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So depressed about my skin

(30 Posts)
miggleswiff Fri 17-Feb-17 09:56:25

I have PCOS and had acne since I was 12, so I have a fair few scars on my face and uneven skin tone/pigment. I also have quite a lot of small thread veins/red spots on my skin - I think this might be from using an epistick for facial hair (another delight of PCOS).

I'm now 42 and thankfully now only get a few spots here and there. But I am feeling so depressed with how my skin looks without make up on. I'm also worried that continuing to use the epistick is just going to give me more and more thread veins, but its the only thing that's really got my facial hair under control.

I have tried thermavein but it didn't work - I just ended up with pock mark scars from where the needle went in. And this was from a very respectable plastic surgery clinic.

I currently use superdrug hot cloth cleanser, clearisil toner (I used to use the rapid action pads as they have more salicylic acid but I was worried that the scratchiness of the pads weren't helping with the thread veins) and neutrogena water gel moisturiser. I also use Ultrasun pigment reducing suncream from April - September (I barely go outside in winter as go to and from work in the dark). I also use Nip + Fab glycolic face mask once a week.

In the past I have tried La Roche Posay effaclar but it brought me out in massive cyst-type spots.

So, is there anything I can do to give my skin a more even tone, reduce scarring and pigmentation, and reduce or prevent facial thread veins? I am feeling so depressed about this and hate looking in a mirror or even my DH looking at me too closely. I'm also worried about things just getting worse and worse as I get older.

Thank you so much for any advice.

MissisBoote Fri 17-Feb-17 10:01:43

Would you consider laser hair removal for your facial hair?

It sounds like it would be a worthwhile investment as it'd get rid of the risk of more red veins.

AndHoldTheBun Fri 17-Feb-17 10:27:40

Have you tried approaching this problem from a different angle?
Rather than looking at solutions to the visible problems (excess hair, skin issues etc), look for things you can potentially do to damp down the underlying metabolic/inflammatory mechanisms that might be triggering those problems.

It's interesting that you mention your pcos. How's your thyroid? Your gut? Any family history of autoimmune conditions?

I think it's well worth considering doing something like whole30, or a similar exclusion "clean" diet to see if your issues are caused by/worsened by your diet. Obviously this won't work for everyone, but I think it's worth trying for a month or two, you'd soon know if it was going to help you or not. Expect to feel bloody awful for the first 5 days or so (from personal experience).

Website I've found useful include Marksdailyapple (primal), robbwolf (Paleo), dietdoctor LCHF.

For myself and several family members, the health gains of changing diet have been huge - the
Improvement to skin rashes/cystic acne/ thread veins has just been an added benefit! Once again l'll say it's not going to help everyone but worth a try surely smile

miggleswiff Fri 17-Feb-17 10:33:38

My hair is blonde so laser hair removal won't work sad

I have a pretty good diet. Wary of the phrase "clean eating" but I would say I have a good Mediterranean diet, natural foods, low sugar. My only vice is a glass of wine at weekends and a scoop of ice cream. I can't see how changing diet would affect thread veins/pigment anyway?

LadyLapsang Fri 17-Feb-17 10:48:58

Why don't you see a dermatologist to get an expert opinion / treatment options?

smileyhappypeople Fri 17-Feb-17 10:50:46

I would get referred to a dermatologist if you can....

MissisBoote Fri 17-Feb-17 10:51:38

Could you not shave instead of using the epistick?

miggleswiff Fri 17-Feb-17 11:13:54

How would I get referred to a dematologist? I can't see my GP thinking that my vanity issues merit NHS resources?!

I have thought about shaving. I am worried that regrowth will look stubbly and horrible. At least using the epistick I am hopefully discouraging regrowth eventually. I also find the idea of shaving very embarrassing and masculine...

Clankboing Fri 17-Feb-17 11:24:19

I think you might be seen by a dermatologist if you mention that it is affecting your emotional wellbeing. You pay taxes / NI if you work - use what you pay for. They may think of something that is a new idea that hasn't been considered. X

Montezumasrevenge Fri 17-Feb-17 11:27:51

Don't shave, that's a cycle you don't want to get caught up in.
Also, laser won't work for pcos regardless of hair colour so don't waste your money bitter experience.
A decent epilator is fine for hair removal. Threading is also worth a try.

Not sure about skin care tbh. Can give you a round up of what I use if it's helpful. My skin is very sensitive and post acne. I wouldn't go near clearasil if you paid me!

AndHoldTheBun Fri 17-Feb-17 12:05:10

Diet/skin link- If (and only if!) you are reacting to certain foods and/or additives, then yes, removing these from your diet can improve redness, thread veins, rashes, acne, often people don't realise they are reacting to some foods/additives until they do an exclusion diet and then add things back in.

Common triggers for various skin problems include seed oils (due to high omega 6 content iirc), grain foods, especially when highly processed, dairy. As I said before tho, obviously cutting these out will only help you if they are causing or worsening the problem, for you as an individual. I can only say that for me, and several family members who have since now also altered their diet, rosacea (including general redness and thread veins), cystic acne, and odd rashes have either disappeared altogether or improved very markedly smile

CoolCarrie Fri 17-Feb-17 12:13:14

Whatever you do don't ever shave your face! try threading which works brilliantly, and please do see your doctor about this, as pp said you pay your taxes, and this is affecting your health. I had the same problem, but don't have PCOS, but I now use a Braun epiltor on my dark hair, which is slowly giving up

SilentlyScreamingAgain Fri 17-Feb-17 12:19:13

If you have a tendency towards thread veins, epilating would tend to cause more. Usually.

girlelephant Fri 17-Feb-17 12:22:23

If you are wary of using NHS resources do you have any good salons/beauty resources near you?

I saw an amazing beautician who gave me far better advice on acne rosacea than my GP. I appreciate that's a different issue but may be worth trying

DearTeddyRobinson Fri 17-Feb-17 12:25:24

If you don't want to ask your GP for a referral, you can just go and see a dermatologist privately. Just google dermatologists in your area and give them a call.

spankhurst Fri 17-Feb-17 12:28:12

I'm absolutely not an expert, but the skin regime you mention sounds very harsh. It would knacker my sensitive, spot-prone skin in days (I'm 46). What about trying something much gentler for a while? Cleanse and moinsturise at night, just splash with tepid water and a bit of moisturiser and sun screen in the morning. I suspect this will allow your poor skin to rebalance itself a bit.
I've also heard that apple cider vinegar used diluted as a toner works well on hormone-driven skin issues.
You can buy liitle spring-like gadgets on Amazon v cheaply that you roll gently over your face. They remove fine hairs very effectively.

fannydaggerz Fri 17-Feb-17 12:43:23

You could try the angel on bare skin cleanser from Lush.

I have acne prone skin and it's worked for me.

miggleswiff Fri 17-Feb-17 13:50:26

The main problem is that there doesn't seem to be any way of removing my facial hair except epilating/threading, which is causing the thread veins.

Are there any anti-pigmentation products that people can recommend?

Has anyone successfully used IPL or laser for facial thread vein removal?

MissisBoote Fri 17-Feb-17 14:05:39

I use an electric razor on my facial hair.
It hasn't caused any problems - the hair doesn't grow back thicker or darker. It just keeps the layer of fuzz in check.

miggleswiff Fri 17-Feb-17 14:46:41

Does it grow back stubbly?

SilentlyScreamingAgain Fri 17-Feb-17 15:07:53

For calming down pigmentation spots, sun damage, old acne scars and general redness, I've found Vit C/Ascorbic acid has worked well but it took 6 months for me to really experience any results and it's had no impact, whatsoever, on my thread veins. If anything, having a more even skin tone, has made them stand out more.

I'm using this one:

niod.com/product/ethylated-l-ascorbic-acid-30pct-network-30ml

But the cheaper option seems to get good reviews:

theordinary.com/product/rdn-vitamin-c-suspension-23pct-ha-spheres-2pct-30ml

MissisBoote Fri 17-Feb-17 15:27:49

Not that I've noticed.
I do it once a week to stop me resembling a golden retriever.
The trimmer doesn't take it right back you the skin, maybe about a mm away.

miggleswiff Fri 17-Feb-17 16:57:58

Thanks Silently although that's a bit depressing about more even skin tone making thread veins look worse!

Missus you are tempting me. Do you just use a man's electric razor? Still feeling quite reluctant to take the plunge though!

Montezumasrevenge Fri 17-Feb-17 17:33:20

I had ipl on some thread veins on my nose a couple of years ago. They came back after a few months.

SilentlyScreamingAgain Fri 17-Feb-17 17:41:50

Thanks Silently although that's a bit depressing about more even skin tone making thread veins look worse!

I think that for those of us who didn't win life's genetic lottery, looking as good as we can is about choosing our problems. For example, I'm getting perimenopausal spots at the moment but if I use something like LRP's effaclar, after a week or so I start to look like a lizard, so I go with the spots.

I can totally promise you that no one else notices your thread veins, no one thinks of you as 'that woman with the broken capillaries'. I'm not trying to play down your discomfort but it is something that no one else pays much attention to and they are very easy to cover with make up.

However, as unfair and unreasonable as it is, people do judge women with visible facial hair. So, that would be the thing I'd put most effort into.

Electric razors pull up the hair before cutting it and that tugging action is something you want to avoid. A triple blade, proper facial razor, the kind where you keep the handle and dispose of the blade cartridge are best. To start with, change the blades as often as you can afford to and expect a few spots but your skin will get used to it after a couple of weeks.

If you really can't stand the thought of this, Shisido make single blade women's facial razors, that you can buy from Amazon but they aren't as good.

If it helps at all, everyone who has HD photos taken shaves their face. That's every single actor and model, all of those women who did win the genetic lottery. Think of it as being a bit more Hollywood.

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