Sensitive Skin- My Story

There are more than 50 million Americans with sensitive skin and I am one of them.  It has  been fun to do before and after pix that show quick and easy beauty  benefits.  But when  I had to deal with   a  never ending series  of red splotches that seemed  to be hard to diagnose and  resistant to   every  treatment, fun was the last word I would use.

The red splotches  which appeared this winter, were first diagnosed  as rosacea– but  did not respond seem to standard treatments.  Then the docs thought it was seborrheic dermatitis, a scaly red  breakout that often appears around the mouth and chin– but that too  did not respond to traditional treatments.  I could cover  the redness with concealer, but the raw  itchy feeling kept reminding me what lay underneath the make-up.

Finally after about eight months of red spots and patches, a visit to  Dr Lefkovits came up with a diagnosis and treatment plan that brought my skin under control in ten days.  Turns out that my redness had features of both rosacea and seborrheic dermatitis.    This meant that I needed  a hybrid treatment plan.

First  Dr Lefkovits ( aka The Magician of Park Avenue)  treated  my skin with   diamond tip microdermabrasion and a medium strength glycolic peel.  This was designed to take off the oil packed skin  cells that were driving the irritation.  Then I went home with  a bottle of  his “Anti-Redness Cleanser” and a handful of prescriptions for antibiotics  and  Vitone, a mild steroid and anti-microbial gel.

My redness, broken blood vessels and tiny whiteheads were characteristic of rosacea– but the pattern of eruption around the mouth was typical of a type of seborrheic dermatitis called perioricular dermatitis.  Often called neurodermatitis, is is frequently triggered by  stress.  (Just around the time the outbreak started, my once indomnitable   96 year old mother   had a series of serious falls and hospitalizations. If you are responsible for  an aging  parent, you know what a difficult  journey that can be)

Stress triggers the release of adrenalin  which provokes the oil glands into overdrive.  This oil leads to the overgrowth of bacteria or yeast that produces redness and whiteheads.  It often occurs after age 50  and is sort of an “elder acne”.   Creams  and lotions both in treatment products and make-up can make seborrheic  derrmatitis worse so for the time being I  had to rethink my whole skin care routinue.   I had to eliminate most products except  Anti -Redness Cleanser  and Vitone gel

Sun exposure is  one of the biggest rosacea triggers but all my favorite sunscreens seemed  to provoke more redness so I switched to  mineral foundation and blush.  These products  have a 20SPF, but do not provoke  irritation.  Its a low SPF but super easy to reapply during the day.

I also followed some additional rosacea guidelines  which included giving up coffee, chocolate, spicy foods and alcohol.   I took  cooler showers and even took a break from Retin A and vitamin C serums.   In the morning I used the  Anti-Redness Cleaner ( which turned out to be a miracle  foam) while at night I used  the Clarisonic  or the DDF for microdermabrasion.  Several times a week I used a  mild glycolic peel.  If redness seemed to be brewing  I applied a dab  of the steroid/antimicrobial gel    It sounds  pretty  aggressive for a 50 plus skin, but  it certainly delivered.

And here  are the results:  When I saw  how  gross my befores looked I cringed at the thought of posting them.  But my  core belief behind No-Nonsense Beauty Blog  is that there are physical changes behind  what we consider beauty issues– and that we need to make a clean, clear  diagnosis  to select the very best care approach.

So the photo on the left was taken  just before Dr Lefkovits went to work.  The  photos below were taken  ten days later.  No wonder I am smiling.

FYI I purchased all the products mentioned in this post

6 thoughts on “Sensitive Skin- My Story

    • THe cleanser is a foam called “Anti Redness Cleanser” from Alaur, the private label brand from Dr Albert Lefkovits. You can order it from his office at 212- 861-9600. I don’t reccommend too many products, but this one is amazing. I use it twice a day and leave it on for about a minute each time I wash my face. Its the only cleanser my skin seems to like right now.

    • Thank you so much for your support. I actually held on to the photos for a few weeks, cringing at the idea of posting them. But I felt that in a sea of products that claim to help sensitive skin, I needed to show a regimen that can genuinely help.

  1. Hello, I am having a difficult time finding the vitone gel. Could you please tell me where I can find it online for purchase? thanks!!

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