Sunday, November 25, 2012

Swollen eyes

A lot has been happening the past fortnight and I just didn't feel ready to gather my thoughts to blog. Nothing truly significant or earth shattering, but little "accidents", incidents, observations and commentaries received. Anyway, I shall start-off with a funny little incident.


2 weekends ago, I started using a new facial toner with lots of "anti-aging" fruit acid. Fruit acid is not something new to my skin since my dermatologist back in Singapore treated my face regularly with it in my 20's and 30's.
Now, in my mid-20's I had pretty bad acne problems. It was bad enough that one day the department secretary innocently remarked, "WD, [do] you know [that] you can see the doctor for skin problems?" 
Until then, I was clueless that superficial beauty issues warranties a doctor's attention. Even then, I did not know how to approach a doctor for my acne issues. By chance when I visited the company doctor for cough/flu, he offered me  (without my asking for it) roll-on antibiotics to treat my acne. It worked like a charm. 
Thus when my skin broke out again, I took my sister's colleague's referral to a dermatologist seriously and visited the skin specialist. I was very consistent about the monthly AHA (alpha hydroxy acids) treatment until my skin condition stabilized; thereafter I returned regularly for maintenance treatments. That is how I learned about one of the ways in which the rich "tai-tai's" stay young and beautiful (assuming that they did not undergo the knife for plastic surgery). Yes, the regular AHA treatments worked like a charm too. 
Once in my early 30's, I even had a female colleague asking me, "What foundation are you using? Your skin looks so smooth." I replied that I wasn't using any foundation, just regular skin care (wash, tone, moisturize) and plain sun-block.
The problem is it was a different (not famous) brand, and I took it for granted that my skin would adapt to AHA as it did before. On the 2nd or 3rd time of using the new toner, I woke up at 4am to an itchy, burning sensation on my face. In my drowsy state, I started gently scratching the itch but it just wouldn't go away. Finally I couldn't take the itch anymore, so I got out of bed, switched on the lights to see what's "irritating" my face. Boy was I in for a shock!

4:05am Swollen face, erythematous skin, patches of serous facial discharge

I was due to leave home at 6am to report for 7am-7pm duty at my preceptorship hospital. Straight off I debated the merits of calling the nursing unit to inform them that I was unable to work. I rinsed my face with as much tepid water as possible. Finally I could see my double eyelids returning, but my face was still unevenly swollen (left side was more swollen than the right), erythematous (red), with patches of (clear fluids) serous facial discharge (1st degree and 2nd degree superficial partial thickness burns). In fact, I found my face so funny that I could not help laughing at myself despite my predicament and took photos "for the memories".

4:20am Double eyelids returned, but still swollen face, erythematous skin, patches of serous facial discharge

I decided to head for duty at my preceptorship hospital as previously planned. I already had to replace 1 day's work due to being sick previously, I did not want to further delay my training unnecessarily. My preceptor was surprised. She mentioned that she had noted slight redness the day before (when I started with this new toner). She exclaimed, "Why did you use that new toner? Your skin is so good, don't spoil it."

Later in the day, an elderly ethnic Chinese lady patient remarked admiringly that I had such a glowing complexion. I laughed and replied that my "glowing complexion" was actually an allergic reaction!

Thankfully my skin returned back to its previous normal conditions after a few days of recovery.

Previous normal skin/eyes conditions
[Note: Eyes with a little eyeshadow applied]

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