Coping With Eczema/ Dermatitis

This is not an easy post for me to compose, as I’ve just broken out with my worst yet rash of Atopic Dermatitis/ Eczema from working outside in the heat and sweating. When I work doing shoots outdoors (or indoors without proper AC), my skin gets REALLY upset. What exactly happens? First, I break out in rashes from the constant sweating, the skin gets red/ irritated, itchy, then as I fight with the “keep it dry” mantra using medicated Hydrocortisone ointment, bacteria moves fast and my ordeal is a lost battle. It will usually take more than a week for my skin to heal up, the areas where there are folds in my body such as the armpits, elbow and under chin become super sensitive, broken/ raw (it is so painful) not to mention terribly embarrassing to mention. Of course avoiding to sweat/ keeping areas dry keeps eczema at bay but I still have to function, like everyone else does in Singapore’s heat. The process for me personally, is a one step forward, two behind scenario. On my last trip to the USA, landing in dry California immediately stopped the eczema rash within two days. I was not sweating and perspiring the way I do in Singapore. Coincidence? You be the judge. Sweat is the rash trigger.

Today I met with my dermatologist and was told I have severe primary axillary hyperhidrosis better known as excessive underarm sweating, all just lovely right? I live in a very hot, humid climate, am always on the go and the sweat is non-stop from the car, outdoors and many public areas which do not have air circulating and I should mention I love to exercise and do high intensity cardio. The air conditioning of Singapore is not like it is in the USA which is mostly central (or the UK where it is perpetually mild so you hardly ever need AC), take this from me, it is a big struggle to stay dry for most. At the advice of the GP and my own intuition, I made the decision to start using Botox in the underarm areas to fight a real fight and cut the possibility of yet another rash. The process is tiny injections superficially into the nerves to stop the glands from perspiring excessively. Getting injections was very beyond painful because my armpits are broken out and tender since Friday last week when I spent a good 8hr shift doing makeup/ hair. On Monday, I started a course of antibiotics to stop the bacteria from growing.

The lesson I learned is, eczema/ atopic dermatitis is a horrible non-curable condition but there are things you can do to fight this nasty ailment. Use soap free products like Cetaphil cleanser and Dermalogica Ultra Calming serum (used in my chin area when I was itching and started feeling the red bumps, huge relief), as well as my other friend Hydrocortisone ointment 0.1% (prescribed by a dermatologist). Another nugget I found out is that there is medicated anti-perspirant. You bet I ordered myself some through Amazon (and a big thank you to my sister who will send it to me from CA). Last but not least, I now firmly believe in Botox! As I endured the multiple injections one by one as the kind doctor handed me a box of tissue (total of 50 mil injected), all I kept thinking was being rash and sweat free for a while (the suppression is temporary, probably 4-6 months and I am OK with that). Keeping calm, DRY and carrying ON.

Tsuya New Skincare From Shu Uemura

This month of August has been very busy for me, busier than last year and certainly warmer than I remember now that I am in Singapore officially five years! Between work, a new regime of no fried food, TRX circuit training exercise, very little alcohol AND this new range of skincare from Shu Uemura called TSUYA Skin Youthful Radiance Generator, my skin is looking good. Before I get into the Tsuya review, I want to add that when you put the effort forward with diet, skincare and exercise combined, the results speak for themselves.

When I started the Tsuya skincare challenge I was very impressed with the idea of a serum that promised glow [Plus I love a good serum]. When I apply a little base whether it is foundation or even concealer, Tsuya glides on smoothly and absorbs into the skin fast without much of an oily layer, love that! At night, I have also been putting it on to let it sink into my skin and do its magic.

Some of the benefits of Tsuya include a more supple and glowy skin which are exactly the comments I have been receiving from various peers and friends. WO-HOO! ** What else did I do different? Sleep at least six hours every night. Drink fluids and include 12oz of green tea at least once a day. Less alcohol especially carbonated and cocktail drinks, doing wine very moderately, one serving a week. Sweating it out 3x a week. Taking my usual vitamins and fish oil 1000mg daily. Eating things like steamed fish, seaweed, fresh foods. No soda, sugary drinks, fizzy anything and if I treat myself to a coffee I add agave nectar, a low glycemic natural sweetener.

Before I turn this into a bore, I want my readers to know that as much as I love a proper skincare regime, how your face reacts to a good product like Tsuya is just as much as the food we put in our mouth, habits and general well-being. Give yourself a little love and you’ll see the BIG payoff.