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Burned Skin - Nothing Helps

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My post is going to be quite long. The problem I am describing appeared about 6 years ago, and ever since I have been trying to solve it by different means. Nothing seems to help.

7 years ago (when I was 17) I had a weak teenage acne. It was completely normal, many people at that age have it. I still wanted to get rid of it and, following my family's friend's advice, started applying usual soap to my face twice a day. I applied a lot of it and teared my face very intensively. I was not aware to what result that would lead.

My face kept being very dry all the time (I didn't use any moisturizers). After half a year of such practice there were a water turnoff in my house for 2 weeks, so I couldn't wash my face very well; still I applied a lot of soap. After a few days, my face suddenly turned VERY red, and terrible acne appeared, such that I had never seen before: pimples were literally all around my face, in every tiny spot. People kept asking what had happened to me. It was really horrible.

It is pretty clear that I had burnt my face with soap chemicals and constant dryness.

After a few more months of hoping the problem would go away (I didn't use soap then, but didn't use any medications either), I started trying different creams, tonics, literally everything I could find. The only success I met was with Skinoren cream, which cleared most of my acne, except on cheeks and forehead. But the face was still extremely red, as if after very strong sunburn.

Then, a year after, I decided to try a more drastic treatment. For a few months I was on Accutan, and my pimples were gone in a few weeks. The face, however, was just as red as before. And, a few months after I stopped using Accutan, pimples came back, not as much as before, but still a lot.

A year and a half ago I grew tired of experiments and started visiting professionals in a very expensive elite clinic. I have wasted enormous amount of money on all these treatments and procedures they have prescribed me. But, as I compare my current looks to photos I made before I started visiting the clinic, I didn't notice any difference. The redness dropped maybe a little bit, but it is hardly noticeable.

So, my current situation is this. I use a moisturizer cream, a cleaner, a "lighter" version of Accutane and 2 gels, all prescribed by the professionals from the clinic. And, yet, my face is very red all the time, as if after a massive sunburn, and it gets temporarily even much more red under external factors, such as sun, water, those treatments I use - literally everything that touches my face by any means. Pimples are rare, but they keep reappearing on cheeks and forehead. I have never heard of such problem from other people, so I guess I was one of the few foolish enough to start using obscure methods (a lot of soap in my case) without reading about them first.

So, here is what I have. 6 years of this problem destroying my personal life. Incredible expenses all this time (especially the last 1.5 years I've been visiting the elite clinic) trying to deal with the problem with next to zero success - since I am a student, I pretty much spend all the money I get for medication, and nothing really works.

I live in a very poor country, and medicine here is quite bad as well, so that may be one of the problems. However, if I need to order some expensive cream or other treatment from overseas to fix the problem, I will do it. Also, I am moving to the US this summer and will be able to go to a clinic there, that I will definitely do if the problem still persists by then.

Could you please help me with my problem? Are there any really effective (the price really doesn't matter for me at this point, as without healing my face my personal life is pretty much dead) treatments for long-term burns (I guess we are talking here about chemical burn, from the soap) I could buy or order from overseas? Something that recovers and renews the skin completely, including the deepest layers, no matter what harm has been done to it in the past? I know I can get a plastic surgery done, but I would really prefer not to do it: the problem is only in my skin, and I hope it can be healed by external medications. I have tried laser and ultrasound treatment with zero effect whatsoever. I have tried almost every medication there is in the shops around me, and only Skinoren made a really visible difference (and Accutan, of course). I am on a healthy diet: no sweets, no drinks other than water, juices and tea. I am sporty and jog every evening. Please tell me my situation is not hopeless. Please tell me there is a way to undo the damage I did 6 years ago that nearly ruined my personal life and made me lose nearly all my confidence.

Thank you very much for your help. And I will give you a biiiiiiig hug when I meet you if you help me get my happy life back!

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sounds like you may just have rosacea which presents itself as red skin, along with acne-like spots. Also sounds like you are using quite a bit while using accutane. Accutane should really be the only thing you are using along w/ a gentle cleanser and a moisturizer. FYI, you may wish to reaseach Accutane induced rosacea or what people call 'tane burn. I find it hard to believe that all this was caused by using soaps years ago, unless of course you were using something w/ lye or another similar chemical.

Good luck

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sounds like you may just have rosacea which presents itself as red skin, along with acne-like spots. Also sounds like you are using quite a bit while using accutane. Accutane should really be the only thing you are using along w/ a gentle cleanser and a moisturizer. FYI, you may wish to reaseach Accutane induced rosacea or what people call 'tane burn. I find it hard to believe that all this was caused by using soaps years ago, unless of course you were using something w/ lye or another similar chemical.

Good luck

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I cant really give you a remedy for your condition.

I would suggest visiting a good dermatologist who will be able to tell you exactly what it is from explaining your condition. Please keep in mind that afflictions like rosacea or seborrhea dermatitis, and the like, often do manifest themselves until to grow older (not meaning elderly but to say as you age).

Best of luck

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Hmm your skin sounds similar to mine. I had mild acne while in high school and tried to terminate it with tons of product. At first my skin handled the benzoyl peroxide and such with no negative reaction. It didn't get dry at all and still retained its normal complexion besides the pimples. As I got older i slathered more and more on it and eventually it became red and super dry/flaky. It is also very oily and is irritated by pretty much any chemical product. I basically stripped my skins natural barrier and it doesn't have the plump, smooth and bright look that other people have. I don't get that many pimples anymore either.

To this day my skin is still very flaky and contains sections that are persistently red, crusty and sometimes inflamed (You can see pics imy post a few before this one). It looks like areas are sunburned and peels like sunburn. I don't think it is seborrheic dermatitus because I get this in other parts of my face like under my nose, eyebrows and corners of mouth (which are the common places) and it doesn't look the same. I also don't think this is rosacea but I could be mistaken.

Things that have helped me are:

-Not using any chemical products. I just let water run over my face (which even seems to somewhat irritate and dry), use oils for moisturizers (olive, grapeseed) and natural products for the rest.

-I use a RAW honey mask when I get out of the shower while my face is still damp for about 40 minutes.

-After that I tone with ACV, diluted in half with water, and let that sit for 10 mintutes before rinsing off. I do this stuff at night because while it seems to help with the redness, my face is still dry and flaky afterwards.

-In the morning I scrub the flakes off with a wash cloth (also seems to be irritating because I have to scrub so much/hard to get rid of the flakes before leaving my house).

Try the honey and ACV and see if that helps. It will most likely not cure it but it helps.

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Tyler R, yes, it seems very similar to mine, only you (according to the photos) have small red areas, while in my case entire cheeks are essentially very red, and there is also quite a lot of redness on my forehead and cheekbones. Sometimes people even ask me if I have been in a fire recently and burnt myself, so terrible it is.

The most frustrating is that nearly no one in the Internet seems to have this problem; I've browsed first 30 pages on Google or so, trying very different word combinations. So far I have found only one person who claims to have healed completely in such situation. He/she has used coconut butter, as weird as it may sound. Or, maybe, not weird since it is a natural product and it has successfully been used in ancient times to cure all kinds of skin conditions. So, I am going to try it when I go back home from the trip. I don't have much faith in it since I've tried nearly everything there is without much success, but the fact that it is a purely organic product and that there is a LOT of praises of this product in the Internet gives me some hope.

I completely agree with you that chemicals should not be used. The soap I used was purely chemical, so no wonder that eventually I destroyed my natural barrier. I have tried honey, though, and haven't seen much difference. As for ACV, it seems to me that it should be quite strong due to its constitution. I am going to try calming products, such as coconut butter/oil, tea tree oil and similar products.

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Honey (RAW) is very soothing and can be found at most stores like, GNC, Vitamin Shoppe and Whole Foods. I suggest looking up the benefits of honey. It helps me combat redness better than anything else even though it is no cure.

Sometimes it is not just small red areas on my face but my whole nose and cheek area next to my nose that are covered in redness. I have minimal redness on my forehead and chin area but compared to the cheek/nose it is nothing.

I have also searched tons of different word combinations to find someone who has EXACTLY what I have and have found no success. The most related causes are Seborrheic Dermatitus and Rosacea which I have syptoms of but not fully.

Does your redness seem inflamed? Like the red areas are slightly raised compared to the non-red areas surrounding it? That's how mine is. Also a really big factor that affects my redness is sweat that has dried on my skin (salt). Do you have dry/flaky/oily skin? I have skin that is oily on top but dry/flaky underneath. Is your skin itchy or susceptible to hot flushes? I'm trying to see how similar your skin is to mine so maybe we can pinpoint the same problem.

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Hi, I really do feel for you. But never give up, there's always a solution somewhere!! I had very irritated and red skin a few years ago and what really got rid it for me was changing some life style habits. I stopped eating dairy; that made a huge difference. I cut back on drinking, smoking and avoided sun and that pretty much cleared it up. I still suffer from mild acne but the redness is much better. Good luck!

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I have also searched tons of different word combinations to find someone who has EXACTLY what I have and have found no success. The most related causes are Seborrheic Dermatitus and Rosacea which I have syptoms of but not fully.

Does your redness seem inflamed? Like the red areas are slightly raised compared to the non-red areas surrounding it? That's how mine is. Also a really big factor that affects my redness is sweat that has dried on my skin (salt). Do you have dry/flaky/oily skin? I have skin that is oily on top but dry/flaky underneath. Is your skin itchy or susceptible to hot flushes? I'm trying to see how similar your skin is to mine so maybe we can pinpoint the same problem.

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I know that your case is more complicated because of the chemical burning but try cutting out all dairy, cut back on coffee, alcohol, processed food and avoid sun and at least you might see some improvement...Good luck

Oh and drink lots of green tea!

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Pleaseeeee be careful! I never burnt my skin, but it sounds aggrevated to me. And that's something I did once. I haven't actually touched creams for my face besides aveeno moisterizer since 2012 due to a rash and I took Accutane. You need to let youre skin breathe!

I noticed when I was constantly applying face creams my face was redder and I had rough, oily skin.

Try using much more gentler products. I personally use aveeno foam cleanser as well

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what kind of soap did u use? has anyone had that kind of experience (dryness/redness) with dans cleanser or cetaphil gentle cleanser?? i have...

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I used harsh acne ones before. they just do that to youre skin, especially if you have sensitive skin

Now I use aveeno foaming cleanser:)

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