Since drs appointments are hard to get for minor dermatological issues these days, I wanted to offer a bit of advice on dealing with random skin issues that involve OTC products. Red, flaky patches of skin, rashes, cracked skin, basically any skin weirdness that arises can be treated with the following protocol. If after following this protocol you are still experiencing issues, definitely go see a dermatologist.

Since it’s difficult to know the cause of the random skin issues, you want to be very careful about how you treat them. For example, inflammation presents on skin as red, flaky patches. If you experience this, and try to exfoliate it off, you will irritate already irritated skin, and dramatic things will happen. In order to avoid this, I suggest applying an anti-inflammatory product to the area for a week to begin. If whatever your skin issue is is due to inflammation, it should clear up during this time. Anti-inflammatory products (like my Skin Zen line) contain actives like aloe vera, allantoin, oatmeal, cucumber extract, tea extracts, chamomile, calendula, etc. Actives like these serve to reduce the inflammation happening in skin, and thus, reduce or eliminate the skin eruption happening because of it. NOTE: steroids are basically superhero versions of anti-inflammatory actives. I feel like they deserve their own post, which is why I’m not talking about them more.

If, after a week of anti-inflammatory treatment, you are still having the same issue, I suggest trying an antibacterial treatment. Antibiotic ointment, alcohol, silver-based antibacterial ointments, and several botanical extracts all have antibacterial effects. Make sure that you limit the application of these antibacterials to just the affected area. You have loads of bacteria that colonize your skin and help protect it, so you don’t want to kill them off, just the bad guys causing the problem. I suggest trying this protocol for a week. If after anti-inflammatory and antibacterial treatments your situation is not better, try antifungals. It is possible that you’re dealing with a fungal infection. In this case, I suggest hitting the drugstore and looking for topical antifungal treatments. Look for active ingredients like clotrimazole, miconazole nitrate, terbinafine hydrochloride, and tolnaftate. Try this treatment for a week as well. If significant improvement doesn’t happen after all of this, make a drs appointment. When you come to the visit, you can tell them the results of your treatments, and that will give them more info regarding your diagnosis.

Keep in mind that each of these types of treatments could be ineffective due to the fact that you’re using low-power OTC versions of anti-inflammatories, antibacterials, and antifungals. That’s why it’s important to go to a dermatologist if these fail to clear up your problem. They can give you a prescription for the appropriate high-power pharmaceutical that you need. #themoreyouknow

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