard because I don’t like mangoes but I do wish I could eat crab and lobster. They are considered delicacies in my culture!”

“People do get surprised when I tell them I can’t eat mango.”

“Sometimes it does get hard and frustrating because people forget and will be like ‘here, have some mango,’ and then get upset when I refuse.”

How can I manage if I get a rash?

  1. Aloe Vera

Aloe Vera is anti-inflammatory. You can apply Aloe Vera gel to get fast relief.

  1. Oatmeal

Oatmeal is calming and many people use it for eczema. You can mix a cup of raw oatmeal in some water and add it to the bath.

  1. Ice-pack

This can be used to quickly treat facial rashes and relieve itching.

Contact us on Facebook if you have some skin care tips or a story to tell too!

R U OK? | My skin’s not perfect and that’s ok

When we think about skin diseases, we often think about the outside. The flaky skin, the oozing pimples, the scaly plaques and the spotty redness. We can therefore forget about the stuff on the inside.

Psychological stresses, anxiety and depression can manifest itself in people with skin diseases if they are not careful.

Medical researchers Sulzberg and Zaidens wrote in 1948: “There is no single disease which causes more psychic trauma and more maladjustment between parents and children, more general insecurity and feelings of inferiority, and greater sums of psychic assessment than does acne vulgaris (acne).”

Acne has a clear correlation with depression and anxiety. It affects personality, self-image and self-esteem, and produces feelings of social isolation.

However, the degree to which a person has acne does not necessarily correspond with the psychological effect. Therefore, R U OK? Someone with mild acne can feel stronger psychological effects than someone with severe acne.

On the other hand, eczema can cause sleepless nights for children as well as impair school performance and social relationship. In adults, patients are concerned about their personal appearance and perceived attractiveness – affecting interpersonal relationships as well as work and career.

In people with psoriasis, the itching and unsightly appearance poses significant psychological stress. Studies show that there is a strong correlation to depression. Many report feelings of shame and embarrassment, avoiding swimming and sports. They also experience helplessness, anger and frustration.

As a result, the psychological effects of skin diseases are underappreciated. Like two sides of a coin, the physical and psychological aspects go hand in hand. The high visibility of the diseases increases stigmatization, and lowers social conversation.

 

Let’s start by building awareness.

Help us spread the word and join the conversation on twitter @depthsofmyskin.

 

Barankin, B. & DeKoven, J. 2002 ‘Psychosocial effect of common skin diseases’, Canadian Family Physician, vol. 48, no. 7, pp.712-716.

Sulzberger M. & Zaidens S. 1948 ‘Psychogenic factors in dermatologic disorders’, Med Clin North Am, vol. 32, pp. 669-672.

 

Sharing our Insecurities | Overview of the most common skin diseases | Part 2

Did you hear about the story of how Michael Jackson turned from black to white? No? Then you must not have heard of vitiligo.

Skin diseases are hard to ignore. But when they sit right on your face, it can be difficult to manage. Continuing on from part one, these are a few more skin conditions you should know about.

Acne

Come on let’s admit it. We’ve all been there – the greasy teenager popping, squeezing and spending $150 on a tea tree spot treatment that never really worked. I always had my little tube of acne cream that I hide very carefully in my bag, as I never wanted people to know I had a pimple problem.

Now, you may thinking, hey hang on… I though this page was about skin diseases. To which I will answer, yes acne is a skin disease!

It is a medical problem that causes blackheads, pimples and cysts. Acne is also triggered by some of the hormones that are associated with puberty and the menstrual cycle. It is not because of dirty skin or too much oil.

Acne is also not just for teenagers with many people continuing to suffer from it well into adulthood.

Rosacea

Rosacea or acne rosacea tends to make your face look extra pink. Symptoms include enlarged capillaries, a permanent flush and non-tender pustules. It is non-contagious and only affects the face.

The cause of rosacea unfortunately, is unknown but some environmental factors can trigger it. One of the reasons you may not have seen people with rosacea is because of foundation, lots and lots of foundation.

Vitiligo

Did you hear about the story of how Michael Jackson turned from black to white? No? Then you must not have heard of vitiligo. (And no it was not because of surgery, hormone treatments or some kind of magic). Chantelle Brown-Young from America’s Next Top Model also has it, although it looks slightly different on her.

This skin disease manifests itself when the immune system is ‘behaving badly’, which causes the destruction of pigment cells, resulting in white spots on the skin and hair. It is not contagious, it is not cancerous and it is not hereditary. Although it is commonly regarded as a ‘Black disease’, White, Asian, and Hispanic people can also have it – although it is not as distinctive.

 

Do you have your own skin story to tell? Message us on Facebook or leave a comment below.

Sharing our Insecurities | Overview of the most common skin diseases | Part 1

Did you know that in medieval times, people with eczema or psoriasis were sometimes persecuted as lepers?

Skin. It’s what covers your entire body. Just like how a set of clothes and accessories can be a personal statement, skin is too. Whether it is from tanning, whitening or make up, there are certain ways people prefer their skin to look.

However, what happens when you have specific skin issues? What if your skin is a little drier, flakier and more sensitive than other people? Talking skin problems can be seen as a little gross, embarrassing and even socially taboo at times.

These are some of the most common skin problems you should know about.

Eczema

This also called atopic dermatitis and it affects up to 20% of children and 3% of adults. It is an inherited, chronic inflammation of the skin.

Signs of eczema include patches of red, scaly and itchy skin, especially around the back of the knees, inside the elbows and around the wrists. In severe cases, skin may break, bleed and become infected.

The ASCIA advises that people with eczema should avoid environmental triggers such as chlorinated swimming pools, grass and overly heated rooms. It is extremely visible but eczema is non-contagious.

Contact Dermatitis 

You may sometimes confuse this one with allergies because that is exactly what causes it!

If the skin become in contact with an allergen or irritant such as wool, detergent, plant material, and some soaps and fragrances, it can become inflamed, burn and itch. This can then result in a weeping and oozing rash.

This is also non-contagious.

Psoriasis 

This one has been in the news recently because it is no secret Kim Kardashian has it.

Psoriasis is a chronic inflammatory disease with periods of flare-ups and remissions. Psoriasis produces plaques of thickened and elevated skin due to a rapid proliferation of skin cells. It looks like red itchy patches covered in silvery scales.

Unfortunately psoriasis can be hereditary, the good news however, is that its non-contagious. It can be controlled with ultraviolet light therapy, medicine and prescription creams, but currently there is no cure.

 

You may be seeing a little trend right now. Yes, that is right! These skin diseases are all non-contagious.

Did you know that in medieval times, people with eczema or psoriasis were sometimes persecuted as lepers?

They thought they could catch it!

This is not a public health issue, but the result of fear, ignorance and prejudice.

 

Please help us share this information.