Wednesday, March 07, 2007

Everything About Me is Sensitive (Especially my Skin)

Okay. Now I'm hoping this isn't going to be a TMI post. I don't personally see how it can be, but apparently there are some people in the world for whom any discussion about anything more personal than the weather is a bit Too Much Information.

And they'll tell you that, too, in that rude, abrasive way of theirs. "Whoa! I didn't need to know that!" they'll say, often holding up their hands in a please-don't-throw-that-bag-of-poop-at-me kind of gesture. And they'll say that when you mention something totally innocuous, like that your husband is like a radiator and you have started sleeping without covers on because of it (appropos of a conversation about your child's fever, btw, not just as a greeting. "Good morning! My husband's body temperature is so high sometimes I want stab him with a fork in his sleep to get him to stop trying to snuggle with me, ha ha! And how are you?" etc.)

Or perhaps you've mentioned that your socks have a hole in the toe, or that you like eating lemon cake for breakfast. The reaction to such harmless bits of personal trivia is always the same. That shocked and horrified face, and the implication that you've committed a ghastly fauz pas. As if you'd performed a breast self-exam in public.

You know, I used to know a girl who constantly gave way TMI. I mean, this was Too Much Information on subjects about which any info was too much. Like her sex life. And the acts she performed on her boyfriend while he was on the phone, or the, ah, level of lubri--you know what? I can't even bring myself to repeat it here, and I write sex for a living. (But this is a blog, and I do try to keep it at least somewhat clean here. I can say fuck all I want, but I don't generally describe it.) Suffice it to say that the girl got graphic (say that three times fast) all the time. And nobody wanted to hear that shit.

But you know what? We all just sort of smiled politely and changed the subject. Because none of us were the types of assholes who belittle people for thinking we care more about them than we do.

So you tell me. Is saying--to someone who can, by the way, clearly see the truth of my words right there on my face--that in the last few weeks my skin has suddenly gone bone-dry and flaky, and is now turning scaly, red, and puffy on my eyelids, making me resemble a--well, a scaly, red, puffy-eyed thing--Too Much Information? Because I feel the need to at least let people know that I'm aware of the sudden red roughness of my skin. Lest they think I failed to notice when I look in the mirror a million times a day to assess whether or not the redness is creeping down my cheeks now, or what.

So there you go. I have now revealed a Secret About Myself, one which I assume is now making you all shift uncomfortably in your seats and glance guiltily around the room, hoping nobody sees the filth you're reading.

And when you're done feeling ashmed of yourself and shocked at my depraved openness, does anybody have any ideas for how to soothe this mess? I switched from my regular cleanser, which went overnight from lovely to turns-me-bright-red-for-hours, to cold cream, because cold cream usually soothes me when my very sensitive skin flares up. But while it seems to be helping in most areas, I've suddenly got this eye thing and I'm pretty sure it is on my cheeks now, too.


Anonymous said...

Hm. It sounds a bit like rosacea to me. Maybe brought on by stress...
I'll check with The Man. He's usually pretty helpful with the medical diagnosis thing...

bunnygirl said...

How odd, because I'm having a recurrence of a red scaly patch on my eyelid. It's just a tiny patch and last time this happened it didn't spread or anything, but it lasted for a long time until I started putting hydrocortisone gel on it.

So that's what I recommend: hydrocortisone. Or maybe tea tree oil. And see a dermatologist if it persists and is really obvious.

Ann(ie) said...

Aren't cucumbers supposed to help with the puffy part?

Anonymous said...

OK, so The Man insists it's not rosacea, and strongly recommends against any kind of steroid unless absolutely necessary (he considers them to be today what antibiotics were in the 80s and 90s)

Anything new in your diet or regime?

I'm still putting my money on stress and recommending your man take the girls out for the day so you can sleep in, do a home made salt scrub of salt, olive oil, chamomile and mint, then have a bubble bath with a side of chocolate.

Anonymous said...

When my son and I suffered spider bites last summer his pediatrician gave us free samples of Eucerin Calming Creme. It's a little pricy for my budget, but it worked well on me. (He has a worse allergy and the creme helped him not itch, but we ended up making 3 ER visits to get him on the right course of meds to stop the reaction.)The creme is supposed to be good for almost any kind of skin itch. It doesn't cure a problem under the skin, but it helps stop the itch for a bit. Especially if you keep it in the fridge.

pacatrue said...

Whoa. That is WAAAYY TMI. Oh my god!

Sorry for that response, but I wanted to say hello and I have no ideas on how to treat skin. So let sarcasm reign! Bruhahahaha...ha.


And, hi!

littlebirdblue said...

I thought Jenn might be onto something, but it sounds more like psoriasis, though I think that usually attacks around the mouth and nose.

My advice; DO NOT use those stinky coal-tar ointments, no matter what they say, and as Jenn's dude points out, leave off the steroid treatment unless you absolutely have to succumb.

I'd definitely stop wearing makeup, if you do, and be very careful what I washed my face with and how drying it was. Sometimes, your face can get chapped, just like your lips.

I'm sorry. Nobody likes dealing w/that stuff.

December Quinn said...

I will definitely try hydrocortisone, Bunnygirl! I was reluctant to do so, because the hydo we have is in a petroleum jelly base. Which is so not good for skin. But I'm desperate now.

Cucumbers do help with puffy, Annie, but this is inflamed puffy as opposed to fluid retention puffy. So I don't know how much it would help.

Yeah, I don't think it's rosacea, Jenn, but thanks for the tip re steroids. I will try to avoid them (is hydrocortisone a steroid?)

Boy, you and I have very different ideas of what's de-stressing, lol! My ideas involve alcohol, pajamas, and french fries. It is an idea though. Next weekend is Mother's Day here so I'm going to have a relaxing day then.

And I actually have an idea what it may that I think of it.

December Quinn said...

You know, Michele, my older daughter had excema as a baby, and her ped gave us some Eucerin samples. I wonder if they're still good?

I was reluctant to use them, actually, because we bought a big tub of some kind of Eucerin cream for my husband's feet, which are very dry and bleh (I know, I know--TMI!! TMI!!! Lol). It worked okay, but it attracted ants like crazy. We lived in an older house in FL, lots of cracks and places where the little buggers could get in, and they sure did. They congregated around the Eucerin.

(We killed them all by sprinkling Borax everywhere. Ah, Borax. The miracle pest solution. Seriously.)

December Quinn said...

Hey, pacatrue! Thanks for saying hi, nice to see you over here!

It's okay if you don't have any ideas on how to treat skin. I can see it might be difficult for one as hairy as you to discuss such matters.

And around here, we don't care if you actually have something to contribute or not. :-)

Lbl, you guys are scaring me more and more with each response! Aaaah!

crowwoman / rhian said...

Yo December - heck wench, we're on a blog - TMI is mandatory in blogland!! We thrive on it!!! Bare your souls, throw yourselves to the avarious masses that hang on your every word with vicarious glee. Oh hell. I need more coffee. I'm not quite put back to gether mentally yet.

Hydrocortosone cream has worked for me on most skin flareups. xxx rhi

December Quinn said...

BTW, paca, I've just been perusing and giggling at your blog! Especially the one about asking your child questions. My daughter is exactly the same (well, the older one is. I don't have to ask the younger one questions about her day, as she spends it all with me.)

December Quinn said...

Lol, Rhian. You know, I've thought of that sometimes, but then I think, there are whole websites devoted to trashing people who express every little thing about themselves on their blogs.

Plus I am, as has been discussed here before, a creepily private person.

pacatrue said...

Thanks, December. And thanks for the thoughts about the strawberry pie over there. Honestly, the whole blog is there just to get people to listen to the Theme Song as is posted somewhere on the front page.

Let's see. You said here that I don't need to contribute usefully. Alright then. I recommend a blend of avocado, peanut butter, and pureed banana, with a couple shots of tequila to help it all blend. Then, rub that mixture on the skin where...

Oh, nm. Just drink the tequila, and make a good guacamole from the avocados. It won't help your skin, but every day is better with fresh guac.

littlebirdblue said...

Lbl, you guys are scaring me more and more with each response! Aaaah!

You'll have to add TMA (Too Much Answer) to your vocabulary.

Bernita said...

Could be an allergy.
1. Try any new stuff on a small area first.
2. Go to the doctor.

December Quinn said...

You know, Paca, I might actually try avocado? At least it's soothing.

I used mayo once in my early teens as a mask. It worked but smelled so gross I wanted to be sick (I don't like mayonnaise.)

Exactly, lbl! hahaha, Too Much Answer! I'm totally going to use that one.

Bernita, you're so sensible. I actually think I may have sussed the problem--along with the Pond's cold cream I decided to try Pond's mousturizer (for after regular washing, not cold cream use.)

I went up to look at the box, and the f***ing stuff has sunscreen in it. I cannot use any mousturizer that contains sunscreen, and I really wish those companies would stop putting it in everything. PABA free or not, it kills me.

So I'm going to have to go get some Oil of Olay or something, if I can find one where they haven't shoved sunscreen into it. And then claimed it's for sensitive skin, which it clearly is NOT, if they're putting sunblock in it. Grrr.

Anonymous said...

Your personal suffering aside, the first part of the post is hilarious. Women doing self exams in the tube, funny visual.

I know what you mean about people who overreact with the "Whoa, TMI." thing. I just want to TMI their ass with my boot.

Anyway, I hope you get your skin problem ironed out, so to speak.


bunnygirl said...

*Cross-posting from my own site, where you left comments on my upcoming travels.*

December, this is a women's program through Texas Parks and Wildlife. Do a search on your local equivalent of the parks association and see if they have anything similar. You might be surprised. And at least for the program I'm doing, it's stupidly cheap-- 3 days, meals, cabins and activities included, $185. I can't get a good hotel room for that price!

Serena Joy said...

No such thing as TMI, IMO.:) Are you sure you're not suffering an allergic reaction to something? If not, then I'd keep trying various creams and ointments. Something will have to work. If the hydrocortisone doesn't work, do you have Benadryl cream there? Or you could try baby products; those always work well on my dry skin problems. Sure hope it clears up soon for you; sounds miserable.

December Quinn said...

Thanks, V95! Lol at TMIing the ass with the boot. That's what I'd like to do, too. Grrr. "Oh, you're so much cooler than me, you know where the limits of polite conversation end. La de fuckin da."

Oooh, I will check, Bunnygirl! I know the Royal Forest of Dean has all kinds of cool outdoorsy programs, I bookmarked the site a while ago but haven't gotten around to really examining it yet.

December Quinn said...

Welcome, Serena Joy! Thanks for commenting!

You know, I do think it's an allergic reaction at this point. It started out as dry skin but I bought a new mousturizer to try, made by Pond's because they've always been so gentle and good for my skin when it has its freak-outs (you should have seen it the time I tried a moisturizer with AHAs. I looked like I'd just had a chemical peel.)

I just realized the moisturizer had sunscreen in it. My skin can't take sunscreen, no matter how gentle the label claims it is. Even Neutrogena. So I think that's part of it, and on top of dry skin--ugh. I burn and itch and it's not comfortable.
Baby products is a good idea, thanks!

(And btw...I generally agree there's no such thing as TMI, because I am in my own way terribly nosy, but I can think of one instance--when a girl I worked with, who I barely knew, opened a conversation by discussing the horrible itchiness of her ladyparts due to an infection. That I really didn't need to know. But I didn't say anything. I think I just paled.)

Robyn said...

My first thought was allergy. Especially if it's unusual for you to react like this. I have sensitive skin that defies all attempts to get that smooth, youthful look back. Anything beyond soap turns me red.

December Quinn said...

I guess it's plastic surgery for you and me, Robyn. :-)

Man, I think I'm allergic to this country. First the pillow, now this...?

Anonymous said...

Hydrocortisone is ABSOLUTELY a steroid. Sounds like you should, I don't know, maybe e-mail any pharmacists you might know!!!!

Just a suggestion


December Quinn said...

Uh...duh...I am the stupidest woman alive.

You know, I've been thinking I need to email you for a couple of days. You're on my mind...

Anna J. Evans said...

Hey, I'm late on this, but I third or fourth the Eucerin (I used to call it used-urine when I put it on the Roo, lol). It worked really well with Roo when he was little and got these weird super dry patches on his back.

Also Burt's Bees baby lotion was really good for his skin (which is also sensitive). I've been putting an antiobiotic ointment on Princess this week, however. She has super dry/senstive skin and had a place on her neck that was irritated. That's been doing really well for her.

Hope you get better! And I'm all about TMI...I love to share about my periods from hell in which I pass large liver steaks (OMG!! can you believe I went there in the comments section of your blog!!! Lol...feeling gross today, couldn't help myself.)

Oh, and I think you may be getting more of those TMI sniffy looks from people because you're in England. They are all very sniffy that way. God forbid you even admit you sweat, let alone that your furnace husband induces it. (I think all men are like this right? Or just all the ones I've slept't be a very big number or anything. Lol. TMI again right?0



Ashley said...

I would ditto the Eucerin. I use the stuff on Jon's knees as they are stupidly dry (TMI) and I use the face cream. Expensive but as you only have to use a very little bit, a tube will last you ages.

December Quinn said...

Yeah, Anna, I love Burt's Bees..that's actually the face soap I usually use, Burt's Bees green lettuce soap, which is lovely and worked great for me for two years until recently.

The funny thing is, the too-hot husband conversation took place in the US. And I still can't figure out what the deal was with it. I mean, I am married with (at the time) one kid and one on the way, didn't we stop pretending married people don't share beds back when the Dick Van Dyke show went off the air? It wasn't like I was saying, "Oh, when my husband is naked..." or anything. Whatever. But yeah, brits are stuffy and wierd. :-)

December Quinn said...

Ashley, hey!! I bet Stephen's feet are worse than Jon's knees. I bet they are!

Guess your hand is improving, excellent!

kis said...

You guys have Badger Balm over there? It's all natural, comes in a little tin with a pic of a badger on it (I'm pretty sure it doesn't contain any actual badger parts), and works gangbusters on my chapped hands every winter. You kinda shmear it on before bed, and by morning things are noticealy better. Just don't use a pillowcase that's hard to clean, cause it is a bit greasy.

If not, I'd actually recommend "Bag Balm." It's a product used on the Canadian prairies during our famously severe winters to prevent the chapping and cracking of, um, cow udders. I know, I know, this time it really is TMI.

People are stupid, though. Years ago when the old guy and I moved to this jerkwater burg--I mean, delightful little town, the place we moved into was infested with fleas. We had no dog, and the little bloodsuckers just loved me. Three months (and about 6000, no exaggeration, bites) later, I was ready to kill my husband. Because, as I told people, he could lie alone in our bed, totally buck, for five hours and not get a single bite, whereas I wore the doubleknit equivalent of a Haz-mat suit and sprayed myself liberally with muskol before bed, and would wake with 50 to 60 new bites every single freaking morning until I was ready to burn the house down and start over. I don't know what horrified my in-laws (who happen to be british) more--the fact that I told them about the bites, or the fact that I would tell people their son slept in the nude.

Serena Joy said...

Oh, dear. Clearly, there is a line delineating what is and is not TMI. The hot furnace husband, not. One's sleeping arrangements and flea bites or lack thereof, not. Itchy lady parts, a definite YES. LOL.

Burt's Bees products are very good and very gentle. Those bag balms actually do great things to human skin, too. Good luck.

Scary Monster said...

Me believes you have described the perfect woman. What Monster wouldn't look twice at such an appariton. Yum!
Don't change anything, Me will be right over to snuggle up and help with your itchy spots.


December Quinn said...

I will be on the lookout for blams of all kinds, kis. I'm pretty sure Bag Balm would be available somewhere, as we're so rural here. (I remember bag balm from when I was a kid, my mom used to put it on my scrapes and boo-boos.)

Fleas? Borax! Borax borax! I wasn't joking when I said it's the miracle pest cure. It kills the little buggers and their eggs. You sprinkle it on everything every day, give it an hour or so, vacuum it up, then sprinkle again. In two weeks or so you won't have fleas any more. (We used a spray on some of the furniture.)

December Quinn said...

I agree totally, Serena Joy! I'm not easily embarrassed and I'm nosy enough to be interested in just about everything, but I really didn't want to hear that one. Especially since we worked at a Mrs. Field's cookies...

I'm glad to know someone finds it attractive, ScaryMonster. Will you wubba me as you snuggle up? Because if you wubba me then I will wubba you.

kis said...

Wubba wubba, woo woo woo. How can I tell you have small kids?

Ah, but the flea summer is now only a hazy memory. I do recall phoning the pharmacist at one point and asking if I could put flea collars on my ankles and wrists to stop them biting, and he said there was nothing I could really do. At this point I still thought every bite meant a hundred more eggs, so the news was, well, devastating. I was post-partum through the whole ordeal, and not coping very well. My husband came home from work four hours later, and I was still sobbing.

We finally found someone who knew what they were talking about, and told us to ignore all those sprays that tell you not to vacuum. She said vacuum the whole house five times a day, and keep the vacuum cleaner outside. It was over two weeks later. The post-traumatic stress still gives me the odd nightmare, though.

Ick, speaking of nightmares, I just skimmed down the comments and found your post on mayo as a facial. Allow me to just say, eeeeeeeewwwwwwww!!!!!! As far as I'm concerned, mayonnaise is the single vilest atrocity ever perpetrated by the Frrench upon the rest of the world. Remember The Whole Nine Yards, where Tony the Tulip tells the waiter if there's mayo on his burger, he'll cut his legs off, set fire to his house, and watch him drag himself from the inferno on his bloody stumps? A king of understatement, that guy.

Sam said...

Oh Ack! Poor you!!!
I hope you find a cure soon - nothing worse than dry itchy skin, especially in the winter.
I woke up with a zit on my nose. You'd think I was too old for that, but no, my skin insists it's still sixteen. What luck - wrinkles AND zits, lol.

December Quinn said...

Me, kids? Where'd you get that idea, kis?

They love the Sesame Street 25 Year Musical Anniversary DVD thing..and Wubba wubba is actually my favorite song on there, too. :-)

Yep, my flea-removal method involves a little less actual vacuuming, because the Borax does most of the work. But still just as effective. That sounds like a horrible situation to be in, yech! You poor thing!

And I too think mayo is vile. Hubs likes it. It makes me ill. I don't like potato salad for that reason, and normally there's nothing you can do to a potato to mke me not want to eat it.

December Quinn said...

I'm in the same boat, Sam. And now that my skin is so dry, I'm breaking out, because my skin is trying to produce more oil to hydrate itself or whatever everyone says it's doing when dry skin breaks out.

But yes, the itchy is bad. Don't like the itchy. Don't like wasting money on moisturizers either.

Tempest Knight said...

I don't know what to say. Hmm... I know my friend creates natural products that help. I can't remember her Ebay store though. I'll go and check for you, ok?

December Quinn said...

Thanks, Tempest!

Anonymous said...

I'm sorry about your problem! May you find relief rapidly!

Funny, for years I had a problem where I would lose random patches of hair. I couldn't hide it without wearing a wig; and I wouldn't wear a wig. As a kid, I was mortified. But as an adult, they were mortified. People wouldnt' mention it, wouldn't talk about it, and when I offered to discuss it with a young man who suddenly lose all his hair, permanently-- you'd have thought I'd just offered to display my privates to him in the middle of the office.

People are funny.

PS, problem gone with menopause. Go figure.

writtenwyrdd said...

Generic Eucerin (Wal*Mart has a generic) is what I use on my feet to treat the scaly, cracking, bleeding dry problem due to the winter weather.

I also know there are a zillion auto-immune skin problems out there that can cause these symptoms.

I'd see the doc and a dermatologist, because this might be indicative of autoimmune problems. Sometimes staff infections start in the skin and can make you very ill. (This is the voice of experience, speaking. But I'll try and avoid the TMI.)

writtenwyrdd said...

Homeopathic treatment for itchy skin: Take an old knee-hi nylon, fill it with uncooked oatmeal, soak it in warm water, pat the slimy thin on the itchy skin and let that skin dry, leaving the oatmeal slime.

Works wonders. After it's been on a while, you can rinse with cool water and pat dry and moisturize. It doesn't leave a visible coating that I've ever noticed.

December Quinn said...

Thank you, anonymous! I'm glad your problem cleared up. It's interesting what embarrasses some people, isn't it?

Thanks again, writtenwyrdd. It seems like the problem is resolving itself, but I will absolutely keep those things in mind. Once I got some kind of infection on my earlobe--I have no idea why, but I ended up with a red line from me ear about half an inch down my neck. Topical antibiotics cleared it up, but it was quite scary.

Isabella Snow said...

I'm late.. sorry!

This might sound very stupid, but it's true! Wash your shower head with shampoo. Seriously. And then see how your skin is a few days after this.

The mineral buildups on showerheads can cause this after awhile. It can also make your hair feel more coarse. I can always tell when I need to wash mine, based on how coarse my hair feels after a shower.

I say shampoo because its better than using chemical cleaner.

My skin always feels softer after this too - if this doesnt help and nothing else does either, buy a cheap shower head and try that and see if it works.

(I suggest thay because if theres a lot of buildup INSIDE your old one, that can be hard to clean.)

Just my .02!