Cystic Acne | What to do when antibiotics no longer work

During the early years of high school, I had pimples every once in a while. When I was 17, it turned into a moderate form of acne. It was mainly on my chin and sometimes around my nose area.

I tried reducing sugar, salt and fats in my diet and drank more water. It didn’t work.

After a few months with no improvements, I visited a doctor. After a few check-ups and blood tests, he said it was cystic acne. These are the ones that are red, inflamed and very painful. I was put onto antibiotics and told to apply a treatment cream on the affected area. Within 3 months, it all cleared up. I continued taking the antibiotics for about a year and then stopped.

A few weeks later, it came back. I became self-conscious again about my skin and my appearance.

When I was prescribed the antibiotics again, it had no effect on me. My body had gotten used to the medicine and it no longer worked.

This was when I was introduced the pill. Although I was told about the many side effects it could have, I still wanted to try it out. The acne had really taken a toll on my self esteem and happiness.

I have been on the pill for over a year and I am the happiest I have been about my skin for a long time. I visit my doctor every three months to get the prescription and to check for any side effects.

Mental Health and Your Skin

Today is World Mental Health day. Did you know that there is a relationship between psychiatric illnesses and skin disease?

In 2009, a study conducted by Parker Magin, PhD, David Sibbritt, PhD and Kylie Bailey, MPsych, discovered that depression, anxiety and stress is a factor in the causation of skin diseases.

In a sample size of 6630 women, they found that women with skin problems had the highest levels of depression symptoms.

Table 1: Correlation between skin problems and stress

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One way to reduce and manage skin problems is to lower stress and gain better mental health.

Here are three methods to lower stress:

  1. Exercise

Exercise releases endorphins. This helps boost your mood and burn away anger, tension and frustration. Simple things like going to a yoga class, walking to the local shops and playing with your dog are beneficial.

  1. Connect with others

Reach out to family and friends. They may not be problem solvers but having someone to talk to and vent out frustration is surprisingly therapeutic.

  1. Get enough sleep

Get enough sleep and put away some time to unwind. This can be difficult with a busy schedule such as juggling work and study – but make the most of that procrastination time!

Dry eyelids | what is wrong with your eye?

Every winter, I would get this dry, flaky patch of skin on my eyelids. Sometimes it would be on my left, and sometimes it would be on my right.

Because it is also quite red, it really captures the attention of other people. They would ask me questions such as:

“What is wrong with you eye?

I have no idea, I’ll reply. After all, the doctor just told me to deal with it – which is honestly not very helpful.

I gave this “just deal with it” a go, but no, it just wasn’t going to happen.

I got increasingly self-conscious, to the point where I convinced my doctor to prescribe me something – anything – so that it would go away. He did, and it worked like magic.

I honestly thought that I wouldn’t have to worry about it ever again… But as if on cue, it was back next year. And the year after that. It was perpetual problem and still is.

The only difference now is that that ‘just dealing with it’ has gradually become the more attractive option.

A Feast for your Skin

Super Ingredients for Sensitive Skin

Sensitive skin is easily inflamed. Sensitive skin is reactive to many skin care products. Sensitive skin is rosacea, dermatitis, and acne.

We often here advice such as watch out for chemicals, avoid fragrances, reduce products and protect the skin.

However, what is good for sensitive skin?

There are five ingredients you should look out for when choosing your skin products. Otherwise, these natural remedies can go straight onto the skin as well.

  1. Aloe

Aloe is a natural calming ingredient that helps to tame inflammation. It keeps skin calm and promotes healing.

  1. Honey

Honey has healing properties and a natural antibacterial. It provides a hydrating, soothing solution to acne.

  1. Chamomile

Chamomile is considered hypoallergenic with an ability to neutralize skin irritants. It has a long history in skin care due to its antibacterial, anti-fungal, anti-inflammatory and antiseptic properties.

  1. Cucumber

Cucumber is not just for your salad. Its popularity is due to its ability to calm swelling and soothe burning feelings. Like aloe, it can be used to treat sunburns.

  1. Calendula

Calendula comes from the marigold plant and has anti-inflammatory benefits. The herd stimulates collagen and minimizes scarring.