Tuesday, February 8, 2011

Why facial products should never change.

I won't be offended if the few menfolk that read this disengage right about...now.

For as far back as I can remember, I've always had sensitive skin. I can't wear jewelery or watches (lucky Mister C!). I can't wear most makeup, although I won't go out in public without my lipstick. And I really have to watch what kind of moisturizer I use. So when my family was looking for ideas for Christmas, I sent them a link to the exact moisturizer I have used for years. And when I opened it up at Christmas, I was very happy.

Fast forward to a few weeks ago when I had finally opened the box up to start using my favorite moisturizer. When I pulled it out of the box I thought "Hmmmm, they changed the packaging." I wasn't too concerned as I know that most companies change their packaging periodically. So I started using it.

A few days later I noticed some minor breaking out. Considering that I had just started night class and my in-laws were still in town, I figured I might be a little stressed out and didn't worry too much about it. A few days after that, I noticed when I put my moisturizer on that it kind of felt like it was burning as I was applying it. I figured my skin must be really dry and again, didn't worry too much about it.

About five days ago I looked in the mirror in the morning and thought "Hmmm, what the hell? Why am I covered in acne?" It did not occur to me at the time that it was a reaction to anything since I hadn't used the moisturizer the night before. I didn't realize that a contact dermatitis can take up to 48 hours to appear.

But anyway, I thought I had acne so I went over to the pharmacy and picked up some Cetaphil and a cleanser with benzoyl peroxide in it and started using them that night. I alternated between the two products, using one at night and one in the morning. I did this for two days, hoping to see good results rapidly.

But guess what? When you have an allergic reaction to a product and then you add on a harsher product (the benzoyl peroxide) it makes the problem much, much worse. I mean REALLY worse. Like, scare small children worse. Let me put it this way, when I went back to the pharmacy today to pick up some cortisone cream and benadryl I took the cream up to the counter and the following conversation ensued...

Mirth: Hey, will this cortisone cream help with this reaction I'm having?
Young Man behind counter: What are you reacting to?
Mirth: A moisturizer.
Young Man: It should, but hang on and let me ask the pharmacist to make sure.
He then walks further behind the counter to where the pharmacist is.
Young Man: Hey, will this cream help this woman with an allergic reaction? She's reacting to a moisturizer she used.
Pharmacist: Yes, it should.
At the point, the pharmacist starts walking toward me while reading the box and looks up mid-sentence.
Pharmacist: Yes, this should work for your...OH! You really DO have a reaction don't you? Wow. (At this point, she has completely stopped in her tracks and is looking at my face.)
Mirth: Yes. Yes I do. So this will work?
Pharmacist (pausing while staring) Yeeeeesss, but you might want to take some Benadryl as well. Yes, I would take the Benadryl and use the lotion. But if that (oh my goodness, my face is a "that"?) doesn't get any better you need to go to a doctor. That must be so painful. Does it itch?
Mirth: Yep. It's driving me nuts.
Pharmacist: Wow (big pause). Yes, take the Benadryl for sure, that's going to make the most noticeable difference the quickest. But no driving because it can make you sleepy.
Mirth: Thanks. I'll just take my Quasimodo self over to the aisle where the Benadryl is.
Pharmacist: Yes, do. Good luck with that.

I think it's safe to say that it might be a tad noticeable. And also, kudos to the young man for looking me in the eye and not reacting at all to my swollen, red rashy face. And don't worry about me driving under the influence, I'll be trying to avoid going out in public for a few days until I stop scaring small children. It probably doesn't help that every time someone does a double take I want to throw my hand up and shout "Do not look upon me! I Am NOT an animal!" So far, I have resisted. But there's not guarantees for tomorrow.


Anonymous said...

Yes, I can attest to her red rashy face,I had to wear sunglasses to protect my eyes from the bright,scary"animal" sitting beside me. Don't worry Dear,I still love you,I have to,I'm your mother!

Bo said...

I just came to see you 'cause I hadn't seen you in a while, and you ran me off in the very first sentence! ;-)

Mirth said...

@Bo: Lucky you didn't see me in person, running would have definitely been high on your list of priorities!