Archive for the ‘Eye Issues’ Category

“You Look Tired…”

Friday, September 30th, 2011


I’ve been hearing this on and off from strangers since I was about 15. It gets humorous after many years, especially on days when I’m feeling highly energetic.

The reality is that troubled skin has many more problems than simply being prone to bumps. Acne prone individuals are also prone to thickening of the skin which can make their face feel heavy and look dull. This thickening, if not properly treated and worked on, can prematurely age the skin.

Another reason acne patients look tired is due to inappropriate acne treatment of all kinds. Drying up the eye and mouth areas will make someone temporarily look 10 years older in a flash. Don’t panic if this happens to you. It is completely temporary if you quickly find a more appropriate treatment for your situation. (Bootcamp members know to ask for assistance around here)

If inappropriate and unconscious use of products continues for many years, this dryness can act like a chronic sunburn and eventually cause premature aging.

Another aspect of acne prone skin that makes people look tired is an increased sensitivity of the skin and eyes. A large percent of chronic acne sufferers have skin and eyes that are very reactive and easily made uncomfortable. Chronic inflammation of the skin, eyelids, and eyes also makes people look tired.

In general, anything that is hot, red, and bothered for a long period of time is going to cause some wear and tear. This reality should create some sense of urgency. It is true of the knees, the bowel, and the skin. This idea has been elaborated in an older post entitled, “Time = Scarring”

One may ask, “Well Dr. Neal, where’s the optimistic twist?”

Here it is: Look closely at my wellness videos on the home page. You will see that, although I’m not a kid anymore, my skin is less tired looking at age 36 than it was at 26. The only time I hear, “you look tired” these days is when I’m off my maintenance game due to other passions and interests.

The only way to beat chronic inflammatory conditions is to work hard at them. The goal is to slow them down and eventually achieve what I call total inactivation, then emotionally heal from the entire ordeal. Once you are healed, your job is to maintain total control by doing whatever is necessary for your specific situation.

This philosophy is true for all chronic inflammatory conditions of the skin and body. Examples of other conditions that can be completely inactivated are IBS, chronic headaches, seb derm, joint pain, heartburn, and all other common ailments that are battled on the drugstore shelves. It requires great skill, hard work, and good weaponry to win the battle against inflammation.

Chronic ailments can be extremely frustrating because of the expectation that they are easy to beat. Once you get past the marketing machine that makes it seem easy, you’ll be focused in a place of reality and finally understand the mountain that stands before you. As the emotion settles and reality sets in, you’ll realize that you have no choice but to dig in and climb it.

It requires great energy to climb mountains. (that’s why I put the crossfit section in the blog)

give it a try,

-Dr. Neal

p.s. click here to see a great eyelid transformation.

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Sensitive Eyes and Acne?

Saturday, October 30th, 2010


My hope is that many people will show this next video to both their dermatologist and their ophthalmologist.

Chronic acne is not just about bumps. There are many things going on with the skin and the surrounding structures. Many people with this irritating condition complain of eye itchiness, discomfort, sensitivity, tearing, a tired look, discolored lids and under eye area, and sometimes even incapacitating stinging. Acne patients will often times not make the corrolation that this eye problem is related to the chronic condition on their face and seek an eye specialist.

Here’s the problem:

Most eye specialists are not experts of oily, dry, or acne prone skin and will attempt to treat the eye alone without noticing the rest of the face is activated. This type of experience causes regular acne patients to take home misdiagnoses of ocular rosacea, dry eyes, foreign bodies, or any other diagnosis that slightly fits the presentation of uncomfortable eyes.

Once in a while, a clever ophthalmologist will recognize the oil on the face combined with the thickened lids and correctly diagnose the patient with seborrheic dermatitis of the eyelids. However, when it comes to chronic condtions, the correct diagnosis is not the tough part. Treatment of seb derm (oily thickened skin) is far more tricky than the recognition of it.

These patients will typically go home with the proper diagnosis and several ways to remove the thick flakes and oil from their eyelids in an attempt to get comfortable eyes. It will alleviate many patient’s symptoms but leave others with a partial band-aid that never really makes it to the threshold of comfort.

I lived with uncomfortable eyes for about a decade, sometimes so sensitive that a moment of sunlight would cause a blinding sting and tearing. It’s uncomfortable and distracting from any normal social interaction. If you are panicked without your sunglasses like I was, consider you may have a little irritation of your eyelids.

Here’s the interesting part:

When you control the rest of the acne and oil on the face, the eyelids will follow. This next video shows an amazing example of how when you fix a person’s skin activity, the eyes can heal up completely. (we did not use any special eye treatment in this case. They become less inflamed as his face began to heal)

Please show this video to your ophthalmologist and your dermatologist if you have ever suffered from acne and are now dealing with sensitive eyes. Your doctor can call me anytime.

(the full screen button is in the lower right corner)

©2010 “Sensitive Eyes and Acne?” by Dr. Neal Schwartz

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