I Should Be Happy. But…

This week has been an emotional one for me, and not in a good way.

When I sit back and take stock of all the exciting things that are going on around me, spend time with my man and watch my 3 perfect blessings run around I KNOW that I am in a good place and that we are so very blessed to be in the space that we are in.  There’s no need to list it, but I know I have over a thousand things to be so very thankful for.  Actually tens of thousands of things.  Or more.

But I sit there and still spontaneously want to burst into tears. I avoid looking people in the eye.  I basically hide if you are a new person that I haven’t met before.  My confidence is at an all time low.

The truth of it all, after not so much reflection but rather a relisation that every time I look in the mirror I want to cry – is that it is all due to the rash that has taken over my face.

I’ve mentioned before that I have bad skin (which is why I cut out all dairy and grain from my diet for the last 6 weeks).  I know that to many people, the term “bad skin” just means some acne that doesn’t go away.  In my case it includes that, but I also apparently have “dermatitis” (I had to call the dermie that diagnosed me with it over a year ago but only succeeded in prescribing me creams that clearly just made it worse).  Basically it’s a rash that affects 1 in 100 women in the age range of 20 – 45.  It’s defined by red lumpy blotches all over my face that often include small white pimples that are clustered closely together.  It’s sometimes itchy and if I touch it there is a small amount of pain.  Even wearing concealer AND foundation only just covers up the harshness of the redness, but despite it, it’s still so clearly visible.  I’d show you a picture, but then I would have to kill you – the link that I put in there has some examples, except mine is quite evenly spread all over my face, with the cheeks being the worst off.

This has brought me to a place where I refuse to leave the house without make up – which means that my morning routine is at least 15 minutes longer, I enforce the deleting of any and all pictures containing my face, I keep my hair down and around my face in a poor attempt to hide it and just generally feeling hideous and miserable all the time.

When it was at it’s all time worst over the holidays Seth was so supportive and comforting.  At lease it reassured me that he really does love me for more than what I look like.  The other men in my life have kind of glossed over it, saying that yes it’s there and it sucks, but maybe it’s time to just accept it and move on.  Am I so terribly superficial in not being able to move past this?  Am I making too big of a deal about nothing?  

Feeling like this and not being able to just snap out of it is making me feel weak and even more depressed.  I just can’t seem to get out of this slump.  No matter how hard I try and forget about it I still seem to see my face everywhere and get another reminder of how bad it is.

I have been vigilant with my diet over the last 6 weeks, hardly any cheats (really) and I just feel like I am doing this all for nothing.  Denying myself the things that I want to eat, losing weight that I didn’t really want to lose, not feeling free to do what I want to do when I want to do it – all of it has been tough.  And then for it to not even make any difference to anything is just so frustrating.

I have tried all the natural routes that I can think of, but now actually Googling the condition and not just leaving with a random name of a condition from the dermatologist office has made me realise that there really is no other option.  I’ve had to make another appointment with the dermie which is on Friday – where he will hopefully just give me the meds and things that I need to clear this up.

Random question – most of you reading out there would be between the ages of 20 – 45, have any of you had to suffer with this condition as well?  Or are they making up that 1 in 100 statistic?


28 thoughts on “I Should Be Happy. But…

  1. I have “never” had perfect skin as far as I can remember, acne at school, which seemed to get much better after school. I however do have red blotchy patches, sometimes raised bumps, that are sometimes itchy and painful, and from wearing foundation + powder (I’m assuming) I also get small white pimples sometimes. I lived in London for 7 years, and it was not nearly as bad there as it is in South Africa. I NEVER leave the house without make up on (maybe without mascara, but I usually use that to attract attention away from my skin and to my eyes instead). I have found my skin seems worse after having my 2 little ones. I have cut out almost all grains, sugar and most dairy for about 4 weeks now, hoping it will help, altho I dont think it has, and isnt helping that that means no chocolates 😦 I dont know if it is dermatitis, and I always think it might help if I stopped using make up, but then I would have to lock myself in the toilet and never come out. So you are not alone… I do think that I think it is alot worse than it really is, and honestly I have never looked at photos of you on your blog and thought that you have bad skin.

  2. Go for prayer and healing Cindy. God is obviously trying to tell you to use this opportunity to come to Him as He is the great Healer and then you can testify about His goodness. Trust in the Lord with all you heart and lean not to your own understanding. Use vinegar or tea tree oil to wash your face daily/twice a day. Your hair over your face will just be another source of infection. Stand tall and upright our Lord knows your desires and needs and His promise is to grant it to you. Fast and pray for 3 days and you will see that when you call upon our Lord He will not turn away. Touch the hem of His garment and gather people to pray with you.I will tooBlessings and loveJoye

    Date: Thu, 27 Feb 2014 05:45:17 +0000 To: joyejanari@hotmail.com

  3. Oh gosh I don’t even know what to say. I have been fortunate to have always had clear skin, with the odd pimple every few months, so I really can’t imagine what this must be like for you. With anything in life there is nothing worse than making sacrifices (like chocolate) and not getting any results. I think depending on how the appt goes this Friday, it might be worth getting a second opinion – if for nothing other than peace of mind. I am not one to simply accept “there is nothing we can do” from medical professionals. IN the mean time, perhaps consider a visit to a GP or psychiatrist to discuss something that can help you lift yourself out of this slump you are temporarily in. Whatever ends up happening or not happening, I really hope you manage to reach a place of self love and acceptance xxx

  4. Oh Cindy, honey, I feel you totally!
    In my late teens & early twenties, I battled with horrendous adult acne and like you, I’m not just referring to a few pimples, I’m talking about pimples and carbunkles and cysts so large they would fuse together and were angry red and purple, not to mention exceptionally painful, I couldn’t even lie with my face on my pillow it hurt so much and I looked UGLY! I hid away from the world and when I was forced out, I only ever left home with a few ton layers of make up on my face, which of course only aggravates the skin condition. In the end it took a bunch of medication and 3x very painful chemical peals to clear it up. When I suffered with dermatitis on my neck. Which after many months of trial and error, I discovered it was the skin products I was using. Then I got divorced and the stress of the divorce caused me to develop eczema, all over my face and body.
    So I totally understand where you’re coming from, I totally understand why this makes you feel ugly and want to hide your face from the world.
    The irony is, now in my 40’s I have amazing skin (if not slightly lined) but I do know and understand the massive impact it has on ones confidence and how you feel about yourself.
    I hope your dermie can suggested a workable solution for you, also, as a trained skin care therapist myself, perhaps it’s worth looking into a series of cosmetic peels or laser to see if that doesn’t help?

  5. So, I have a lady here at work who has trouble with her skin and eczema and she found something that works for her. It is going to sound like I am selling the stuff, but maybe go to the website first and have a look at the different products available. All of the products are herbal and she says she could see the difference in the first week. The site is http://www.herbalife.co.za/

    On a separate note, I am drinking tea for weight loss and I have lost 3 kgs in 3 weeks, and I am feeling great. But go to the site and have a look, they have a lot of other products too and maybe by calling a consultant they can help you in the right direction? Btw, this is just my view, each person is different, but I know what it is like to have bad skin and can totally relate to how you feel.

  6. I really feel for you – I have never suffered like you and unfortunately us women are so aware of how we look that we suffer. I do have acne and have bad skin – cysts are quite common on my face, and now I have wrinkles too. I don’t wear make up much because my eyes are now allergic to everything, but with my age, I know I just have to get on with things. Just try to remember that with strangers, you are just seen and immediately forgotten – friends and family are more accepting and most men don’t really notice too much especially when you have gorgeous hair, figure and face! You are Beautiful. 🙂

  7. Hi Cindy. I’m a skincare consultant, and let me assure you that there are PLENTY women who suffer from apparent skin conditions, disorders and diseases. Not all are necessarily diagnosed as “dermatitis”, but it doesn’t have to be “dermatitis” for us to feel less than okay about ourselves and hide under makeup, our hair and underground. If you’ve cut common allergens out of your diet and it hasn’t made an improvement, then I think it’s safe to include it in your diet, unless you’ve experienced other benefits while being off of it. With regards to dairy, I only know of a link between cow’s milk and acne, and since you haven’t been diagnosed with acne, I don’t see the problem with having some milk in your tea or coffee. Also, to your readers who think “bad skin” means some acne that doesn’t go away: acne CAN be treated, and it doesn’t always have to involve tons of long-term oral antibiotics. I had stage 3 acne for a couple of years that has cleared without the use of oral antibiotics, roaccutane and whatever other common prescription meds people are given for acne. I have yet to see a dermatologist in this lifetime.
    When you went to the dermatologist before, did s/he tell you what kind of dermatitis you have?
    @amberdaddymummy: The foundation and powder you’re using MAY cause that kind of irritation, but it shouldn’t and you should then stop using it and try a different formulation or brand.
    We all have sensitive skin (at some point), and why wouldn’t we if we keep using products with ingredients that cause irritation and inflammation.

  8. Cindy, when I was at school I had really bad dermatitis. I went on the pill, didn’t work. I used creams, didn’t work. I was a patient at Groote Schuur hospital for a looooooong time. Then my mom took me to a private dermatologist in Claremont who finally prescribed me Roacutane. It is a vicious medication which lasts for 6 months. It thins your skin so no sun and can have lots of side effects. BUT I remember waking up one morning and my whole face was white. It looked like I had a thin layer of cream on my face. Turns out it was all the pimples coming out. It basically closes your pores from the bottom to push impurities out. I was on it in grade 11 and I acne on my face cheats and back. I now only get one pimple on my face once ever 2-3 months or more. I would recommend it! I’m acne free for 10 years now because of it. Just be prepared for dry lips. I know it sounds extreame but when you feel the way you do it’s totally worth it!!

  9. @ Elana, I am thinking it might be hormonal, I have tried many different brands of make up? Also maybe to do with climate, as wasnt nearly as bad in the UK. Thanks though.
    @ Judy, I have heard stories about how roacutane has helped people, and seen amazing results too, however my cousin used it, and now has lovely skin, but had terrible aches and pains in her body for months, and isnt nearly as fit as she used to be due to this.
    @ Cindy, shame hun I feel for you, but maybe dairy has nothing to do with it…. go buy youraelf some chocolate and icecream and hopefully you will feel a bit better : )

    • Climate wouldn’t cause such issues for a long period of time, unless your skin care routine is inadequate. Maybe you should look at your skin care routine. It could very well be hormonal, but there’s also many other things in your daily routine to consider before going the hormonal route. If you wear makeup everyday, you need to make sure your makeup application procedures are hygienic and clean your makeup tools weekly, if not daily. It makes a huge difference.

  10. gosh Cindy I would never have guessed, all the pictures I’ve seen of you are so stunning. I have very bad skin but I have learnt that what I see in the mirror is worse than what others see. Please don’t think this sounds dramatic but I think it would be helpful to address the depression on its own. I recently tried out short term prescription anxiety meds and its done the world of good for me.

  11. Hi Cindy, I think seeing a dermatologist is the right thing to do. I had something similar just around my mouth (maybe not as severe as yours but I still hated it). I tried the same diet as you and lots of natural skin care products but nothing worked at all. Eventually I went and saw a dermatologist (who chuckled at my all my hectic dieting)he prescribed me 3 weeks of antibiotics which I thought was a bit extreme (what if I became immune and then caught swine flu or something!) but it was so easy and it worked. I wished I had just gone to him sooner.He also suggested a gentle face wash called cetaphil which I still use. Good luck, hopefully science and a trained medical professional can get rid of it for good.

  12. Cindy, I know EXACTLY how you feel. I don’t know if you read any of my posts on my skin.. anyway, I am on month 4 of oral medication (Tetralysal) and a topical ointment called Isotrex (which I stopped using after month 1 because it was drying my skin out to the point where it was peeling). My skin has improved SO much.. except for the scaring which I don’t know if I’ll ever get rid of.. perhaps I’ll opt for a chemical peel a few months after I come off the medication (this is my last month on the Tetralysal). But it has made a huge difference in my confidence levels and not having to cake on the foundation every single day. Having bad skin is almost debilitating. I never had bad skin growing up and getting acne in my thirties was seriously a knock for me – so I do know how you feel skattie. I do hope that you find something that will work.
    Can I just say that you always look lovely on the photos I have seen of you!

  13. I’m so sorry, Cindy. I don’t have skin problems so I can’t offer much help. Except to say that you need to do whatever you need to do to make you happy. If it means peels or laser or whatever, then do it. If it means using creams or medication then do it.
    I will pray for you.

  14. Unfortunately I don’t have any suggestions but I agree with Julia – do whatever you need to do to sort it out and feel happy again. It’s not superficial to care about our appearance and feel confident in our bodies. Hope your dermatologist sorts it out for you

  15. Cindy sorry to hear you feeling like this… I can relate though although you won’t believe me but many times I have had this same feeling of looking in the mirror and even foundation does nothing! I have suffered with bad skin since preteens. I was put on the pill and androcure at 14 then throughout my teenage years suffered with bad skin on my face and back. Took tons of antibiotics, topical creams and changed diets but nothing worked. My dermatologist said it would settle in my 20’s but at 21 working as a receptionist having to be the “face” of the company I could no longer continue… I would not go to work some days because it was that bad. I was then prescribed with a high dose of 6 months worth of roaccutane (over the holiday period) I became a vampire, it was the worst 6 months of my life but worth it in the end I guess. The blanket of pimples that invaded my face and back were starting to disappear … at a cost though, now I suffer with dry skin and cracked lips… I find though that when I am pregnant my skin clears, not a single pimple but as soon as baby is born wham back to pimple town. I still at almost 30 have breakouts occasionally but my struggle now is the big hard red odd pimples that come up and last for two weeks. They usually dont progress to a white pimple just stay hard and sore, very painful and impossible to cover up. I still get depressed when this happens and it does change the way I feel and confidence… it makes me so upset that a woman at my age still has to deal with these issues. I haven’t read all the comments above but go and do what ever you can to make yourself feel better. I think in time it will settle but again that is not very helpful I know. One thing I did notice before I had kids was when I was exercising like a machine it did help my skin improve…Good luck my friend, thinking and praying for you, I know it’s so tough to have to endure this skin condition. If it makes you feel any better I honestly never notice your skin unless you tell me or point it out, I am always so envious of how beautiful you are ALL the time and how photogenic you are. Hugs and kisses sweet friend! One day we will have new bodies 😉

  16. go sit in the sunshine, its supposed to help with acne.
    be kind to someone less fortunate.
    take your mind off youself. I promise it works.
    My acne is all down my neck, Im 36 years old. Wear lots of foundation etc.

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