Thursday, 28 June 2012
Two plus two equals a bunch of things
Ok, let's talk about a personal (yet not personal and goodness knows now that it's on then intertubies it's definitely NOT personal anymore) issue. I've always had trouble with my skin. Always. There might have been a few years in between coming out of the womb and having chicken pox and puberty when I didn't have issues, but we're not counting those for obvious reasons. The obvious reasons being that when you're a a wee one before hitting puberty, your hormonal balance and production is going to be radically different from what it is when you're biologically an adult and capable of having your own wee ones.
I'm not going to say I did the same things everyone else did or did "the sensible" thing. The skin issues have usually been small enough that they can be either covered up so as not to be horribly emotionally scarring, or small enough to be considered negligible, or small enough that everyone including myself has thought that I'll grow out of them.
Welp, here we are, over 30, and we have not grown out of them, have we.
The official medical history is such: everyone of my cousins has had problems with their skin either long term or temporarily due to reactions to food/medication/growing up. So there's that. And when you have a mystery rash on your legs for 10 years that ALL the doctors seemed to think was nothing (turned out it might have been lord knows what in the beginning, but it definitely went away entirely once I stopped living with a cat and stopped using the utterly pointless topical creams doctors prescribed), the stuff on your face is also considered either nothing, or much like "female issues" in general, something I'm exaggerating. Sad to say, but that's often the attitude people get at a doctor's office. And let's face it (oh, pun!) it's not a full blown acne that would be terribly debilitating in wide terms. However, personal opinion here, physical symptoms making your body not function within bare minimum of norms, should always be looked at because they are, as the phrase goes, symptoms of something.
Anyhow, I used the usual over the counter products on The Face as a teen, though one doctor has later on remarked that such products are much too harsh on teenaged skin and shouldn't even be marketed to them while another said that they thought the first doc was full of it. So there ya go. I was on the Pill for many years and it affected the skin only marginally. The problem(s) of course being that it's an extra dose of hormones in your body which I'm not too thrilled about; it didn't actually make that much of a difference AND if I were to ever fancy having those wee ones, I would have to stop taking the stuff. I spot many holes in this "remedy".
I'm not going to go on a longer tangent on how contraceptive pills are generally offered as a treatment for acne/problem skin or many other symptoms women suffer from related to their cycle. That's a whole other kettle of fish because it's a kind of a large-ish topic.
I do pick at my skin which obviously isn't good, but even under conditions which would be normally considered ideal as far as stressing out (which always leads to picking at the skin) and letting the skin heal in peace go, the skin has still not behaved.
Now we get close to our current date. In Mexico, my skin was ok. It wasn't ideal, but it was ok. It's hard to say if it had gotten better with some more time to look into the changes I'm making now (and I'll get back to this later) or if it was something else.
That's the thing: when it's not hideously disfiguring, bursting puss all over bypassers and sidewalks or growing teeth and tails, your guess is as good as mine. Or specifically, my guess is as good as the doctor's. Especially if the doctor is one of those who thinks everyone should have to suffer things. In Mexico, I wouldn't really pick at my skin, but it would still be "not clean" and produce little blemishes or blackheads in certain areas and sometimes go completely wild a week or so before Aunt Flo came to town.
The benefits there were a relatively stress free environment and all the awesome foods everyone tells you to eat to make your skin glow. And yes, my skin did look better there.
So we're now at my current situation where we're back in Finland and my skin has had what would in person-terms be called a Complete Meltdown that's spreading down my neck. Contributing factors here are numerous: none of that awesome healthy food. No fresh avocados, mameys, pomegranates or oily fish. No healthy dairy, just the kind that will give you gas (I've learned today that it's also known as "dead milk" *shudder*). Definitely not a stress free environment. If you know me, you know how I feel about our benefits system right now. There are feels. They're not entirely positive. I also had to switch from a cover stick that I've been using for years to another product that seems to be blocking up my skin something fierce. The previous one was the only one in the market that I could actually use without ending up looking like the Elephant Man in the evening. I'm thinking that that particular switch is the biggest current issue, though obviously the situation wasn't exactly being handled before.
I did take this to the doctor. She suggested it was a mild form of acne (which it might), handed me a piece of paper that basically said whatever it is, it can't be cured and I definitely, definitely can't do anything about it on my own ("changes in diet have been proven not to have any effect") . Then she made out a prescription for a topical cream.
It's ok to roll your eyes at this point if you've read about acne. Or sensitive skin that's NOT acne.
And here's why: the cream is basically a bleach that will burn the top most layers of the skin. The tube says that it will bleach fabrics and hair (to be applied 2xday on the problem areas, which include arms and legs with me, so yeah.... ), it will make your skin worse for the first 4 weeks and it wont cure the problem but the treatment has to be renewed about 2-3 weeks after the previous round has ended. So basically, it's not going to help with anything and since acne has been discovered to be a hormonal issue, it's not actually going to address that either. And if my issues isn't precisely acne, why am I taking this again? Wait, why would I be taking this even if it was?!
Soooo.. since my options with this particular doctor have now been exhausted, the next doctor I might see is a dermatologist. And the huge fly in the ointment is that that will cost serious money (both the appointment and the medication/treatment, not to mention if there are possible lab costs) and making an appoinment that I would automatically have to pay for does not guarantee a better treatment/medication than with the previous guy. Obviously this will have to be a plan B.. or C.
What I AM going to do is not listen to a piece of paper that tells me not to try anything because it's not going to work and try to work at this from home. Isn't it better to be healed/helped through placebo than to suffer because there's no scientific proof that any of the things you do are actually working?
I'm giving myself a month. A month should be enough time for the skin to renew itself to see if anything is happening and weather at least 1 monthly poo storm from the Hormone Gods. Skin should not need cover up stick. I'm willing to bet some money that if I could get to a point where the skin would be blemish-free enough that I didn't feel the need to try and hide .. well, most of my facial skin under cover up stick, the skin would get to breathe and tan and it's natural balance would eventually be restored (to what it hasn't ever had the opportunity to be before). So I ordered mineral make up. It's supposed to be The Shizzniss for letting your skin breathe.
It's not actually called the Shizznizz though.
I'm adding chia-seeds (for omegas), mint tea (for proposed benefit for hormones related to acne) and proper green tea (for everything ever) in my diet.
Also keeping a really clean diet in general for the next month. You never know. I've been like a teenager in college with my eating habbits once mum stopped cooking all my breakfasts and lunches. Ok, a healthier teenager, but still. So basically that means following what I ate in Mexico as closely as I can, with the exclusion of drinks containing dairy.
Doing the Oil Cleansing Method and making sure I drink enough water and exercise enough.
I already switched my toothpaste to a non-flouride one because... hey, it's worth a shot.
And finally; getting a new shampoo. Barely related. Ok, it's not really related, but I'm trying something here and the store is kind of sort of in the same general direction as the place that sells the proper green tea and I really shouldn't even have to justify this because I'm a damn sprout-eating hippy and I already wash my hair with an egg once a week.
It's for seeing if it might help with my scalp and tired looking hair. My hair is tired because I am. Maybe the hair will perk up when I pamper it for a month.
So there. That's what I'll be doing here in the background while being busy with all the other stuff. This is all basically just background noise, but it's a big issue for me what with skin being the largest organ and all. Will write about this probably more in case there're movements one way or the other. If I remember. I guess I'm asking people to keep their fingers crossed for me, please.