Growing up, I was fortunate to have reasonably blemish-free and even toned skin. As luck would have it, I was able to pocket most of my part-time job paycheck as a relatively inexpensive bar of Dial soap and lukewarm water seemed to keep the pimple playground at bay.
Then, something terrible happened. Sometime after my 23rd birthday, I noticed an extremely dehydrated, flaky patch of skin on my chin. Assuming this strange bout of flaking skin was the result of Boston’s brutally dry winters, I began a skincare regime that included a heavy-duty eczema cream, Palmer’s Coca butter and if necessary, a dollop of Petroleum Jelly (aka Vaseline).
To say the least, my cleansing/moisturizing routine no longer worked and the 1-cm patch of dry skin quickly progressed into a 1-inch spot of pronounced, lighter skin. For well over a decade, this patch of hypopigmentation fluctuated between a florescent white during low-stress periods and a “Rudolph-the-red-nosed-reindeer” red during more stressful periods (I also tend to bake like a maniac during these periods. Exhibit A: these Beignets. Tad stressed at the moment. More on that on another day.)
As a person who reliably defaults to the worst-case in any circumstance, I was convinced that the lightening skin on my chin was the beginning of vitiligo, a very rare skin disorder most famously associated with Michael Jackson. Was I going to die a significantly lighter version of myself? I scheduled an appointment with my dermatologist to confirm my skin destiny.
After a two minute observation, my dermatologist explained that I did not have vitiligo, but seborrheic dermatitis on the face. In essence, I had ‘dandruff’, or a type of eczema on my chin, caused by a yeast. Or possibly a fungus.
The dermatologist prescribed a low strength steroid cream to apply to my chin two times a day until the pigmentation returned. I bought the cream as he assured me that it would clear up my face dandruff. However, I didn’t use it immediately as he explained that a possible side effect of the topical cream could cause the treated skin to become even lighter!
Instead, I searched for information on the causes of dermatitis and alternative treatments that had little potential to further damage my skin. I found promising, but mostly, inconclusive claims that fish oil could nourish the skin from the inside out, particularly when it comes to alleviating the symptoms of other skin issues like eczema and psoarsis (as well as depression, ADD/ADHD, Crohn’s Disease and a whole host of other ailments). For years, my mother had encouraged me to try fish oil to improve my skin and alleviate my PMS. I figured it was time I give it a try.
After two weeks of taking 1000 mg of sustainable fish oil supplements daily, I noticed that the lighter patches on my chin were not as noticeable. My normal skin pigmentation was returning. After two months of daily fish oil intake, I can comfortably state that the spots on my chin are so faint, I can hardly see them up close in a mirror.
A miracle? Perhaps. Or maybe I had a significant Omega-3 fatty acid deficiency that was reflected in my face and that the fish oil supplements helped to rectify. In either case, my face is back to the way it was during its glory days and I’m relieved to know that I won’t be joining Michael Jackson in the encyclopedia of rare, but fascinating vitiligo sufferers.
Powdered Buttermilk Beignets with Raspberry and Chocolate Dipping Sauce
Makes: 30 sticks
Adapted from Epicurious
3/4 cup 1% milk
1 1/2 cups buttermilk
4 teaspoons active dry yeast
2 1/2 tablespoons sugar
1 1/2 cups bread flour
2 cups white whole-wheat flour
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/4 teaspoon salt
Canola oil for frying
Confectioners’ sugar (lots)
Small Brown Bag
½ cup of frozen raspberries
¼ cup of powdered sugar
2 teaspoons of raspberry jam
Adapted from Epicurious
4 ounces of semi-sweet chocolate chips
½ cup of half-and-half or cream
¼ cup of Golden Syrup
In a saucepan, add the frozen raspberries and powdered sugar. Bring to a simmer and cook for about 3-4 minutes. Gently mash the raspberries with the back of a spatula while they cook. After 4 minutes, remove from heat and add the raspberry jam. You could puree this mixture before serving, but I prefer it chunky.
In a saucepan, add the chocolate chips and cream. Allow the chocolate chips to melt, stirring occasionally. Remove from heat once chips have melted and add the golden syrup.
Heat the 1% milk in a saucepan. Once it starts to simmer, remove pan from heat and add the buttermilk. Pour milk into a standing mixer. To the milk, whisk in the yeast and sugar. Let sit until foamy, approximately 5 minutes.
In a separate bowl, mix the flours, baking soda and salt. Turn the mixer on low speed and slowly add the flour mixture until just incorporated and dough is in the shape of a ball and is slightly sticky. Cover the standing mixer bowl with saran wrap and let sit in a warm, draft-free location for about an hour.
After an hour, lightly flour your work surface and pour out your dough. Using as little flour as possible, fold the dough over in half and tuck in the edges to make a ball. Flatten the ball and with a floured rolling pin. Roll the ball out into a circle until the circle is about ½ an inch thick.
Using a knife or other sharp object cut the dough into any shape you want. I find that cutting the dough into long and thick ‘logs’ makes the beignet’s good for dipping.
Let sit for a few minutes. In the meantime, pour canola oil into a Dutch oven until the oil is about 2-3 inches deep. Heat oil to 375 degrees.
Once oil is hot, drop in the dough 4-5 at a time and turn frequently. Allow to fry for 2-3 minutes, or until a lovely golden dark brown. Transfer the beignets to a drain on a paper towel lined plate.
Add some powdered sugar to the brown paper bag and drop in 3-4 beignets. Close the bag and shake until the beignets are completely covered in powdered sugar. Serve warm with the dipping sauces.
About the Author (Author Profile)We all have a friend in our lives who is smart, witty, intelligent: you give her cold pasta and chicken and she will whip out a gourmet meal in 15 minutes, she makes chicken soup from scratch for her sick neighborhood even though she is nursing a cold herself… you know that friend who will always be there to drive common sense into you, but doesn’t realize that she is as perfect as they come as a mother, wife and friend. That is our Patty….
Sites That Link to this Post
- A miracle supplement or just something fishy? at Charmingly Healthy | April 3, 2011
- I Got Married! A Fresh Start: Mushrooms & Coconut Oil : Zomppa – International Food Magazine | May 2, 2011
- Your Best Recipes of March, A Global YBR Roundup | February 25, 2012