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Thread: My Story + ZZ Cream question (with pics)

  1. #11
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    Default Tested for Demodex, only found one

    I saw Dr. Alan Dattner today, who is a holistic dermatologist in NY specializing in difficult to treat conditions including rosacea (thanks Ant for the recommendation!). I have also been suffering from IBS for 3-4 years and he diagnosed me with leaky gut. He also confirmed my prior diagnosis of candida overgrowth (yeast infection).

    He does applied kinesiology testing which is really amazing if you have never seen it. It is a test for sensitivities to any substance. He puts the substance against your gut using a high powered magnet and then tests your muscle strength; depending on whether your strength increases or decreases he will recommend removing the substance or adding it to your diet. He discovered that I have a gluten sensitivity and also a serious sensitivity to essential oils. He gave me a host of digestive supplements and tweaked my diet slightly (removed eggs, recommended only cooked vegetables for now, a couple other things). I have been doing a "gluten-lite" diet, but now I understand I have to go full on gluten free.

    His view is that we have to heal my gut before we can really expect the rosacea to improve.

    He also tested me for demodex and only found one demodex mite on his skin scrape. He said typically patients with demodex problems he will find at least 6 or 7, if not more. So he does not feel demodex are a problem for me. I'm not sure if the ZZ Cream knocked them out in only a week of use, or if they weren't a problem to begin with. Either way I cannot use the Tea Tree oil anymore because of my essential oil sensitivity. I'm not sure where this puts me for my demodex treatment.

    I feel encouraged that he was able to give me specific treatment recommendations as a result of these sensitivity tests, but also a little fatigued / frustrated from not seeing more progress in my rosacea or gut problems despite all my ongoing treatments.

  2. #12
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    Please keep going and remain positive, you've only been using ZZ Cream for 11 days, which isn't nearly long enough to test and give it a chance.

    My skin looked quite similar to yours in the first two pics of my thread - https://rosaceagroup.org/The_Rosacea...rate!-(w-pics).

    I would suggest reading it from start to end.

    For shampoo, you could try Demodex Solutions' DS Shampoo. I also have dry scalp, and have been using Denorex Extra Strength for 15 years or more.
    How I was cured from Demodectic / Demodex Rosacea (Types 1 & 2 & nearing 3), Seborrhoeic Dermatitis and Eczema

    Got a smartphone? Then please post a non-revealing pic of your face/skin to www.imgur.com, instead of using walls of text to describe it to us. It may be the best thing you've ever done!

  3. #13
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    Quote Originally Posted by RedRecluse View Post
    Please keep going and remain positive, you've only been using ZZ Cream for 11 days, which isn't nearly long enough to test and give it a chance.

    My skin looked quite similar to yours in the first two pics of my thread - https://rosaceagroup.org/The_Rosacea...rate!-(w-pics).

    I would suggest reading it from start to end.

    For shampoo, you could try Demodex Solutions' DS Shampoo. I also have dry scalp, and have been using Denorex Extra Strength for 15 years or more.
    Thank you RedRecluse. Wow your story is really amazing! Thanks for sharing. I am really happy for you! Hope I can follow in your footsteps...

    I also just tried Ant's recommendation of not putting your face under shower tap water and my face feels much better tonight. I have a water ionizer for drinking water that produces acidic runoff water that is supposed to be great for your skin, so I washed my face with this instead, and I am amazed at how calm my face is now. Best its felt in a week.

    Its been three days since I used the ZZ Cream. I definitely want to keep using it, I am just concerned with the extent to which it dried me out. I truly felt like I had burns on my face by the fifth night and it stung when I applied it. I am thinking that if I'm careful with my face, I might be able to tolerate it every other night, but I can't imagine more than that. I might try it again tomorrow night. Maybe Soolantra is a better option for me. Would love any suggestions / input!

  4. #14
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    Quote Originally Posted by MP1985 View Post
    Thank you RedRecluse. Wow your story is really amazing! Thanks for sharing. I am really happy for you! Hope I can follow in your footsteps...

    I also just tried Ant's recommendation of not putting your face under shower tap water and my face feels much better tonight. I have a water ionizer for drinking water that produces acidic runoff water that is supposed to be great for your skin, so I washed my face with this instead, and I am amazed at how calm my face is now. Best its felt in a week.

    Its been three days since I used the ZZ Cream. I definitely want to keep using it, I am just concerned with the extent to which it dried me out. I truly felt like I had burns on my face by the fifth night and it stung when I applied it. I am thinking that if I'm careful with my face, I might be able to tolerate it every other night, but I can't imagine more than that. I might try it again tomorrow night. Maybe Soolantra is a better option for me. Would love any suggestions / input!
    Dryness is completely normal. Simply apply your ZZ Cream at night, and then use your favourite moisturiser in the morning, if needed.

    I was also extremely dry from ZZ Cream, but I trooped on through it without using any moisturiser. Now my skin self-moisturises (to the point it can get oily after a long day), which is the goal.

    Soolantra is less effective than ZZ Cream, and it also tends to become less/not effective after some time.

    Keep going with ZZ Cream for at least 3 months.
    How I was cured from Demodectic / Demodex Rosacea (Types 1 & 2 & nearing 3), Seborrhoeic Dermatitis and Eczema

    Got a smartphone? Then please post a non-revealing pic of your face/skin to www.imgur.com, instead of using walls of text to describe it to us. It may be the best thing you've ever done!

  5. #15
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    Quote Originally Posted by MP1985 View Post
    Thank you RedRecluse. Wow your story is really amazing! Thanks for sharing. I am really happy for you! Hope I can follow in your footsteps...

    I also just tried Ant's recommendation of not putting your face under shower tap water and my face feels much better tonight. I have a water ionizer for drinking water that produces acidic runoff water that is supposed to be great for your skin, so I washed my face with this instead, and I am amazed at how calm my face is now. Best its felt in a week.

    Its been three days since I used the ZZ Cream. I definitely want to keep using it, I am just concerned with the extent to which it dried me out. I truly felt like I had burns on my face by the fifth night and it stung when I applied it. I am thinking that if I'm careful with my face, I might be able to tolerate it every other night, but I can't imagine more than that. I might try it again tomorrow night. Maybe Soolantra is a better option for me. Would love any suggestions / input!
    Everyone has different underlying levels of skin dryness/skin thickness etc, due to all sorts of underlying factors. So, yes I think avoiding chlorinated tap water should be helpful. Something else I use on top of ZZ cream is Skinceuticals Epidermal Repair cream - this is really effective to put moisture into the skin. I find different parts of the face have different levels of dryness as a consequence of the Zhongzhou cream having used it for over a year. The nose tolerates it more than the ears in terms of dryness.

    Overall, I agree with Redrecluse that Zhongzhou cream is better than Soolantra.

  6. #16
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    Default Update

    Hi all,

    Quick update here. I have settled into using the ZZ Cream two nights on, one night off. My skin needs a break every third night. I find the ZZ Cream extremely drying. To combat the dryness, I use Skinceuticals Epidermal Repair Cream twice per day. I wash my face only 4-5 times per week, and always with ultra purified water (not tap water). My cleanser is La Roche-Posay Toleraine cleanser. I also received the Demodex Solutions shampoo and just started using.

    The biggest concern I have is the dryness. My skin is flaking and irritable because of how dry it is. I continue to have some P&Ps and itchiness, which I have never had in the past, so I assume this is die off.

    In terms of my underlying flushing, I actually suspect it may be improving, but any improvement right now is masked by the dryness, P&Ps, itchiness and resting redness.

    Does anyone have tips to keep sensitive, dry skin hydrated in addition to what I'm doing?

    Lastly, my gut is tremendously improved this week! I have started a strict gluten free diet after discovering my gluten sensitivity. I have kicked out essential oils after discovering my sensitivity. Dr. Dattner also prescribed me some new supplements for healing my gut which seem to be helping: Thorne SAT, Similase GFCF, Caprystatin, Copterlin, OPC100, and Horsechestnut. I also just started Molybdenum, which he thinks will be extremely important for me given my essential oil sensitivity.

    Best,
    Matt

  7. #17
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    Quote Originally Posted by MP1985 View Post
    Hi all,

    Quick update here. I have settled into using the ZZ Cream two nights on, one night off. My skin needs a break every third night. I find the ZZ Cream extremely drying. To combat the dryness, I use Skinceuticals Epidermal Repair Cream twice per day. I wash my face only 4-5 times per week, and always with ultra purified water (not tap water). My cleanser is La Roche-Posay Toleraine cleanser. I also received the Demodex Solutions shampoo and just started using.

    The biggest concern I have is the dryness. My skin is flaking and irritable because of how dry it is. I continue to have some P&Ps and itchiness, which I have never had in the past, so I assume this is die off.

    In terms of my underlying flushing, I actually suspect it may be improving, but any improvement right now is masked by the dryness, P&Ps, itchiness and resting redness.

    Does anyone have tips to keep sensitive, dry skin hydrated in addition to what I'm doing?

    Lastly, my gut is tremendously improved this week! I have started a strict gluten free diet after discovering my gluten sensitivity. I have kicked out essential oils after discovering my sensitivity. Dr. Dattner also prescribed me some new supplements for healing my gut which seem to be helping: Thorne SAT, Similase GFCF, Caprystatin, Copterlin, OPC100, and Horsechestnut. I also just started Molybdenum, which he thinks will be extremely important for me given my essential oil sensitivity.

    Best,
    Matt
    Do you find different parts of the face get dryer than other parts of the face? I find the nose can tolerate the ZZ cream pretty much every day, whereas the ears (where the skin is very thin and reactive) do get dry certainly. I use grapeseed oil and tea tree oil instead maybe twice a week on the ears - if you then top that with the Skinceuticals cream you should notice the dryness is less.

    Also using a very watery application of ZZ cream, not a thick layer can be helpful, so putting a watery finger into the ZZ cream pot and just taking a very light covering and applying to a moistened face. That also reduces dryness.

    Soolantra cream is another option to alternate with the ZZ cream (given your TTO sensitivity) because it has a moisturiser as its base, but I find the grapeseed oil/tea tree oil/skineceucticals cream more moisturising. A good quality fish oil oral capsule will probably make your skin more lubricated as well if you take by mouth, but I've found for me they increase flushing - Nordic Naturals is a good brand.

    I'm tempted to try the OPC 100 - currently I take Solgar grapeseed extract, but perhaps OPC 100 is better. Similase GFCF is an excellent supplement I think.
    Last edited by antwantsclear; 25th May 2019 at 03:14 PM.

  8. #18
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    Quote Originally Posted by antwantsclear View Post
    Do you find different parts of the face get dryer than other parts of the face? I find the nose can tolerate the ZZ cream pretty much every day, whereas the ears (where the skin is very thin and reactive) do get dry certainly. I use grapeseed oil and tea tree oil instead maybe twice a week on the ears - if you then top that with the Skinceuticals cream you should notice the dryness is less.

    Also using a very watery application of ZZ cream, not a thick layer can be helpful, so putting a watery finger into the ZZ cream pot and just taking a very light covering and applying to a moistened face. That also reduces dryness.

    Soolantra cream is another option to alternate with the ZZ cream (given your TTO sensitivity) because it has a moisturiser as its base, but I find the grapeseed oil/tea tree oil/skineceucticals cream more moisturising. A good quality fish oil oral capsule will probably make your skin more lubricated as well if you take by mouth, but I've found for me they increase flushing - Nordic Naturals is a good brand.

    I'm tempted to try the OPC 100 - currently I take Solgar grapeseed extract, but perhaps OPC 100 is better. Similase GFCF is an excellent supplement I think.
    Hi Ant - My whole face gets dry but the worst parts are around my mouth, eyes. I'll try your suggestion and just use the carrier oil (I use emu oil) without the TTO on every third night. Trying Soolantra every third night is also an interesting idea, if it is indeed more moisturizing. Are there other folks who have alternated ZZ Cream / Soolantra here with success?

    I really appreciate Dr. Dattner's approach to dermatology outlined in his book. I'm paraphrasing (probably poorly) but he believes there is a fundamental flaw in the way western medicine requires a treatment to be "proven" before it can be used with patients. He says that chronic diseases come about in very different ways for different people, and that no two treatment protocols should be exactly the same. Thus if someone claims a treatment works for them, but a study can't replicate the benefit in a statistically significant treatment group, you shouldn't throw out the treatment; instead you should acknowledge that it works in some cases and not others. This seems to ring very true for us rosaceans.

    For me, given my history with rosacea and the strong sensitivity to essential oil that he discovered, Dr. Dattner thinks a key trigger for me is aldehydes, both internal (whether released by candida or H. Pylori or alcohol / poor diet) and external (furniture de-gassing, etc.). Thus he thinks Molybdenum is going to be a key supplement for me due to its role in breaking down acetaldehyde (see a good article here).

    His book is called "Radiant Skin from the Inside Out" because he thinks that skin disorders should be viewed as warning signals of whats happening internally in the GI tract. Thus to treat the skin you have to first treat the gut. Early results for me are very encouraging.

    Best,
    Matt

  9. #19
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    Default Update good news!

    Hi all,

    I am so happy to report good news! My symptoms are significantly improved. I would say my gut is about 65-70% improved and my rosacea is better than it has been in years. What I am most surprised at is how pale I am throughout the day. I didn't realize how much resting redness I had developed until it started to dissipate.

    Recall that my main problem with the ZZ Cream was how drying it made my face. I got to the point where I had to take three full days off of it because my skin was so dry. About four days ago I started applying moisturizer three times per day instead of just morning and night, and this seems to have helped a lot. Here are some pictures of how dry my skin got:

    IMG_1974.jpgIMG_1975.jpg

    And here are some pictures of my skin this evening!

    IMG_2029.jpgIMG_2030.jpg

    The pictures may not do it justice but my face is very calm and paler than before. The only problem is that I made multiple changes right around the same time three weeks ago, so its difficult to hone in on exactly what is helping me improve. Here are the changes I made about three weeks ago:

    1. Started using ZZ Cream
    2. Changed diet from Gluten-Lite, low sugar, low carb to strict gluten-free, low sugar, low carb
    3. Stopped showering in warm water and started washing face with purified acidic water only and no face wash
    4. Moisturizing with Skinceuticals Epidermal Repair 2x per day, plus First Aid Beauty Ultra Repair Cream in the afternoon
    5. Added a host of supplements: Sea Klenz (digestion), Betaine HCL (digestion), Thorne SAT (liver support), Similase GFCF (digestion), Caprystatin (antiyeast), Ultraflora (I had been taking probiotic but this is an upgrade), Molybdenum (detox), Thorne OPC100 (I had already been taking grapeseed extract), Horsechestnut (rosacea), Thorne Pepti-Guard (H. Pylori), GlutAloeMine (leaky gut, just started today)
    6. I stopped sitting in a problematic spot in my home on my sofa. I swear there is something in that spot that causes my rosacea to flare. Might be aldehydes de-gassing from the furniture, or potentially EMF radiation, or something else.

    Collectively this is the regime that Dr. Dattner has me on. My sense is that each component is contributing a little bit. I do think the ZZ Cream is a major contributor to the improvement.

    I am finding that my ear flushing is the most stubborn part. I find my ears are still flushing at night when I lay down to sleep.

    Healing my gut has been a long journey and is still not completely healed. Both of my naturopath doctors are convinced that my overuse of antibiotic (in particular two years of Oracea) cause me serious gut issues. I understand this will be controversial here, but I would strongly advise against anyone considering Oracea or any antibiotic long-term. Even this low dose can cause serious imbalance in your gut that can surface years later and the results are not fun.

    - Matt

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