update to skinsperiments / upset skin

Well. Remember how this blog’s sub-title and description is “the praise of folly?”

Morosophical beautification: because morosophy has its beauties too.

Remember how that folly-praising isn’t just about slagging off other people and being snide and snarky, but also a chronicle of my own chronic folly? Therapeutically putting it in perspective against larger and more dangerous follies in the world. Remembering that rest of the world, and how much bigger and more important it is. There are bigger issues. And life goes on. My own crises are small and trivial. My own follies are trivial too. That does not detract from my foolishness or from that of others and of the world around us.

Yes, umpteen years on, in the fourth year of this present blog, guess what: I am still foolish.

The skin upset had started on the 1st of March. That’s nearly three weeks ago. I’d self-diagnosed and done what worked in the past for things that looked roughly similar. Turns out that wasn’t entirely foolish–I could have done stupider things (well, I did, but more on that in a minute)–but my face wasn’t suffering allergic over-reaction plus something that would behave like eczema if I did eczema-type stuff to it.

My skin had ups and downs. Nothing dramatic, but no better, and still itchy in the morning and rashy and sore to the touch after my morning shower.

I went to the pharmacy a few days ago, and they suggested a barrier repair cream. All those available were from companies that test on animals, or own-brand dupes of products that have been tested, or from a company that does but this specific product isn’t. Bugger. People, I bought one. I’m not saying which one because I don’t want to give the company extra publicity. Any of them would do much the same thing. I also donated the same sum of money to an appropriate charity.

So I substituted the barrier repair cream for what I had been using, my oil-as-moisturiser. It has soothed a bit.

Then I added back in my nice green tea serum.

That was hasty and foolish.

Things got worse yesterday and this morning. Painfully so.

So I did what all sensible people do, and what I should have done a good two weeks ago. In my foolish case, “should”; a less foolish peson would have done this sooner. Mood makes all the difference, in more ways than one, LOL. (Bonus bit of grammar for the day, and you’re welcome.) I went to the doctor. This being Canada, with a decent public health service, you can do this sort of thing with impunity. It took some time and a second doctor and tests (to rule out certain more dire things), but I have a more accurate diagnosis and prescribed treatment.

  • Allergic over-reaction: YES
  • Eczema: PROBABLY NOT in that what my face is doing bears no resemblance to my previous instances of eczema on the face, or indeed elsewhere. My medical record includes a neat photo-gallery… Treating the current condition like eczema may have aggravated it through over-moisturing with heavy occlusives.
  • Assorted diseases, viral infections, a couple of scary bacterial ones going around right now: NO
  • Staph bacterium: YES
  • Labelled with the grand sweeping generalizations that is “dermatitis” (d’oh, purely descriptive “itis” of the skin = that just translates as WYSIWYG right in front of you): YES
  • Labelled with another grand sweeping generalization, just in case, and given my age (41 and 2/3) and main genetic background (north-west European “Celtic”): YES – possible rosacea

So. Skin treatment amended to:

  1. Mild moisturising unscented liquid cleanser (two good ones: CeraVe Hydrating, La Roche-Posay Lipikar Syndet body one) and warm water.
  2. Then dry skin: not done this in years, due to skin dryness. Haven’t died yet.
  3. Apply Metrogel, thin layer on affected areas: completely new to me. No reactions and soothing on one application so far. Skin feels quite dry once it’s on and in. Insurance (that is, the compulsory one you pay here directly out of your earnings) means this cost CAD31.63.
  4. Barrier-repair emollient cream, unscented (two good ones: Avène Cicalfate, La Roche-Posay Cicaplast baume b5).
  5. (Morning only) Back, under orders, to a simpler sunscreen that’s just filters in an unscented easily-spreadable siliconey base: so  EltaMD SPF 47 (ZnO + TiO2) or Replenix sheer physical SPF 50 (ZnO).
    UPDATE (the next day, 2015-03-21): totally fine, no issues with cyclopentasiloxane or other cyclomethicone (volatile ‘cones); you’ll recall my earlier conclusion that they irritated my skin, and considerations over the years that they were something my skin “didn’t like.” Well, that was a working hypothesis. Right now, it is invalidated. It may have been valid, and it might be again, or the hypothesis might itself need to be tweaked or more comprehensively reformulated.
  6. Repeat steps 1-4 twice daily (5 just in morning)
  7. A heavy dose (tablet/pill) of antibiotic, three days; taking extra probiotics (standard GP advice), not just 1 x in morning but 2 x and 2 with lunch (Jamieson 10 billion 8 types).
  8. Antihistamine, daily.
  9. I’ve been given the all-clear on household stuff (detergents, laundry, fabrics, etc.), lip balm, body and hair products, and what little makeup I was using. No scented anything.
  10. Next appointment in 2 weeks, return immediately if condition worsens. Give skin 2-9 weeks to heal and settle.

So that’s that for the time being.
UPDATED: added specific products on notepad. Will update on them there as needed.
UPDATE TO THE UPDATE: also added above because, well, why not.


ART WITH A GOOD HEART.” Copyright Elaine Davies 2014.

What one should do (and what I ought to have done) is to follow my mother’s advice. If something hasn’t got better in a week, go and see the doctor. The medical profession have neat things like microscopes and slides and test-tubes and ways of testing tissue and fluid samples for all manner of fun creepy-crawlies and buggy wotsits that you cannot see or otherwise detect. Do not do what I did, messing around. Even just with staph, that could be dangerous. I am kicking myself and putting myself in the public stocks and pillory because I knew all these things, I am not a scientific idiot, yet I managed to be foolish.


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