A gathering of ideas, rants, reflections leading up to the big day

Wednesday, January 23, 2008

Skin care

Weddings bring all things to the surface, things you wish you didn't have to worry about and things that frankly I don't worry about. One of those issues is my skin. I've never had great skin (okay when I was like 6 it was great, freckly and smooth, ahh) I got acne when I was in college and it has been an uphill struggle since. Acne has been persistent, all through my 20's, especially with my periods. Birth Control controlled that, lessening the breakouts. Little did I know that the same birth control that was "helping" my skin, was in fact damaging it...bad.

About a year ago, I noticed my "tan" didn't fade, especially around my eyes and my forehead. Then this fall the FI and I traveled to my Alma Mater for a football game (yea e yea!) with my folks. I see my dad and we hug, and as he is coming in for a hug and a kiss, he stops and says "whats the dirt on your forehead?". Okay, I heard it loud and clear...go to the dermatologist!

Today I was diagnosed with Melasma aka "mask of pregnancy". What? It is a pigment issue that is effected by hormones (pregnancy, hormone replacement and BINGO! Birth control pills!). So the dermatologist walked me through my options and treatment: higher sunscreen, tinting my windows, giving up running in daylight, using bleaching creams, chemical peals, and changing contraceptive options.

So I bought a face wash that in combination with vitamin C serum will lessen the appearance. I go back next week for a face scan to see how bad the damage is and I was given a prescription for a bleaching cream. The cream is $127 for a tube and isn't covered by insurance because it is "cosmetic". huh? That stopped me in my tracks. Am I THAT vain, that I will spend $127 to BLEACH my face? Michael Jackson, I'm not...but I would LOVE to have better skin. So a couple phone calls to Nogales are in order.

The other recommendations are weighing on me too. 1.Changing birth control. I'm due for an appointment soon, so I'll speak to my obgyn about this, but am I willing to alter my routine and try new options because of a few dark spots? I really will need to go through the pros and cons (I'll spare my readers this list!).

2. Stop running in daylight. Okay, so lets say everything works for me and my skin clears and no more brown spots...I risk them coming back every time I am in the sun. I tried some new sunscreens today to wear that the dermatologist recommended, good sport ones that won't sweat off. But she said don't run in the sun. Um, I have been running, really running for a year now and I can't imagine stopping that. This "hobby" has brought me new friends, better health, balance and a strength I never knew I had. In the summer we get up to meet at 5:15am on a SATURDAY. I'll just ask the gals to meet me at 3:30am. Awesome.

I went in this afternoon hoping I would get some cream and I'd be on my way. But I walked out with more questions than before and am considering making significant changes to my lifestyle. If this were a medical issue, there would be NO issue, I would just do everything. But because this has turned out to be "cosmetic" my decisions have become harder and make me reflect more than I expected.
Photo Credit: self portrait in Acapulco, Mexico. My earlier sun worshiping probably hasn't helped either.


Jennifer said...

Wow, I guess I don't look at your face that closely -- I didn't notice anything! Well, to make up for all the money that you've paid to FF to be my friend, I will do the runs with you on Saturdays at 3:30 am. I'll just not go to sleep on Friday. Plus I know you're as likely as I am to actually run at 3:30. :) Tough calls to make! Feel free to send me your pros and cons if you want!

Monica Surfaro Spigelman said...

When I was pregnant with Brett the same thing happened to me (although Italian "old wives tales" said it was because I was having a boy...and I did.) It eventually went away after using face cleansers with salicylic acid (good for acne). Many more organic products out there in market...I see there is a Greek natural products company named Apivita that has facial cleansers using this and other fruit botanicals. Just an idea,and you should always ask your doctor first. I have not tried this product, but you can read about it online or see it at Nordstrom: