I am still alive, and finished my last university exam yesterday. The exam was fine, very easy, and much easier than the statistics exam. Two and a half years of university life to go, assuming I don’t take a PhD loan. Anyway, let’s get down to business:
- My GI symptoms are much reduced, having removed all the obvious sources of wheat from my diet, and I exist in a way that is similar to how normal people exist. Perhaps, I have a sort of cyclical allergy to wheat, or rather it is a main trigger for something else that is wrong with me. Despite this, there are improvements to be made, and I still experience symptoms if I engage in any sort of exercise.
- My rosacea-like situation is mostly unchanged, the flushing is still short lived and generally temperature dependent, but I seem to have developed permanent erythema on the right side of my face. There are still many angles to approach the matter, and so as it is early on in its progression, I am not worried and instead determined. My GP stated that I had rosacea, but she did not conduct a skin biopsy, or examine my facial redness. She seems to think I have type two rosacea, which I believe is incorrect. My skin is essentially clear of lesions of all kinds, I have post hyper-inflammatory pigmentation from previous acne lesions, and flushing is my main symptom. I fit the first subtype of rosacea description.
- My GP prescribed Duac, that is a topical treatment containing 1% clindamycin and 5% benzoyl peroxide, which having had a reaction to benzoyl peroxide before is useless to me. I do not intend to use it. She offered me broadspectrum antibiotics of the tetracycline variety, which I declined, as they offer temporary relief followed by a worsening of GI symptoms after cessation. Not only that, but antibiotics permanently reduce gut flora diversity, and I will only use antibiotics specific to the treatment of SIBO as part of a longer SIBO treatment protocol, so that antibiotics help the GI issues rather than worsen them.
- That said, I am currently looking into other topicals that might help with facial redness. Benzoyl peroxide and oral antibiotics are my only real no-gos, and therefore anything else is fine.
- I have been referred to hospital for tests, including a SIBO breath test, my GP said SIBO is a possibility, but that there is an innate overlap in my conditions and that the conditions might be manifesting as separate entities. I am awaiting a letter from the hospital detailing my appointment.
- I have found that EGCG, that is the main polyphenol in green tea, may enter the skin in useful amounts if around 1 teaspoon of quadruple concentrated green tea is applied to the face (according to this AcneEinstein article: http://www.acneeinstein.com/fresh-green-tea-topical-acne-treatment/). A small number of studies concerning EGCG and rosacea have been done, one study introduction states that EGCG has immunomodulatory, anti-oxidant, photoprotective, anti-angiogenic and anti inflammatory properties (see here: http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC2933390/). In this particular study EGCG topical treatment over the course of six weeks, was found to inhibit HIF-1α induction and VEGF (vascular endothelial growth factor) expression, which play a role in angiogenesis, in treated skin. However, no significant difference in erythema was found after six weeks of treatment. It was concluded that topical EGCG may help prevent telangiectasias and erythema. Another study, sponsored by Syed Skincare, was reported by WebMD and concerns type two rosacea. A significant reduction in skin lesions and inflammation was noted in participants who received the green tea extract cream, in comparison to the placebo (see here: http://www.webmd.com/skin-problems-and-treatments/news/20050223/green-tea-helps-reduce-red-in-rosacea). I am applying quadruple concentrated Clipper loose green tea, that has been left to brew for about 5 minutes, to my face using cotton wool pads every morning after washing my face. It is too early to tell whether it has helped with the rosacea, but as it seems more like a preventative move to me, I may never know whether it has helped or not. But it has given me a nice golden glow that looks quite natural at no extra cost to me, as I have been drinking very concentrated green tea every morning for about two years. This golden glow has helped offset some of the acne mark redness and seems to make flushing episodes more psychologically bearable. Interestingly despite the child neglect dental scenario, when I visited the dental hygienist privately of my own accord for the first time last year, she was shocked at how clean my teeth were. I believe this was in part because I have been drinking the equivalent of 3-6 cups of green tea every day for the last 2 years. Green tea helps prevent periodontal disease and dental caries. I would also like to add that daily consumption of green tea made a notable dent in my severe acne in 2013.
- I tried the Maybelline Baby Lips Strike a Rose lip balm, and as a person who doesn’t like bright makeup, was impressed. However it did not have great staying power. At about £3 from Boots it is an easy way to subtly enhance your appearance. It isn’t that moisturising, but it has a nice texture.
- Thinking about my own personal experiences, having alternated between ash brown, auburn, and blonde hair colours, I can say that redish and red hair colours can help offset facial redness. The opposite is true of ash shades. I have also seen my observations manifest in my friends. This tendency is also supported by The Beauty Department and its articles on hair colour (http://thebeautydepartment.com/2013/10/hair-color-guide-hint-of-red/). In my view patterns in recommendations based on skin tone are not reliable, and some of them may even be faulty. I have a cool or neutral skin tone and I look better with a neutral to warm hair colour and look quite drab in cool ashy colours. In terms of hair colour recommendations I think people with more severe facial redness should move towards red hair as much as they can stand and is appropriate for them. People with mild or moderate rosacea should stick to hair colours with a hint of red like copper blonde, strawberry blonde, honey blonde, honey brown, auburn, chestnut brown, mahogany brown, and cherry black. Or, they can go straight to red. Generally, I find that blonde hair looks more attractive on people with naturally fair skin, and it may accompany financial benefits statistically in terms of employment. Blonde hair can suit individuals with pinker complexions too. I do not consider red hair to be ideal as cultural stigma regarding it, just as there is a certain distaste towards curly hair, is still alive and well. Be prepared to get less views on online dating sites and be spoken to less in clubs. The image below serves to demonstrate the rosacea hair colour ballpark in my view. Dyeing your hair is an easy way to make erythema look less troublesome, and I am going to dye my hair auburn soon, but after that I will look into honey blonde, reddish brown, chestnut brown and mahogany brown. The first one is ideal to me, but I would like to experiment with the other colours.
- In terms of easy over the counter rosacea treatment I found the following “Topical vitamin C preparations have recently been studied in the reduction of the erythema of rosacea.18 Daily use of an over-the-counter cosmetic 5.0% vitamin C (L-ascorbic acid) preparation was used in an observer-blinded and placebocontrolled study. Nine of the 12 participants experienced both objective and subjective improvement in their erythema.18 It was suggested that free-radical production might play a role in the inflammatory reaction of rosacea, and that the antioxidant
effect of L-ascorbic acid might be responsible for its effect. These promising preliminary results still need to be confirmed in larger, long term studies.” (see here: http://www.jabfm.org/content/15/3/214.full.pdf+html).
- I have my pre-surgery dental implant appointment on the 21st of January.
- I have been drinking a double concentrated ginger infusion with every meal. Ginger is anti-H Pylori, anti-angiogenic in vivo and vitro, a broad anti-inflammatory, and helps release digestive secretions including enzyme lipase and gallbladder secretions. ( see here for antigenesis: http://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S0006291X05014543, here for anti-inflammatory action: http://online.liebertpub.com/doi/abs/10.1089/jmf.2005.8.125?src=recsys, here and here regarding digestion: http://informahealthcare.com/doi/abs/10.3109/09637486.2011.627841, http://informahealthcare.com/doi/abs/10.3109/09637489609028561and here regarding H Pylori http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3761965/) It seems to help with the GI symptoms and make me feel better somehow in a very general way.
- In terms of general good news Simple Skin Care has reformulated its line, and notable amounts of vitamin E and vitamin B3 can be found in its extremely cheap products.
In terms of plans regarding the next two weeks:
- Chris Kresser offers a number of free ebooks, including one of skin health and another on gut health, and I believe that I can use these to help create a sort of alleviation of treatment protocol. I intend to cross references both ebooks with the FODMAP diet (very important)
- I want to go back to the GP, claiming that the Duac caused a skin reaction, with a list of topicals I want to try and acquire something more appropriate (very important).
- Find a Polish shop that sells kefir at a cheaper price than Asda, this will constitute the main part of my breakfast (quite important).
- Locate more topical products containing licorice, or vitamin C, as to reach an investment (quite important).
- Search foreign shops and the internet for tougher chewing gum, which is useful for giving your face more width (quite important).
- Ideally I want to use Kathryn’s Marsden’s Good Gut Healing to produce a mindmap post on fibre, which might be useful to some people (bonus).
- Obviously I want to dye my hair, and invest in my next dye, which will hopefully be more up my street (bonus I like the sound of)t.
- I intend to pay more attention to fashion, and style, and may in time post research and ideas on that (bonus).