A British man has solved a decade-old puzzle of why red, flaky spots often appear on his face, and the solution has been found in his office toilet.
Will Hayward, a Welsh journalist, shared details of his amazing discovery on Twitter, sharing pictures before and after the remarkable transformation of his face.
“It’s hard to describe the impact my skin problem had on my life,” he wrote, adding that he had been diagnosed by doctors with multiple misdiagnosis and an incredible length of detail to find out what caused the “terrible red spots” on his cheeks and nose.
“Physically it can be very painful but usually it is uncomfortable,” he added.
“The real impact is how it hurts my self-esteem. I’m a young man (Ish) unmarried.
In his role as a news reporter in Wales, Mr Hayward often had to speak on-camera, a situation that could cause him great concern because of the stains.
“I don’t want to leave the house when a fire was at its worst,” he wrote.
“I will cancel sorted dates and never turn on my camera when making video calls.”
Mr Hayward noted that the flare-ups in his face would worsen after a night out in town.
He quit drinking for the sake of experimentation.
He also gave up caffeine and chocolate over time and tried different types of moisturizers and lotions to rule out possible causes.
A doctor diagnosed him with rosacea four years ago, a disorder that causes flushing of the mouth and can lead to small, pus-filled acne.
What this patch test looks like if you are interested. pic.twitter.com/tpCm0cQW2T
– Will Hayward (@WillHackardiff) April 17, 2022
In this case, the diagnosis was the first of many false dawn. Mr. Hayward, on the other hand, followed his doctor’s advice and tried lifestyle and dietary changes as well as recommended medicated creams.
“But there are still some problems,” he said.
“While low-level redness has subsided somewhat, mega-flare-ups have been just as intense and more frequent.”
Her cheeks improved, but the scars on her neck and chest were still “as bad”.
He went back to the doctor and was diagnosed with seborrheic dermatitis.
Mr. Hayward left with a new prescription, hoping for a breakthrough.
Then came the outbreak of coronavirus. Within weeks, Mr. Hayward’s skin has improved dramatically, he said.
“Sometimes it can still be a bit worse but in those first days of the epidemic my skin was better than it had been for years,” he reflected.
“I didn’t realize it but I wasn’t complaining.”
Then, as the number of cases dropped and Britain reopened, Mr Hayward began to go out more frequently and his skin began to deteriorate.
“This was especially true when I returned to the office after a year and a half (away).
“Suddenly I was back in Square One. In fact, it was worse.”
After Kovid’s post-flare-up, he returned to the doctor, who advised him to examine the allergy patch.
This advice has proven to be important in solving the problem. Mr Hayward was tested overnight for dozens of different compounds and chemicals to see if he was allergic to anything. Two compounds, 2-brom-2-nitropropane-1,3-diol and methylisothiazolinone, were found to be positive. Mr Hayward had to avoid both chemicals for three months to see if they were linked to his psychologically devastating facial skin disease. Chemicals with unusual names were not difficult to avoid.
“It was used 20 years ago,” Mr Hayward wrote, “but was phased out because so many people reacted.”
Methylsoothiozolinone, found in a wide range of items such as soaps, shower gels, shampoos and sun creams, was “a completely different animal”. Still, she cleaned up all her household and personal care items and waited to see what would happen. At first, the results seemed very promising. He and his journalistic colleagues returned to the office after his skin had “worked great” as he re-established the post-Covid method of work.
“Within hours of being in the office, my skin started to burn,” he wrote.
“And that night I came back to Square One.” I was very bloody upset.
“How did this happen?”
Mr Hayward, disappointed, then had a Eureka moment. He recalled that the men’s restroom in his office building was equipped with an automatic air freshener spray that remained active throughout the day. After finding out that methylisothiazolinon is widely used in air fresheners, the chief inquired with the landlord of his office. His instincts were right. Methylisothiazolinone was found in the bathroom spray.
“Out … every minute, three of these sprays were basically waterboarding my mouth with something I was very allergic to,” he said.
Mr Hayward contacted his boss and they replaced the air freshener with the landlord.
“I’m writing this article sitting in the office now, and for the first time in years, I’m at my desk and my skin doesn’t hurt,” Mr Hayward wrote.
She is still taking antibiotics for her skin problems, but she plans to stop taking them soon. He is also considering resuming his chocolate diet.
“I’ll like my first tweaks in four years.”
Image Credit: Twitter / Will Hayward
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