Day 254: TSW hates winter

So an interesting observation this week. I had to fly to Japan for a wedding, and it’s midwinter over there right now. It’s around 5 degrees C at nights, and 10-12 degrees C in the day if you’re lucky.

Luckily I was only there for 4 nights, because in less than 24 hours my skin started getting angry. I haven’t even thought about my skin for months, but almost instantly I was back in TSW flare mode.

Now my skin is a lot healthier and stronger these days, so when the skin flares, it sheds, but luckily it’s thick enough that it doesn’t shed to the point of bleeding and breaking open. I think that’s just a symptom of lots of good healing over the last few months. Still, the “feeling” of a flare, like just feeling fragile and itchy and that general weakness in the skin overall, it’s very clear to me when it starts happening. And of course when the skin starts coming off, I know what’s up. I had only been in Japan 24 hours, and my pants were looking like this again:

It was like a bad case of deja vu, from the earliest TSW days! But again, the skin wasn’t breaking, so it was pain free. Just a little traumatic to see it again though.

As for the skin itself, it kind of just flares up into dry patchy skin. It’s even more noticeable as I’ve been getting a lot of sun back home and I’m very tanned, so when the skin starts to shed it leaves very white patches of skin. Pretty much my entire body looks like this:

From a distance the patchiness is much clearer, I look like a zebra!

So whenever the skin plays up, it’s back to the same routine for me. Lots of exercise, lots of protein and supplement with collagen as much as possible. Unfortunately I didn’t take my collagen powder with me, but I was lucky to find these at the 7 Eleven by the hotel:

Each one had 1,000mg of collagen, and I drank around 5 of them per day. Too much? Who cares. I was shedding skin like a snowman, and wasn’t sure what quality the collagen in these things was like. For all I know, 5 wasn’t enough.

I also made sure to get out running on two of the four days, as I know skin loves exercise. Had some very itchy nights, but eventually got home reasonably unscathed.

When I got home, the reverse happened. Flare came down almost instantly and my skin was 80% back to normal. I made sure to sit in the sun for a good hour on my first day, and also visit the sauna. I’m sure my body had been deprived of sun and heat, so I made sure to juice it up with a little overdose.

So now I’m pretty certain, my theory was true – TSW hates winter. Stay in the sun!

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