Patch Testing for Allergic Contact Dermatitis – My Experience

patch testing contact allergic dermatitis lips

Just a few of the many, many patches I had stuck to me!

Last week, after a long, long wait, I finally had my patch testing for my suspected allergic contact dermatitis. I wanted to talk about my experience, as I did a lot of googling in the run up to it and couldn’t really find that much other than official ‘medical’ type documents. So, hopefully this will help anyone looking to know what to expect from patch testing (although hopefully not from the results, but we’ll come to that!)

If you’ve been following my blog for a while, you may be aware that I’ve been suffering with some sort of mystery dermatitis on my lips for some time (well over a year!) now. It appeared out of nowhere – suddenly they became red, cracked, sore and flakey. Not only painful and fairly unsightly, but making it pretty much impossible to wear lipstick for any extended amount of time as this just seemed to irritate the situation further.

Up to this point I’d already tried a lot – numerous GPs appointments and mistaken diagnoses of vitamin deficiency or possible inflammatory disease, giving up dairy (which seemed to work at first but soon made no difference what so ever), and an appointment with an immunologist for pinprick testing to check for histamine type allergies (the instant type reactions you get to say, peanuts) which all came back clear. A referral to a dermatologist (finally!) followed, where she basically banned me from all skincare products (which was unfortunately timed very close to me injuring my eye and having an eye makeup ban, causing me to write probably the most emotional post I’ve ever put up on this blog.) [Read more…]

Bare – No Makeup, No Skincare, What’s Left?

bare emily jayne no makeup

Makeup has always been my weapon of choice – having a down day? I’d reach for the red lippy. Got a hot date? Smokey eyes it is.

It’s a way of expressing myself, of feeling groomed and ‘finished’ for professional purposes, of presenting my best possible face to the world. If I feel like I look good, my confidence is boosted and never mind the fact that it’s just fun to play with!

Skincare is my indulgence. A ritual at the end of the day, little pots and potions, delicious smells, relaxation, a ‘wake me up’ in the morning to feel fresh and clean.

As a stylist and blogger, both makeup and skincare have kind of become part of my identity.

So, you may understand that I’ve been slightly knocked for six by having both things pretty much taken away from me recently! [Read more…]

Giving Up Dairy for My Skin

Or, a facial dermatitis update.

Warning – this post will feature a picture of my lips looking fairly flakey, split and gross. I thought it was important to show a before and after so you can see the difference giving up dairy has made to me, but also wanted to warn those who don’t want to see it!

So, some time around Summer last year, I suddenly developed dermatitis around and on my lips – they were dry, sore, flakey and split, and I’ve been on a quest to sort it out ever since (honestly, I can’t really believe how long this has been going on.) You can read my original post here, but a summary of what had happened up to that point was that the doctor seemed pretty sure it was an infection, antibiotics had no effect, then my dental hygienist suggested dermatitis/eczema, stamped my feet a little to try steroid cream. [Read more…]

Goodbye Cheese, if Only for a Little While…

going dairy free for my skin


So this week started with me saying goodbye to an old friend for a little while – we’ve had some good times, there was that fondue in the Swiss mountain town, the ice creams by the sea side, custard slices with my Nan and sour-cream smothered burritos and cocktails with friends. Yup, I’ve gone dairy free in an attempt to get the craziness of my face under control. It’s probably too soon to tell whether it’s really helping, but I have my suspicions. By the end of the week the small patch of eczema / dermatitis under my eye was much much better, and although the patch under my mouth remained, my lips were in good enough condition on Sunday to wear lipstick for the first time since the beginning of  February. I then thought I’d try a little stilton to see what happened, and my lips were definitely flaky and sore by the end of the day. However I’ve also been going down with a cold, so that could be more the reason. In any case I think the experiment is worth continuing – especially as my referral to a specialist isn’t until the end of June. I’m not sure that dairy is the actual cause (I’ve eaten it without any real problems most of my life after all) if it’s at least an irritant that I can avoid to get things under control a little then I’m willing to give it up for a bit. Even though most of my favourite foods include it. Ack. To cheer me up, Dan made the most immense vegan brownies at the weekend, with soy ice cream and I have to say I really couldn’t tell the difference, they were delicious. I think it’s my beloved cheese that will be my downfall! [Read more…]

The Joys of Adult Onset Dermatitis / Eczema (Or, Lipstick, I MissedYou!)

A bit of a personal post today, but I thought it was worth writing as when I was googling away trying to find out what on earth was going on, all the articles / blogs I found were about people who had been eczema sufferers their whole life, and I was very much under the impression that people don’t just suddenly ‘get it’. Unfortunately, this doesn’t seem to be true.

I’m not sure whether you’ve noticed that there weren’t quite as many selfies on my Instagram account towards the end of last year, and there certainly weren’t any lipstick reviews on my blog. In fact I kind of shied away from photos a bit altogether. [Read more…]