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Avatar universal

Skin Problem

I am a 26 year old white male, and I have had a skin problem on my face for about 4 years now. I have redness on my chin, sides of nose out to the cheeks, and between the eyebrows, accompanied with dead flakey skin (unless I scrub it off), and approx 3 hours after washing my skin becomes increasingly oily (very shiny). I have been to a Dermotologist, and have used shampoos, and other types of cleansers along with creams such as Eledel, Cortizone, Noritrate, and it seems none make a difference, in fact most make my face more red and oily then previous. Usually the process seems to help (first few days), and then goes terribly wrong after a few weeks, and I always end up with a red face and oily skin. The only thing that seemd to help the redness was steroids in a cream, but I was informed by my doctor that long term steroid use isn't good for the skin. I have read about Vitamin B5 to reduce oily skin, but not sure what that would help. I want to solve my problem from the source, and I know it has to be all connected in some way. The only relief I have from the situation is to skip a shower on some nights, that usually provides at least a little relief, but then I have to deal with the flaky skin building up and blocking my pores. I would say the chin is the worst area, I have constant redness, even when smiling or eating it will change to a darker red, and I always have flakey skin, when I use a lotion it seems to just come right off and expose the red skin underneath. What should I explore from this point? Is there somewhere to get more information, possibly match my symptoms up with someone that has had this before, and see what has worked for them? Thank you for your time.
12 Responses
242489 tn?1210500813
The key to your question is your request, "I want to solve my problem from the source."  This implies that your problem has a source, and that you want to address it.  The problem is that your problem has no source.  You have red skin.  Redness is very annoying to people, but redness is not a disease.  If it were (seborrhea, rosacea), the creams you were given would have helped, at least temporarily.  Your comment "unless I scrub it off," is also revealing.  Scrub what off?  Why are you scrubbing your face?  You can't scrub off flakes.  Scrubbing makes redness more red.  

Get other dermatologic opinions, by all means, but I think that in the end, you are going to need to come to terms with the fact that you have red highlights in your skin.  Women wear green-tinted foundation makeup to hide redness, but in our culture that advice won't work for men.  Conceivably, laser treatments may help to reduce redness, at least up to a point, and you may want to look into that.

You may or may not be able to come to terms with the way you are, but looking for answers when there aren't any is not, I fear, going to make you any happier.


Dr. Rockoff
Avatar universal
Dr Rockoff,
     If my only problem was red skin then I don't think I would have posted the message or asked you a question. I don't understand how you can offer that kind of advice if you had read my message and gave it some adequate attention. Of course you can scrub off dry flakes, it is simply dead skin, and if I don't then it tends to build up and block my pores. My statement about attacking this problem from the source was meant to imply that I don't want to scrub my face to fix the problem, I want to learn about what I have and what products work well in the situation. I also put in my message that the shampoo and creams did offer temporary relief, but I guess you overlooked that part while you skimmed through the text. I have been diagnosed with Seborrheic Dermatits for your information, but what I have used so far has not worked well for me. Your advice was for me to come to terms with myself, that is probably the most shallow comment I have ever heard out of a doctor's mouth. In fact, the only piece of remotely helpful information you offered was about laser surgery, but you didn't even take the time to explain anything about it. You're lucky I am a strong person that has come to terms with myself, because comments like yours could cause someone to stop searching for answers and lock themselves into an unhealthy sheltered life. So please, don't get complacement, and remember that the people your replying to are real people coming to you for real help. Have a nice day.
Avatar universal
Max28, believe me, I understand your frustration.  I've been extremely disappointed with my experiences with medical professionals and have serious unresolved health problems, but I think you're overreacting a little.  Maybe it would have been helpful for you to mention your diagnosis of seborrheic dermatitis in your post.  You actually said that none of the shampoos, cleansers, or creams that you were given had helped, except for a steroid cream that you were advised against using long term.

The hard truth is that medical science is powerless to understand or effectively treat many health problems and I think that's the point the Dr. was making, that if you're in that situation, searching for answers that no one has is only going to cause you greater misery.

I agree that complacency and indifference is a big problem in the medical field, I just think you may have an exaggerated sense of that happening in this case.

I'm sure there must be a lot of information about laser skin treatments on the Internet, though, honestly, most of what I found was talking about reducing wrinkles and scarring, not so much about something like reducing redness, though I have seen things like "Remove brown spots and splotchy skin color" mentioned.  Not exactly an unbiased source, but you may want to look at this page:

Good luck treating your condition.
242489 tn?1210500813

The dry flakes of seborrhea do not block pores.  If the creams you doctor gave you didn't get rid of the redness, then the likelihood is that your problem is not a skin disease like seborrhea or rosacea, but just red skin.  Now that you've explained it, I better understand your question about cause to mean what products work better for the redness.  Unfortunately, other than cosmetics, I don't know any.  Lasers may help a bit, as I said.  To learn more about them--there are many kinds--you will need to consult a doctor who uses them, to learn the various pros and cons of each.

As to coming to terms with physical matters that can't be helped medically, I'm afraid that's necessary at times.  If you consider that assessment shallow, I'm afraid I can't help it.  It remains true, however, that not every physical change is a disease which can be modified medically.  In your case, given your lack of response to seborrheic medications, I can't think of any such disease, or treatment.  Perhaps you can find someone else who can.

Dr. Rockoff
Avatar universal
Max, I have read a lot about something called "Photorejuvenation" or Intense Pulsed Light (IPL) lasers. It seems that they have really great success at reducing redness (whatever may be the cause). I believe this works because it destroys the very superficial blood vessels (some of us have more small vessels near the skin than others, and this is one reason why we get red skin).  IPL also has other benefits as well, but I believe that reduction in redness is one of the most dramatic.

I would look into this if I were you. You usually need 4 or 5 treatments, and it's not cheap. The cheapest I've seen where I live (Los Angeles area) is 1,500 for the whole series of treatments. But if it works, and you have a bit of extra cash, it might really be worth it.

By the way, this kind of procedure has no down-time, as it acts on the area beneath the surface (it doesn't burn your skin off or anything like that). That's a major plus in my book.

Anyway, I cannot guarantee this will work, but I've been researching it for some time, and it  seems legit.

Take care, and good luck!

Avatar universal
Your skin problem sounds very similar to what my boyfriend has.  He has not gone to the doctor for his problem.  But, I have found a shampoo that seems to work for him.  I on the other hand I do not use this shampoo, since it seems to exaberate my Hidradenitis Suppurativa.  The shampoo is called Chang Sheng Shampoo by Dr. Qu.  It can be very expensive for an 8 oz bottle ($30+).  I don't remember exactly which magazine I ordered this shampoo from, so you will need to do a web search if you are interested. He also uses Neutrogena dandruff shampoo (also using it on his face, etc.) and this also seems to help.

Good Luck!
Ruth B
Avatar universal
This is embarressing, but I had unprotected sex with someone about 5 days ago. Tonite, I noticed I had these red bumps at the base of my penis, all at the base of hair follicles. I am freaking out because it could be herpes, but all it is, is these red bumbs, that puss and have a little white head come out when you pop them. I have infected hair follicles on the backs of my thighs and I have had them on my penis before. One thing I remember specifically was that after having this unprotected sex, I didnt take a shower and wash the fluid off my penis. I also masterbate using lotion, and dont always shower right afterwards. Could all this have caused the hair follicles to get infected? I will go get tested anyway, but just to ease my mind a bit does this sound like infected hair follicles? No pain, buring, itching, swelling, or any other symptoms. Just the red bumps at the base of hair at the base of my penis.
Avatar universal
My cold sore began last week, about 5 days ago. This is not my first cold sore...I usually get them when I'm stressed, so what I have done is very stupid and I really can't believe that I did this!  When I was putting my makeup on, I applied too much on the cold sore so I took a q-tip and rolled it over the makeup on the cold sore and laid it on the bathroom vanity. I always use a clean q-tip to swab the inside corners on my eye after apllying liquid foundation to take the excess from the corner eye area. Guess what I did? I used the q-tip that had makeup on that was on my cold sore. My question is...should I be concerned? I used a warm kleenex right away to clean around the eye and I have since used about 15 to 20 drops of Tears solution to help flush my eye out. Is this adequate or should I be getting something from my doctor or the optometrist?? Please answer soon...I'm panicking like  crazy!!!
Thanks for your help.
Avatar universal
Hello to all who suffer from Red Face Syndrome.  Trust me, I understand.  I am a person who has achieved high degrees of success in life, who considers himself intelligent, action oriented and persistent (As a partner in a business consulting firm, my clients pay me $6,000 a day and millions a year to come help in their businesses because I have a knack for ferreting out the truth within a complex matter or system).  I know personally the severe negative impact that Rosecea can impart on a person
Avatar universal
My best friend had sebhorric(sp?) dermatitis, mostly on her scalp but it would creep onto her face at times, causing a good deal of distress.  The thing is, if she was too aggressive with the flakes her skin would start looking like a boiled lobster.  What she found most helpful was a VERY GENTLE cleansing routine, that she followed faithfully twice a day.  I know guys don't want to hear this but if you have a dermatitis the skin is irritated and delicate--if you scrub it will just get worse. I know that Mary Kay and other cosmetics companies have men's products that are designed to exfoliate-get rid of the flakes-without irritating the skin underneath.  Also, you probably need a good moisturizer.  I know--if you're oily, why moisturize? But, if you have dry skin it frequently rebounds by pumping ou the oil (found that out the hard way).
   Maybe you've kicked the original problem, but all of the creams etc. have kept it so irritated you can't tell.  Try babying your face for a week or two and see what happens.

Oh--my friend also changed pillowslips every night, to keep any irritants away from her face.  I tried it myself when I had  acne and it really helped.
Avatar universal
Max28, I totally understand where you are coming from.  I recently went to a derm and we talked about the same issues, redness around the nose, chin and between the eye brows as well as adult cyst
Avatar universal
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