feature, heath & wellness, self

Diagnosis: Sjögren’s Syndrome

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This is a sponsored post in collaboration with Simple Skincare.

I’ve had sensitive skin for as long as I can remember. My “traumatic” birth may have had something to do with it. Mum swears it was the extra two weeks I spent cooking in her belly because I just didn’t want to come out. When I was born I wasn’t one of those beautiful creamy skinned angel babies you see – I was born bright red, over cooked and peeling. I guess that is what happens when you spend an extra fourteen days in the oven.

In my teenage years I worked at a cafe and a bakery where I’d be covered in cleaning products – cue eczema and dermatitis out breaks. My sensitive skin couldn’t handle the intensity of anything – especially washing dishes! It was a good excuse to get out of the cleaning duties, but it was such a burden, because dermatological issues aren’t so pretty, especially for a teenager. Remember everything is more dramatic in those days.

In my early twenties I was diagnosed with Sjögren’s Syndrome. It’s not an easy one to discover, but thanks to a date with the blood bank (I thought I was being good by donating blood) it was discovered, and finally everything made sense. There was a reason behind all my underlying skin issues! I had no idea what Sjögren’s was and still to this day cannot pronounce the term correctly at the best of times, but it was a bit of a weight off my shoulders to understand why I was having so many problems. Basically Sjögren’s Syndome is an autoimmune disorder that mainly affects the eyes and mouth, as well as skin and salivary glands. Technically my immune system cells and autoantibodies are attacking my bodies moisture-producing glands. Nice. And this lovely attack affects the “dryness” of my eyes, mouth and skin. When I found out about the diagnosis I spent the next day limping around like I’d just been blown a bout of hardcore arthritis. How embarrassing, since I hadn’t experienced any of the arthritis related symptoms! It is pretty mild at this point but may become more in the future – I hope not. I’ve only ever had to visit a Rheumatologist once when I was initially diagnosed for a simple check up and he told me to report back if I ever had any major symptomatic progression, but that was a good six years ago now and nothing major enough to report so I’ll leave that on the back burner.

Post being diagnosed with the cheeky syndrome I’ve forced myself to take more notice of which products my skin does not agree with and have managed to find many less irritating alternatives to my previous purchases. Cue the sensitivity test! I’ve found that not every product aimed at the sensitive folk actually works for my bitchy skin. This is where Simple Skincare has become a bit of a saviour. Their range of sensitive skincare options is extensive, and I know that when I purchase their products I’m confident I won’t break out or further irritate my skin. I can’t go past their facial wipes. Swipe swipe and your make up is gone, plus the handy pack fits perfectly in my bag. Their website is packed to the brim with tips for looking after your skin, whether it is super sensitive or mildly irritable. As well as advice on skin survival during the change of season, how PH balance can affect your glow and how to reduce the sensitivity of your skin, they also offer three top tips to really keep your skin in mind.

1. Combat any day to day sensitivity triggers to decrease the risk of sensitivity to your skin.

TIP: If you know you can’t handle washing the dishes because cleaning products give you dermatitis and irritate your skin pop on a pair of gloves!

2. Choose the right products.

TIP: Just because the packaging is cuter on the well known brand product, doesn’t mean you should get it. Try a more organic based product that is suggested for those with skin issues.

3. Avoid choosing products with harsh, chemicals and irritants in them.

TIP: Go for the sensitive alternative. Or if you like, do it yourself. DIY beauty is cost effective and a lot of fun!

The full range of Simple Skincare products are available on their website or you can hunt them down in various pharmacies or at Priceline. I guess I had to learn the hard way about being good to my skin, but shock will do that to you. Cross your fingers that’s all I’ll have to deal with due to the Sjögren’s Syndrome, this sooky lass can’t handle a cold let alone anything more.

What is your best sensitive skin care tip or DIY beauty hack?

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7 Comments

  1. twenty says

    Interesting post. Good to know which products actually work re sensitive skin issue.

  2. Great tips! I’ve never heard of Sjögren’s before, thank you for sharing your story, I learned a lot! X

    • Thanks for reading Jess – it’s a funny one. I was speaking to a nurse the other day and she’d never heard of it either! Must make people more aware of it! xx

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