Saturday, November 15, 2008

Sensitive Inside and Out

Sleep study #2 down. Last night I got fitted for a CPAP (continuous positive air pressure) machine, which meant I once again had the octopus like electrode connections all over my body. So catching a quick, albeit without glasses, glance at myself in the mirror for the middle-of-the-night pee, I looked rather astronaut/martian like. (The tips of the electrodes were blue and the CPAP fit over my nose and mouth with Velcro straps around my forehead and ears.

All in all a really fun and sexy thing to do on a Friday night. . . NOT!

Still, I'm committed to treating this, so I slept OK. I think my biggest challenge will be not to have the thing irritate my skin. I have red marks today where the electrodes sat and sore spots on my ears from the Velcro.

Seeing the dermatologist was how I spent part of Thurs. I have very sensitive skin. I'm the type of person who cuts tags out because they give me a rash. I can only wear cotton bras.

I got a facial from a friend the morning of my wedding. . .rash by mid afternoon; belt buckles = rash; band-aids lead to rash. Cheap necklaces turn my neck into a massive red, raw-meat-looking zone. I can only wear sterling silver and gold earrings--not even surgical steel. I held my breath when they told me I'd get a metal plate in my wrist--picturing the red, oozy internal inflammation it would cause--but thank goodness it's titanium! That's the same pricey metal I have to get glasses made from--anything else that touches my cheeks leads to, you guessed it, rash.

I'm prone to cold sores. I'm addicted to Carmex; I carry it like a silver cross to ward off evil.

And let's not even talk about the sun. Suffice it to say my body was not meant to be tanned. I think "Be like Scarlett O'Hara, and stay creamy white" as I don a hat.

So the dermatologist said I should only put 4 things on my body (Then it went on to recommend 2 more. . .go figure):

  1. Water
  2. Dove soap (and shampoo)
  3. Vaseline
  4. Medicine he prescribes

The other 2 products he went on to recommend were:

Aquaphor (though he admitted he was just giving it to me because he had samples, and that Vaseline would do the same thing for a lot less money. I have to say, they feel the same. It's just that the Aquaphor sample is easier to fit in my pocket).

He used the Aquaphor to demonstrate how to use really greasy things--like Vaseline--to moisturize without getting greasy. Here's the trick:

  • First you get really really wet
  • Then you use just a little bit (for both hands, front and back, he squeezed out about the size of half my pinkie fingernail)
  • Rub it in really good
  • Pat (not rub) dry

He told me to use this every time I washed my hands.

So now I take my Vaseline in the shower with me and do the same thing over a much larger surface.

The other product he recommended was one I had discovered before when regular old sunscreen started giving me a rash. It's Neutrogena's Sensitive Skin sunscreen. He suggested I wear it every day because sun wrecks havoc on sensitive skin.

He also tried to encourage me to not get my hair highlighted any more and not to use liquid foundation. (I'm thinking these 2 are not going to happen.) He said loose powder--Bare Essentials--is OK. Haven't checked that out yet.

Anyhow, as you may know, dermatitis and eczema and sensitive skin are exacerbated by lack of activity. It's not what you eat he told me, it's whether or not you get a really good workout resulting in a really good sweat a couple of times a week.

One of my problem areas--my shins--is a problem for many fat people. I noticed before when I was exercising the most that they cleared up.

I am trying to feel positive about this. I saw the doctor--check 1 for something good. I like the Vaseline shower thing feels good--check 2. He was kind and not insulting in any way--check 3.

But still, the derm stuff right there in the same 48 hours with the the sleep stuff. . . it's like big whap-in-the-face reminders that fat does not do a body good. And I need to use a little mindful keening to soak that in, feel it, and grieve it, before I can rah, rah on.


  1. That was really interesting. Even though you are going through all this the thing that I get from your posts are that you are taking action to do everything you can to be healthy. I think its really positive. That is great advice regarding your skin. I trained as a makeup artist and I would never go for expensive skincare products. Vaseline is a wonderful product. And by keeping out of the sun you are going to protect your skin and will not age like others who get tanned. Thanks for all the inof I found it useful. I am always looking for good sunblock - is the one your doc recommended greasy? Best of luck with the sleep thing. Oh and I am not sure I cold go without foundation or streaks in my hair either.....

  2. NO! I had no idea about the lack of activity component.

    and I wont overshare but suffice it to say Im way skinsensitive...

  3. I use the Bare Escentuals mineral make-up and I really love it. Excellent coverage and feels like you have nothing on. If you go to Sephora, they'll give you a small sample you can try. The no highlights would be a deal-breaker for me as well!

  4. Bare escentuals is essential for me. I've used it for eight years after seeing a presentation on QVC. The product line on QVC usually offers more for your money. I like the Vaseline shower suggestions. Of course the MALE DOCTOR suggested no highlights. He doesn't have a clue that it truly is a deal breaker. Good thing he doesn't work on commission.

  5. i know i am many months after the fact, but i wanted to post after you linked your post in my blog.

    well it is nice to know i am not alone, and a bit of a reality check for when i feel terrible itchy and crappy- that someone has it worse. i can wear lace underwear! lol. and i can be in the sun and be pretty ok.
    yeh the titanium thing is fun, my original wedding ring was yellow gold, my grandmothers ring. thing is my finger started literally rotting, it stunk it was all blistered and gross. thought white gold would be different. error. so now i have a titanium band, but since titanium is mainly a mans jewellery its so bulky SO bulky, it kinda gets in the way. i found another place online in the US called titanium workshop, and so, WHEN i lose weight i will be getting a new ring- in the meantime i am not even wearing one.
    I think i will try the vaseline thing, thanks for that- i already use it as lip balm anyway and one of those little pots (the flat metal one) goes everywhere with me!!


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