sensitive skin

April 9, 2012

This is probably one of the most random posts you’ll find on this blog. I’ve felt compelled to write about it for months and months, but I keep giving myself excuses as to why I shouldn’t write about it.


I have sensitive skin. I’ve had it for a majority of my life (roughly 85% of my life). It’s been a nuisance to say the least.



The skin condition I have is eczema. It’s a form of atopic dermatitis (I wouldn’t recommend googling pictures of this….. it’s not pretty). Compared to a lot of eczema cases out there, my condition is not that bad (definitely not worthy of showing up in an “eczema” search online), but it’s very annoying. I’ve tried so many creams, diets, soaps, lotions, etc… you name the remedy, I probably tried it. There have been times when I’ve had huge “flare ups” and there have been times when I haven’t had any eczema for months and couldn’t figure out what had changed (so I could continue not doing what I wasn’t doing to keep my skin free and clear). There have been (LOTS of) times when I’ve had white patches on my skin where an eczema patch once was, but because the cream I used was so strong, it “temporarily” got rid of my regular skin pigmentation. Lovely.


I’ve gone to more dermatologists and skin specialists that I can even remember, or care to recall. Every dermatologist said “it’s stress.” I do stress, that’s for sure, but how stressed was I when I was 5 years old? I know that some kids are more up-tight and anxious than others, but really, stressed?? I would question the doctors in a nice way, not the you-went-to-medical-school-for-how-many-years-and-this-is-your-answer kind of way. Unless the doctor was trying to brush me off or rush me out MY appointment, but that never happens ;)


Well, enter a visit to a dermatologist I had seen before and wasn’t crazy about (but thanks to my wonderful HMO plan, I was stuck). I am now told by this doctor that it’s because my skin lacks “ceramides.” To which I said “Sarah, who?” Keep in mind that this doctor is talking to me like this is my first time e.v.e.r coming to him about eczema and that he’s always known this is what causes eczema. Very annoying. Anyways, I was sort of listening, but sort of just nodding my head and saying “oh”  and “uh-huh” a lot. This wasn’t the first time he was prescribing something new. Something I figured wouldn’t work again.  He suggested I try CeraVe cream (because it contains ceramides of which my skin is apparently all of a sudden lacking and apparently I don’t stress anymore) and Cetaphil soap. I left the appointment feeling less than hopeful.


Upon my next trip to Target, I was not happy to see that the CeraVe cream was over $15 (considering how much I use in one application) and all their other products were around that price. I bought it figuring it was another $15 down the drain. The 3-pack of Cetaphil soap was over $10. I am happy to report that, for once in my life, I was wrong :) Since using these 2 products, I’ve done a complete overhaul of the products I use on my skin and for things that will go on my skin (ex. clothes).


{I call this my “miracle cream”}


For the past 7 months I’ve been using CeraVe cream, Cetaphil soap, ALL hypo-allergenic laundry detergent and dryer sheets, Aveeno hypo-allergenic shaving cream, Dove hypo-allergenic deodorant and no perfume (if I do wear perfume, I spray it on my clothes, not directly on my skin) and my skin could not be happier with me. I still have an occasional one-patch flare up, but for that I went to the other dermatologist in my network (that doesn’t have very good bed-side manners) and he gave me a STRONG cream that actually works…. I use it once and it’s gone, where-as the other creams that doctors said were “really, really, really strong” I would use over and over and over and be told (with a look of shock on their face) “your skin is going to thin if you keep using this” to which I would say “give me something that works and I’ll use it minimally.” Geez, it’s not like I was using it just for the heck of it.


{CeraVe’s pm cream that I’m a fan of}


Anyways, my hope with this post is not that you get grossed out, but that I can help at least one person that also struggles with some sort of skin issue, whether it be eczema or some other condition. It’s amazing what kinds of perfumes, dyes and chemicals are put in the products that we use on our bodies. After finding these products that work so well for me, it’s definitely made me more aware of what I’m putting in and on my body.



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