Coping strategies during outbreaks

Ok, while we are all suffering through this we might as well describe some things that help us endure facing the public and going to work every day.

Last night, I had a pretty bad outbreak on my cheek. I’m sure that like most of you, I’ve learned that the best thing to do is let it do its thing until it has solidified. If its during the day, I just keep racing off to the bathroom to dab it down while I’m at work. Then when I get home, I lie there and let the crust harden. If I can let it harden overnight, in the morning, I get up early and apply something called Bag Balm to it. This is a relatively cheap product farmers use and you can buy it at walgreens for $7 or $8. This turns the crust kind of gooey, and I find that I can then just wipe the crust away. It will leave an orangish spot underneath, but it levels off the crust.

Also, I’m starting to learn how to use make-up like a chick. Of course, you can’t apply it to oozing lesions, but if you can get it down to the flattened orange stage like I mentioned, you can apply some make up that is the color of your skin to hide it somewhat.

Then you just sort of dodge people. Make excuses. “Oh, I’ve gotta run.”

This is how I’ve gotten by. It’s sad, but we’re all going to get better and these horror stories are going to be things of the past. For now, we have to cope and strategize. Feel free to add some things that work for you.

In severe outbreaks, I cancel my work and report myself for a sickness notice.

When I have oozing crusts, but have to go to work, then I take with me:

  • tissues. I turn around, act like I’m sneezing my nose, but I use it to dry the fluid. In severe situations, I have to dry it once every few minutes.
  • a small pocket mirror, so that I can check my face in the toilet.
  • sometimes also a bright white-led flashlight to check my face in the toilet, because under bad light conditions, it may be difficult to check.

Balm doesn’t work for me. In my case, anything that is sealing a large oozing lesion, is causing fluid buildup that at some moment will push a large amount of fluid all at once though the sealing. In severe situations, this can literally let the fluid leak over my face.

I tried a herpes simplex/cold sore patch on it once, but that doesn’t work. Fluid builds up and pushes the patch away.

For non-oozing restoring lesions, I sometimes use make-up/foundation from Yves Saint Laurent.

But I’m lucky that I am able to work at home.

I have been having this problem for 6 years now and tried the same ways to cope with it. In my case, on the first day of my breakout, the clear yellow fluid comes out for at least 12-14 hours (nonstop). And if I don’t dry it every couple of minutes -using a tissue- it starts running over my face (if I have breakout during night, it seriously disrupt my sleep).

I have tried the cold sore patches, doesn’t work. It is not also possible to cover them using makeup - it just makes it look worse. I feel like there is no way to stop the oozing and I have to wait for those 12-14 hours so the fluid finally runs out.

After oozing stops, lesion dries out fairy quickly and I use make up to cover it.