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Thread: Severe dryness and hypersensitivity, please help me

  1. #1
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    Default Severe dryness and hypersensitivity, please help me

    I have an unholy trinity of very very fragile pale skin, Sjogren's syndrome, and neurogenic rosacea. The result is rather extreme hyper-sensitivity and general agony. Severe dryness that presents as a sort of painful, dessicated tightness rather than flaking or scaliness; flushing; painful facial redness and swelling that changes the shape of my face; severe sensitivities to heat / cold / wind / sun; allergies to EVERYTHING. My face is so reactive I feel like I have no skin barrier. Lotion doesn't absorb, but sort of sits on top of my skin and gets progressively grubbier looking and more irritating as the day wears on. I am essentially allergic to the sun and am incapable of being outside in anything but 60-65 degree, non-windy, dark or completely clouded over weather. I can't wear a scarf or wear my hair down or let anything touch my face at all, really, because every touch steals precious moisture and the skin is so sensitive it feels like ripping a band-aid off a sunburn. I have to slather my face in huge gobs of vaseline and sleep on a silk pillowcase just to make it through the night.

    I've tried the usual 'sensitive skin' products- Eucerin, Vanicream, Cerave, Cetaphil, etc- they all burn. I don't know what I'm reacting to in them, but the only product lines I can use are the 'intolerance' products from Avene and EltaMD's sunscreen for people who've just had skin procedures done. Makeup is completely out of the question as even the most basic and 'hypoallergenic' products leave my eyes raw and swollen for days after. I'm in the midst of my first real Sjogren's flare, and that combined with the seasonal change has made my skin even more intolerable (which honestly I didn't know was even possible but here we are). I am genuinely afraid of what will happen when we turn the heating on in the next few weeks.

    I can't bear another 6 months of being so swollen I can't open my eyes all the way or recognize myself in the mirror. As much as I hate being trapped inside all the time, at least I can hide in the shade and air conditioning during the summer. There's no escape in the winter, it's back and forth between icy wind sandblasting my face and hot dry air roasting it. It feels like my entire face has been rug, sun, and wind-burned all at once and then sat in front of a fireplace for an entire day to dry out. It hurts to smile and open my eyes, and sometimes the swelling is so bad it's physically hard to do so.

    I will take whatever advice you can give me. Dermatologists have been extremely unhelpful, they hear 'rosacea' and start pushing the sulfur soaps and metronidazole. The last few have just sent me to their esthetician who has been equally baffled. I have also developed what appears to be erythromelalgia or some kind of neuropathy with intense flushing in hands and feet, don't know if that's common around here but no doctor has been helpful with that either. Please help me, I am SO MISERABLE.
    Last edited by Eclara; 3rd November 2016 at 10:56 AM.

  2. #2
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    Default Heh

    Hey I think I have the same issues with the dry skin, the only thing I can find that helps at all is baby oil or Vaseline! Any creams seem to just end up flaking and looking awful! I hope this may help slightly

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    OMG, poor person!!!! That sounds terrifying. Sounds like you know the skin basics - barrier and etc stuff already so that's good. Honestly, I don't have any amazing advice.. Maybe try oils? You could ask for advice on skincareaddiction on reddit or read articles from justaboutskin.com - it's an amazing blog which has helped me a bunch.
    It's terrible that doctors aren't helpful for you! Is there really no one who would understand you?
    I hope someone more experienced can find this thread and help you
    I hope you get better!

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    Thank you for the replies and well wishes!

    Oils seem to sink in a little better but it also seems like I retain significantly less moisture with them. I generally leave either sea buckthorn or sweet almond oil on my face to absorb during a shower and then use lotion afterwards to counteract the drying effect.

    Vaseline / Aquaphor do work nicely for me (on top of lotion) but I can't exactly go to work with a shiny, sticky face!

  5. #5
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    Have you tried going on a low histamine diet ? One of the reasons for your problems can be histamine intolerance. Please, research it. You can also read about it on the Chris Kresser blog ( ChrisKresser.com).

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    Yeah, oils don't hold on moisture in so good, because most of them aren't that good of occlusives. Vaseline stops trans epidermal water loss by about 99% or so, that's why it helps you. It's the best occlusive. Other occlusives that I know of: shea butter and mineral oil but, yeah, both of them have the same problem with greasiness. Maybe you can put powder on top or something? Sorry, I'm no make up pro!

  7. #7
    Senior Member nat007's Avatar
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    Thank you for your elaborate post Eclara, what misery it all is! I can relate to many things you wrote, am in the same boat. Winter is even worse than summer for me too, indeed; summer has shade and airconditioning, but winter has cold rough weather outside and unbearable central heating and huge temperature differences inside. I'm flushing badly in a crowded and overheated train while writing this, it's not even winter yet :/


    Not sure this might help you, but what I have been doing so far is taking medication to control the facial flushing a bit. I also have a humidifier in the house and try to keep indoor air humid, say 60-70%. Not too humid because that can put pressure on the blood vessels I found and cause some flushing too, but my super thin and dry skin cannot even tolerate the mildest creams so I resort to controlling the air humidity instead, when at home..

    In terms of moisturizer, I can use jojoba oil around my eyes and mouth. Cheeks are a nightmare and burn and flare even from jojoba oil, so I leave them alone, but for the rest of the face, a drop of it mixed with water is very mild and comes closest to the skins own sebum substance. Maybe you can tolerate it.

    When I get overheated I also use a small fan, the air circulation is very soothing for my nerve pain and burning, and brings a flush down far more quickly for me.

    My hands are red and swollen in winter, been diagnosed with Raynauds syndrome.

    I get the chemical sensitivities too, even sitting next to someone who wears perfume causes a flare up. It's absolutely miserable, to have so many triggers, basically, sun, snow, summer, winter, and then some more. I just try to avoid my worst triggers and go out and do things that give me joy and satisfaction on my good days, and with friends who are willing to avoid bright sun or blaring central heating for me.. I hope you can find more relief soon.
    Uses: 22,5 mg mirtazapine, clonidine and propranolol, Xyzal at times.
    Diet: trying low sugar, no gluten and dairy, high protein diet.
    Link to my rosacea blog:http://scarletnat.blogspot.com

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    hello, any updates on your skin? i am currently dealing with the same symptoms

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    Quote Originally Posted by Trann104 View Post
    hello, any updates on your skin? i am currently dealing with the same symptoms
    I have the same issues with rosacea and Seborrhoeic Dermatitis.
    Plus tremors and stomach and bowel problems.
    How the hell are you supposed to treat this when your skin can’t tolerate things .

    simple water boost micellar gel wash
    And Cerave wash is all I can use but still looking for a new moisturiser other than oil of Olay sensitive.
    I have to wash hands simple water boost micellar gel wash hands and body with epimax
    Last edited by Rubydo1; 29th June 2019 at 11:04 AM.

  10. #10
    Senior Member Brady Barrows's Avatar
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    Trann104 and Rubydo1 have dug up an old thread. Here is one that is a bit more recent. While there are complaints of dry skin issues, I searched through ten pages of results using 'dry skin' as the search key words using the search box top right corner in my browser and found no other threads with that title. Many suffer from oily skin and complain about that. One moisturizer that keeps coming up over the years that seems to work for some is Rose Hip Oil.
    Brady Barrows
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