Severe skin flaking

jeffseattle(z6 PA)January 1, 2004

Is there something useful for rosacea/dandruff/hyper-flaking skin on the face? I have had this condition for some time now and it seems to be getting worse. I have to wash and moisturize my skin twice a day to keep from breaking out. Should I try a blood purification regimen?

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it isn't a fungus? If not, try a tea of 1 part figwort, 1part Nettles and 1 part Red Clover...drunk 3 times a day...
this is a blood cleanser specifically aimed at the skin.
For a compress, try Burdock and witch hazel.
For the dry flaky part, try Self heal (externally) with moisturizing lotions...

    Bookmark   January 2, 2004 at 12:28PM
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Somebody was just talking about this ..there recommendation was to use tea tree and lavender EOs on the skin....they seemed to think it was from some ingredients in the shampoo..I have the same problem and Ive been using Metrogel from my doctor...Have you seen a doctor for this ?If not they put you on a dose of antibiotics and metrogel..the gel has worked for me for quite awhile and now I have an outbreak on my forehead and in the creases of my nose...I tried to moisturize my skin but its like the flakey skin just lays under the moisturizer...anymore thought would be appreciated...

    Bookmark   January 2, 2004 at 8:26PM
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Try matake supplements from GNC or another type of vitamin/ supplament store. They boost your immune system, and if it is fungal, can most likely get rid of it (it gets rid of athletes feet) I had a reoccuring skin rash on my stomach and back for a long time. Doctor gave me drugs and shampoos for it all the time. The matake got rid of it. (its a type of mushroom for those that are wondering) Try breaking some vitamin E gel capsules and rubbing them on your face before you go to bed at night. It is a great skin healer. Make your face feel better the next day. Make sure your face wash isnt making it worse and wash your face at least an hour before you go out. Cold weather on a slightly damp face can make it worse. So can the moisturizer. Try keeping a humidifier in your bedroom at night. Dab some apple cider vinegar on your face. It helps dandruff and can help seborrhea too. Might help what you have. Might take two weeks to get rid of it all. Some people swear by lecithin capsules. Three capsules with each meal. It helps psoriasis and other skin problems. All these remedies together are cheaper then a doctor and something that might not work. I have several books on herbalism, some of these things are from the books, some from my own experiences. Your bill is in the mail ;0) Ivy

    Bookmark   January 6, 2004 at 2:10PM
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You know, you might want to think about from the inside out. I recently arrived in Alaska, from Georgia, and its so dry here, I developed terrible skin rashes, horrible scalp flaking, and the worst dry heels I'd ever seen. I started on a regimine of golden flax seed oil, and within a month, no more flaking, itching or scaling. My skin is great now, and the colon benefits are also pretty good.

And yes, the humidifier helps, but watch for mold in the filters.

    Bookmark   January 31, 2004 at 6:58PM
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jeffseattle(z6 PA)

Thanks so much for the info! KD, how much flaxseed oil do you take?

    Bookmark   February 1, 2004 at 2:52AM
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The cheapest remedy cured me for pennies. I had big scaly patches all over me, especially on the scalp. They appeared one summer when I swam for half an hour every day in an indoor pool with chlorinated water. Chlorine is highly alkaline as is also hard water, shampoo, soap, and soil. I decided to place about a teaspoon of raw apple cider vinegar in a glass of water to rinse after every shower and shampoo. It did the trick. I also tried adding the vinegar directly to the shampoo, and that also worked. I then tried other vinegars, and they all worked. All I needed was to counteract the alkalinity with an acid to restore the skin's natural pH. The problem has not recurred in 40 years even though I still swim in a chlorinated indoor pool.

    Bookmark   January 29, 2005 at 4:14AM
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In regard to Traute's post, chlorine itself is not alkaline or acidic. Chlorine in swimming pool water works best as a disinfectant when the pH of the water is just slightly on the alkaline side of neutral.

Any rashes that occur after swimming in a pool could be due to an infectious agent (like Pseudomonas, more commonly associated with hot tubs), chemical irritation or may not be related to the water in the pool at all.

A visit to a dermatologist might reassure anonymous.

    Bookmark   January 23, 2006 at 11:06AM
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jeffseattle(z6 PA)

Yeah, anonymous: go see a dermatologist and get it cleared up. I'd be more nervous about NOT going to see the doctor - severely flaking skin can scab and (eventually) scar. Take care of it right away. You might also talk to a naturopathic doctor about diet and overall immune support.

I'd suggest moisturizing with something lighter than the Vaseline. The heavy grease might help the flaking, but over the long term it may be compounding the problem: flaking can be partly caused by bacterial organisms on your skin surface, and the Vaseline will trap them there. Also, Vaseline is pretty stiff stuff for sensitive facial skin.

I use two prescription lotions, and my flaking has stopped completely. I wash my face morning and night with the mildest soap I can find. Then I put on a non-greasy moisturizer; Klaron lotion (sulfacetamide); and Metrogel (metronidazole), in that order. It only takes a couple seconds.

    Bookmark   January 24, 2006 at 11:00AM
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aunt_lou(Z5 OH)

L-Lysine from any reliable vitamin store --- also can be purchased online. My daughter started taking this for dry/flaky skin. Her hands were actually bleeding a lot of the time. She started taking L-Lysine and it cured right up! We are so thankful! I just recently started taking it too and found mine at wally-world.

I also have ---- or should say had rosacea as the symptoms are pretty much gone!---and I found it very helpful to find a good hypoallergenic soap---fragrance free----for sensitive skin. The Oil of Olay brand----sensitive skin----one works great for me and I also use the Oil of Olay cream with vitamins in it and sunscreen. There are other brands of hypoallergenic soaps and creams also ---just find the one that suits you the best.

I would also reccomend that folks with itchy skin and rashes try the fragrance free detergents and softeners. It really helps to eliminate some of the problems.

Another plus about L-Lysine---have heard of folks that get the cold sores on their lips constantly----never had another one after using Lysine regularly.

Best wishes for your health
Aunt Lou

    Bookmark   February 27, 2006 at 1:28PM
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Does anyone else have a sort-of red patch after scrubbing off all of this flaky skin? When I'm done washing my face [With St.Ives Medicated Aprocot Scrub. Then, apply mild lotion... Anything else gives me acne.] It has these red spots where the flaky skin is. I don't know how else to explain it. It doesn't itch in the least, but... The redness goes down after an hour or so. Maybe more.

Some of the things you guys are reccomending seem to really help, and I'm looking to try some. I've had this sense I can remember, and it really hurts self confidance. I don't want anyone to look at my face, even if it is unnoticeable most of the time. I have it up by my hair line, on my forehead. Behind my ears. In my ears. In my hair. And little tinytiny patches of it on my back and stomoch. It's such a hassle to make it look unnoticeable... I just want it gone so badly. I think I got it when I was about 7. I'm 16 now. And, I got my eyebrow peirced 2 or so years ago, then this flaking skin started to form around the wound while it was healing... It's healed now, but a little bit is still there. So, I don't know...

    Bookmark   May 17, 2007 at 7:15AM
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For any sort of rosacea, dry skin, eczema, dandruff use EMU OIL! It's the best thing ever with healing properties and it won't clog your pores! It's amazing stuff! I use it as a full time moisturiser for dry skin and scarring. Google it and read all the different benefits it has. It's good stuff!!

    Bookmark   February 7, 2008 at 10:34PM
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If it is rosacea (that is a big if - hard for us non-doctors to diagnose over the internets ... get it checked out for real) there are a number of approaches to take. Rosacea is associated with inflation, and there is research showing that people with rosacea have a proliferation of mites living in that area. Not sure if the mites are the cause itself, but they do seem to aggravate the inflammation.

Sunlight may also be a factor - does your condition get better or worse when you are in the sun?

Here is a link that might be useful: PubMed: treatment of rosacea with herbal ingredients

    Bookmark   February 10, 2008 at 10:48AM
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Milky those red patches are places where your skinÂs gotten irritatedÂtbey can quickly become scar tissue if exposed to the sun, or further damaged.

Knock off the St Ives, for starters. YouÂre over-cleaning your skin, and destroying the layer that protects the rest of you.

The leading treatment for flaking skin/psoriasis is salicylic acid  asprin, willow bark extract, what have you. ThatÂs one of the Âbeta-hydroxy acids the skin care mavens like to babble about. That, and Papain (as in papaya) are classified as Âdebriding solutions  ones where an enzyme breaks down dead tissue, allowing it to be removed. Raw papaya is actually Âtoo strong for my own skin, I cut it half and half with plain raw yogurt, and apply it as a mask that is both soothing, and exfoliating.

Oatmeal is also a very soothing, neutralizing mask or bath additive (IÂm a fan of the Aveeno colloidal oatmeal bath packets, theyÂre less mess than having to tie up regular oatmeal in cheesecloth to keep it from clotting up the tub)

Cucumber slices are soothing and cooling  good for rosacea, sunburn, and the inflammation caused by cystic acne (where the inflammation can be worse than the infection)

And you might try olive, almond, coconut, avocado, or jojoba oil applied to wet skin (Vaseline is not good for anything but a barrier layer OVER a moisturizer) instead of a more complicated skin cream  IÂve had much better luck with the natural options than IÂve ever had with products.

    Bookmark   February 13, 2008 at 1:02PM
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Speaking from a point of view of someone who actually HAS Rosacea (me), I can tell you quite bluntly that Rosacea is all internal. There are no real topicals to reduce Rosacea symptoms, most make it worse.
Your skin is prone to inflammation, which closes pores and causes what looks like acne, but really isn't. You must find the foods and beverages which cause the inflammation. Once you find them, avoid eating/drinking them.
The BIG one is caffeine. Caffeine is in hundreds of foods and beverages so you must actively avoid it at all costs. Even one caffeinated beverage can trigger a breakout that can last weeks.
I would avoid herbals since they can cause more harm to your skin than good. Antibiotics are prescribed not because they kill skin bacteria but they have an anti-inflammatory property. Don't overuse them. They are only for severe breakouts and stop taking them after 2 weeks.
Cleanliness is important, but don't wash your face too often, and don't ever use alcohol or harsh cleansers with eucalyptus or other aromatic oils.
Lastly, you might try putting a little nizoral antifungal shampoo on your face, then wash it off (keep it out of your nose & eyes). I always dry with a paper towl because regular towels often stay wet and can harbor bacteria that can infect already sore pustules an papules. Blot, don't rub and of course don't pick at your face. Finally if you do end up with a zit that really needs to be popped because its gotten huge and won't drain, get one of those zit tools which is a small wire loop. Its much better than using a straight pin. Also this may be a bit obvious, but don't touch your face. Rosacea sufferers have a habit of touching their face because it the condition is uncomfortable. Avoid picking, it helps.

    Bookmark   March 31, 2008 at 1:52PM
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I did quite a bit of research about Staph infections after I caught one in a steam room, and it appears that Staph causes about half of acne, and is present in cases of psoriasis as well. I am aware of the mite connection to rosacea, but also suspect Staph with that, too.

Too much playing around with Staph with ineffective treatments that allow it to survive can lead to the Staph superbug, MRSA, that everyone has been scared by lately.
One thing that has been discovered, for example, is that a preparation with less than 3% of Tea Tree oil can actually lead to the production of a more resist Staph germ.

The Staph germ is a commensual that lives on the skin and easily spreads there. If you have a lesion from it you can pretty much assume that it is infectious, and that the germs are at least present in a 4 inch square area around the blemish. Acne is produced when a hair root becomes infected with it.

In my opinion, Eczema is an attempt by the skin to dispose of a germ it cannot kill by sloughing off instead.

I strongly recommend pump soaps, because bar soaps can harbor the germ--even, in some cases, germicidal bar soaps.

For actual blemishes, 10% benzyl peroxide (which will bleach clothes) is very effective for many strains of the germ if applied consistently at least twice a day until the blemish is completely gone. COMPLETELY is the operative word, because with staph, if you don't treat it completely and kill it, you are better off not starting--it can evolve into worse forms which are much more difficult to treat.

That is, apparently, why dermatologists use cortisone preparations so frequently to deal with it. It keeps the patient from scratching the irritated skin, but does not challenge the germ. I'm a bit confused as to just what dermatologists actually know and think about these conditions; my two theories on the matter are that either they disagree among themselves, or they don't want to panic people into being overly conscious about a germ that is omnipresent. However, after having read up more on Staph, if I had an infant, I would certainly not allow his or her bare skin to touch the average grocery cart seat.

In my experience, vinegar does help Rosacea; and, by extension, it might also be helpful in cases of eczema and even some acne as well. Because of the reaction of my dermatologist when I mentioned vinegar, I stick with the distilled white vinegar, which has no other organisms in it to add to the confusion. (Where other organisms are desired to balance off the effects of a course of antibiotics, stick to the recognized dietary sources of yogurt, apple cider vinegar, sauercraut, Kim Chee, Activia, etc. and the probiotics carried by most health food stores.)

I used vinegar for several years on my rosacea, and rarely had to resort to the prescribed Metro Cream.

Salicilic Acid is available in a number of tube treatments over-the-counter; it is not as strong as the 10% benzyl peroxide but can be useful in shampoo and bathing form--the liquid soap I use with that is OXY. Dermarest has come out with shampoo and skin treatments that have salicilic acid in them which I have found to be quite helpful.

The next step up from salicilic acid is the benzyl peroxide, but it is only useful for small areas as it is so drying; it's really self defeating to use it for anything but an actual lesion.

Next is coal tar and similar things. Neutrogena makes a coal tar shampoo that seems quite effective.

You have to find out, for your own condition and skin, what is best in terms of how much, how long, and how often you can use a preparation.

In between the heavy-handed approaches, I use the pump baby soaps for bathing, interspersed with a new eczema and psoriasis wash made by Flexitol Naturals. It is part homeopathic and part herbal, but it seems to help. So far I haven't had as much success with the cream, but I used that in my ears, probably not the best place to try it first.

I think anyone with these conditions needs to entertain the idea that a germ may be a factor, and use some common sense about constant reexposure. Avoiding touching the nose directly, but using a tissue to scratch it, is one easy step (Staph can live in the nasal passages even if cleared from the rest of the skin). Changing pillowcases several times a week instead of just when the sheets are washed (that should be done at least weekly) can be helpful with facial skin problems. Nightly showers should be taken, but with care not to over-dry the skin. Less affected areas should not be washed after using your hands to wash more infected areas...for really severe cases, use disposable latex gloves on the worst areas, to avoid spread. Wear clothing next to the skin that can be laundered thoroughly in hot water. Wipe down computer keyboards and telephones regularly with alcohol.

In hospitals, Staph is cleansed from the skin of patients with persistent infections using Dakins Solution. It is a mixture of chlorine and a buffering agent; the formula for that can be found on the web, and some pharmacies have it available for sale if asked. It is very drying to the skin and should probably be used just prior to a shower.

Don't forget eyeglass frames, hairbrushes, and other frequently used items. Hairbrushes can be sprayed with a chlorine solution and then washed in the dishwasher; eyeglass earpieces and etc. can be wiped with alcohol on a disposable tissue.

Long-term antibiotic treatment for acne can result in a more resistant form of Staph, so it is a two-edged sword. It is definitely not a treatment that should be stopped without consultation with the physician who prescribed it, because stopping an antibiotic too soo can allow a resistant germ to reproduce instead of being killed.

Doctors seem to think that Hydrogen Peroxide solution will kill staph. In my experience, if you are dealing with a resistant strain, it will just spread the staph if you wipe down an area with it.

Applying alcohol is even worse--it will allow the germ to get into the skin.

By prescription, you can still use hexachlorophine if you are an adult (it was found to cause nerve damage in young children), and if all else fails there is a skin wash used for surgical preparation (it's red in color) that you can try, if the usual disinfectant soaps don't work for you.
The Cetaphyl line seems to be that one dermatologists like
for moisturizers and waterless skin washes; they are noncomedonic and come in pump form. According to a book I have on skin care, they include newly available lipids in their formulation that do a better job of moisturizing.

An ingredient in shampoos and skin products that the book recommended avoiding is sodium lauryl sulfate (laureth is OK)--it tends to be comedonic, or pimple-forming.

Several of the herbal and vitamin suggestions in this thread look promising; the only thing I can add is that, when I was trying to eliminate my origional infection, I found references in old herbals to the use of elderberry bark and pokeberry root preparations for resistant skin infections. The efficacy would apparently be the organic cyanide in these plants. I tried making up a solution by boiling some of each together, and it did seem to help a bit as an external application.

    Bookmark   May 8, 2008 at 3:20AM
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I have severe sensitive skin and similiar issues like dry skin and irritation (even red spots to boot). Especially when I shave or use lotion or touch or even look at my skin wrong. Not to mention I have beautiful acne that plagues my face, haha. I have tried multiple things and finally a dermatologist (my fourth one) recommended something that halfway worked. I don't know how he discovered this but he gave me some samples and I use it everyday now. This is the best stuff I have tried so far. Its called Soothing Balm or Soothe, anyway the website is horrible, confusing and not extremely informative. However, I strongly suggest giving it a try if you have sensitive skin. The website is, and don't run once you see the website. It is well worth the money for what it does. I hope this works as well for you as it has for me.

    Bookmark   November 9, 2010 at 4:01PM
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Dehydration will affect your lips and face skin, drink a glass of water before eating your meals, this allows water to be better absorbed out into the skin, it worked for me and im sure it will help.

    Bookmark   February 26, 2011 at 1:40PM
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