Let's talk about the skin: Pt 1 The Journey Begins
After the birth of my son in 2008 I started to have skin problems. I had painful acne on my chin and jaw line as well as a weird, red rash under my eyes. I did what most of us do, I made an appointment with a dermatologist. I walked out of the initial consultation with a brown bag filled with samples of steroid creams for the rash, scrubs for the acne, and my back covered in tape where I had been patch tested for allergies that might be causing my skin issues. The steroids were great! My rash disappeared. I also had a sulfer scrub to help with my acne. That was also great. My skin was glowing and healthy. So I thought.
Fast forward 5 years and I'm pregnant again. This time I'm sitting with my midwife talking about medications I'm using. She recommended I stop using my scrub and steroid as the medications travel through the skin into the blood and ultimately the fetus. Oh shit! Good bye beautiful skin (hello healthy baby:) It gets worse. I had no idea that using steroids topically actually thins the skin, especially around the eyes where skin is thinnest!
I was on my knees playing around and fell on the carpet pretty hard but it was a straight forward impact. The skin around my eye was so thin it immediately split. After 5 years of steroid use in an honest effort to heal my skin, I made it worse. This is where they journey really begins...
Of course I ran back to the dermatologist to be sure this injury wouldn't cause a scar. Oh and that red rash around my eyes was back in full effect! Turns out the rash is called perioral dermatitis. It is not clear to doctors why it occurs but they have found that prolonged antibiotic use (don't even get me started on that) treats it effectively. Well, I wasn't willing to take antibiotics but I was thankful for the official diagnosis and that my injury didn't leave me with a scar.
After this accident I decided to really learn about the skin, how to nourish it, how to feed it, heal it, nuture it. In modern society we are taught that our oily skin is bad, needs to be scrubbed with soaps, dried out, chemically peeled. The list of unnecessary treatment goes on. What we need to do is learn to care for our skin in a loving way. It is the biggest organ of our body! I don't want to wage war on my skin, I want to support its process and nuture its growth. I needed to change my outlook, approach and beliefs about my skin and skin care.