Perioral Dermatitis is a skin condition characterized by red, flaking, itchy, or painful bumps and scales on the face. Read how I finally cured my perioral dermatitis after a year-long battle with it!
First, let’s talk about what this skin condition is to begin with.
What is perioral dermatitis anyway?
Understanding Perioral Dermatitis: Causes, Symptoms, and Typical Treatment
Perioral dermatitis is a skin condition characterized by the development of red, inflamed, and bumpy rashes around the mouth, eyes, and sometimes the nose.
While the exact cause of perioral dermatitis remains unclear, it is essential to recognize the symptoms and seek appropriate treatment to manage and alleviate the condition.
Before I talk about what worked for me, we will delve into the key aspects of perioral dermatitis, including its causes, symptoms, and available treatment options.
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Causes of Perioral Dermatitis:
According to doctors, the precise cause of perioral dermatitis is not definitively understood, but several factors may contribute to its development.
(However, I have an inkling of what caused it for me.)
Some common triggers include:
- Topical Steroid Use: One of the primary causes is the prolonged use of topical steroids, such as corticosteroid creams. These medications, when used excessively, can lead to a rebound effect, causing the skin to become more irritated.
- Hormonal Factors: Perioral dermatitis is often linked to hormonal fluctuations, making women more susceptible, particularly during hormonal changes such as menstruation or pregnancy.
- Fluorinated Toothpaste: Certain ingredients found in fluorinated toothpaste have been associated with the development or exacerbation of perioral dermatitis in some individuals.
- Cosmetic Products: The use of certain cosmetics, especially those containing oils or heavy creams, may contribute to the onset of perioral dermatitis.
Symptoms of Perioral Dermatitis:
Recognizing the symptoms of perioral dermatitis is crucial for early diagnosis and effective treatment. Common signs include:
- Red or Pink Bumps: Small, red or pink papules that may cluster around the mouth, eyes, and nose.
- Burning or Itching Sensation: The affected area may be accompanied by a burning or itching sensation.
- Pustules and Pimples: Pustules, which are small, pus-filled bumps, may develop, resembling acne.
- Dryness and Flakiness: The skin around the rash may become dry and flaky, exacerbating the discomfort.
Perioral Dermatitis Treatment:
Typical treatment for perioral dermatitis typically involves a multifaceted approach and may include the following:
- Discontinuation of Topical Steroids: If the condition is triggered by the use of topical steroids, discontinuing their use is crucial. However, abrupt cessation can worsen symptoms initially, so it is essential to do this under the guidance of a healthcare professional.
- Oral Antibiotics: Doctors often prescribe oral antibiotics, such as tetracycline or doxycycline, to reduce inflammation and control the bacterial component of the condition.
- Topical Medications: In some cases, topical antibiotics or anti-inflammatory creams may be recommended to alleviate symptoms.
- Avoidance of Triggering Factors: Identifying and avoiding potential triggers, such as fluorinated toothpaste or specific cosmetics, can help prevent recurrence.
Perioral dermatitis can be a distressing skin condition, but with proper diagnosis and treatment, most individuals experience significant improvement.
Seeking the guidance of a dermatologist is essential for an accurate diagnosis and a tailored treatment plan.
Understanding the potential causes, recognizing the symptoms, and adopting appropriate preventive measures can contribute to the effective management of perioral dermatitis and promote skin health.
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Perioral Dermatitis: What Finally Worked for Me
While what I describe above is what’s common or typical, it’s not necessarily how it goes down for everyone.
While I was experiencing this skin condition, I was also experiencing a whole bunch of other things.
After getting a TON of lab work done, I am fully convinced that my particular experience had a lot to do with liver inflammation and stress.
The results of my labs around the time this started happening showed that I had elevated liver enzymes, high cholesterol, and estrogen dominance.
I also had low iron, low vitamin D, and low DHEA. There was also evidence of what’s known as “adrenal fatigue,” or issues with my cortisol.
However, I had also been having what I thought was severe dandruff and an itchy scalp, so I had been using Scalpicil, which has hydrocortisone in it.
I was using it regularly, and since it has dawned on me that it’s a steroid – which alllll checks out!
So, if you’ve been using any sort of hydrocortisone on your skin or scalp, that is likely part of what’s causing your perioral dermatitis!
Then, when you stop using them, you can experience withdrawals.
Of course, I didn’t know that until I was totally fed up and desperate to get rid of my redness and flaking.
At the end of the day, here’s what finally cleared my skin up:
- A full round of antibiotics.
- Pyrithione Zinc soap.
- A Candida cleanse.
- Elimination of all steroid creams and products from my skin and haircare routine.
While I would normally hesitate to take any antibiotics at all, I did over a month of doxycycline.
This decision was only made after a ton of research and after talking to two doctors.
After more research, I decided to start using a bar of Pyrithione Zinc soap a few times per week as well. (To avoid reoccurrence of the dermatitis.)
Somewhere in there, I also began a Candida cleanse to address the gut issues and began to take probiotics daily to counteract the effects of the antibiotics.
I also started eating some sort of fermented food daily to make sure I wouldn’t totally ruin my gut.
A few months later, and my skin is totally clear!
Even though I was reluctant, the best thing I did to heal was go to the dermatologist.
This was not something I could get rid of on my own (trust me, I tried).
It only got worse the longer I ignored it and I ultimately regretted not dealing with it sooner.
So – if you’re experiencing perioral dermatitis, my biggest tip would be to get in to see the doctor sooner than later.
I hope this helps you!
Feel free to leave a comment if you have any questions!
Until next time,