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


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.

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.

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!