Forum: Advice / Health & Nutrition

Health & Nutrition
Suddenly... awful skin?!
By lux Comments: 1178, member since Mon Jun 02, 2008
On Wed Jan 14, 2015 04:20 AM

I've always been very lucky with my skin. I'd get the occasional pimple or two as a teenager, but by and large my face is slightly oily but blemish free.

Over the past 4 or so months, it's suddenly comparatively awful. I've got constant red, angry pimples, predominantly along my chin and jaw line (although occasionally on my forehead and even cheek, where I've never had a pimple before), predominantly on my right hand side. They also seem to scar far worse than any blemish I've had previously. I wouldn't say that my skin is all that oilier overall, but I have noticed that I can no longer keep eyeshadow on my eyelids all day, so perhaps it is producing more oil than I'm realising.

I've considered the following:

Dietary changes
I became vegetarian 6 months ago, and also started eating better (less refined carbs and fats) around the same time. I know a change in diet can mess with skin, but I've been eating consistently better for the past 6 months. Is it possible that I'm vitamin deficient somehow, and this is contributing? I've been otherwise well since making the switch.

Changes to skincare/makeup
I'm slowly transitioning to all cruelty free products, but I'm not really using anything I haven't used before. I've also tried a couple of different cleansers and moisturisers since my skin's freaked out to see if that helps. I usually mix up my skin care regime pretty frequently anyway, and cruelty free products tend to be more expensive/better quality, so I'd be quite surprised if this was wha was causing me break out.

Birth control
I take the pill, but I've never been very consistent with it. I occasionally miss pills and need to double up on pills, and I've never been on it consistently for more than one pack at a time, although I've been doing the same thing since I started taking it at 21. I did start taking it again after a 9ish month break right before my skin went nasty, but I also took a one month break to see if this would help with no luck.

At the end of the day, my skin's still pretty good in the scheme of things, and I'm going to feel really silly going to the doctor over a handful of spots. It boils down to two things (1) I'm vain, and (2) more seriously, this is out of the ordinary for my skin and my body.

That said, the doctor looks to be my next stop, but in the meantime, does anyone have any thoughts or suggestions?

10 Replies to Suddenly... awful skin?!

re: Suddenly... awful skin?!
By hummingbird Comments: 10419, member since Mon Apr 18, 2005
On Wed Jan 14, 2015 07:16 AM
If you go to your doctor you'll probably find you have what they call adult or mature acne. It's something that crops up every seven years or so when you go through a hormonal change. My body saved acne for me until I was in my thirties, well beyond when most people think they should have those problems. Sometimes finding the right treatment takes a few tries but your skin is your biggest organ, it deserves to be healthy just the same as your heart and lungs.

I would go and see my doctor, in fact when this happened to me after a few months of no improvement that's just what I did.
re: Suddenly... awful skin?!
By majeremember has saluted, click to view salute photosPremium member Comments: 5889, member since Sat Sep 29, 2007
On Wed Jan 14, 2015 07:29 AM
Another possibility is stress. I get acne around my jaw line when I'm super stressed.

You said it is mostly on the right hand side, do you talk on the phone a lot? Is that the side you hold your phone on?
re: Suddenly... awful skin?!
By miss_anna_dance Comments: 637, member since Fri Oct 21, 2005
On Wed Jan 14, 2015 08:52 AM
Go to a doctor--- these could be any of the things listed above... or even an allergic reaction.
re: Suddenly... awful skin?!
By SandraLAVixenmember has saluted, click to view salute photos Comments: 904, member since Tue Jul 18, 2006
On Wed Jan 14, 2015 02:38 PM
Some other possibilities could also include dental infections, or poor hygiene. If it's one sided it usually suggests certain types of viral or contact (such as sleeping on one side) with bedding that may contain bacteria.

Again, those are all possibilities, without seeing a picture it's difficult to diagnose exactly what type of acne it is. Your doctor can help you best with that.

For now, try not to scratch them and keep them clean, to avoid scarring.
re: Suddenly... awful skin?!
By LizDancermember has saluted, click to view salute photos Comments: 1140, member since Fri Jan 06, 2006
On Fri Jan 16, 2015 11:37 AM
I don't have any good advice for you, I just wanted to chime in & say that I've been having the exact same experience! Always had great skin, rarely a pimple, but suddenly I'm getting persistent breakouts, although mine are on my back & chest. I have no idea why. The only changes I can think of that this corresponds to are the fact that I moved to a new city, and it's possible that I'm also eating differently as a result of all my routines having changed since I moved, although I don't really feel like my diet has changed dramatically. I thought that maybe it was something to do with the water in my new city, but when I went home for a week over the holidays it didn't get any better. The only other change in my life is that I have a new boyfriend, although I'm not sure if that's even relevant. Maybe that could affect my hormones too?

I haven't gone to the doctor yet, partly because I don't feel like my breakouts are really all that terrible. The annoying part is just that they're so consistent - I just constantly have pimples now that I've never had before. I'm very new to the world of proper skincare, but I've started to use some acne creams & washes. It helps clear up the pimples I have, but then the next day new ones will pop up, so it doesn't really help the overall problem.

I'll be watching this thread for advice.
re: Suddenly... awful skin?!
By SwordInStone Comments: 192, member since Thu Aug 11, 2011
On Mon Jan 19, 2015 10:13 AM
How's the water quality?

First time I got acne was when I went back to China. Then it went away, and it was awful (painful too) when I moved to a place with very hard water. It's hard water and soap that caused it, and rinsing with filtered water was the only thing that helped.

Another thing--try switching to a gel moisturiser at night. Skin tends to detox around then, so make sure you let it breathe. I use oils during the day and none at night, and that's helped clear out some of the pores. I was going to recommend snail mucin (search "Mizon snail" on ebay or Amazon), but you said cruelty free...still, you might want to look into Korean skincare. My favourite brands are Innisfree and Mizon. Not totally natural and sometimes fragranced, but it helped more than anything else.

I guess you must have already tried rosewater and witch hazel. Orange blossom water works for some people. It smells amazing. I've also tried tamanu oil for getting rid of blemishes, and it did help them fade without scarring, but might be a bit oily.

Oh, and my parents said in China they would add something extra to the water in winter to keep it from freezing, and if you live in a place that does that, maybe that's the problem? Do check your water quality, though. It's worth a try.
re: Suddenly... awful skin?!
By lux Comments: 1178, member since Mon Jun 02, 2008
On Tue Feb 10, 2015 03:27 AM
Hi all,

Thanks for the wonderful advice so far! To answer a couple of questions:

Majere, I am right handed and whilst I'm only on the phone 10-20% of my day, I have noticed that I rest my chin in my right hand whilst I'm working. I've been doing this for far longer than the 5-6 months this has been a problem for, however.

Sandra, I'm just not convinced that hygiene is the issue. I was my bed and bathroom linen weekly, which I thought was on the upper end of things, frequency-wise. I guess I could stand to do my towels more often, but it seems like terrible waste of water (I'm in Australia, where drought is a serious issue and we have water conservation drummed into us constantly!)

SwordInStone, luckily for me the water quality where I am is excellent... unluckily for me, this strikes the option off my list!

I did end up asking my doctor about it, and the response was essentially a shrug and a couple of throwaway lines about hormones. My doctor also seemed to misunderstand me and think that I was requesting medication, which he didn't want to prescribe me (fine by me!)

The one thing he did suggest is that I could be allergic to my contraceptive pill. Lining up the dates, this whole situation did start 2-3 weeks after I started taking the pill again after a long hiatus. There's two things that make me doubt this theory: firstly, that this is the same version of the pill I've been on and off since I was 21 with no ill effects, and secondly, that I went off for a month and didn't notice any improvement.

I don't know guys, what do you think? I'll have to go off the pill for longer than 1 cycle to test this out, which is possible but not ideal for me. I'd almost rather not find out so that I don't need to worry about finding an alternative contraception/period management system!
re: Suddenly... awful skin?!
By Gavrilushka Comments: 872, member since Wed Jul 11, 2012
On Tue Feb 10, 2015 05:29 AM
It's probably the weather. My skin tends to get worse in the summer. I have sensitive skin that's temperamental and is both oily and dry at the same time. When it gets sore and angry, I stop using anything on my face except sunscreen and moisturiser. Not even a face wash. I go really basic and home-made and use a honey and salt scrub. Like a face detox. Yeah it's runny and can get in your hair, but I hop in the shower after it's been there for like 15 minutes. When it's over, my skin feels really soft and I don't need to moisturise after. Honey is anti-bacterial so it will give your face a really good clean without murdering the ph of your skin. Also, switch to a gentle cleanser like Cetaphil (some silly people think they are tested on animals, but they aren't - they are owned by a pharmaceutical company which does test on animals, you know, for the pharmaceuticals, but Cetaphil is not, because you know, it's not a pharmaceutical...). You can get a huge pump of it for like $10 at priceline, there's also Innoxa's cleansing milk which is pretty pricey ($17).

OH and I second the rosewater! A bottle of it is like $2 and not only does it smell fantastic, but it really soothes the skin. I also second the snail cream, and there is a cruelty free alternative. It's Ladykin affinitic yam cream. It even comes in the same snail shaped package. ^^ But if you aren't comfortable buying something from a company that does use snails for another product, any yam cream should do. It will be a bit sticky, but your skin sucks it up immediately. I tend to layer it every 15-20 minutes for an hour because really, skin just sucks this stuff straight up!

Also, how's your drinking? You could try drinking more water. I find that my skin is more oily when I'm dehydrated.
re: Suddenly... awful skin?!
By Theresamember has saluted, click to view salute photosPremium member Comments: 34891, member since Wed May 22, 2002
On Tue Feb 17, 2015 09:54 AM
Get in with a dermatologist. I just went Friday, for the first time in forever, and I can already see my skin starting to turn around. If nothing you have access to is helping, and you can't narrow it down to any specific trigger, then it's time to call in bigger guns than your seemingly pretty apathetic doctor. I know for my insurance, my doctor has to sign off on sending me to the dermatologist, but that's the extent of how involved my primary care doc had to be. The rest was done between me and the dermatologist.
re: Suddenly... awful skin?!
By Veestyle Comments: 1, member since Thu Feb 26, 2015
On Thu Feb 26, 2015 10:23 PM
I know exactly how you feel I felt the same way because I had something pretty simular my exzema wasnt crazily bad but when it did get bad it got unbearable.

My doctor told me aloe Vera is really good for your skin and hair and that my immune system markers where to lo.

My friend gave me this Drink to try was a bit pricey when I looked at it but for what it does I know think uts way to cheap and you can get it free.

If this isnt a problem anymore no worries but if it is just message me your firstv Facebook name

ReplySendWatch