So its been a whopping 5 months since my last post about my skin so I thought it was time for a little update as the battle goes on. Anyone who didn’t read my previous post everything you need to know can be found here:
Since my last post I have had my patch test at the hospital and in all honestly am glad it’s out of the way. I got it done a few weeks ago and had to put my life on hold for 5 days as I became a braless tarzan looking lady!
For those of you who don’t know what’s involved, a patch test is basically where the dermatologist quite literally sticks groups of patches to your upper back that are filled with common chemicals from fragrances and cosmetics that are known to cause an allergic reaction. They also incorporate your own shampoos and cosmetics in case something you use is causing the issue.
They were put in place on the Monday and I had to go back on Wednesday for them to be checked. The nurse took them off and surveyed and documented any changes in my skin and I was sent on my merry way to come back on the Friday for a final check/diagnosis.
I didn’t get a picture of when the patches were initially stuck on as I was too busy wondering how I could hide my boy chest with no bra on ;P I did however get a photo on the final day of my patch test showing the results.
Although I had a few reactions one really stood out more than others and considering my reactions were happening on my face only, the doctor pieced together my results based on that. I already knew that I had Dermatitis of some kind and have thought for some time that during some periods it may be hormonal but the dermatologist reckons it is Contact Dermatitis.
Ever heard of Methylisothiazoline? No? Me neither up to a few weeks ago. This is the chemical that I tested positive for an allergy too and according to the doc, it’s becoming a common allergy amongst patch testers in recent years. When I got home I looked at the various products I had been using it was in the majority. The one that was pin pointed for me was Nivea cleansing lotion that I’d been using on my face for years.
You can become sensitized to anything at any time due to over exposure of certain chemicals from consistent use of products and that seems to be the case here too. Naturally I googled it to find out some more information and discovered that the allergies to this are more widespread than I had known.
This chemical is used as a preservative and has been gaining momentum over the last few years. While it had been used safely in small amounts for a number of years, in 2005 it was approved by the EU to be used in higher, more concentrated amounts meaning it is now used in more products than ever before and there in lies the issue. Although it is used as an alternative to parabens, judging by the reactions stemming from it, it is no better – in fact it might even be worse.
It was the subject of the BBC One show Watchdog in 2013 when it was discovered the amount of consumers suffering from an adverse reaction to Piz Buin 1-day-long sun lotion had been on the increase and this was narrowed down as the culprit. Watchdog contacted several companies and out of those a handful agreed to phase it out of their products while others refused as it was deemed to be safe by EU regulations. You can read their findings here:
The characteristics of an allergy to this bad boy are mainly redness, burning or stinging sensations, flaking or crusting of the skin and it can occur anywhere on the body – predominantly the face for us ladies as that is where most of our potions are used. It is used in a lot of products that are labelled as natural, sensitive and organic too ironically enough considering.
It is contained in make-up, cleansers, shower gels, shampoos, moisturizers and sun creams, even baby wipes! It can also be found in household cleaning products and industrial paint.
Other names which it is used under are:
ChlorosiEuxyl K 100
Fennosan IT 21
Mitco CC 32 L
My mission for this post is not to make this chemical or the companies using it sound like the spawns of satan as it is regulated after all. Awareness is the only purpose I have for writing this based on what happened to me. Plenty of people will never have a reaction to it or to anything but if you have been suffering and aren’t sure why it may shed some light on the situation.
I’m almost positive that my skin problems aren’t just down to this – elements like stress, and foods I’m eating also play a part but it is certainly an element that contributes to it more so than the others. It flucuates from good to bad but it is constantly improving.
Here is a rundown of what my skin has looked like:
At its worst….
How I cover it up on bad days…..
My Instagram is full of different make-up looks and as I have mentioned previously I use a thin layer of foundation and neutral shades for my shadow and lips depending on the level of redness my skin is so it isn’t highlighted. I have taken extra skin care measures and use all Avené products to cleanse and moisturize and I’m also trying La Roche Posay too and will be doing a blog post on all these soon 🙂
If anyone has any questions or wants to share their story feel free to leave a comment or you can find me on Instagram @emzodescapades for more updates 🙂