My Facial Flare Update

Last updated: June 2022

My face is clearing up. That is such an important thing to say as I felt it would never happen. It’s too soon to say it is completely back to its normal dry, slightly flaky but not flaring state. But I’m almost there, where it will probably be most of the time.

My facial flare

A few months ago, I shared my desperate battle trying to find the trigger or triggers causing the atopic dermatitis flare on my face. If you read about it, you’ll remember it had continued for what felt like forever, with the itch, the pain, the sleeplessness seemingly never-ending. Even with the cortisone cream I’d been prescribed, which usually helped before.

Two prescriptions

My allergist had given me two prescriptions of the same strength but one in a cream and one in an ointment. She told me that the ointment was better absorbed. I used the cream in the morning and the ointment at night, so I wouldn’t have a greasy look during the day. Also good to know was that they work best when applied to wet skin.

What was triggering my facial flare?

I still haven’t determined which trigger was the culprit, despite keeping a journal of everything I came in contact with and ate. Even the weather! Pollen season has just now begun, which should be causing worsening symptoms, not less. My seasonal rhinitis reminds me of that. But my skin has calmed down. I no longer scratch my face in my sleep, leaving my pillowcase blood-spotted.

I was wary about the cortisone

I was always wary of using the prescription cortisone cream too often or too long. So as soon as my face began to clear, I’d stop using it. The eczema would slowly come back. About a month ago, or maybe longer, I decided to just go for it and use the cortisone twice a day every day, even as my face cleared. At my age, I thought, how much more damage could happen?

Clear skin, finally

I finally had my skin as clear as it had been in about a year. It was still dry, slightly itchy, and flaky. But instead of stopping the cortisone cream as I had been doing, I continued applying it every morning and evening, followed by my homemade moisturizer, for another week or so. I wasn’t sure if this would make a difference, but I thought it was worth trying. I stopped using the cortisone cream a few weeks ago, and now I need to share with you that continuing it seems to have worked. There is no sign my eczema is returning.

Why did it clear?

Was I not giving the cortisone cream time to complete the job? Does it need to be used until every last sign of eczema has disappeared? No one wants to use a steroid longer than necessary. Or is it a coincidence that my skin cleared at this time? There’s also the chance that it was a new seasonal allergy, and it may come back to attack at the same time next year.

Have you been successful in your search for triggers? Or are some known but unavoidable?

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This article represents the opinions, thoughts, and experiences of the author; none of this content has been paid for by any advertiser. The team does not recommend or endorse any products or treatments discussed herein. Learn more about how we maintain editorial integrity here.

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