What do you do when your skin is in trouble?

Since last week, my body has developed a number of red rashes and spots and they have been multiplying by the day. This morning, they’re up to my neck! I’m not sure what they are and have no idea what has caused the sudden development. The only thing I can think of are the body washes I’ve been using although I still can’t confirm. That, or I’m having some internal issues. I really don’t like consulting a doctor for this as the diagnosis is usually non-conclusive. But since I’m having a flu, I decided to ask about them and as expected, I didn’t get any fresh perspective into their development and I was just prescribed with Gentriderm, a topical skin medication.

It’s always an allergy
I think skin troubles are very frustrating. According to the doctor, this could be an allergy or due to my pores being clogged. Either way, his answer didn’t mean a thing to me and this is why I hate to consult them when I have skin problems. While their diagnosis may help in more superficial issues, they’re usually unable to give very insightful information when the problem is a bit more complicated. Actually, I’ve had skin problems since about seven years ago and each time I see a doctor or dermatologist, I’ve always been told it’s an allergy. The problem usually go away for a short period when I use the topical medications but they’ll inevitably surface again once I stop using the medication. In the end, I just gave up on my consultations and lived with the red spots. They eventually went away when I started applying tea tree oil on them.

Pictures on the Net are useful
This is also why I persisted on my own with my acne issues even though a number of you have been asking me to consult a dermatologist. Unless I’m also ill, seeing a doctor would be the last option as I feel that they can never help me diagnose the root cause and whatever help will only be temporary. While I wouldn’t say that information on the Internet are all accurate, but through the resource, I was able to do some research and looked up relevant information to resolve my issues. For my current issue, I have been able to find some relevant pictures and they seem to point to the direction of skin rashes. So I will be looking into the products I’m using on my body to find out if they’re the culprits.

So what do you do when your skin is in trouble? Do you see a dcotor or do you self-diagnose?


  1. AtelierGal says:

    when I break out badly hormonally, I would stay home and wait for the darn spots to subside. the serious ones could take up to a week to fully heal.

    I try to stay home, and stay away from makeup and then sulk all the way through.

    I noticed ever since the beginning of the year, I would have minor rashes on my fingers and my jawline. It happened twice within a span of 3-4 months. Not sure what is wrong though. I did a research when it first happened and then I forget about it.

  2. Chukulec says:

    My mom is having the same problem. 2 days ago rashes developed on her neck and it spread to her ears and upper eyelids. She started rubbing scratching and now her eyes are swollen. She said she’ll just wait for the rashes to go away

  3. stella says:

    if the rashes are persistent, you should see a derm and get an allergy patch test that will be more or less conclusive. you can’t really blame the GP for giving you a symptomatic prescription, you’d do the same if you were him…

  4. sesame says:

    It’s quite hard to determine these rashes…I usually ignore it if it’s not persistent and hopes that it won’t re-surface.

  5. sesame says:

    If her eyes are swollen, it sounds serious. I would advice her to see a doctor though. It could be something she ate?

  6. sesame says:

    I suppose you’re right…but none of them ever offered me to do an allergy patch test. It’s funny and usually, they’ll just laugh it off and dismiss it as a minor symptom even though I told them that they’ve existed for a long time. Maybe it’s just the ones I consulted.

  7. Leon says:

    I got a big rash on my tummy 3 days back, all I did was mixed 2 drops of tea tree oil with 1 teaspoon of Organic Virgin Coconut Oil and applied twice a day. I also applied aloe vera gel once a day and its gone now:)

  8. BT says:

    I agree with Stella because my sister did the patch test in hospital before and she found that very helpful. When I had atopic dermatitis on my body few years back, I waited for a month to no avail, it continued to get worsen. I finally consult a doctor (not dermatologist), she just gave me medication ointment without explain further to my doubt, but their ointment is very effective anyhow. I think dermatologist should know better since that is their profession.

  9. Blovet Beauty says:

    I reach for hazeline snow or go back to my Dr Secrets. Usually it clears up the breakout in a week! If not I try to watch my diet very carefully and Drink water like there’s no tomorrow!

  10. sesame says:

    I used another tea tree oil but it’s not helping this time. Don’t know why.

  11. sesame says:

    I consulted a derm for my skin issues and he only prescribed me some topical medication after asking a series of questions. He did not suggest I do any tests though, which I find it strange now. Anyway, the medication did help but was temporary. After I stopped using, the spots all came back.

    I guess maybe I needed to get a 2nd opinion but I was a bit turned off after that and so unless I feel very uncomfortable, I avoid going to one or even seeing a doctor. This is bad I know as not all self diagnosis work well.

    In the case of my husband, his problem cleared up after he consulted a doctor so yes, they do help.

  12. sesame says:

    Oh you use Hazeline Snow? Very interesting. And I’m surprised to learn it helps with breakouts.

  13. Shi says:

    Wow! Your entry clearly depicts my feelings RIGHT NOW! I am having persistent rash every now and then. Most probably, it is due to my darn hormones again. Sigh. really dont know what to do with all these nasty hormones.

  14. sesame says:

    If it’s hormones, sometimes it could also be an overload of toxins and that is causing them to surface on the skin. I suspect my previous rashes were due to toxins accumulated in my liver. But now, I’m not sure what. It maybe a product allergy although I can’t say for sure yet. Or maybe it has got to do with my current illness because I rarely get sick with flu.

  15. fokerss says:

    lol flu can damage skin ?

  16. Rinka says:

    i mostly self-diagnose. i find when i visit the doctors often, they think im just being paranoid and send me off with painkillers. ive found that i get better results if i just google my symptoms etc!

  17. Rennie says:

    I always had a big problem with dermatologists because for me, they would always see the problems I was having “unspecial” and dismiss it with products that my skin almost always react badly to. Also, they never thought about healing my skin by trying to get rid of the root of the problem and instead “preaches” me to use tropical applications which are only temporary cures to my skin conditions. I remember once I had a horrible acne breakout and my derm recommended benzoyl peroxide 10% and retina A two of most harshest products you can put on one’s skin when I specifically told him I had sensitive skin. Needless to say, my skin had a horrible reaction and even now I have scars from it. Now I prefer to go to a herbalist who can give me herbal medicine to get rid of my internal problems that are causing problems for my skin.

  18. Caramel says:

    Since I am studying TCM now, I rationalise based on TCM theory. According to TCM, rashes appear due to ‘heat’ or ‘heaty wind’ in the body. Since you are having a flu, it may be because your body needs to discharge the heatiness in the system. If the cream does not work, it is obvious the rashes come from internal, not from the skin. Visiting the TCM doctor may help ?

  19. sesame says:

    I never said anything about flu damaging the skin. I said the rashes could be because of it. Don’t you know that what you suffer internally can be manifested outwardly?

    Btw, I have deleted off the link from your forum. Please don’t promote your forum on my blog. This is not the platform to do that.

  20. sesame says:

    I do the same mostly. If I can avoid seeing them, I would. But the funny thing is that for others like my family members, I always encourage them to see a doctor.

  21. sesame says:

    That’s bad! I remember speaking to an aesthetic doctor and she said the same thing to me – that some dermatologists would prescribe the harshest med to patients when a milder one would suffice. I think it’s always good that we read up a little so that we are aware of the dangers of some of these med. A dermatologist prescribed me a 4% hydroquinone without telling me that it can’t be used long term. Luckily I had read some info and was aware that it can thin the skin when applied over long periods.

  22. sesame says:

    I was thinking the same thing because the rashes got bad yesterday. I’ll monitor and see how it goes. Hopefully, it’ll all subside.

    Btw, where are you studying TCM? Are you based in Singapore? I’m actually keen to do a course on it too and am checking out relevant info.

  23. yay says:

    when i used to break out alot i consult my physician to go see dermatologist…. i was having problem with the dark spots too… i figure it’s about time…. dermatologist wasn’t helpful…. it took forever to get the appointment & when i finally get the appointment i barely get the chance to talk with her… i ended up mostly talking with the nurse…. i think you may be having some sort of allergy…. don’t use the body wash for a week & see if that make a different…. if it’s not the body wash or your intake in food maybe perhaps something in the air?

  24. Rennie says:

    Yeah. I definitely learned my lesson. I now research everything before using a product. I just had to learn the hard way…you would think being doctors they would at least give some sort of care attention to patients…

  25. Leon says:

    Try pure Aloe Vera Gel, it will definitely help. Better still, use the one right from the refrigerator, its so soothing.

  26. Hebah says:

    I usually change my face wash, if I think it’s the face wash that could be causing the problem, or I cut out the caffeine. I don’t usually go see a doctor, unless it’s something very persistant, that no matter what I do, it just keeps getting worse.

  27. sesame says:

    It’s either the body wash or something internal…haven’t changed my diet so don’t think it’s that. The thing is I have changed my body wash but it got worst…so have to change again and see how. So far, seems under control.

  28. sesame says:

    Unfortunately not. My mom was visiting a doctor for 6 years getting medication for her high blood pressure but the medication prescribed hurt her kidneys. He should have given her a supplement or vitamin to counteract that but he didn’t. She almost had to go for a kidney dialysis because of that. So when it comes to major health issues, it’s always better to seek a second or sometimes third opinion. The problem I guess is that most conditions start out mild.

  29. sesame says:

    I have one in the fridge…may try it later. Thanks for the tip!

  30. sesame says:

    I see…how does the caffeine affect you? Does it break your skin out?

  31. Michelle says:

    you know what? I used to have breakouts and thought I had oily/combination skin until I had a facial and the aesthetician told me I had dry skin! I asked her why was my face breaking out then and she told me to go to the local health food store and buy all-natural skin care – the more expensive kinds that have no animal by-products and no chemicals or additives. I did and my face cleared up a lot! But I still would have a few (what seemed to me) “hormonal” breakouts. Then I was told to re-evaluate my makeup. So, I tried the powder mineral makeup and even though i didn’t like it a ton, my face TOTALLY cleared up. I was using all-natural skin care and putting mineral-based makeup on it. I have been on a mission to find the ultimate mineral-based liquid makeup because i don’t like how my face looks with the mineral powder – i wanted a better coverage. I’m proud to say that i have found the ultimate mineral makeup that I buy at the local health food store and I NEVER have a breakout now. It is called Emani minerals…have you heard of it? I’ve been using Arbonne all-natural skin care for three months now but was using Mychelle and Jason’s Organics before that when I achieved the cleared up skin. Anyway, i just wanted to tell you that for the first time, I’ve used a liquid makeup all the way through…to the point i was using a q-tip to get the last little bit. Love it (and my face, too!)

  32. Caramel says:

    Yes I am based in Singapore and I am attending the part time night class in ‘College of Traditional Chinese Medicine’ in Toa Payoh. The course is really interesting ?
    Check out their website http://www.singaporetcm.edu.sg/en/index.php
    There is also another TCM college called ‘Institute of Chinese Medical Studies’ in Geylang.
    Both colleges are affiliated with TCM universities in China for their courses.

  33. susukoko says:

    well, i usually consult a dermatologist if i have skin problem.

    i had a moderate acne breakout 2 yrs ago and was under antibiotics for 6 mths and it really cleared my acne.

    however, recently, my acne is coming back.. its mild tho’.. so i went back to my dermatologist and was given the same antibiotics.. this time i repond better and need to take the antibiotics for only 4 mths..

    apart from tt, i recently consulted a Chinese medicine practitioner when i happened to accompany my mum there..
    i was given a 3 packets (1 treatment) of herbs to brew and drink..
    the sinseh said the herbs would reduce my oil production, acne and maintain my skin hydration.
    i do nt know if this is true cos i’m yet to brew the herbs.. hahha..

  34. sesame says:

    I’m glad your skin care products are working well for you. It’s very hard to find good natural makeup. I used to use Zuii Organics and like them quite a bit. I also used LA Minerals but have stopped since I had my acne breakout cos the coverage is not so complete.

    I don’t see any of those you’ve mentioned here though.

  35. sesame says:

    Okay, great! Thanks for the info Caramel! I saw the website some time ago but I need to install Chinese language to read some of their brochures.

  36. sesame says:

    It’s troublesome to brew the herbs…I prefer those in powder form. But with TCM, it’ll take awhile…not instant. Where are you breaking out mostly? If it’s the cheeks, it might have to do with your diet.

  37. Ann says:

    I am not any Doc but have been reading a lot and very concerned about my skin as well, so by reading to your symptoms I can relate it to something I have gone through. Not always but sometimes the body reacts in a different way to any external nasties, like virus. The first trial of skin or body is to repair it themselves, it tries hard till it fails. The same happens when we have a viral infection/flu/fever, that the body reacts in the form of these rashes, they might be a bit itchy and should go to your GP if they are really serious n show redness even when you press a glass aginst it. If it comes to your mouth/lips or tongue it is a mtter of concern and the docs treat it, but if it’s minor with no other serious cause, eating well is the best cure, eat well in order to get your body’s strength back internally first and it would go by itself………..oops I sound too preaching but I had this experience.

  38. sesame says:

    Thanks Ann for sharing your experience; it’s much appreciated. I’m still not quite sure what is it although I’m now suspecting it’s more internal generated cos I’ve changed three body washes (all I was using without problems before) but I still have the rashes. The cream prescribed by the GP is helping but I just hope there won’t be too many new flare ups and they’ll subside soon.

    I don’t think it’s too serious and I need to rest but I just have too much work now I can’t afford to do that.

  39. susukoko says:

    yeah.. i finally brewed the herbs and took the concoction which was really yucky!!

    yeah.. with TCM, it’s slow but it says to target the root of the cause rather than symptoms..

    yeah.. i’m breaking out mostly in my cheeks and chin..
    the Chinese medicine practitioner said that because of my “weak” stomach, i have problem with constipation. as such, my body is not able to eliminate toxins, thus they manifest as pimples on my face…=.=”

  40. sesame says:

    It sounds like something I suffered. I did a detox and then I followed on by eating probiotics daily. That cleared it up. Cut down on your sugar and carbo intake too and take stuff like kiwi that’ll help with your constipation. If it’s your digestive system, this should help. Once you’re not constipated, your pimples will likely go away.

    Not sure if you read my entry here:

  41. pf1123 says:

    I just came back from Rome. I’m having a bad rash as well. I got it when I sat on the floor and a wooden chair in St Peters Basilica. Almost immediately I came out, my right leg shows red swollen lumps.

    When I came back, I immediately go see the doctor. He said it could be skin sensitivities or scabies. He says to use the anti-itch cream and medicine and see if it goes away after a few days.

    I was worried that it could be scabies and is contagious. So, I went to see another doc for a 2nd opinion. He says its probably a skin allergy and not scabies since it looks diffent and the spots are random, not at moist areas of the body. I was relieved. Would hate to be spreading nasty stuff to people.

    Don’t really like the first doctor. He didn’t tell me exactly what I got and made me quite worried as I hardly ever have allergic reactions. Similar to others, he did not recommend a patch test.

    Sighhh….now I just got to put cream on it and go on steriods and hope it gets better soon.

  42. sesame says:

    Sounds like the rashes were a result of bugs from the chairs…I hope it’ll go away soon. I haven’t figured out what’s wrong with mine cos the rashes are still there and they get really itchy in the middle of the night. I’ve switched to 3 different body washes so probably it’s not due to them. It’s not getting worse but not getting better either. ?

  43. pf1123 says:

    No, I think probably its from the floor. Coz I sat crossed legged and the part that has initial bumps and badly affected is the leg which touches the floor more.

    The 2nd doctor also says that the allergy to the skin would trigger a reaction and cause similar symptons to appear at other body areas. So, I have the random bits of bumps elsewhere on arms and legs.

    I’m taking Atarax 10mg at night given by the first doctor. Its for flu/itch/sinus…but more for the drowsiness effect and make sure I don’t lack sleep due to the itch.

    Oh, and the 2nd doc says that since I scratched the itch, the skin is open now so he gave me Foban Ointment for anti-bacteria. I told him before I went to see him, I used rubbing alchohol on my irritated skin and he was shocked. hehe…coz it stings. Yes, it stings but I thought its better than having an infection.

  44. Hayashi says:

    Sometimes acne got worst when one is sick or not feeling very well. That’s what I experience. Once you got better, the redness actually minimize. Same goes to the monthly PMS.

  45. sesame says:

    I believe so…a lot of what happens to our skin is from internal. I’m having rashes on my body but I don’t know what is causing it. Very frustrated.

  46. Wm says:

    How did you clear your rashes?

  47. Sesame says:

    It was quite long ago but I think I used Gentriderm Cream that you see in the picture.

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