I’ve never exactly been blessed with beautiful, supple, softer than a baby’s bottom skin, but even by my standards, my skin has been a nightmare recently. Since October 2019, I have been suffering from Atopic Dermatitis.
What Is Atopic Dermatitis?
Atopic Dermatitis is a skin condition, similar to eczema. It causes the skin to become dry, cracked, itchy and in some cases, spotty, ooze a fluid and form a yellow crust. Which is exactly what happened to me. Nice.
Let’s Go Back
Since I turned 12 or 13, I have pretty much always suffered from acne. I have tried ALL the lotions and potions and treatments that you can think of. This is probably where my toiletry obsession came from. NOTHING worked! So, off to the doctors I went and tried some different options with them. Nothing worked. Still, I remained spotty.
When I turned 17, the doctor put me on the pill I was blessed with the clear skin of my dreams. But alas, all dreams come to an end and I had to change pill due to being on it for so long. My skin didn’t go back to how it was before when I was a teen but I would still end up with spots more often than I would like 😔
I came off the pill completely in December 2014 to start trying for a baby. I was terrified that I was going to end with more spots than a dot to dot book. Thankfully, that wasn’t the case, but still, I never ventured outside without my trusty layer of make-up.
In the first half of 2018, during my pregnancy, I was one of those annoying woman that glowed (well, in my opinion anyway!!) I felt beautiful!
How Did It Start?
Everything was fine with my skin until November 2019. At first, I just got a few spots around my nose and chin. I wasn’t too concerned, I was used to breakouts.
But they didn’t stop there.
It carried on getting worse and worse and more painful so I went to the doctors feeling like a teenager again. I was told that I had infected acne. I was given some antibiotics and antibiotic cream and was told that it should clear up soon.
But it didn’t.
So I took matters into my own hands and started using my son’s steroid cream. I know that you’re not meant to use things that haven’t been prescribed for you. But my mental health was seriously suffering and it was the thing that worked on my skin.
How Does It Feel To Have Atopic Dermatitis?
It’s an extremely embarrassing problem to have and felt like I was 14 again. I thought that people would be staring at me and laughing, thinking that I didn’t take care of myself. I didn’t want to go out very much and I was just constantly worried about what people would think.
This condition is so painful I would do anything to make it better. It makes brushing your teeth difficult and washing your face was a painful nightmare. I always had to be careful with Little J in case he knocked it.
My skin definitely was clearing up using the steroid cream but you shouldn’t use them longterm as they thin the skin. So after my operation in February I decided to stop using the cream. I wouldn’t be going out anyway and I wanted to see what would happen to my skin.
This was the result after a week:
I was devastated. At this point, I still thought that it was acne, as that is what I was told by the doctor previously. Why wasn’t it clearing up?! What was this?!?!
I was honestly crying by that second picture just above. The skin was so sore and tight that it hurt to even talk. I know that it’s really superficial and shallow but I was so depressed. I felt like everyone was staring at me, thinking that I have some horrible disease or something.
Getting A Second Opinion
So, off I waddled to the docs (remember, I’d just had my operation, hence the waddling). The Doc was extremely sympathetic but didn’t have a clue what it was. I told her that I’d been using my son’s steroid cream so she gave me some more and booked me an urgent appointment with the dermatologist.
Except you know what urgent appointments are like. And this was just when coronavirus was making its appearance so I had to wait for 3 weeks before I had my appointment, which honestly felt like a lifetime.
It was a very quick appointment with the dermatologist – once it had finally come around. I was told it was Atopic Dermatitis and that it’s very common.
It’s not known what causes Atopic Dermatitis, but there are a number of factors that play into it:
- Allergens such as pollen, pet hair or peanuts
- Dry Skin
- Skin infections
- Soaps and detergents, including shampoo, washing-up liquid and bubble bath
- Food Allergies
- Hormone changes
I was told to wean off of the steroid cream and I was given a new cream and antibiotics. The doc also recommended some expensive face wash and moisturiser (well, more expensive than what I can afford currently) designed specifically for sensitive skin called Bioderma Sensibio.
I expected my skin to clear up quickly with the cream, antibiotics and Bioderma Sensibio but unfortunately, it was a slow process. I started the treatment on the 13th of March:
I had to use the cream daily for 4 weeks, then reduce to 3 times a week for 4 weeks.
And here it is today. I am thrilled!
Whilst doing my research for this post I discovered that Atopic Dermatitis is chronic and symptoms typically do come back. Fanbloodytastic.
To help keep the symptoms at bay I have been told that I must keep the skin moisturised at all times. I used to always suffer from very oily skin so the idea of using super hydrating skincare is a new one for me!
I know that this all seem very superficial, being so upset about my skin. But having suffered with acne when I was younger and then dealing with Atopic Dermatitis, I just felt like I could never catch a break with my skin.
One positive thing that has come out of this, however, is now I am so confident about my skin. I no longer feel like I have to wear makeup when I go out. I feel happy showing my bare face. So that’s pretty awesome.
*I just want to apologise for the atrocious pictures, I didn’t have the idea for this post when I was taking them!