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Post in Skincare Aware

Red, itchy, burning, dry “flaring” skin in certain areas

Hey y’all, 


This is becoming a serious issue lately and it’s embarrassing me to death. My skin gets so irritated that it’s blotchy, red, dry and flaking pretty much everything that it says in my title. It’s like psoriasis but I don’t think it is because I’ve been told by the doctor that it’s a type of dermatitis— but nothing they give me helps or calms or heals it! So, does anyone have any idea what could possibly help me? I’ve tried almost everything and I’m at a loss here nothing is helping I’m so embarrassed and my skin is hurting; it literally burns. I am ashamed to go out. It’s horrible and makeup looks disgusting. Flaky, cracked and bright red. Makeup just flakes and cakes. 😞 

Re: Red, itchy, burning, dry “flaring” skin in certain areas

Hi @angdak28 ! To my knowledge, no one on BIC is a board certified dermatologist, MD, or DO—so we can’t diagnose your skin condition. We can guess, sure, but your best bet is to follow up with your current doctor (though I assume you’ve already done that) or get a second opinion from a different doctor. 

Since your doc diagnosed you with dermatitis: have you tried eliminating some face products (skincare and makeup) from your usual routine, or swapping them with simpler products, to see if any of them might be the culprit? Have you also done that with your usual shampoo, conditioner, and other hair products? Have you scanned all your products’ labels and identified any common ingredients? 
I ask all of that because something you frequently use on your face, hair, or hands might still be irritating the heck out of your skin, which could be why meds/products given by your doc aren’t working well. Or maybe there hasn't been enough time yet for your skin to heal up. My skin takes anywhere from 1-5 weeks to heal from this type of irritation. 
When my skin’s having a bad burning reaction to something, I roll my skincare routine back to this: 
  • Gentle cleanser - at night, if lightly massaging with my usual gentle cleanser (CeraVe Hydrating Cleanser Bar) is too painful, I use The INKEY List Oat Makeup Removing Cleansing Balm 5 oz/ 150 mL instead as a cleanser. Before rinsing, I let it sit on my face for 5-10 minutes as a calming mask. In the morning, I’ll usually skip cleanser and just wipe my face with a wet soft microfiber cloth, as gently as I can. 

  • Anti-inflammatory product - depending on how bad the burn is, I’ll apply either a centella asiatica product (my favorite is COSRX Pure Fit Cica Serum), aloe vera gel, or a hydrocortisone cream (I like Aveeno’s) on the irritated areas. I’ll also take an antihistamine pill, and sometimes I’ll do cold compresses. 

  • Petrolatum-based balm (Vaseline, CeraVe Healing Ointment, Aquaphor Ointment, etc.) - I apply this to damp skin as a protective moisturizer. 

  • Sunscreen (AM only) - if my face will be exposed to sunlight at all, I apply one of my broad spectrum sunscreens. I usually like to use one that doesn’t require much rubbing to blend out, so that rules out many physical/mineral sunscreens… CoTZ mineral sunscreens work well for me, though. 

  • Avoid makeup - my damaged skin heals best when I don’t put makeup on it: no foundation, tinted moisturizer, blush, highlighter, setting powder, bronzer, etc. The only makeup I’ll wear is lipstick, brow pencil (unless that’s where my skin’s irritated), and maybe eye makeup. No makeup = none of the rubbing/friction associated with makeup application. 
I hope your skin feels better and heals up soon! 
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