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Thread: New member with pictures...

  1. #1
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    Default New member with pictures...

    Hello fellow members,

    I am a long time reader but first time poster here, but hoping to be adding to your discussions (with my experiences) where I can.

    First of all, I will start with some background information / stats about me;

    ....................Age: 27 (born 1984)
    ...............Weight: 65kg (around 145lb)
    ................Height: 175-180cm (around 5' 10")
    Condition Started: Late 2008 (approximately)
    .............Location: Australia (east coast)
    ......Diagnosed as: Rosacea and/or seborrheic dermatitis (by two separate dermatologists)
    ..........Symptoms: Red skin, dry skin, flaking and itchiness
    ........Antagonists: The biggest thing to make my face break out is too much water, this will almost always cause my face to go red and then turn very dry and flaky (so, basically after a shower every night).


    My story;

    I am an athletic, relatively young male that has always enjoyed being outdoors riding my bike, walking, doing photography and working on my car. My job (since early 2003) is computer based in an air-conditioned office doing a 38 hour week.
    In late 2008 I developed a bad cold / flu and was unable to attend work for a two week period. In this time my energy was extremely low and I was unable to spend more than about an hour out of bed before I would have to rest.
    Now it is only from my memory, as I've been dealing with this for a while (although not as long as some on these forums thankfully), that my problems started during or shortly after this period of illness.
    I am not sure if being so badly sick had knocked my immune system down which let something take hold of my face, but something changed... It all started with a slightly red face which I didn't think much about, which then became itchy and would start to flake.
    I figured it was something that would pass, and just applied moisturiser to the areas of my face which were flaking and called it a day. But it would not be this easy, rapidly it became worse and leveled out to where it has stayed (again, thankfully) for the last few years.

    So, I have good days and bad days. It probably flares up to a point that I am not confident enough to go and see friends or go outside around three times per year (read: this is the most extreme state where my face becomes slightly swollen and super red), and lasts for 3-5 days.
    After this time my face is usually fairly manageable with moisturiser (I use a brand called Cetaphil here in Australia) for the dryness and flaking at least. The redness never really goes away completely, but some days people comment on how 'good' my face looks.

    I began seeing the doctors in 2009 because I figured it was probably something easy to fix (and we don't pay for doctor visits in Australia, so why not?), and as our good doctors do, they started to prescribe me drugs and creams.
    Initially I was confident, thinking that they knew what they were talking about and that I would be fixed. Unfortunately this was not the case, I have used several creams like Hydrozole etc which would help the redness and itchiness, but I feel as though my face continued to deteriorate.
    It was not until early 2011 that I told the doctor that they were not helping me and that I wanted a referral to a dermatologist, which they happily did.

    After seeing the first dermatologist I was extremely frustrated, depressed, sad, etc. The consultation lasted all of ten minutes, in which he looked at my face for less than one minute and just said "It looks like rosacea or seborrheic dermatitis, there's nothing you can do about it."
    I paid my ~$300 bill and was sent on my way... really helpful.

    This left me feeling extremely low and I stopped seeing friends and didn't want to leave the house for a long time, I would just work and do nothing else. Slowly I regained a bit of confidence and decided to see my doctor again and get another referral.

    The second dermatologist I saw was better than the first, my consultation lasted maybe 20 minutes this time, but unfortunately the results were exactly the same, "I think you have rosacea, all you can do is manage it with moisuriser and wear a sunscreen containing zinc (or similar metal sounding additives) to protect yourself."

    Fast forward to today, I am at the stage where I want to share my story and get some ideas from other people on these forums, because quite frankly, specialists don't seem to be able to help or even offer advice as to what the causes are for this condition.
    I have no medical expertise, I am not a doctor, but I feel level headed enough to know that when my body starts doing something strange, it's more than likely reacting to something that it knows is 'wrong'. I feel this is the case with the issues I have been experiencing with my face for the past few years.

    After doing a lot of reading and research, I came across Brady Barrows and his theory on demodex mites and now they can interact with the face... boy was I surprised. I began looking more and more into this, and I feel very strongly that this could be what I am having issues with.
    I have several of the symptoms, including; redness of the face, itchiness, flaking and the biggest hint for me was the dry skin at the base of the eyelashes. I get the 'crawling' feeling of an evening which causes me to scratch if I am not consciously telling myself not to.
    It's definitely worse in the evening before bed, which also makes me lean towards demodex infestation.

    I have attached some images showing the overview of my face and some extreme close ups (taken with my MP-E65mm macro lens on my Canon 5Dmk2 camera) to get some feedback from you and see if you think demodex mites could be my issue.

    In the overview image, you can see my face is not too bad at the moment, but believe me, it can break out like an inmate in a poorly built prison on the set of a Hollywood movie. In the overview, you might notice the dry flaky skin on my eyelids and you can see the dry skin in my eyelashes.
    Image 1 shows an extreme close up of the bridge of my nose between my eyebrows. Are those buildups of yellow / pussy looking gunk in my pores normal?
    Image 2 shows the area of skin just below my eye and next to my nose, I've never noticed these 'bumps' before I got curious and took some close up macro photos of my face. What are these? I can also see some red veins in the image which I cannot see just looking in the mirror (thankfully!).
    Image 3 shows the upper lip on the right hand side of my face, you can see some flaking and redness here.

    The remaining image is the close up of my lower eyelash, you can clearly see clumps of yellow material and it appears as though I have some thinning of the eyelash here? What do you think?

    2012-01-08_overview.jpg 2012-01-08_image_1.jpg 2012-01-08_image_2.jpg 2012-01-08_image_3.jpg 2012-01-08_lower_eyelash.jpg

    edit: One quick addition, I also get dry flaky skin in my hair around my temples and sideburns, could this be related to my face condition?

    I have ordered some ZZ Ointment, but I would like to get some feedback before it arrives and I start using it.

    I am really interested to hear what you have to say about my condition and the images.

    I am more than happy to be a guinea pig and continue posting images and results (as I've had no lasting effects yet with a plethora of products used over the last ~3 years from 2008-2011) if people would like that.

    Do you think I should give the ZZ Ointment a shot? I am not worried about the face drying out like a lot of people say happens for the first two or so weeks of using this product, I've seen it all before on my face, hehe :-P

    Sorry for the long initial post, looking forward to hearing from some of you!


    Ben
    Last edited by m0rph; 8th January 2012 at 12:09 AM.

  2. #2
    Senior Member Ghost's Avatar
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    Hi Ben!

    You're in the land of tea tree oil (I buy thursday's plantation brand from australia way up here in new york). TTO is very effective against demodex. I do a solution I learned about while going through posts at earthclinic.com (look under "ailments";"rosacea"). My solution is borax, hydrogen peroxide and tea tree oil. You can read what I do by following the instructions in my signature (to go to my About Me page).

    If you were ill and then found you had rosacea, I don't find that far-fetched. Demodex mites are parasites and parasites are opportunistic. And they're hard to get rid of. But you can do it.

    People have had luck with ZZ cream. I haven't used it. I use the above described home-made solution, diet (as you'll read about in my file: it's pretty much "low carb", a modified paleo) and the judicious use of ivermectin (something that rids farm animals of mites. I can buy it easily here; I imagine it's available in Australia from farm stores).

    "Easy Peasy"!

    Good luck.

    G
    "It's all illusion anyway."

  3. #3
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    Thanks for the reply Ghost!

    I know of the Thursday's Plantation brand quite well, I use their Eucalyptus Oil sometimes when washing my bedding to help kill off any bugs. =)
    I haven't yet been brave enough to try TTO on my face (especially near my eyes, it freaks me out), which is odd, as in the past I've resorted to using rubbing alcohol directly on my face which is a big no-no, hehe

    There is one other thing I have noticed which leans me towards thinking this could be the demodex mites -- I get headaches fairly regularly, and the headache medication I take contains an antihistamine (doxylamine succinate). I might resort to this medication once or twice per week for my headaches, and I always notice after a few hours of taking it that my face calms right down. I had always wondered "Why exactly does this happen?", but it wasn't until reading about demodex mites that I figured -- if there is a bug on my face pumping out toxins, my body would be releasing histamines to try and fight it off... which further annoys the bug, and the cycle continues. The antihistamine would be blocking the histamine production, which calms the redness, keeps the bugs happy and I live in a land of "Hey, the drugs work, better keep using them!", without understanding the actual cause of my issue. I don't really know if I am on the right track here, but again, the level headed approach seems logical! =)

    I feel positive so far that it could be the demodex mites causing this, and as you said, maybe that period of illness was enough to let them take hold. Once they did, perhaps my immune system just can't cope with them?

    As I feel that you may be agreeing that there is a possibility of this being demodex, I will begin the ZZ ointment as soon as it arrives and stick it out for three months and see what happens.

    I will take pictures on a daily basis of my progress, hopefully that might help others.

    It was good to hear from you, thanks again!


    Ben

  4. #4
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    Ben, your story sounds identical to mine. I developed Rosacea (or what looks like it) soon after getting sick in Jan. 2011. If fact before that point, I never had any symptoms of flushing, and had perfect looking skin. My skin now is dry, itchy and in addition to flushing, I develop some small pimples that feel like bug bites. I too think my cause is the result of a demodex mite infestation.

    I purchased zz cream a few months and have noticed some improvements. I applied the cream only at night. I did have some points where my face got worse but I assume that this is the die of effects. My skin today appears lighter in color and the pimples that I get appear are smaller than before. I am just trying to be patient and not get too stress over it.

    In addition to this, I read Ghost's profile, and then purchased Borax and 3% peroxide.I mixed a few ounces of peroxide and a pinch of Borax, and put it on my face quite liberally. Last night I lathered my face with borax and peroxide, and then put some zz cream on top, and went to bed.

    I am trying to watch my diet too. I have been growing kefir at home, and drinking it daily.

    I believe you are on the right path,
    Good Luck;
    Lesley

  5. #5
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    Hello Lesley,

    It's both good and sad to hear your story, but comforting that somebody else has had a similar experience to myself! =)

    I am very keen to start trying the ZZ ointment, just waiting on it's arrival. If I have no luck there, I will move over to trying tea tree oil and Ghost's regime.

    I have had a break-out this morning which started with intense itching/burning at around 6am, when I woke an hour later my cheeks were very red. In some ways this is a good example to show, as my earlier images didn't look all that bad.

    IMG_1288.jpg

    Thanks.


    Ben

  6. #6
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    Ben, I hope you see good results with the zz cream. I am just starting this regime but my skin is so much better today then a few months ago, and the other day someone complimented me on my skin which was nice. I am not sure if it is the zz cream or the borax/peroxide combo but something is working.

    I am not too positive what skin condition I have, but I am seeing improvements so it doesn't really matter. I would recommend reading the earth clinic website, and type in Demodex Rosacea, and they will give you more information on borax/peroxide remedy that has been helping me.

  7. #7
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    What an interesting morning I've had today...

    I am on my last few days of my holidays and wanted to see if or how I could go about seeking somebody to do a microscope test to check for the presence of demodex mites on my face. I have had a bad week of ups and downs with my mental state due to my red face -- some days really depressed and down, other days happy and positive, thinking I might be able to solve this finally after discovering the theory on demodex mites. I really just wanted to know for sure if I had these things on me or not -- I did not want to do a 'blind trial' on the ZZ ointment/cream or other methods without some sound reasoning, or at the least, to ease my mind.

    My first mistake was phoning the local doctors office and asking if they had access to a microscope for a simple skin scrape test, the counter staff were (as usual) very unhelpful and just told me to come and see the doctor.
    Against my better judgment, I did, and tried to offer the suggestion to my doctor of demodex mites being a possible cause for my issues. He was (again, as usual) fairly skeptical but reluctantly referred me to a pathology lab to have tests done. Upon arriving at the pathology, they asked me if I had applied any creams or moisturisers to my face in the last three days, which I said I had. They then informed me that they cannot do any testing as they need to send away samples to be 'cultured to test for bacteria' -- I tried very politely to tell them that I just need a quick scraping to be viewed under a microscope to test for mites, but they would not listen and I left.

    I was feeling so desperate and sad, I just couldn't believe how difficult it is to get a little bit of help out of people, I calmed myself and started thinking... "Where can I get access to a microscope to do this simple test?"

    I came up with two options, one being that I contact the local University and see if their health sciences lab (or similar) would help me or even conduct some 'class based experiments' with their students, but this option seemed a bit too formal and I might have had to jump through hoops and wait to fit in with their schedule, which I did not want to do.
    The second option, and this will sound odd, I know... I contacted the local Veterinary clinic (yes, the kind that treats our pets)... but don't laugh just yet! =)

    They seemed a little reluctant over the phone, and told me that they would talk to the Vet and call me back. Instead of waiting, I drove there (they are local to my house) and saw them at the counter. They were very polite and said that due to their Veterinary license they can't really conduct any tests on humans etc. But I wasn't ready to leave, so I asked if it would be a possibility of me doing the scraping myself, and the Vet have a look under the microscope for me. A few moments later the counter staff returned and said "The Vet will see you in a few minutes." with a smile on their face. I wasn't sure what to expect, if the Vet was just going to explain to me again that they just can't help or what... so I waited five minutes and then the Vet came and saw me. We talked for about 10-15 minutes and they were SO receptive to me and what I had to say, it was great. They finally agreed that if I did the skin scraping on myself and prepared the slide, they would take a look under the microscope.

    This was the BEST feeling ever, I couldn't believe that I had to go and see a Vet to get human help. Sounds stupid, right?

    They told me that in humans it's not necessary to take deep skin samples, and that a surface scraping would be enough to determine if there are demodex mites, and with that they gave me instructions to just squeeze a small area on my forehead to get some sebaceous fluids out, and take a small sample from that. I happily squeezed a small area of my forehead and scraped a sample for the slide. The Vet then applied a lubricating oil to the scraping and went to the microscope.

    The good news, from my scraping just the surface of the skin in an area less than 10mm x 10mm (a little under 1/2" x 1/2") we found over a dozen mites, mostly long but we found one short (thinking brevis here?).

    It is only now through this persistence and never giving up that I feel as though I might be on the right path with the ZZ ointment/cream or any other treatment for demodex mites. Before today, it was all theory and I was really nervous about trying anything while still somehow having to tell myself to try and be positive.

    So, onwards I march with the demodex mite theory and the trial of ZZ ointment/cream, which I am hoping arrives this week.

    Has anybody else resorted to such drastic measures to get some help before? I felt really strange asking a Veterinary clinic to help me, but I am so glad I did! I left them a nice donation (as they could not accept monetary exchange for their 'services') on the way out! =)
    For what it's worth, I am not recommending that you go and see your Veterinary clinic to have this done, just sharing my experience. I don't think it's good to use up their time like I did, but as I said, I was desperate and nobody else seemed to want to help me out.

    Feeling more positive now, I suggest that none of us ever give up!


    Ben
    Last edited by m0rph; 10th January 2012 at 03:33 AM.

  8. #8
    Senior Member Brady Barrows's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by m0rph View Post
    What an interesting morning I've had today...

    I am on my last few days of my holidays and wanted to see if or how I could go about seeking somebody to do a microscope test to check for the presence of demodex mites on my face. I have had a bad week of ups and downs with my mental state due to my red face -- some days really depressed and down, other days happy and positive, thinking I might be able to solve this finally after discovering the theory on demodex mites. I really just wanted to know for sure if I had these things on me or not -- I did not want to do a 'blind trial' on the ZZ ointment/cream or other methods without some sound reasoning, or at the least, to ease my mind.

    My first mistake was phoning the local doctors office and asking if they had access to a microscope for a simple skin scrape test, the counter staff were (as usual) very unhelpful and just told me to come and see the doctor.
    Against my better judgment, I did, and tried to offer the suggestion to my doctor of demodex mites being a possible cause for my issues. He was (again, as usual) fairly skeptical but reluctantly referred me to a pathology lab to have tests done. Upon arriving at the pathology, they asked me if I had applied any creams or moisturisers to my face in the last three days, which I said I had. They then informed me that they cannot do any testing as they need to send away samples to be 'cultured to test for bacteria' -- I tried very politely to tell them that I just need a quick scraping to be viewed under a microscope to test for mites, but they would not listen and I left.

    I was feeling so desperate and sad, I just couldn't believe how difficult it is to get a little bit of help out of people, I calmed myself and started thinking... "Where can I get access to a microscope to do this simple test?"

    I came up with two options, one being that I contact the local University and see if their health sciences lab (or similar) would help me or even conduct some 'class based experiments' with their students, but this option seemed a bit too formal and I might have had to jump through hoops and wait to fit in with their schedule, which I did not want to do.
    The second option, and this will sound odd, I know... I contacted the local Veterinary clinic (yes, the kind that treats our pets)... but don't laugh just yet! =)

    They seemed a little reluctant over the phone, and told me that they would talk to the Vet and call me back. Instead of waiting, I drove there (they are local to my house) and saw them at the counter. They were very polite and said that due to their Veterinary license they can't really conduct any tests on humans etc. But I wasn't ready to leave, so I asked if it would be a possibility of me doing the scraping myself, and the Vet have a look under the microscope for me. A few moments later the counter staff returned and said "The Vet will see you in a few minutes." with a smile on their face. I wasn't sure what to expect, if the Vet was just going to explain to me again that they just can't help or what... so I waited five minutes and then the Vet came and saw me. We talked for about 10-15 minutes and they were SO receptive to me and what I had to say, it was great. They finally agreed that if I did the skin scraping on myself and prepared the slide, they would take a look under the microscope.

    This was the BEST feeling ever, I couldn't believe that I had to go and see a Vet to get human help. Sounds stupid, right?

    They told me that in humans it's not necessary to take deep skin samples, and that a surface scraping would be enough to determine if there are demodex mites, and with that they gave me instructions to just squeeze a small area on my forehead to get some sebaceous fluids out, and take a small sample from that. I happily squeezed a small area of my forehead and scraped a sample for the slide. The Vet then applied a lubricating oil to the scraping and went to the microscope.

    The good news, from my scraping just the surface of the skin in an area less than 10mm x 10mm (a little under 1/2" x 1/2") we found over a dozen mites, mostly long but we found one short (thinking brevis here?).

    It is only now through this persistence and never giving up that I feel as though I might be on the right path with the ZZ ointment/cream or any other treatment for demodex mites. Before today, it was all theory and I was really nervous about trying anything while still somehow having to tell myself to try and be positive.

    So, onwards I march with the demodex mite theory and the trial of ZZ ointment/cream, which I am hoping arrives this week.

    Has anybody else resorted to such drastic measures to get some help before? I felt really strange asking a Veterinary clinic to help me, but I am so glad I did! I left them a nice donation (as they could not accept monetary exchange for their 'services') on the way out! =)
    For what it's worth, I am not recommending that you go and see your Veterinary clinic to have this done, just sharing my experience. I don't think it's good to use up their time like I did, but as I said, I was desperate and nobody else seemed to want to help me out.

    Feeling more positive now, I suggest that none of us ever give up!


    Ben
    Thanks Ben for your report. I have added it under the subheading, "Testing for Demodectic Rosacea," to my post on Demodectic Rosacea since it is so interesting. If more rosaceans would insist on getting a demodex density count we could eventually get more data on what percentage of rosacea cases are demodectic. Not all cases involve demodex, but a significant number of anecdotal reports show that demodectic rosacea needs to ruled out in a differential diagnosis of rosacea.
    Brady Barrows
    Blog - Join the RRDi



  9. #9
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    Hello Brady, it's really good to hear from you!

    If it wasn't for me stumbling across your site recently, I would probably have never heard about demodex mites, or at least not for a long time as it seems to be very taboo in Western medicine.

    I am happy to share my progress as I try this process of eliminating demodex mites, as I have suffered with this for some time and the thought of being able to help somebody else with my story is great!

    Currently I am waiting for my ZZ ointment/cream to arrive and will begin using that once per day before bed at night. In the meantime, I have some tea tree oil based face wash and hair shampoo to start using -- I don't know if that will have any effect, but it can't hurt.

    Thank you once again for all your work Brady!


    Ben

  10. #10
    Senior Member Ghost's Avatar
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    Ben, the same vet may be able to give you a compound of ivermectin and bland cream that you can apply to your skin before bedtime. The mites will start dying overnight.

    G
    "It's all illusion anyway."

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