Name: bdogg_mcgee

From: Big D, Texas, United States

About me: The observations and musings of a transplanted Houstonian, married to the love of my life and living on the plains of North Texas.

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8.04.2006,8/04/2006 05:15:00 PM
A Cautionary Tale
As I've mentioned previously, I have been victim to the vicious malady of acne. Growing up, I was blessed with fairly unblemished skin--I'd have the occasional breakout now and then, but for the most part, I was pimple-free for most of my teen years and even most of my twenties.

I don't know what the hell happened, but in mid-May, around the time I went up to Cincinnati for work, I started getting zits. And I've never stopped having them, not completely, anyway. They are a constant part of my face now, always lurking, sometimes inflamed and angry, sometimes not, but, seeing that I've never had a severe problem with breakouts in my life, it's pretty disconcerting.

The zits camp out on the lower part of my face, but they really love to hang out on my jawline, chin, and both sides of my neck. Nothing has helped clear them up, and my endocrinologist thought it could be a symptom of Cushing's Disease, but as we know, those tests turned up negative. So, the zits have stayed, and I think they're planning to develop a shopping mall and quite possibly a grocery store on the precious real estate that is my face.

I was talking to my Mom about all this, and a couple days later she called to say she'd bought me some Proactiv and it was being shipped to me.

Thank goodness! I thought, believing that my acne troubles were over and I could finally have clear skin again. You know, because the ads you see on television and in magazines tout this as a magic elixir, sure to cure the villain that is acne.

This past Monday, the "miracle cure" arrived, and that night I used it, and again the next morning. By Tuesday, my skin was starting to look a bit red and flaky, but a couple of the zits on my jaw had become less noticable, so I was happy. It was working, right? Wednesday morning, I noticed a red, welt-like mark below my right eye, which was also dry and flaky, so I thought, "Well, let's knock this stuff down to once a day." I used the stuff Wednesday night, and Thursday morning I woke up to see that my skin had melted off.

Well, not exactly. But, my poor face was red and swollen, and the red welt thingy had a twin below the LEFT eye. I also had red splotches all down my neck, and the zits on my jawline and neck had morphed into these painful bumps that were a dark maroon-ish color. So, I popped some Benadryl and went to work, where I started doing some research into this Proactiv.

After A LOT of digging, I discovered that Proactiv contains benzoyl peroxide and sulfur, that, when combined, help fight acne and exfoliate the skin, yadda yadda yadda. I didn't find this on their website, mind you--I had to dig around to figure out the ingredients.

I'm deathly allergic to sulfa drugs, which are made of...SULFUR. I popped Benadryl throughout the day (which made me oh-so-productive at work, let me tell you,) and used Cetaphil cleanser and moisturizer last night.

This morning I woke up with a sore throat and, as the day progressed, my chest started hurting a little. I figured it was time to throw in the towel and go to the doctor, who promptly looked at me and said, "You're getting a steriod shot." And, for the record, steroid shots hurt like HELL. It's been two hours since I got it and my ass is still aching.

Shame on me for not doing a patch test, but I blindly believed that this stuff was okay. I mean, it's created by dermatologists, right? But what pisses me off is that nowhere on the packaging does it say that if you're allergic to sulfa drugs to not use it. The packaging says that the only active ingredient is benzoyl peroxide. So now I'm sitting here with dry, flaky, red patches of skin all over my face and neck that are pretty painful. Am I wrong to think that there should be some kind of warning on this stuff?

Well, I'm going to warn people.
If you are allergic to sulfa drugs, DO NOT USE PROACTIV! It contains sulfur, and you might suffer an allergic reaction. Don't believe that it's just the benzoyl peroxide drying out your skin. Stop using it!!

And now I'm going to step off my soapbox and finish watching my Tivo'ed Project Runway.
posted by bdogg_mcgee
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