So far in this blog series, I have mainly covered the factual side of how my skin went out of control. We can now confirm dairy was my enemy. What I did not really touch on is how I dealt with the aesthetic side of things during my final year of university. It is a time in your life you ideally would not need to care about what you wear. However, given the severity of my skin issues with the constant weeping/bleeding skin, I did not have this leisure. In this blog, I will touch on how I dealt with this on a day-to-day basis and how I treated the skin scarring. I will also share some great products too.
Mental Journey with my Skin
In the initial stages where my skin only had a few patches across my legs, I really was not too concerned about appearances. At this point I did not feel they were problematic enough for me to want to hide them. I continued life normally and went on holidays with the patches showing and took no further notice of them. However, this did not last very long, as from the first patch to the huge breakout in September 2016, there were only a few months in it.
Apologies for the unpleasant image, especially if you have had to see this in Part 1 and Part 2. At this point, there was nothing that could be done besides wearing full length, loose joggers and hoodies as my arms were in a similar state. I would still wear leggings to the gym and long sleeve tops. These would often get stuck to my skin and I would sometimes find they were wet from the weeping skin. Admittedly it was hard not to let this get me down sometimes. On nights out it would be jeans and long sleeve crops tops as dresses were not even an option.
During this time, I had actually started a fitness Instagram page earlier in the year and it was actually doing quite well. However, with everything that happened with my skin it added to the feeling of not wanting to post pictures anymore. Shortly after, I deactivated my account and have not gone back since.
Make-Up Coverage of Skin Scarring
It was only after my skin had settled down following the course of oral steroids where make-up was able to help. This is because my skin was no longer torn open and there was just dark scarring and the odd flare ups. I was never one to use much make-up so I really did not know where to start. In fact, the first bit of foundation and concealer I ever bought was actually to use to cover my legs rather than my face. I used make-up to cover my legs on a few nights out when I wanted to wear a dress and it was not too bad.
As mentioned in Part 2, I had a holiday to New York and Miami coming up. It was only a few weeks before flying out that I had realised the root cause of my skin issues, dairy. By time I was on holiday, my skin was now completely flat with no signs of flare ups but I did have an enormous amount of scarring. The scars were fresh and very dark. Make-up was not always ideal, especially as it could smudge. In New York, knee high boots did the trick.
In Miami, it was much hotter and the majority of my outfits involved wearing shorts. Admittedly, I was very self-conscious walking down the street. However, I was still posting photos on Instagram and it was quite difficult to spot any signs of scarring with the use of make-up and filters. It was after Wrestlemania where I saw a snapchat I had posted and was horrified at the sight of my skin. I instantly deleted the photo but it really did show this foundation/concealer was not it.
It was not long after where my friend recommended a fantastic product. This is a product I would highly, highly recommend. It is the Sally Hansen Airbrush Legs product (affiliate link). This product has brilliant coverage and what I love about it is that it dries very quickly and does not smudge. The spray washes off very easily but it really does last. This is what I continued to wear for the next couple of years if I needed it. For the most part I would stick to jeans or trousers.
Skin Peels to Heal Skin Scarring
Bio Oil was not working and I quickly learnt the NHS would not offer any skin peels or solutions to the scarring. This was definitely something I was interested in and led me to come across a lovely lady called Fiz. Unfortunately, we have lost contact so I cannot provide any further details but Fiz performed several courses of skin peels on my skin. This was fairly expensive and I believe the first treatment was around £1,500. In all honesty, I really did not notice much of a difference and was quite disappointed. These peels were tailored to Asian skin types and I did hope it would work but all it seemed to do was shed all my skin.
After trying the first skin peel treatment for skin scarring and being let down, Fiz told me about a newer product called Nunii. This is a European treatment that was difficult to come across in the UK. Again it was not cheap, probably costing around the same amount as the first peel. This would also involved using many different day and night daily creams. Before and after photos can be seen below where after is actually on the left. I do not think the photo does much justice as it just looks like my skin got lighter but this was not the case.
I am not sure if my skin continued to heal at a quick rate after due to this product or not. What I do know is that the biggest healer for me was time. I am so grateful that my skin has finally healed all these years later since the above image from 2018 and looking at my skin now, it would be difficult to believe all that it had gone through.
Thank you for joining me on this very difficult journey. If you are suffering with skin issues of your own, I hope these blogs helped in some way and I wish you all the best.