Friday, 1 April 2016

Dealing with Folliculitis

I've always had near-to-perfect skin, with no major problems, and only 1-2 blemishes on my face each time after PMS. I woke up on Wednesday morning, to find half my face covered in pus-filled red spots, and my face swollen. I literally didn't know what to do! I instantly went to see a doctor (he's my GP, but he also specialises in dermatology), and he told me I had Folliculitis. I asked him whether it was because I had a Lipodermis treatment on Monday, or whether it was the new mask that I had used on Tuesday night, but he said it was neither, as it's only on one side of the face, AND that it had grown in a circle.

He literally stared at my face and jokingly said "I really can't figure out why it's grown in a circle shape. That's really usual". I told him it might have been my pillow, since I mainly sleep on my left side. He prescribed me with a non-steroid ointment (Fucidin) to apply morning and night, but the results were too slow, as I had a high school reunion on Saturday, and I wanted to recover ASAP. This is what my face looked like, and although it doesn't look that bad in the photos, I was devastated and depressed already by the sight of it! My face was literally SWOLLEN, and of course, I wasn't used to seeing my face so red and eww!

My face felt itchy and irritated, and I was too scared to use anything. I used the Cerave mild face cleanser that the doctor had given, then used the Hydro Intensive Toner and Doctoray Intensive Hydrating Cream from CNP Laboratory, which I reviewed here.

To help relieve the irritations, I decided to create my own mask. I applied this 3-4 times a day.

Distilled Water (acidic)
Lavender Essential Oil
Frankincense Essential Oil
Ylang Ylang Essential Oil (optional)
Cotton Pads or Blank Sheet Masks

I usually add 1-2 drops of Lavender, and 1-2 drops of Frankincense into a ceramic (non-reactive) bowl. I also started adding in 1-2 drops of Ylang Ylang too as I had an inflammation, and wanted too see quicker results. Fill the rest of the bowl with distilled water.

Mix the mixture a little with your finger. Soak the cotton pad or blank sheet mask into the mixture, and apply to the face. If the mask does not adhere properly, wet a cotton pad, and press gently against the bits that are sticking out.

I created this mask to apply to my face 3-4 times a day. On the first day, I only used Lavender and Frankincense, and I found that they were too mild for my condition, like they were soothing as such, but it didn't help with the spots in particular. I must say, I hate the smell of Frankincense and Ylang Ylang, but anything that would help my skin, I would try, and when they were diluted in water, it didn't smell as bad! During the first two days, I used cotton pads as I didn't have any blank sheet masks, and although some cotton pads may not adhere very well, they actually stay wet for longer, and can stay there for up to 1 hour.

Cotton pads usually stay wet for longer, so you can leave it on for 30 minutes or so, or until it dries, whereas the blank sheet mask will dry quicker, so you'll have to remove the mask after 15-20 minutes. You can keep wetting the mask with a cotton pad if you want it on for longer.

After waking up on Day 2, I realised that my pillow must have been the cause, as the spots were redder than they were the previous night, AND I started having spots on the other side of my face too! I instantly put the pillow case in the washing, and used another pillow just in case. I also started using Ylang Ylang on Day 2, and sometimes, it would sting my face, but I read online that it's just doing its anti-septic job.

I cheated, and replaced the Fucidin with Hydrocortisone 1%, since the Fucidin was too mild for me. I continued to mask my face 3-4 times a day though. On Day 3, I was able to purchase the blank sheet masks from Miniso, and the fitting was terrible! The blank sheet masks were made of cotton, had a slightly different shape each time, and required lots of folding down and touch-ups. Putting the masks into the water was quite entertaining though, as they reminded me of the tampon-in-water experiment we had at high school. The only good thing about my DIY masks, is that I know I used quality ingredients in the making of the mask!

By the end of Day 3, I could see that the spots had become less bumpy. I also went to purchase a new foundation and concealer to cover it all up the next day!

By Day 4, the day of my high school reunion, the spots had subsided significantly, and the spots on the right side of the face were nearly gone!

A quick photo while heading to the reunion! The spots were still slightly visible, but were definitely much easier to cover, and were barely noticeable to others, unless they stared at my face!

A happy girl heading to the reunion!

I usually use the leftover mixture as a toner as well - I just soak cotton pads into it, and then use it to wipe my face. If you don't want the mixture to go to waste, you can either pour it into your diffuser, or add some Himalayan Salt, and make a foot bath.

My friend started having a spot "down there" that felt itchy and painful, and she remembered what I had said about using Frankincense and Lavender to mask, so she stuck (literally, using tape) a cotton pad soaked with the oils onto that spot. She continued doing this consecutively for a few days, and the spot magically disappeared. She was so happy, and so was her wallet!

I really like how the products from CNP Laboratory are fragrance free, and are even suitable for the most sensitive skins. I soon found a sample cleanser from CNP Laboratory (also from the Hydro Intensive line, which is used to hydrate and soothe skin), and started using that instead of the one that the doctor gave. I also started using the CNP Laboratory Mugener Ampule and Mugener Deep Soothing Pack recently too.

Things have gotten much better, and now there are just three faint pink dots on my skin, which will hopefully go away soon after using some peeling products. I now change my pillow case every few days, and I'm still sticking to gentle (fragrance-free) products for now. Sometimes I will add a few drops of Frankincense Essential Oil to my toner, so that my skin can recover faster.

The doctor told me not to apply any essential oils to my skin, but I didn't listen, as I knew I had the most trusted essential oils at home. All the oils I used are therapeutic grade, and are from Young Living.

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That's probably enough for today. Thank you for reading, and have a nice day!

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