Please note: This is a review moved over from my old blog at loraborealis.blogspot.com.
Written around: July 19th, 2009
One of the main reasons I wanted to start this blog was because I wanted to share my experiences with a minor form of atopic dermatitis called pityriasis alba.
A little background for those of you who may not know: pityriasis alba is Latin for white, scaly patches that most affects children who are usually between the ages of 6-12. It usually resolves by the time children reach adulthood. The following information was provided by my dermatologist: Pityriasis alba spots blend into the skin and are often found on the face and upper arms. It is caused by allergic reactions. Pityriasis alba is sometimes confused with tinea versicolor (I made this mistake). Tinea versicolor spots have a solid border, are caused by fungus, and are found mainly on the neck, check, and arms.
Twice when I was little, I had cases of white spots on my face. The first time, they went away by itself. The second time, I believe the condition lasted a little longer because I remember going to the doctor and being prescribed a topical treatment. I don’t remember what the doctor diagnosed the condition as.
From the time I first began washing my face and using skincare products to last years pityriasis alba “outbreak”, my staples were Neutrogena’s Liquid Facial Cleanser, St. Ives Apricot Scrub, and Olay Original Active Hydrating Beauty Fluid. I was often complimented on my clear skin.
During mid-July 2008 though, the white spots showed up on my face again. This time, they were concentrated on my right cheek. A month later, the spots weren’t getting any better so after a lot of reading up online, I self-diagnosed the white spots as “tinea versicolor” and bought a bottle of Nizoral dandruff shampoo to treat them. During the next two weeks of usage, three new white spots/dry spots appeared along my jaw, near my mouth, and on my left cheek. For a few days during the first week, redness went away, my skin felt smooth, and the white spots were very visible.
But after two weeks of using Nizoral, I woke up one day, saw that my skin was in the worst condition it has ever been in (extremely inflammed, red, and dry) and decided to immediately cease application of any face product except for Aveeno Daily Moisturizing Lotion. I didn’t wash my face for the next 8 days. The dryness went away and the white spots seemed to be less noticeable. I gave in on the 9th day though and washed gently with St. Ives Apricot Scrub. The white spot on my right cheek (my biggest concern compared to the other white spots because this was the most troublesome one) became red again.
September 2, 2008
September 6, 2008. Immediately ceased washing my face with anything but water.
Sometime during the Nizoral testing, I was able to schedule an appointment with a dermatologist and we met late September. I was told to try out CeraVe’s Hydrating Cleanser (I had never heard of the brand before this) and was prescribed Verdeso (a form of topical steroid) for when my skin was inflammed. A week later, I had another appointment to see how things had turned out. Turns out, we had a miscommunication and I had been misusing the Verdeso. I thought my dermatologist had instructed me to use it when my skin was red (which is often) but he said I was only supposed to use it when my skin was noticeably dry or itchy. Thank goodness only a week had passed by because I seriously did not want to experience the side effects of misuse: stretch marks, bruising, thinning of skin (yikes!), and others. After my appointment, I purchased a tub of CeraVe Moisturizing Cream to go along with my Hydrating Cleanser and haven’t switched to anything new since.
CeraVe Hydrating Cleanser
Clear, thin, watery consistency. Easy to spread all over face. A little goes a long way (this applies to CeraVe’s entire line of skin care products). No fragrance.
CeraVe Moisturizing Cream
Thick, fragrant-less, and extremely moisturizing. Again, a little goes a long way. My first tub lasted me for over 6 months! I used it twice daily, if not more, over my entire face. Sometimes I used it on my hands too but that was not often. It took a while to get used to the thick consistency since I had been using Olay’s thin facial lotion for so many years but I absolutely love it now.
CeraVe Moisturizing Lotion
I use this during the summer months when it’s too hot to use the cream. It’s consistency is as thin as the cleanser. It is also fragrant-less.
If you're interested in a more detailed review of the CeraVe line: please see my comparison post on CeraVe vs. Cetaphil here.
Concerning pityriasis alba, my face has been very good since I’ve began using CeraVe’s skin care line almost a year ago. My face cleared up of the white spots and dryness and redness that came with it within three months. Every once in a while, I experience some dryness on my skin but it has yet to turn into anything worse. I really love CeraVe’s skin care line because of what it has done for my skin!
Other brands my dermatologist recommended were: Dove, Aveeno, Cetaphil, and Oil of Olay.
Some informative links: