Several years ago I never imagined I’d need to consider seeing a specialist for my skin. Growing up, I had the usual hormonal breakouts but now, I’m stumped…
This is going to be a fairly long read of my trials and tribulations, so grab a drink or a snack. You’ve been warned!
If you’ve been following since about 5 months ago I created my, ‘My Skin Journey’ series. If you want to read all of them before this one, then they’re here here here and here.
At the beginning of 2018, I decided to revamp my less than impressive skincare routine. I must sheepishly admit that my ‘routine’ consisted of washing my face with bar soap in the morning, moisturising before makeup, then a makeup wipe and/or micellar water to remove makeup in the evening and another hose down with soap.
I hardly used moisturiser in the evening, unless I noticed my face got itchy and I could visibly see dry patches which I’ve always been prone to. The only thing I’d never do is go to sleep with a face full of makeup, so I’m proud of that at least.
With the information I had found and the excitement of starting a new online business, I was certain that my new found skincare routine was going to turn my skin around 180° as it did for many others. Spoiler alert, it didn’t.
I had purchased fragrance free cleansers, moisturiser’s and sunscreens and omitted makeup from my daily routine all for the sake of letting my skin heal, release toxins and breathe.
Yes, my skin did improve slightly, yours will too with these changes. But mostly I noticed it stayed much the same and I must be dealing with something else I couldn’t control.
I became desperate in a bid to clear myself of flushed skin, dryness and this cluster of comedonal bumps all over my forehead, cheeks and chin.
The more I tried, the more it worsened. I couldn’t get rid of this texture. I sifted through old pictures of myself and couldn’t see the same texture I had developed now. Or could I?
I was driving myself crazy.
Perhaps now looking back, my skin was used to the old bar soap and no actual routine method of ‘skincare’ approach. A case of too much too fast?
Initial GP visit
In September 2018, I visited my GP in the hope of a cure. I will briefly explain what happened in those few months.
- I was first prescribed Doxycycline 50mg for 2 months
- I was switched to a different BC pill, Yasmin
- When none of that worked I was prescribed DUAC and sent home with a referral to a Dermatologist
We left off with my GP prescribing me a hefty $50.00 cream Duac, that contains Benzoyl Peroxide + Clindamycin. I used it for a few days.
Benzoyl Peroxide can be a fabulous ingredient that helps with various skin conditions however it is super drying and irritating to the skin. I have used Benzac, a face wash available in Australia at Chemist Warehouse and Priceline stores. I can’t remember the effect it had on my skin except the peeling.
Clindamycin is another great topical ingredient I used many a year ago in high school on large pimples. It worked great for me.
Result: My skin got even worse using this cream. I experienced red, dry and irritated skin accompanied by stinging skin when applying my moisturiser. I admit, I probably used this too often, too quickly. I discontinued use.
When to see a Dermatologist?
I attempted to remedy my skin issues for 9 months. Then with the help of my GP for about 3 months.
I wholeheartedly understand my skin issues aren’t major. There are plenty of others in a far worse condition than myself. If you do suffer with pain and/or unusual or severe symptoms then I urge you to see a medical professional ASAP.
Do not wait around trying to fix things yourself.
Here is a helpful site you can use to research Dermatologists in your area before speaking with your GP, The Australasian College of Dermatologists.
Recent Pics as of February 2019
3 month comparison
I wore makeup, wore sunscreen and a hat, I washed my face with bar soap and cleanser, I moisturised a lot and I tried to not stare at my skin in the mirror too often. When my face got itchy, I used a steroid cream Advantan which was initially prescribed to me in 2016.
All the fun stuff
I waited a little under 3 months to get an appointment. This may vary between areas, states and countries. I’ve heard people waiting 6 months + to see a Derm.
Bring with you to the appointment
Your medicare card, referral, money and yourself.
Also, I thought it’d be handy to have a collection of pictures to show her of my skin in the past year. On a notepad, I jotted down a timeline of past skin problems I’d encountered in my life along with a family history on skin diseases etc. It’s easy to forget things in the moment, so this helped.
It’s not cheap, I paid $250 for my first consultation/visit and received a $73 medicare rebate. In total, $177. I had 3 months to save, which is a plus for the waiting period.
What happens when you get there?
I filled out a form with all my details and was told my referral was valid for 12 months.
How long does my appointment last with the Doc?
It’s important to remember that specialists specialise in an area of their chosen medical field. Unfortunately they don’t have hours to spend with you as there are many other patients waiting to see them as well, hence the long waiting times for a consultation.
My appointment lasted about 20-25 minutes. Others were seen in just 15 minutes.
My experience and some answers.
I was told I have good skin, no acne at present (however I did last year in the photos I showed previously). I also have mild Seborrehoeic Dermatitis, mild Eczema and mild Rosacea.
I feel peace of mind going forth with this information and I will be posting my routine soon enough when I have the time to let the routine settle including all the Derm’s scripts and recommendations.
Wish me luck as this journey continues to hydrated skin and I hope you didn’t find this lengthy read too boring!!
Have you ever seen a Derm for skin issues or consider seeing one? Let me know your experiences below. I’d love to discuss.
Remember to love your health.