Sunday 23 June 2019

How I Helped My Pityriasis Rosea Skin Condition

Skin conditions can be a little bit of a tricky subject, I am in no way medically trained so what I share in this post is just from my own experiences and what I used to help what I was suffering with. When it comes to skin conditions, you should really get the opinion of your GP or pharmacist before going on to use a particular ointment or moisturiser. Everything I mention within this post is just what I researched and decided to use to help my Pityriasis Rosea when it was at its most painful. 

I do believe everything I used helped calm the problem which is why I've written this post as unfortunately with this particular condition there's no fix, you just kinda have to wait it out and maybe it'll help someone who feels as desperate as I was. 

Pityriasis Rosea is a common skin condition that causes a temporary rash of raised, red scaly patches on the body, it can affect anyone but is more common in ages 10 -35. It starts with something called a herald patch which is a single oval patch of scaly skin which usually appears two days before a more widespread rash which can last up to 12 weeks. Mine came up on the back of my knee and it was SO ITCHY! I found I was itching it in my sleep so much that it would bleed and it was really quite painful. Arran kept telling me to get it looked at but I brushed it off and just left it. The NHS website says that it then develops after two or so days but mine didn't develop for quite a few weeks after which is another reason I didn't get it looked at, I thought I'd just be wasting their time with my random patch of skin. 

Within about four weeks, the rash had spread dramatically and it was all over my body, the only parts that weren't covered were my head, hands and feet. I hated the sight of it so tried to cover up as much as possible and because it was sore and itchy, it made me feel really rubbish. There's no real reason for it to start but there are some studies that it could be part of a viral infection or due to stress. The stress reasons definitely made sense to me as we were in the middle of finding our new home, things weren't great between Arran and I, Joshua wasn't sleeping well and I was totally overwhelmed with work. Once it spread, it spread even further and it started to weep and crack open. My armpits completely broke out and my chest was raw and bleeding. 

It was awful. 

Pityriasis Rosea can be quite difficult to diagnose and it took four GPs to finally determine what it was as it can be confused easily with Ringworm and Pityriasis Versicolor both of which can be treated with creams and ointments, Pityriasis Rosea can't. I spoke about it on Instagram stories before I was due to see the fourth GP and was a bit overwhelmed with the messages of love and advice, one thing that kept coming up was Pityriasis Rosea which I was diagnosed with later that afternoon. I'd been given a number of recommendations and so I pulled out what I knew I had at home while some other pieces were kindly sent to me by a couple of brands who had watched my stories. I knew nothing was going to make it go quickly but I needed to soothe the rash and start helping to repair the skin. 

Balmonds was one of the brands that reached out and their product, Skin Salvation (£12.99) was also one that was recommended to me by others time and time again. Skin Salvation is their award winning natural moisturiser that was formulated for highly sensitive skin. It's a rich, oil based product made with beeswax to help lock in moisture and that it did! This helped soothe my skin so much and I really loved its beautiful natural smell. I slathered this on the really sore patches before bed every night or whenever a patch was really playing up and it honestly helped so much. 

Alongside the Skin Salvation, I also used the Bath & Body Oil (£12.99) and the Daily Moisturising Cream (£13.99) at night. The oil is made from a unique blend of nutritious botanicals that made my skin feel so nourished without any irritation. I used to pop a little bit of this in the bath and then soak my skin in it after I'd dried myself. I kept the three products as my 'night time' ones so I could really soak my skin in them, I found I didn't itch any of the patches at night when I was using this which made a big difference. 

For washing, I pushed aside all my favourite luxury fragranced body washes and went back to basics with an old favourite. Sebamed is a brilliant skincare brand specialising in medicinal skincare, we all use the brand as a family and I always keep a bottle of the Liquid Face & Body Wash (£6.49) in my beauty stash just in case and I am so glad I had a brand new one to hand during my skin flare up. It's 100% soap and alkali free and gently cleanses the skin to help restore skin to a healthy pH balance. This really helped to sooth and relieve my hot skin during showers and I used to stand there for what felt like forever just letting it clean the skin as it was the only time I didn't feel like I was on fire.

As well as Balmonds products, I used the Bio Oil Dry Skin Gel (£14.99) which when put in the fridge feels amazing on hot skin. The gel to oil texture absorbs easily and creates a protective film to resist moisture loss and restore dry skin which is why I used to use this in the mornings after a shower as it took no time at all to soak into skin. It contains just 3% water and is a powerful blend of skin soothing ingredients to give a fab result to skin. I'm on to my second tub now and have continued to use this since my skin cleared up.

I think in total, it took a further six weeks from diagnosis to properly clear but I'm left with so many scars on my legs and arms, my own fault because I'm a picker. I've been using the original Bio Oil to reduce the scarring and it seems to be helping. None of these products made the Pityriasis Rosea go quicker, they just helped soothe my irritated skin when I needed it most and once I'd nailed keeping it less dry and more happy, my worries about the condition subsided and it just went away of its own accord. I think a very small part of it was physiological, once I knew what it was I felt more able to deal with it but it did take some time.

When it was at its worst it made me feel very low, I joked to Arran that I was like a scale covered lizard but inside I was really upset by the way it was making me feel and by how painful it was so if I can help just one person by recommending a product to help ease it then I'll be happy.

Let me know if you have any questions at all and just pray I don't get this again.

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