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question about skin reactions
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avalange
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Fri Feb 02, 2007 9:36 am      Reply with quote
Hello,

You all know that I've been having issues with my hair, which I recently fixed (yay!). Well now I'm having a major skin problem, and I've NEVER in my life experienced this before--i've literally had maybe a couple of zits in my lifetime before this.

I've noticed, again, since moving to paris from the states, that my pores are larger and my skin is in general just a little more sensitive than usual.

So I have been using avene mist exclusively on my face to wash my face, with cotton pads. for the first month, my skin was just gorgeous and glowing--no real problems, although the sensitivity was still remarkable after showering.

And THEN the other night, my cheeks broke out in an itchy horrible rash that felt like course sandpaper but, on finer examination, the texture was actually due to tiny colorless bumps erupting on my skin.

I tried my darphin chamomile oil, which has helped in the past; I tried rosehip seed oil (I suspect this might be the cause, since I was dousing my skin with it the week before), and just decided to let my skin calm down for a couple of days. It basically got worse until I used an aspirin mask with yogurt and aloe vera, which calmed them quite a bit. Still itchy, still inflamed, and now the rash was moving across my skin towards my eyes, nose, and forehead. I went to the dermatologist and he prescribed me Differin cream, which I'm now wearing nightly for the past four nights...

I still have no idea what precipitated this reaction, since I cannot imagine that something I put on my entire face, such as rosehip seed oil the week before I broke out, would be so localized. It might have been something I ate, or perhaps the good old shower water which my entire body loathes so much. But it was BIZARRE.

A few pumpkin masks and a juice beauty peel and lots of scrubbing later, my skin feels somewhat back to normal, but it just looks RAVAGED--a little pitted, open pores, and not my nice pretty skin I am used to caring for. Sad I am hoping that the differin is just slowly sloughing off the old layers of my skin, which is causing this less-than-acceptable appearance? I'm sure hoping that it is not just that I'm 31 now (yesterday) and all of my hard work and effort I've put into my skin will be moot for ever more... The lines under my eyes are also much more pronounced since I had this reaction.

anyways, i'd much appreciate your opinions. I'm not looking for quick fixes here, just general thoughts... I'm going to take it easy and use the differin as prescribed and emu+ha with osea's eyes and lips during the day. and rosewater spritzes. maybe weekly jb apple peel.

fyi I never scrub my face, but I had to do it this time because my skin was literally covered in knobby scales.

thanks!

--avalange

p.s. i tried to explain to the doctor here that i think i have rosacea, and he took a good hard look at my skin and very confidently exclaimed that i did NOT have it... hmmmm.

p.p.s. the first thing he said to me was tat i was having a reaction to the hard water, since the third arrondissement, where i live, has the most notoriously hard water in all of europe!

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Fri Feb 02, 2007 10:12 am      Reply with quote
Hi avalange,

What a nightmare! Sad I feel so sorry for you.

The problem is that even though you're using special water to wash your face, the hard water will be a factor in what you're eating [if it's boiled] and drinking [coffee, tea, whatever] ... and I suspect that your entire system is rebelling against this change to very hard water.

I don't know anything about differin, but my first instinct is to want you to pamper your skin rather than put it through even more trauma ... Smile

My first instinct, however, may not be the best bet for your skin! Confused

Have you consulted any estheticians? I know many years ago I read an article that said that women in Paris run to their estheticians the moment they feel a blemish arising ... and that in Paris the estheticians kept the complexions of Paris women "flawless". It might be worth a shot? [Of course, I don't know how expensive they are ... nor whether or not the article I read was in any way valid ... Laughing ]

I hope you get a solution to this problem, for your sake! I know that hard water is a major problem for skin ... but I don't know how you can avoid its effects while you're living there. Sad

Mary

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Fri Feb 02, 2007 10:44 am      Reply with quote
Hi Avalange,

So sorry to hear about your skin troubles Crying or Very sad

I tend to agree with Mary in that I think the water might be reaking havoc on your skin. Before starting Differin why don't you try using hydrocortisone for a few days. It sounds like you may have dermatitis. Our bodies are funny in that one day we can be fine (Nonallergic) and next allergic to something. I hope your skin heals up soon. Very Happy

HTH
Lisa

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Fri Feb 02, 2007 6:29 pm      Reply with quote
this sounds weird...but did you eat a mango or even touch one in the last 2 weeks?
That's how my allergy to them turns out. I developed it all of a sudden, with no warnings, and I used to eat them regularly. it's a very slow reaction that appears 24-48 hours after eating and doesn't peak until a week down the line -- much more common than you'd think, mangos are in the same plant family as poison oak.
it's probably not a mango, that would be unlikely that you're eating many in Paris, but it does sound like an allergic reaction.
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Fri Feb 02, 2007 10:24 pm      Reply with quote
It's kinda strange that a derm would prescribed Differin which is a retinoid and hence irritating for an allergic reaction. I don't quite get it. Also I do think you should stop for awhile all acids and peels cos those will aggravate the reaction.
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Fri Feb 02, 2007 10:39 pm      Reply with quote
I agree with Lisa that it sounds like dermatitis. I am the queen of dermatitis. My skin would feel dry, tight, itchy, covered with patches of dry skin, and feels like sandpaper Sad

Cortaid is my best friend. I normally use a tiny bit of cortaid and mix it with a bland moisturizer (LRP toleriane cream). I use the mixture for no more than 5 days.

My skin normally recovers in a week or so but I usually wait for a full two weeks before resuming any treatment products.

Be gentle to your skin. I let the scales peel off by themselves. Exfoliation when your skin is sensitive may do more harm than good.

Good luck!

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Lifeplyr01
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Sat Feb 03, 2007 12:35 am      Reply with quote
mtview wrote:
I am the queen of dermatitis.
Good luck!


If you're the queen than I'm 2nd in line.
In fact I'm going through a bout now. Damned if I do damned if I don't. Confused

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avalange
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Sat Feb 03, 2007 2:35 am      Reply with quote
yikes! i have been peeling and masking and scrubbing for almost a week now. there was a point when I could tell that it was no longer a reaction--just hard, sandpapery, dry, scaly skin, and I wanted to get it OFF. It was at that point that I visited the derm, and he seemed to think that I needed differin only for about three months... bizarre, i know! well, i'm going to use it anyways, since it is a retinoid!
I must say however that my skin has only improved with my aggressive tactics--which i do not, for the record, normally employ!
Those girls with dermatitis--does the reaction merely go away and fade, or does it change the texture of your skin sometimes?

--avalange

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la vie en rose
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Sat Feb 03, 2007 3:18 am      Reply with quote
you're not going to like what i have to say, but here it is.... it's just going to take time. it's taken the few western women (myself included) months (not days, not weeks) to adjust.

avoiding water completely won't do it either. i wash and rince my face with real tap water, twice daily, and just use the avene afterwards. (the hard water makes washing that much more difficult.) your face will eventually adjust to it. i ripped my face apart like you did trying to smooth it out and it just made things so much worse. make nice nice to it. and trust in your doctor and the retinol. it will, eventually, turn your face around. patience. a friend that went to one said it took her a while to adjust (when i was going through my adjustment period) and she seriously has the most gorgeous skin i've ever seen now. she went to somebody here (i did not and completely regret that) and trusted them. what can i say? the docs know their water here. and it is so much more than water. it's the food, the wine, the air, the humidity, etc. my face now breaks out everytime i *leave* paris (but i've ever been acne prone even though i've got more than a decade on you).

it's hard not to obsess, but don't. you're still going to have the trauma of complete weather change in summer ahead. but once you adjust, your face will be as beautiful (if not more so) than it ever was. you can try to diagnose yourself til you're blue in the face. chill. we're not in kansas anymore, toto....

ETA: happy birthday!!! (i'll let you play with my JH and IQ stash soon)
avalange
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Sat Feb 03, 2007 3:55 am      Reply with quote
Thank you, lavie!

You are always putting everything in perspective for me as well as for others!

I went to a derm in the 3rd, "Docteur Christian Canuel," who seemed more like the type to diagnose and treat skin problems rather than make my skin look more beautiful...

It is funny, I'd been using SC retinol--which really makes my skin peel even if I use it once per week, so maybe my skin just became super sensitive. I haven't used the SC for at least two weeks. but the differin just seems to be like a cream--not very strong at all. I wonder if anyone has noticed good results with this prescription retinoid. I'm sort of wanting to go back to the SC because it works so well to turn over new skin.

Now I have a horrible cystic acne reaction on my shoulder of all places--about 10 huge red pimples. This is so weird, my body is rebelling in the strangest of ways! It is good that I feel like I am in perfect health, otherwise I'd be really scared!

I will be patient from now on and treat my skin gently, the way I normally do. I bought the weleda rose capsules and absolutely love them! I smoothed it on last night before going to bed, and this morning on my still dry patches... I think this product is going to be my staple oil, since I'm thoroughly uninmpressed with (dr)emu oil on my skin!

--avalange

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Sat Feb 03, 2007 2:09 pm      Reply with quote
Lifeplyr01 wrote:
mtview wrote:
I am the queen of dermatitis.
Good luck!


If you're the queen than I'm 2nd in line.
In fact I'm going through a bout now. Damned if I do damned if I don't. Confused


Lisa,

{{shakes hand}} Guess we just have to refrain ourselves from trying different products and hope our skin remain calm Pray

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Sat Feb 03, 2007 6:21 pm      Reply with quote
Hi Avalange, how long are you in Paris now? My husband who is an American, has reactions on his skin too, we think it is the water (as I have it in the States, I'm Dutch). Water can be really hard in Europe because it can contain well I do not know the English word now but it is kalk (it is white). Also products like laundrydetergent are different. My husband would get a terrible rash he would get it all over his shoulders and other places. His doctor prescribed him steriod tablets, which really helps him. I'm sorry to hear it damaged your skin. I do think the retinoid will help over time. Also just as a site note, when I go back to Amsterdam, I notice that my skin doesn't look as good either. I always wondered, is it the light ? the air ?
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Sat Feb 03, 2007 10:20 pm      Reply with quote
avalange wrote:

Those girls with dermatitis--does the reaction merely go away and fade, or does it change the texture of your skin sometimes?

--avalange


I can have a few different types of reactions. First I usually have little tiny pink bumps. The skin around the bumps is obviously inflamed at this point. Secondly, I can have patchy, itchy, flaky, dry areas. All of this usually occurs within the same area of my skin..left cheek and under left eye area. In fact I now have a slight pigmented area under my left eye from so many times the area has been inflamed.

I think you are on the right track by being gentle on your skin. I still think the hydrocortisone wouldn't hurt you (perhaps try it in the morning and the Differin at night). LaVie is very insightful to say the least Very Happy
Good words to live by..at least while in France. Cool

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Lifeplyr01
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Sat Feb 03, 2007 10:24 pm      Reply with quote
mtview wrote:
Lifeplyr01 wrote:
mtview wrote:
I am the queen of dermatitis.
Good luck!


If you're the queen than I'm 2nd in line.
In fact I'm going through a bout now. Damned if I do damned if I don't. Confused


Lisa,

{{shakes hand}} Guess we just have to refrain ourselves from trying different products and hope our skin remain calm Pray


<recipricates the hand shake> But I love trying new products!!! Remind me to share my most recent horror story with Obagi...I know you've been down that road before Mad

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Sat Feb 03, 2007 11:47 pm      Reply with quote
Lifeplyr01 wrote:
avalange wrote:

Those girls with dermatitis--does the reaction merely go away and fade, or does it change the texture of your skin sometimes?

--avalange


I can have a few different types of reactions. First I usually have little tiny pink bumps. The skin around the bumps is obviously inflamed at this point. Secondly, I can have patchy, itchy, flaky, dry areas. All of this usually occurs within the same area of my skin..left cheek and under left eye area. In fact I now have a slight pigmented area under my left eye from so many times the area has been inflamed.

I think you are on the right track by being gentle on your skin. I still think the hydrocortisone wouldn't hurt you (perhaps try it in the morning and the Differin at night). LaVie is very insightful to say the least Very Happy
Good words to live by..at least while in France. Cool


I know I sound like a broken record on this one, but Dr H's Rejuvenating Masque used as a cream *really* helps my bouts with dermatitis and even excema. It often stings when I put it on but always takes it down significantly. I wish I knew what was in it that makes it so effective for me so that I could buy just that! Maybe Arielle might know....
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Sun Feb 04, 2007 6:48 am      Reply with quote
oh and i forgot to mention, we put a filterhead on the shower and on the tapwater, that really helped...
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Sun Feb 04, 2007 4:20 pm      Reply with quote
hk,

which shower filter did you buy? the vitamin c one does nothing for me; i remove it when i shower now... Crying or Very sad i need something to filter out the calcium, magnesium, and iron from my water...

right now i have huge cystic pimples on my left shoulder, for absolutely no reason. and my facial skin is perfectly back to normal, thank goodness. it looks like it was a mere waiting game this time around. i am using osea milk cleanser with avene mist/epicuren's colostrum cream, mixed with emu oil and ha/bioderma photomax 50 ss/julie hewitt ora mineral powder on my t zone, and at night differin/weleda rose capsules.

but what scares me is that i have no idea what is next!!!
turtlenecks for the next week, at least. Rolling Eyes

well, thank you all for the suggestions, and even more would be appreciated!

by the way, when you say dr. h--do you mean dr. hauschka?

--avalange

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Sun Feb 04, 2007 4:26 pm      Reply with quote
hi avalange, yes! dr hauschka (sorry, i couldn't remember how to spell it last night Rolling Eyes )
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Sun Feb 04, 2007 5:20 pm      Reply with quote
Hi avalange:)

Well I bought it in Amsterdam http://www.atlantis-benelux.nl/pages/atlantis_douche_filter_de_goedkoopste_oplossingpag.html
it is in Dutch so it won't help you much. It does filter out all the things you want. But I'm sure there must be some Bathroom showroom/shop, they must be able to help you.

I'm very happy to hear that your skin cleared all the way. Now only your back. Hopefully you get that shower head soon, that will take care of it. I also always use organic laundry detergent and softener.

Next month I'll be heading back to Amsterdam for a month , I'm very excited:)
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Mon Feb 05, 2007 2:26 am      Reply with quote
Lifeplyr01,

what was your horror story with obagi? you have to share it!

--avalange

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Mon Feb 05, 2007 7:56 am      Reply with quote
Hi, yes I would like to know too... I was thinking of buying some products (the vitamin C) and the sunscreen ...
avalange
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Mon Feb 05, 2007 8:30 am      Reply with quote
hk,

i did indeed check out those filters and apparently they do not filter out the calcium carbonate very well--go figure! it also says it filters out most everything but the stuff that causes all of the reactions--it does not list calcium carbonate as one of the things it filters out on the site... isn't that weird? do you happen to know if that is correct or not? i'd be willing to buy it even if it was half correct!

--avalange

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Mon Feb 05, 2007 5:25 pm      Reply with quote
@avalange I will look into it more, because I know there are more shower head filters out there.... I want to be sure you'll get a good one also I'll see on the French google (not that my French is that good:)
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Mon Feb 05, 2007 5:40 pm      Reply with quote
hi avalange, you know I thought you could put a calcium filter in the waterkettle that provides water (do you have an utility room ? is there an hotwater kettle ?)
You would solve that problem then. Then you can use this showerhead for the other 'bad things'.
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Mon Feb 05, 2007 5:51 pm      Reply with quote
Avalange,

What you described sounded like my lips having an allergic reaction to lip balm and lipstick. So I would guess that it's allergy. Do you have access to Zyrtec or any allergy medicine? I actually never tried taking Zyrtec for my lip allergy, but I tried taking it to PREVENT seafood allergy before I ate seafood and it worked, and actually now I don't have that allergy any more.

When my lips are healing after they get allergic to something, the little red bumps popped and they started to dry. They felt like sandpaper. I just have to keep them moisturized constantly with the vaseline lip balm.

Also I noticed when I was trying to treat my ringworm problem on my arms with some oil that my skin was not crazy about, the skin just started to redden and little tiny bumps grew almost immediately. Then I'd wash off my arms and put something I knew didn't give me a problem before.

Cherisse


avalange wrote:
Hello,

You all know that I've been having issues with my hair, which I recently fixed (yay!). Well now I'm having a major skin problem, and I've NEVER in my life experienced this before--i've literally had maybe a couple of zits in my lifetime before this.

I've noticed, again, since moving to paris from the states, that my pores are larger and my skin is in general just a little more sensitive than usual.

So I have been using avene mist exclusively on my face to wash my face, with cotton pads. for the first month, my skin was just gorgeous and glowing--no real problems, although the sensitivity was still remarkable after showering.

And THEN the other night, my cheeks broke out in an itchy horrible rash that felt like course sandpaper but, on finer examination, the texture was actually due to tiny colorless bumps erupting on my skin.

I tried my darphin chamomile oil, which has helped in the past; I tried rosehip seed oil (I suspect this might be the cause, since I was dousing my skin with it the week before), and just decided to let my skin calm down for a couple of days. It basically got worse until I used an aspirin mask with yogurt and aloe vera, which calmed them quite a bit. Still itchy, still inflamed, and now the rash was moving across my skin towards my eyes, nose, and forehead. I went to the dermatologist and he prescribed me Differin cream, which I'm now wearing nightly for the past four nights...

I still have no idea what precipitated this reaction, since I cannot imagine that something I put on my entire face, such as rosehip seed oil the week before I broke out, would be so localized. It might have been something I ate, or perhaps the good old shower water which my entire body loathes so much. But it was BIZARRE.

A few pumpkin masks and a juice beauty peel and lots of scrubbing later, my skin feels somewhat back to normal, but it just looks RAVAGED--a little pitted, open pores, and not my nice pretty skin I am used to caring for. Sad I am hoping that the differin is just slowly sloughing off the old layers of my skin, which is causing this less-than-acceptable appearance? I'm sure hoping that it is not just that I'm 31 now (yesterday) and all of my hard work and effort I've put into my skin will be moot for ever more... The lines under my eyes are also much more pronounced since I had this reaction.

anyways, i'd much appreciate your opinions. I'm not looking for quick fixes here, just general thoughts... I'm going to take it easy and use the differin as prescribed and emu+ha with osea's eyes and lips during the day. and rosewater spritzes. maybe weekly jb apple peel.

fyi I never scrub my face, but I had to do it this time because my skin was literally covered in knobby scales.

thanks!

--avalange

p.s. i tried to explain to the doctor here that i think i have rosacea, and he took a good hard look at my skin and very confidently exclaimed that i did NOT have it... hmmmm.

p.p.s. the first thing he said to me was tat i was having a reaction to the hard water, since the third arrondissement, where i live, has the most notoriously hard water in all of europe!
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