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16 August 2008

I want to read this article but I can't. My face is worse today. It's a mystery and very distressing. I will see the dermatologist on Monday, if they can fit me in. I don't want to wait any longer. It's difficult to go out in public.

That is all.
posted by ThePinkSuperhero 16 August | 22:44
Oh, that's crummy. I hope the doc helps.
posted by theora55 16 August | 22:52
I emailed it to you, Lori.
posted by gaspode 16 August | 23:13
Wow, sucks. Sorry to hear it LoriFLA.
posted by Meatbomb 16 August | 23:13
Thanks guys, I hate to be whining over something so trivial, but if you could see what I'm dealing with, you might whine too. :-) I'm taking pics just in case things clear up (crosses fingers, but doubtful) before I see the doctor. I don't know what he will think of the pictures. (Thanks for the pics, lady?) I took these after sweating and weeding my roses. I just took more a few minutes ago because it is even worse if that is possible. I'm obsessed! Can you see the sadness in my face? ;-)

I've been researching a bit and papulopustular rosacea looks and sounds like what I might have. Which isn't thrilling because rosacea can be hard to treat.
posted by LoriFLA 16 August | 23:16
gaspode, thank you so much.
posted by LoriFLA 16 August | 23:17
posted by gaspode 16 August | 23:50
LoriFLA, thank you for posting that:)

I don't think I've seen one of your pictures yet!!!
So very glad to have finally done so, even if it might not be under the circumstances of your choice.

The one from the side looks like it might be paining you a bit. I've just got this huge pimple on my nose (right in dead centre), in addition to the huge scratch that my cat layed on me, so it's doubly frustrating. I went the whole of last week to office with my nose a bit swollen and was a bit embarrassed by it--okay, a lot!

But now it's subsided, and the friends who I trust the most were very cool about it (not bothering to make too much of an issue out of it--oh my god--what happened to your face--which is what I got from some of the other guys... thanks guys--for reminding me that the thing's as worse as I thought).

I had to go to a wedding yesterday and finally decided to give in and apply some concealer over it, which my mom helped me out with. Women are so lucky in that sense--they can always find ways to better their looks with something or the other.

Anyways, I feel your pain sis. Hope you don't feel too insecure about it, because none of us gives two hoots about how much you think you might not be looking as good as you think you should.

PS. Please do go the dermatologist and find out if it isn't anything too serious that might cause you more discomfort in the future. (I usually apply a herbal cream whenever an episode breaks out for me... do you get this stuff over there--it's quite good imo.)
posted by hadjiboy 16 August | 23:59
Thanks, hadjiboy. It doesn't really hurt. I can feel some tingling at the center of my face, around the nose.

I've had your garden variety acne. This is not acne. This is a curse from hell.

I went to the gym last night. My trainer teaches a kid fitness class that I bring my kids to and the first thing she said is, "it looks like rosacea." I still worked out amongst a gym full of people. It's not fun but whadya gonna do?

Some other forms of rosacea are a lot worse, like the nose growth kind. I don't even know if I have rosacea. I'm making a guess at this point. I'm not putting anything on it except Cetaphil. If it is rosacea, most creams and such just make it worse.

I will definitely be calling the derm first thing Monday morning. I don't know why I am posting these pics on the internet. I'll take them down soon. I guess I just want to show my internet friends the agony I'm going through. :-)

I'll give an update when I see the doctor. The skin saga will continue.
posted by LoriFLA 17 August | 00:13
Aw, sweetie, I'm sorry you're going through this. I sympathize -- I battled my skin for years, and I know how hard it is to feel like you can't put your best face forward -- literally!

Rest assured that we all think you're beautiful, inside and out, even if you don't quite feel that way right at this minute. Good luck with the doc. Let us know how it goes.
posted by scody 17 August | 01:17
You're a bad-ass, Lori, and while it sucks to have an outbreak like this, at least these kinds of things are solvable. And in the meantime, you look pissed off enough to keep anyone from buggin' you. :) Hang in there.
posted by BoringPostcards 17 August | 01:36
A few years ago, I went for a routine eyebrow waxing, and that evening, every single pore on my face flipped the fuck out. It was like every single pore on my face expanded, and I was terrified that bacteria was going to pour right in. I went to the dermatologist the next day at like 7am. The doctor explained that the trauma from the eyebrow waxing on a few localized hair follicles set-off the rest on my face like a chain reaction.

I didn't have pimples like in your photos, but I have a feeling if I hadn't gone to the dermatologist immediately, maybe it would have progressed to your level?

My salon was very upscale and $$$, so I wasn't wary of anything skanky in the wax. Still, I went to the dermatologist immediately, and i was diagnosed with folliculitis. I was given an oral antibiotic as well as a creme antibiotic for the face, and it cleared up right away.

Maybe yours is folliculitis that got crazy out of hand? The only reason I think it might be folliculitis is because although I didn't get zits, it affected like every single pore on my face, and that's what yours looks like.

Hang in there! And put your dermatologist on speed-dial. They're the unsung heroes of medicine.
posted by scala di seta 17 August | 02:30
Good luck at the doctor tomorrow, Lori... maybe it will be something simple.

I had a bad patch of psoriasis on my left ankle for years. My uncle, who was generally a very good diagnostician, told me to lie in the sun for it. When I told him it got worse, I found out I was one of the 2% of people for whom the sun makes psoriasis worse. Go figure. Interestingly, I stopped wearing high-top sneakers, and it went away.
posted by Pips 17 August | 08:38
Thanks for the comments and encouragement, everybody.

Pips, I think the sun makes mine worse as well. It gets more red and aggravated.

Today it is less red but still scary. I'm wracking my brain trying to think of something I have done differently. I'm changing my pillowcase every few days. I have been using the same makeup I always use (this summer I have only been wearing it once a week or so.) I haven't taken any meds. I did take two Bufferin, but after I started breaking out. My face reacted in the exact same way after I took a couple new meds earlier this year. I stopped the meds and it went away, but now it is happening again and I'm not taking anything.

It very well may be folliculitis. I'm not sure. The bumps tend not to be follicular in nature if that makes sense. The acne I usually have tends to be follicular. This rash is right on the surface. I was thinking folliculitis at the beginning because I know that my brushes are not scrupulously clean. I cannot wait to see the doctor whatever it is.

My skin has been consistently clear, except for the occasional minor breakout, for a good five years after battling acne forever. Now I have this. You never know when you're going to wake up and look hideous.

Thanks again for the replies. Browsing sites like these make me realize that my problems aren't so bad.
posted by LoriFLA 17 August | 08:58
If it's any comfort, you don't look "hideous" at all. I know it's nerve-wracking not knowing what's wrong, though. I know it's hard, but maybe try not to think about it until tomorrow? Sometimes reading articles only heightens anxiety until you have a better idea of what's wrong. Try and do something fun and distracting?
posted by Pips 17 August | 10:04
Aww Lori, I'm so sorry. (Though to echo Pips, you don't look bad.)

I had a friend whose roseacea went away when they changed their diet. It might have been coincidence, but she didn't think so. Unfortunately I can't remember what the thing was that she eliminated, though I do remember it was something majorly annoying, like dairy or gluten.
posted by small_ruminant 17 August | 11:25
I have rosacea and I manage it, I can't really treat it though. So I stay out of the sun and use a decent sun block. I scrub off (exfoliate, kinda) excess oil once a day and apply a good moisturizer afterward. This is the moisturizer that seems to work really well. I try to avoid caffeine and stress. Stress is a big trigger. And I avoid hot showers, hot water is a Really Bad Thing for rosacea. And yeah, monitor your diet if possible.
posted by disclaimer 17 August | 11:41
Thanks, guys. I visited with my parents for a couple hours. I'm trying not to worry too much. I'm fine, really. Like pips said, it's the unknown. What is this and will it happen every month? Will it go away?

My sister said, "you can't even tell from 50 feet away." Haha.

disclaimer, I use the same stuff! (Except, I use the Purpose redness reducing with SPF 30. I read about Purpose a while ago and how non-irritating it is.)
posted by LoriFLA 17 August | 12:52
May I just seriously remark at how beautiful you are?
Thank you.
posted by Stewriffic 17 August | 13:37
Aww, stew. You're so nice. Thanks.
posted by LoriFLA 17 August | 13:39
(You're understandably a bit scowly in the most recent pics. This is the photo I was thinking of. I meant to say it in the other thread, but I had to leave or something.

Hang in there.
posted by Stewriffic 17 August | 13:40
I think that is my natural expression sometimes. This scowl. It's an affliction that I share with my mother. This is why I make myself "smile with my eyes" or just smile in general, or talk, every time I think about it because my face just hangs like this. If I'm deep in thought or just daydreaming this is my expression. This is why perfect strangers ask me to smile. :-)
posted by LoriFLA 17 August | 13:44
Wait. I meant that the picture I linked to above was the one that struck me as particularly beautiful the other day when you first mentioned the skin problem. This is the one that seemed scowly.

SMILE! (kidding. how annoying.)
posted by Stewriffic 17 August | 13:48
Oh, yeah. I knew what you meant, stewriffic.
posted by LoriFLA 17 August | 13:50
Dude, it is not trivial! It is your skin! I have had psoriasis since I was 14. I have had it everywhere. Like, everywhere. Face, scalp, torso, limbs, private parts, everywhere. I know what it's like!

I'm currently in a drug trial (ABT-874, if you're nasty) which is working amazingly and I'm clear (though the marks where my spots were are still fading, they look like bruises). These drugs are super new and risky and if I get pregnant I will have a mutant alien baby with three faces, but it's worth it! I can walk around bare-legged right now without getting stares. It feels great!

Anyway, just to say, I know how horrible skin diseases are -- I've actively had one my entire adult life. Just be kind to yourself right now, #1. It is difficult for people to understand sometimes how much it can hurt to have a visible illness -- I'd have traded mine for something invisible long ago -- but there are lots of folks who know what it's like. I'm with you!!

Try to find a rosacea message board -- the national psoriasis foundation one is pretty good to visit when I'm doing really badly. There's always someone who's been there or who is there and people are really supportive because they know what it's like.

Also, get a GREAT dermatologist. It is so important because the advances in this field are coming and it's essential to see someone who's on top of new treatments and drug trials. This has made all the different for me, that my derm is hooked into the clinical trial scene and knows every new advance.

Be kind to yourself, seriously. If this involves ice cream or other delectable treats, then so be it.
posted by loiseau 17 August | 14:30
I don't know if my dermatologist is great or not. I think he is. :-) I do trust him. He's been around forever and he seems to be on top of things. I've been going to him since I was a teenager, but have only seen him five or so times.

I did sign up for a rosacea board but haven't posted yet. I'm waiting to get a diagnosis before I freak myself out any further.

Thanks so much loiseau, for the words of encouragement. It's wonderful that your present treatment is a success. I think I'll do whatever it takes to have a normal face again.
posted by LoriFLA 17 August | 15:04
scala di seta was right! I have folliculitis. He gathered some specimens and I brought it to the lab for culture and sensitivity. He gave me a prescription for a shampoo (2% Nizoral) that I am to wash my scalp and face with, and a clindamycin topical. He says, "it's folliculitis but a mystery as what is causing it until we get the cultures." He told me to avoid excessive sweating. He told me to keep the air cool at night so I won't sweat. I asked him if it was a hygiene issue and he said, "not necessarily." He told me to stop washing my face with anti-bacterials (Pan Oxyl) and to wash with Dove. I wonder if all of this sweating and laying on mats at the YMCA could have caused it. Also, when I get home from working out I'm not always good about hitting the showers immediately. It's a mystery because it's only on my face. Not my scalp, not any other part of my body, but that's how it goes I guess. I have never had it until this year. Kooky.

He also did a skin check. He told me I don't have the kind of skin that be getting sun. He asked me if I have lived here all of my life. I guess he could tell. I got the "stay out of the sun" lecture from him before, and deservedly so. I have old sun damage but try not to get serious sun because I don't want any more. He gave me literature on sunscreen -- He likes Blue Lizard and Neutrogena with Helioplex because they block UVA and UVB. (When I was in England I picked up sunscreens with Mexoryl to bring home before it was approved here. Now I buy the Helioplex stuff.) He told me to spread it toothpaste thick and reapply often. He told me I should spend a good portion of the year in Anchorage, Alaska (rhapsodie and I could do lunch) and as I was leaving he told me to "enjoy the hurricane!"

I was wrong about the guess of papulopustular rosacea. He said it's definitely not rosacea. I am relieved I have a diagnosis and some meds to treat it. The other facial rash that I had this year that I connected with meds must have been folliculitis as well and only a coincidence.

Aren't you glad I shared all of this? I'm sure you were riveted! ;-)
posted by LoriFLA 18 August | 17:07
I am glad you shared! It's great to hear it's not a chronic condition. Whew. Something like that can really make you appreciate clear skin though -- when I don't have psoriasis on my face (and even when I do, because it's usually pretty minimal there) I feel really lucky that I have no major problems there. I've known people with chronic acne and things like that and I know it's so hard for them. Aside from the occasional MASSIVE PAINFUL PIMPLE I've usually got it pretty good.

Skin can be so weird -- I've had hives since the winter and I can't figure out why. I've been taking antihistamines every day to control it. If I forget to take it, in the early afternoon I'll start getting hives. I guess it's an automatic pill-taking reminder. :/

But I was reading about hives, and a sizeable proportion of sufferers just have idiotpathic hives. Things like this drive me up the wall! It's like, shrug, we don't know why, we don't know how you can avoid it, and we don't know when it will stop. Gee, thanks!

Anyway, good luck with the treatment. If you want to move north, Montreal's a great place to live! :)
posted by loiseau 19 August | 17:59
Heh, "idiotpathic". I like that.
posted by loiseau 19 August | 18:00
Thank you, loiseau. It's looking better already. My sister said, "You look normal 25 feet away." haha. I think it's going to be near normal before I have to go to work on Thursday.
posted by LoriFLA 19 August | 20:01
I'm so glad to hear this, Lori. I know it's a relief to feel like you can finally do something about it, instead of just hanging around wondering what it is!

My skin is always doing annoying things, as well... my whole family is prone to eczema, and my face will break out with a couple of hive-like bumps if I'm under a lot of stress, I've eaten too much sugar, or if I have a really important meeting or social gathering.

Here's to a speedy recovery. :)
posted by BoringPostcards 20 August | 07:00
Not in || So, my Burner bunnies, how's your packing going?