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Wit's End

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Hi, I'm new to the message board so bear with me - I've been suffering with extremely sensitive skin and acne for about 10 years. I have experienced some relief, but for no apparent reason. It just seems randomly to be o.k. for a little while, then become ridiculous again.

I have tried almost everything I can think of after seeing 4 different dermatologists and reading constantly - pills, creams, gels, vitamins, etc. I am allergic to (among other things) B.P., retinoids, and BHA's. Is there ANYONE out there like me? I mean even if I touch my face for a second it turns red, ( but I have been told time and again I don't have rosacea, just very sentitive skin with acne) but I still want to get rid of my acne. My skin also flakes off easily, which makes acne relief near impossible. I just don't feel like I can take it much longer! Help?

thx!

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you ever thought about just not taking anything? that could be your problem is your ruining you skin with all these meds. try something simple like cetaphil twice a day and some moistorizor. thats all i have though...

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i agree with the above poster, maybe your skin needs a break if it is that irritated...

I use azelex (azelaic acid) and clenia emollient cream (sulfur is the active ingredient)...both of these medicines have dual purposes: to kill acne bacteria and to reduce redness...these might work for your skin too? the azelex is also quite moisturizing (i had some flakiness before i began using it)...maybe you can ask your dermatologist about these topicals after you give your skin a little rest...

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Yeah, would suggest either giving your skin a break from all the chemical topicals, sounds like they have really taken a toll, or try out natural cleansers, honey or apple cider vinegar, for example.

Also, have you ever tried changing your diet?

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I have exactly the same problem as you. ANYTHING topical gives me a bad allergic reaction with redness, itching, etc. My skin goes in cycles too. It will be calm for awhile, then for no reason it will become irritated, itchy, and Ill break out all over the place. Shaving becomes unbearable and nothing seems to work. Two weeks will go by, and it will calm down. Ive cut everything out of my diet that could possibly trigger this: dairy, wheat, red meat, sugar, tuna, etc.

I plan on going to the best dermatologist in the area when my insurance kicks in. I really don't want to take accutane, but thats all there is left, and Im willing to try it.

Peace.

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I have exactly the same problem as you. ANYTHING topical gives me a bad allergic reaction with redness, itching, etc. My skin goes in cycles too. It will be calm for awhile, then for no reason it will become irritated, itchy, and Ill break out all over the place. Shaving becomes unbearable and nothing seems to work. Two weeks will go by, and it will calm down. Ive cut everything out of my diet that could possibly trigger this: dairy, wheat, red meat, sugar, tuna, etc.

I plan on going to the best dermatologist in the area when my insurance kicks in. I really don't want to take accutane, but thats all there is left, and Im willing to try it.

Peace.

Like chics, men have hormonal cycles too. That's what a derm told me when i was 15 after I mentioned the periodic nature of my outbreaks to her. So you break out when your hormones are kicking in.

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I'm in a similar situation..right when I thought I had a good routine down, with this winter cold, my skin has gotten red and dryish...moisturizers dont seem to help; everytime i cleanse my skin, it seems to get worse...but how can I not wash my face? So now Im just trying to use only water and a moisturizer and if things don't get better I'll have to see my derm...but it is absolutely heart breaking when one has to deal with very sensitive skin in addition to acne.

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Welcome to my world.

I have terribly sensitive skin, which I believe to be the root of my acne. If I use irritating products, I will break out. And, every product seems to irritate my skin.

You might need to find what irritates your skin, which means stopping all products, including your cleanser. If your skin is anything like mine, it will get better in a week or two.

BTW, aloe vera, sulfur, and Cetaphil kill my skin. Gentle for everyone else, horrible for me. I had to find what works for me, a long frustrating process. You might have to do the same. If so, start looking for a good, non-irritating cleanser, one that's good for rosacea. I realize that you said you don't have rosacea, but cleansers made for that condition are for highly sensitive, acne-prone skin.

Good luck!

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another very sensitive skin person here. seriously so. cant use any kind of harsh or perfumed products on my skin anywhere on my body. right now I have scary looking legs because I used a new product and now theyre red and blotchy and irritated :(

gentle non chemically stuff is the only way forwards. the only harsh thing I use is a prescribed topical that I put on in tiny amounts only where spots are. I use Olay Complete Care moisturiser, am finding it great.

Its a pain but even regular acne things like BP and SA will irritate my skin, hell even ACV did!

Gentle stuff, its the only way. :)

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It's sounds like you have a broken skin barrier. Many folks who find themselves overly sensitive have used so many harsh products over the years that the lipid barrier in their skin (the one that protects you from the elements), has broken down to the point where even touching their face hurts. I had this problem for many years and fond that I had to work hard to build my lipid barrier back up to be less sensitive and more protective.

#1, I suggest you get an appointment to be allergy tested. I found that this was extemely helpful in eliminating products and foods that caused me sensitivity. Sometimes even foods and allergens can do this, not just topicals and cleansers.

#2 Stop using anything with chemicals, scents, parabens etc. Try going with natural cleansers and moisturizers. Preferably ones that are specifically designed for ultra-senstive skin. Sometimes even botanicals can irritate the skin. I suggest La Roche Posay products and the L'Occitane Shea/Cotton Comfort line. Both are made for those who have damaged sensitive skin.

#3 No scrubbing of any kind. scrubbing will open up tiny little tears in the skin, letting in bacteria and damaging the upper dermal layer making you more susceptible to bacterial infections. Even though you don't have a typical case of Rosacea, you have many of the same problems as those with Rosacea. Treat your skin as a rosacea patient would. That means, no scrubs, no harsh detergents. Many sensitive types including myself use a microfiber cloth to exfoliate. It's soft, not harsh but does the job. the less I do, the better off I am.

#4 once you can get your skin less sensitive then you can try one product at a time . It's best not to introduce more than one new product at a time. It gives your skin time to adjust or find out if it is a culprit in breaking you out or making you red.

#5 gentle, creamy type cleansers with no fragrances, no dyes. Cetaphil personally clogs my pores, so I stick with neutrogena. I like the Fresh foaming cleanser or the extra gentle cleanser. CeraVee is highly recommended by dermatologists for those with redness or lipid barrier problems. It's gentle and has ceramides in them which help strengthen the skin barrier. It takes time though, it's not an over night thing to repair the skin. they also make a moisturizer which I use on my body and even face. It's nice stuff and you can get it at most drugstores.

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