My first post will be an introduction into my own case so that others may understand what it is that I am suffering from, and the type of information I am looking for in other cases. If you are kind enough to share your story, please include as much detail about yourself as possible so that we may use symptomatic correlation to find our solution.
My skin condition:
The skin condition that I want to address in these blog posts is only concerning the scar-like, soft, flesh colored bumps that have appeared along the center of my chin and out towards the corners of my mouth. They are not pimples, acne, or hypertrophic scarring (though I will get into eliminated diagnoses later in this post), and they have gotten increasingly more noticeable in the last 3 years. Please see pictures for reference.
My Health History:
To start, I am a 30 year old, 5'4" female who is approximately 30lbs over my healthy BMI weight.
I have a history of:
- cystic acne that has been 'mostly' clear for 2-3 years. I occasionally have a breakout during my cycle, but these are rare and typically do not result in scarring and resolve within 1-2 weeks. My acne was particularly bad in my early teens and again in my early 20's. In my teens it was centralized in my T-zone, but during the later stages in my 20's was primarily along my jaw line.
- large pores
- excess oil production on my entire face, not just the t-zone. It is common for me to use 8-10 oil blotting sheets/day.
- mild hair thinning (within the last 5 years)
- mild male-pattern hair growth (mostly around the chin/upper lip area)
- excessive sweating
- Keratosis Pilaris on arms and legs
- As a child I had a rare form of recurring Pityriasis Rosea- my last episode was when I was 25.
Woohoo! So, as you can see I was blessed with all the things that make women feel super sexy! Joking aside, for all of us struggling with these abnormalities, please try to remind yourself that there are people suffering with far, far worse. I know this condition (and others) can be embarrassing, unsightly, and all-together soul-crushing at times, but for every ugly bump we have is someone suffering from deforming burn scars, flesh eating bacterial infections, and life altering conditions that can't be treated or covered with makeup. I am CONFIDENT that we can not only treat what we have, but that there is a biological solution that does not require lasers, acid, or the use of a blade.
My Current Skincare Routine:
In the past I have used every form of acne cleanser, lotion, topical treatment, and miracle fix you could think of. I wish I would have known about taking the simple, more natural approach before destroying my skin with chemicals. I have never taken oral treatments such as spironolactone or antibiotics, but I did use a lot of acid based products that irritated, burned, and angered my skin. The following routine has been consistent for the last year and a half, with slight variations in brands.
- Remove makeup with hypoallergenic and non-comedogenic face wipes. I try to use something that is exfoliating. I particularly like Boots No7 Brand All in One Wipes. You get a lot for the price, they are well-saturated, and have never made me break out.
- I then tone my skin with witch hazel
- Next I take a damp cotton pad and add a few drops of jajoba oil. I smooth the cotton pad over my face for the purpose of a "final cleanse" but also to moisturize and prep the skin. Jajoba oil will not clog pores as it is very close to human sebum. It actually can trick your pores into producing less oil.
- I then use a vitamin C serum to moisturize and help treat my uneven skin tone, light scarring, etc.
- I have begun using Differin Gel in the last 3 months for the purpose of increasing skin cell turnover and improving my skin's texture and any residual scarring from my years of acne. I have been extremely happy with it and only had light redness and flaking within the first two weeks of use. Since then my skin has become more even toned, my scars have been fading, and I am able to wear a light coverage foundation (sometimes I wear nothing) without feeling as if my scars and discoloration are showing through.
- In the shower or at the sink I wash my face with another face wipe (this time I add a tiny bit of baking soda for exfoliation) and then tone with witch hazel. I use a light moisturizer for sensitive skin and usually add a drop of jajoba oil for added moisture to my cheek area. That's it! I have not been breaking out on this routine and would feel comfortable recommending it to others. Both my night and morning routines are safe for people with sensitive skin with the exception of the differin gel.
I have been told that these bumps are hypertrophic scarring, sebaceous hyperplasia, cholesterol deposits, fungal infection, and flat warts. While sebaceous hyperplasia seems to be the most common diagnoses, nothing about them looks like sebaceaous hyperplasia, nor do regular treatments for SH work. I say all of these are wrong, and it is actually something internal with either a hormone imbalance or thyroid disorder.
I will post tomorrow with pictures and an explanation of all things I have tried!