Should You See a Dermatologist for Sensitive Skin?

I have a skin condition called contact dermatitis. Which is really a broad term that can look like a lot of different things but at the end of the day, it is always just ANGRY skin. Here’s my story…

Three and a half years ago I got married and moved in to a crappy apartment that was built in the 60’s – My guess is that that’s the last time the place had decent water. Anyways, my skin started reacting after a few months and very slowly continued on a downward spiral: Little bumpies on my forehead, followed by dry skin, followed by a dull complexion, followed by VERY dry skin, followed by the occasional breakout, followed by flakey breaking-out skin. UUUHHHGGG.

But guess what, I didn’t blame the water… nor the intense heat that was uncontrolably cranked through our unit 9 months out of the year. Instead I blamed my Smash Box foundation. But going back to my old reliable foundation by Kat Von D gave me no relief. So then I switched my face wash because, DUH, it MUST be my face wash. Sadly, My skin just got dryer. And from that point on, my laundry list of suspicious products grew, and for every product I threw out, I would splurged on just oooonnnne laaast expensive hail mary product to cure my skin. And the cycle continued.

Fast forward a year and my skin was MAD. Like, past the point of reasoning with it. It just. kept. on. screaming.

i.e. red/dry/itchy/burning/stinging/flaking/patchy/crusty/YUCK!

Looking back, this is where I wish I would have been able to have someone compassionately slap me upside the head and tell me: Like seriously dude, put down the essential oils. Return the overpriced/over-hyped bottle of organic, all-natural lotion. You are only bothering your skin with every new product.

Instead, just recently, I spent three hours (most of it in a waiting room) and $150 on a dermatologist appointment to get this advice:

There are two types of bad skin; The skin of those who don’t do enough to take care of themselves, and the skin of those who do too much.

I am the latter.

In other words, I started out with a minor skin irritation (most likely from my apartment’s nasty-nast water and unbearable winter heat) and worked it into a full blown, face-wide skin rash.

The dermatologist dumbed-down contact dermatitis and it has since revolutionized how I think of my skin condition and how I treat it:

Think of an open wound. You wouldn’t put anything on the wound that would not help it to heal. That includes even most organic and natural products. For instance, could you imagine slathering an open wound with concentrated essential oils? Or covering it with organic mineral foundation? I hope you say no. You wouldn’t even necessarily wash it multiple times a day. That’s because you understand that less is more, and time (not hard work) heals all wounds.

My dermatologist told me that my skin was so dry that he wouldn’t be surprised if even just water irritated it. (I’m sorry skin, you deserve so much better.) But I looked at the dermatologist and told him that I was so afraid to put anything on my face for moisturizer other than tallow balm.

This is what he suggested I use topically for drastic moisture repair:

Cold-pressed Grapeseed Oil.

– Contains linoliec acid which helps to rebuild the protective barrier

Un-Petroleum Jelly

– locks in moisture and protects from the elements

 

This is what the dermatologist recommended I take internally:

Flaxseed Oil

– Has the highest linolenic content of any food

1 teaspoon twice daily, then 2 teaspoons twice daily after a week

(I apparently learned nothing and jumped right into 4 teaspoons a day which gave me one really good bout of intense nausea)

I have to say that I LOVE the results of the flax seed oil and can notice a huge difference in not just the moisture level of my skin, but also my overall physical health.

Now don’t get me wrong, I am a giant skeptic of super food fads. If there’s a Pinterest board for it, I’m avoiding it. The apple cider vinegar was perhaps the worst “superfood” that I fell for and it seriously did more harm than good! (once again, I’m sure I didn’t not use it in moderation, but still…).

Back to the good stuff – I currently use the calories from my flaxseed oil (130) and my coffee with flaxseed milk (60) as my breakfast. This satiates me with fat, softens the effect of my coffee by keeping me energized without crashing, and helped me shed the last of my post pregnancy pounds, hello! 🙂

I now have skin that feels so much better – It doesn’t flake, barely itches, and I can still wear makeup. I have a ways to go until I can call my skin “normal”, but for the first time in years, I’m getting somewhere!

So there you have it. I hope this helps to grow your glow!

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