Looking very aged and gaunt when CFS symptoms flare up+bad skin...do other people experience this?

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I know, I know. Petty subject but when you've been bullied about your looks for years, or even disparaged by your own family, you end up growing into a somewhat vain woman. This is something I got curious about...is it really true that how you feel is on the outside?

I've gotten some pretty nasty stuff.
Input that I look like death or like I'm dying when I'm at my worst and it's like I see it in the mirror. Like, even my nasolabial folds grow long and haggard which is bizarre (even when well-hydrated) and my face just looks sunken in and ages a few years. I have captured befores and afters in the same lighting, etc., and online people have noted the difference too. Likewise the only day I felt good, everyone I knew was shocked, saying "you look so good and alive!" I saw the difference in the morning.
I'm not sure why but my face also grows very stiff and sore and defaults into this frown. My skin itself also looks rough. What was shocking was going through what usually aggravates my sickly feelings and weakness...I took a before picture and an hour afterwards I looked a lot more haggard.
Honestly with my body image issues this stresses me out.

Though honestly my skin is just bad regardless; it has this rough orange peel structure, very rocky even regardless of acne.
And it's shocking because I honestly use products that derms and customers rave about with pretty much no downside...hydrating my face topically has made little difference.
There's also this shiny quality to the xerosis despite having extremely paper-feeling thin skin. I am 24, but my skin looks prematurely aged despite me eating a healthy diet.
I'm not sure if there is much I can do. I just wonder if anyone else has been hit more obviously by their illness and whether or not it's related to CFS and poor health.

I'm still not sure if I'm fully imagining things.
 

5150

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I don't know the full biological process, but I remember hearing that face fat goes away when someone gets this crummy disease. It's bad enough when it happens to a man, but a woman surely takes pride in her beauty and rightfully so. It is harder, I would think.
 

Wolfcub

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I wonder about heavy moisturiser....it is known to block the pores a bit and stop skin breathing which can be the cause of "orange peel" skin. I always use water after cleanser to wash my skin clean, and something light to moisturise. And ALWAYS drench my face in cold water in the morning. That feels nice and I think it's good for skin. But if you're in a hard water area you will need some moisturiser.


Well....at 65 I am probably entering old bat territory, and off the ups and downs of worry about my beauty....but I still like to look what I call "normal" (ha bloody ha)
I have always looked younger than I am. That's been a lifelong thing.
My face is not too bad, but it needs a little make up in the morning to look what I call "normal". I hate heavy make up but it needs a little. My face has not gone gaunt.

But it's my body that's gone downhill. I have mysteriously lost all padding, feminine shape and muscle.
I notice it when I look at myself naked after a shower. My muscles (always so good looking before) have collapsed and my ribs show. I have a thigh gap you could drive a car through. Daren't wear skinny jeans anymore. My hip bones stick out. I can't keep weight on and seem to be withering. Yet I eat healthily and perfectly well. I get more calories per day than many people do. I probably eat twice as much as some people. Good food.
Blood work shows no sign of thyroid issues or malignancy btw. Normal healthy bloodwork.

It's getting so it creeps me out to look at my body nowadays.

I'm not bed bound and can do moderate exercise. I do various things like regular jobs about my place and collecting firewood that should tone my muscles, but they are fading away.
Yet meanwhile...I am having remissions. So beauty doesn't matter as much. I would trade it any day for feeling better.
 
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my face just looks sunken in and ages a few years.
yes, during the worst days I outright avert my eyes when going past the mirror! there's a ghoulish quality that is almost a disfigurement it affects the set of the features so badly. I'm not sure I can trace skin texture/inflammation issues as closely as you can but have issues when too much stress coincides with a crash period so will argue that this isn't merely vanity, it's the seat of your smile, and most expressions unless you're very hand/body expressive or use ASL. if the expressions are taut or swollen, it's harder to feel yourself when you use them-- even if you conquer the gloom of being sick, it doesn't feel the right smile if the skin is stiff or raw around it. you have every right to need extra kindness (to yourself from yourself and from others) around that symptom...but @Wilderbessy , it's so hard to eat as well when at the weakest points~ do you take extra flax or fish oil? I do better with a pretty fatty diet like pumpkin seed butter, avocados, variations of trail mix. externally, lots of rosehip oil. ah...hope you'll get a brilliant suggestion from someone who has been the unfortunate guinea pig and come out the other side knowing just what balm to suggest! :thumbsup:
 
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Aww man...facial fat?? Wow. I remember going on a plastic surgery forum and someone remarking "Where did all your facial fat go?" The sad fact is...I am actually a bit chubby. Huge belly, lots of unhealthy waist fat. I should drop to 135 but I realize that I'm probably ruined, anyway, and that me being skinny after a lifetime of obesity won't make me more attractive. At this point I at least want to be healthy, I've given up on being hot. Even guys have said in real that I look old or middle-aged. Seems like I skipped my youth.

@Raven Mom
Yeah I should probably eat some pumpkin seeds (butter sounds expensive! T.T). I do have some old flaxseed oil but I'm afraid it's gone bad. I do have fish oil I have regularly though I have heard mixed things or even warnings against oxidized oils being harmful. In the future I plan to just have three cans of sardines a week, if I can't afford anything better.

I noticed today that I felt very strong for hours, asthma-free...and then 4 hours after eating two biscuits, I started feeling sick again. Made me wonder. Unfortunately though I doubt what weakens me isn't just a food allergy as it flares up like crazy when I go out or shower. I pray that I can strengthen myself and that someday I might be decent-looking. I hate to remember all the cruel things people have said about my deathly looks.
 

5150

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Aww man...facial fat?? Wow. I remember going on a plastic surgery forum and someone remarking "Where did all your facial fat go?" The sad fact is...I am actually a bit chubby. Huge belly, lots of unhealthy waist fat. I should drop to 135 but I realize that I'm probably ruined, anyway, and that me being skinny after a lifetime of obesity won't make me more attractive. At this point I at least want to be healthy, I've given up on being hot. Even guys have said in real that I look old or middle-aged. Seems like I skipped my youth.

@Raven Mom
Yeah I should probably eat some pumpkin seeds (butter sounds expensive! T.T). I do have some old flaxseed oil but I'm afraid it's gone bad. I do have fish oil I have regularly though I have heard mixed things or even warnings against oxidized oils being harmful. In the future I plan to just have three cans of sardines a week, if I can't afford anything better.

I noticed today that I felt very strong for hours, asthma-free...and then 4 hours after eating two biscuits, I started feeling sick again. Made me wonder. Unfortunately though I doubt what weakens me isn't just a food allergy as it flares up like crazy when I go out or shower. I pray that I can strengthen myself and that someday I might be decent-looking. I hate to remember all the cruel things people have said about my deathly looks.
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@Wolfcub too : maybe gluten is also your enemy? are you being helped by any probiotics? some of our issues are just gut related as they start, but move on to worse conditions. I am helped by VSL #3 ... a bit pricey but saving a life is well worth it. There is a supplement called Thorne formula SF722; also Candex helps fight those bad gut bugs like Clostridium difficile(<-VSL) & candida. Amazon has them. Fight on.
 
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@Wolfcub too : maybe gluten is also your enemy? are you being helped by any probiotics? some of our issues are just gut related as they start, but move on to worse conditions. I am helped by VSL #3 ... a bit pricey but saving a life is well worth it. There is a supplement called Thorne formula SF722; also Candex helps fight those bad gut bugs like Clostridium difficile(<-VSL) & candida. Amazon has them. Fight on.
I ended up actually getting the Jarrow's formula saccharomyces boulardii + mos yesterday which will also kill off bugs; idk, I just found it interesting and grabbed it for 18$ which wasn't that insane. Right now I'm feeling pretty decent and my acid reflex hasn't flared up, nor has my chest pain.

I will probably try VSL #3 next if my GI system does not improve...and lemme reassure you, my GI system has been pretty bizarre. Usually just slow but sometimes bubbling without anything carbonated or

I also hope gluten isn't my enemy. The less things that are my enemy, the better.
I just don't fully understand why my skin is like this. Sure, dry is ok, but along with the shiny roughness and the thinness, it looks damaged. I hope that it's possible to fix it.
 
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@Wilderbessy Hi Wilderbessy, Is there some way you can avoid seeing the people that make such nasty remarks about you? It's really their problem that they are being terrible about your appearance. You have enough to deal with being sick and don't need that! :hug:

Also I agree with the post below that thyroid hormones could be an issue. Thyroid problems can really affect your hair and skin.
 
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Float

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When I have relapses all the symptoms get worse and I produce less thyroid hormone, estrogen and progesterone, with estrogen dominating progesterone.
I have done any research but I would guess that the hormone (endocrine ) system is knocked as a result of the nervous system malfunctions which are well known. You could look up the effect that some hormones have on skin .
I also look older when flaring. Grey. Less rosy and more dry. More skin creases. More droopy and loss of tone.
Some things that help me are taking natural thyroid hormone , melatonin to help with sleep, gluten and mostly dairy free, heaps of carbon filtered water veg and fruit.
As I am on my way up atm, I can exercise and the blood flow definitely helps.
Natural skin care.
BUT if I let the thyroid hormones go too low then none of this makes a difference.
Adequate thyroid production allows cholesterol to be made into the building blocks of estrogen progesterone etc.
(Cholesterol is also the mother chemical that cortisol and masculine sex hormoves are made from , as well as bile acids that digest fat!).
So if I get stressed (emotionally, physically eg lack of sleep etc) or do too much (another physical stress ) then the nervous system goes awry as does the endocrine and digestive system (everything in fact !).
It's not surprising that I / we look older...we lose vitality and it shows.
 
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@Wilderbessy Hi Wilderbessy, Is there some way you can avoid seeing the people that make such nasty remarks about you? It's really their problem that they are being terrible about your appearance. You have enough to deal with being sick and don't need that! :hug:

Also I agree with the post below that thyroid hormones could be an issue. Thyroid problems can really affect your hair and skin.
Hm...I thought about thyroid hormone and I got tested, but found nothing despite being tested twice.
I mean, other family members had thyroid issues and my mom got it very young and tbh...it was really quite weird, I lost about half my hair in three years but my diet is SO much better than how it used to be. The only proof of that, though, is that my nails instead of being gray and see-through are pearly white now and without white marks. >.<

People will be people though. Like, this stuff? It was spaced naturally, I heard it once in a while and it wasn't just all a directed attack or anything.

I think when I turned 22 I started...wanting to be cute or attractive, and it's been quite rough on top of everything. Finding out that weight loss was just for nothing or even my dormmates were implying that I looked better and healthier when I was fat. I'm 145 now which isn't by any means anorexic. But, I guess what really hurts is being looked and stared at by guys and knowing that...it's not even possible for them to be attracted. They're just shocked by how I look. I hate that I have to be in a place where it's harder to be acceptable, physically.

I did find out about stuff like stress and insecure people and how they hold it in their bodies; that might be related to what's going on with me too.
 
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When I have relapses all the symptoms get worse and I produce less thyroid hormone, estrogen and progesterone, with estrogen dominating progesterone.
I have done any research but I would guess that the hormone (endocrine ) system is knocked as a result of the nervous system malfunctions which are well known. You could look up the effect that some hormones have on skin .
I also look older when flaring. Grey. Less rosy and more dry. More skin creases. More droopy and loss of tone.
Some things that help me are taking natural thyroid hormone , melatonin to help with sleep, gluten and mostly dairy free, heaps of carbon filtered water veg and fruit.
As I am on my way up atm, I can exercise and the blood flow definitely helps.
Natural skin care.
BUT if I let the thyroid hormones go too low then none of this makes a difference.
Adequate thyroid production allows cholesterol to be made into the building blocks of estrogen progesterone etc.
(Cholesterol is also the mother chemical that cortisol and masculine sex hormoves are made from , as well as bile acids that digest fat!).
So if I get stressed (emotionally, physically eg lack of sleep etc) or do too much (another physical stress ) then the nervous system goes awry as does the endocrine and digestive system (everything in fact !).
It's not surprising that I / we look older...we lose vitality and it shows.
I see...I heard about progesterone. Not sure if I should get that tested. >_<
Right now I have pretty severe acne, look yellow and orange but somehow still like I need sun, dry/lizardry skin. Not even sure if I should continue skincare or whether or not it'd just aggravate my skin.

But...hmm. This past week was weird. Few days back for the first time in months or years I felt insanely itchy all over my body, there were red spots. This was under my clothes on on my exposed skin...whatever it was, it was internal. It stopped after a few hours. Most of this week I've felt far worse than usual with some fairly bad sickly feelings...like...I was sick or something, similar symptoms to the flu and severe sinus pain with brain fog and headaches. Like always I played it off to allergies, but my trips to the bathroom were also odd and even if I fasted I still felt similar.

Today I gradually started feeling much better and the sickly feelings are gone which confuses me.

The change I made this week was Jarrow's MOS probiotic which...idk if it did something. I took it twice yesterday and once every other day this week. Makes me hmm, but I'm gonna continue it and see what it does.
 
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My skin is awful, and I look so aged, sagging, crepe papered. I lost about 40 pounds between my 50s and 60s: gee I looked way better heavier than I do now. The skin is an organ, so sad! Yin deficiency contributes to this.
 

sb4

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Not sure if it's related but @Hip wrote about his skin getting wrinkly in I think association with ebv or something similar causing elevated Matrix Metallopeptidase 9 (MMP9) to be increased. This breaks down collegen. Perhaps when your symptoms are at their worse there is too much MMP9 causing old skin look and maybe causing the collagen around your cervical spine to become looser causing more autonomic disfunction and thus worsening symptoms?
 
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Recent new thing: my neck vertebrae on one side just pop in and out, repeatedly, while the other side doesn't do that. The "pop" thing. It gets achy afterwards so now I"m forbidden from turning my neck in that direction. I assume this is a NOT GOOD thing.
 
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My skin is great, and I’m quite a bit overweight. When feeling off, my face gets puffy and red. Weird that my body reacts differently than what you all are describing.
 

Juanita Vee

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Hello, I'm new to Phoenix Rising! I also feel like I look quite gaunt and pale since getting sick. My friends are getting married in a week or 2 and I'm thinking of wearing makeup to the wedding so I at least look normal in pics. I rarely wear makeup, and if I do, it used to be mostly just eye makeup. Just wondering if anyone uses it as a quick fix? Seriously thinking of just having someone do my makeup for the event so I don't have to buy supplies, learn how to put it on, etc., but at the same time, that will be much pricier and my illness doesn't seem to be going anywhere any time soon. Any ideas/thoughts/suggestions/tips?
 

Wolfcub

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You could do this with a bit of blush, a bit of eyeshadow, one eye pencil, a mascara, and a lip crayon. Perhaps a dab or two of concealer. Maybe you could get those online to save you having to traipse around shops? (so exhausting even if possible!)

If I can stand to use the mirror without wobbling about :xeyes::rofl: I put a little bit of make up on every morning. Even when I feel like grunge I look a bit nicer than I feel. I only use a little bit of lippy and a lttle bit of eyeliner pencil (lightly applied) right next to the eyelashes, blur it with plum eyeshadow then a couple of swipes of mascara.
5 minutes to put it on and I can face anything the day throws at me! :lol::lol::lol:

No idea why I do that every day, as I am likely to see only random dogs, crows, or farmers....but I always think one never knows what might happen next
And....if I collapse and someone takes me to the morgue I would like to look nice :xpem::nerd::thumbsup:

Yay for having a little bit of ego still alive -hey?
 
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I can't figure out makeup for the life of me! Just the thought of an eye pencil makes me quake in my boots!

I've managed some success with tinted products because they're relatively inexpensive and you don't have to have any skill in order to put them on. Tinted moisturizer or BB cream does a good job of making skin look less pale without any difficulty--you just smush it on (this is the one I like). And tinted lip balm gives you a nice bit of color without too much fuss (I like this one and this one). And eye makeup never hurts, although when I was first sick my hands used to shake so much that I couldn't use an applicator without poking myself in the eye!