Dermatology Expert Forum
Skin Damage
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This forum is for questions regarding Dermatology issues, such as: rashes, acne, birthmarks, skin infections, rosacea, and general skin care. All questions will be answered by a medical professional.

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Skin Damage

Hi, my name is ryan.  I noticed a red circular discoloration on the right side of my face about two years ago.  I went to see a dermatologist about the problem and he prescribed topical steroids.  I applied the topical steroids to the right side of my face.  One day I noticed some redness on the left side of my face after shaving, and like an idiot I applied the topical steroids to the left side of my face.  I continued to apply the steroids to both sides of my face for two weeks.  Sometimes I would come in from the sun and the areas on my face were I applied the steroids would be bright red.  After I stopped using the steroids I noticed that the redness on both sides of my face was worse than when I started.  I started wondering if the redness was from the type of cleanser I was using.  So, to make things worse, I pretty much stopped washing my face with any kind of cleanser for about six months.  The redness remained and my face felt extremely dry.  Eventually I went back to the dermatologist.  He sent me through five or six laser treatments to get rid of the redness.  They worked pretty well.  Most of the redness is gone.  I still notice some of the redness, especially after I shave or get out of the shower.  It also looks better since I started washing my face again.  Speaking of washing my face.  I started washing my face again with Noxzema.  It took away the dry feeling and made the sides of my face look better, but my nose got pretty red.  So, I started washing my face with an Oil of Olay bar.  It cleared my nose right up, and made the sides of my face look and feel great for about a week.  Then, for some stupid reason, I started using a wash rag instead of my hands.  My skin started peeling after I washed my face.  So, I started using my hands to wash my face again.  My skin still peels, but other than the peeling skin, it doesn't really look any worse.  I basically have two questions.  Will the redness caused by the topical steroids ever go away, or is the damage permanent?  What do I do about the skin peeling on my face?  Is it a result of not washing my face with a cleanser for so long?  Is it a good thing, or a bad thing?  Any kind of information would be helpful.  I'm just tired of the laser treatments and I don't know which products are good for your skin and bad for your skin.  There are so many different products out there any more.  I wish I never would have went to the dermatologist in the first place.  I know they meant well, but I think those topical steroids were the root of all my problems.  Thank you for your time, ryan.
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I am not sure why your face is red, but I doubt it is because of topical steroids--only inappropriately strong steroids would do that, and only after chronic use.  As to the flaking, it could be a rash called seborrhea, or else irritation, or perhaps allergy to an ingredient of something you're using, though this is unlikely.  I advise you to see a dermatologist for another opinion, perhaps someone who is not involved with laser treatment--you need proper diagnosis for reassurance and planning.

Take care.

Dr. Rockoff
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