Status Cosmeticus: What It Is & How to Fix It

The term “status cosmeticus” may sound like some unique diagnosis made by the doctors on the popular TV show House, but in reality, this condition is very real and one many women more than likely suffer from without ever knowing it. Because it is mainly used among dermatologists, the general public isn’t very aware of what status cosmeticus is or what can be done to treat it. The good news is there are alternatives to remedy this issue that do not involve investing a small fortune.

Before getting into the solutions available, one has to first know what status cosmeticus is. To put it simply, status cosmeticus is what happens when a person exposes their complexion to too many products and procedures, which results in the skin becoming confused and triggering the immune system to overreact. Common symptoms include experiencing a stinging, itching or burning sensation of the complexion when skincare products are put on it. These symptoms typically cause enough discomfort that an individual cannot put anything on their face.

When a person’s complexion is suffering from status cosmeticus, the epidermis believes the products it is being exposed to will cause harm, which is why the skin reacts negatively in an attempt to ward off what it thinks is an attack. There are a number of factors that could lead to this type of skin issue, such as frequently using potent anti-aging skincare products, chemical peels and other rigorous skincare regimens. While these popular skincare practices do not cause any harm in general, individuals who make it a habit to use such methods all at once and on a regular basis are most at risk for status cosmeticus.

If you happen to be experiencing a severe bout of upset skin, make an appointment to see a dermatologist. Since the symptoms associated with status cosmeticus are very similar to those of other conditions, make sure to ask your dermatologist whether status cosmeticus could be the problem. Don’t forget to describe in detail what your skincare and/or anti-aging routine is, including the names of the specific products. This will help the dermatologist narrow down the possibilities and even identify whether it is because of a particular ingredient in one or more of your skincare products causing the problem.

In most cases, treating status cosmeticus consists of retraining the complexion by applying special products to soothe the stressed skin and allow it to balance itself back out. The use of oils is the most common course of treatment. Contrary to popular belief, using certain oils on the skin is actually very beneficial. Status cosmeticus disrupts the skin’s water and oil levels. By applying oils, these levels are eventually restored back to normal by replacing the complexion’s natural oils while slowing water loss. It is important to choose the right oils to prevent a negative skin reaction - you can ask your dermatologist to recommend the appropriate one for your skin type. Those derived from botanicals are typically the best. Switching out your daily skincare products with special oils for about one month or so and eliminating chemical peels and other involved procedures during this time will get your complexion back on track. It may not be fun walking around with a shiny face but it will be worth it in the end to have your dehydrated and inflamed complexion back to normal afterwards.