It was winter time and I started to notice a patch of dry, slightly red and itchy skin on one of my cheeks.
I didn’t know it then, but that was the start of a long and unhappy year.
I started to apply moisturiser, and it would go down. But then a few days later it was back. I guessed it was down to the cold and because I was wearing a helmet to ride my motorbike to work and back each day.
Time was not kind…
As the weeks and months went by, the redness continued to get worse each time it arrived and the gaps between it going away were getting shorter. I started to think it could be something else.
The redness on my face was itchy and inflamed
I did what anyone would do…
I started to apply all kinds of moisturisers and face creams. From products like Simple to Palmer’s cocoa butter lotion, but none of them worked.
And as the weeks went by, things started to get much worse. As this continued, the redness on my face was very visible. To the point where it looked as though I had got sunburn marks while wearing sunglasses.
Fast forward 10 months and my face had got so bad that I didn’t want to go outside unless I was going to work. I felt incredibly self-conscious and embarrassed. It took a massive hit on my self confidence and mental health.
The outbreaks of redness and itching on my face would go in phases. First of all, it would be red and itchy. Then it would calm down a bit but start to heal over and the skin would become very flaky. Here’s how it looked as it was healing.
The skin on my forehead would peel and flake
The problem was that after this outbreak and healing, another outbreak would happen almost immediately afterwards.
It was at this point that I was getting desperate for things to try to resolve it.
What the doctors said…
The doctors I saw gave me some creams to try, but none of them worked. I’d seen multiple doctors, all of whom said it was a form of dermatitis such as Seborrheic or atopic. One said it was Rosacea. In short, no one knew.
So, I turned to trusty Google…The solver of all problems! Here are some of the key things I found to try out:
- Low histamine diets
- Removing all dairy
- Cut out known allergy foods, like eggs, seafood & nuts
- No caffeine, so no coffee!
I tried all of them! I even sold my £500 coffee machine to remove the temptation. I wish I hadn’t sold it now…
Below, I’ll share some more details on what I tried, what helped and what didn’t. But first, here’s the solution that literally changed my life within a few days!
The Ordinary Azelaic Acid
I’ll go into the details on this more in section 5 below, but this face cream has literally changed my life. It’s a cheap (£5.50) option so if it doesn’t work you have not lost much. It’s 100% worth it.
The best solution for redness like eczema, dermatitis or rosacea I’ve used
Remember, though, that this is my personal experience. What works for me might not work for you. If you are reading this post, I imagine you are in a similar position to where I was. I know how it feels, so it is worth trying things out to see if they work for you.
I’m confident you will find a solution, you just have to keep looking and trying things.
Where to buy Azelaic Acid
I always buy direct from The Ordinary, also known as Deciem. I buy 5 Azelaic Acid items at a time so that I get free delivery. You can purchase direct from there here.
What happened when The Ordinary went out of stock…
So, just the other week I went to buy some more azelaic acid from The Ordinary website and found it was out of stock…Nightmare! I panicked and looked around for others to buy online. Unfortunately, there weren’t really and others within a reasonable price range.
Then I stumbled upon a place called Pharmacy2U. I noticed that they have a 20% azelaic acid formula. A few questions later, which are required because this cream is only available with a prescription, and I had placed my order.
I have a history of eczema, from a child and up until now, so I had some creams lying around which contained hydrocortisone.
I was curious if this would help the condition on my face so I applied a little and it did help! The next day it was a lot clearer. I knew this wasn’t a long term solution, because applying too much hydrocortisone can damage the skin, but it worked for social events…
I would use it a day or so before I knew I had to go somewhere, such as for a birthday or to meet friends. I saw it as a short term solution to help me cope with the redness on my face.
You can read more about the use of hydrocortisone on the Eczema website.