My name is Marika, nice to meet you. Thank you to the person who started this forum!
I’m new here and believe I have the same condition! My skin is currently clear and I wanted to share what I’ve been doing in case it’s helpful to anyone.
I had pretty bad acne for many years and tried lots and lots of medication (oral and topical). I used to use something topically (whether it was lotion, clindamycin, some kind of oil, aloe, rose water, etc) 24/7 for about 10 years. I would also exfoliate and never really give my skin a chance to heal.
I eliminated dairy and gluten from my diet and that seemed to get rid of the acne. However after years of abuse, my skin seemed to always be broken out in a rash. Always red and had tiny bumps everywhere.
I would break out worse with stress, and I believe other things contributed as well: possibly acidic foods, over eating, and friction or pressure on my skin.
Then one day I decided I didn’t want to be dependent on anything topical anymore, so I ditched my face moisturizing routine cold turkey.
That was when I had my first encounter with the OOZING YELLOW CRUSTS. My skin was very dry (it looked like dry, cracked mud). And then it was yellow and scabby and crusty. I eventually caved and used the heaviest lotion I could find.
I started using Aveeno (the one with the dark blue top for very dry skin). I had several outbreaks during my time using Aveeno, but overall the lotion seemed to help quite a bit. (It seemed to expedite healing time.)
At one point I was experiencing more stress than I ever had in my life. My hair was falling out and I was getting yellow crust on my scalp as well as my face.
Recently I met a woman at my church who’s husband is battling very nasty cancer. Needless to say, she is under a lot of stress. She was sharing with me her own experience with a large oozing yellow crust on her forehead. She said she tried tea tree oil and lotions to no avail, but she tried a Calendula cream and said it cleared right up!
I decided to give it a try since I was just starting an outbreak. I had one small spot on my chin at the time, and was currently using Aveeno (dark blue lid) twice a day. My routine was this: Aveeno in AM and PM, only rinsing and lightly rubbing face with water every 2-3 days.
I was so excited by her success with the Calendula cream that I decided to go cold turkey again with my regular routine and jump right in and try the Calendula cream all over my whole face.
I gently washed my face with soap and water and then applied the Calendula cream.
My skin was very red and tight and dry. It burned and itched pretty badly. It would calm down when I’d apply more cream onto it, but after 6+ hrs it would get hot and itchy, and burn again. (I think the cream just needed to be washed off and reapplied so the old crud wasn’t hanging out and irritating the affected areas.)
My breakout continued to spread on my face and the spots became larger. Yellow and crusty as usual. (I am not surprised at this seeing as I had just experienced a great deal of stress, AND my skin itself had just experienced the stress of having its moisturizer taken away.)
HOWEVER, I noticed that the overall surface of my skin looked like it was healing and growing back after years of looking so raw and irritated.
I talked to a friend who suggested letting my skin breathe once and a while. I used a tea tree oil bar soap (meant to be a shampoo bar by the same company I got the Calendula cream from- see below for name) to wash my face in between applications of the Calendula cream.
I let my skin breathe at night with nothing on it for a couple nights. I woke up to very itchy and burning skin in the worst spots, so I applied a small amount of lotion (the same Aveeno) and a dab of cold sore ointment to cool the burn. It helped. I used the cold sore ointment twice because I’ve heard it helps speed up the healing of certain blisters, rashes, and even pimples. My theory is that my skin was so painful and itchy due to the dryness and the fact that it was “withdrawing” from lotion on top of having my oozing yellow outbreak.
Then I just carefully applied only small amounts of lotion and/or Calendula cream in the worst spots as needed, washing gently with the tea tree shampoo bar in between applications.
Dry, non yellow flakes of skin started peeling off like after a sunburn, and in a few days I was all clear. Like clear and healthy looking skin. Not just rash or pimple-free. No excessive redness, no yellow oozing crusts, no burning or itching, and my skin’s moisture seemed to balance out.
This whole process seemed like a kind of weening off of my regular, paranoid skin routine. It almost seemed less about the particular products I was using, and more about the one day at a time, attempt to guide my skin back to a state in which it could protect and heal itself. In my case it seems that my skin was always extra susceptible with my regular topical routine, and breakouts would happen in more vulnerable areas. (My usual red, rashy skin seemed more inviting for the yellow crusty spots.) It’ll be interesting to see what happens in the future.
I haven’t touched it for a couple days because I’m nervous to mess with a good thing! (No washing, no lotion, nothing.) I have never seen my skin looking so good! (It’s only been a few days, so I’ll keep you posted.)
The only two things I changed or tried for the first time were the Calendula cream and letting my skin go naked. (I had already used tea tree products before with some seeming success.)
I think the Calendula cream healed the majority of my skin’s surface and allowed me to “go off of” my heavy use of lotion, and I think it sped up the healing of the yellow crusty spots. Since I had been using the lotion so often, my skin had always been in a wet state. It felt wet to the touch constantly, but would flare up and get red and irritated if I waited too long to apply lotion in the AM or PM. It almost seemed addicted to lotion.
I think my skin was constantly in a vulnerable state, with all the lotion use keeping it wet, and was never given a chance to heal or grow back it’s protective layer (this is just speculation, I haven’t been told by a professional). I was always too nervous to leave my skin alone, and for good reason, seeing as it aggravated my skin to do so.
I think that the combination of the Calendula cream and the occasional gentle washing with the tea tree oil shampoo bar helped encourage healthier skin to grow, and that letting it go bare intermittently helped it to regulate itself. I will keep you all posted as I move forward with no topicals (if that stays the case).
Like I said this is just what I think. I’m speculating here, and it’s only been a few days, but I’m hopeful.
If you would like to try either the Calendula cream or the tea tree shampoo bar that I used, feel free to check out the little store here in Bremerton, WA, USA that sells them. It’s called F.R.O.G. Soap. The people who run the shop are very kind and helpful if you are ever in town, but if not, I believe they sell their products online.
Has anyone else used Calendula products? If so, any success?