My Story With Peri Oral Dermatitis

Today is a very personal and transparent post about my own skincare problems or shall I say challenge. Almost 1 year ago now, I was unwillingly initiated and a participant in the peri oral dermatitis club. Let’s just say its not a fun club to be in at all. Following up on this post  where I introduced my struggle with peri oral dermatitis; it all started for me about a month after I stopped breastfeeding my son. Prior to that, I never had even heard of PD. In fact when it all started I thought I was getting little acne breakouts. It started on the right side of my face, between my nose and mouth. So I started treating it as if it were acne. No improvement. It actually started getting worse and worse. The itchiness was so bad. Then I started to think I was getting a fungal infection? I know, weird right. Then suddenly the same strange mystery breakout was now also on the left side of my face between my nose and mouth. That was it. I’d had it. My self esteem was plummeting, makeup couldn’t hide it and it was only getting worse. Imagine my embarrassment as an Esthetician, going into my dermatologists office. He took a quick look at me and immediately deemed “Oh, its peri oral dermatitis” I was stunned. Peri- what??? I had never heard of this skin condition in my life. I was never taught it in school even though it is actually a fairly common issue that many women suffer with. The derm said, “Well you had a baby, hormones change and fluctuate so much during this time of your life, your skin is producing more oil in those areas” He proceeded to talk to me about my skincare regimen, told me to use this certain type of gel cleanser that you can find at any local drugstore and put me immediately on a topical non steroidal creme. Honest moment here, I was desperate to get rid of the PD so I tried those two recommended products. Mistake. I SO knew better. My condition did not get better at all, it actually got angrier and angrier. The redness was horrible, the burn, the itch and the unsightly tiny bumps wouldn’t go away at all. I knew the next step would be to add a topical steroidal creme to the PD and I didn’t want to go there at all. 

This is me about a year ago. Sorry the picture quality is not the best. I shot these images using my iphone in the evening. I am showing this to be very transparent as well as brave to show how my skin looked with peri oral dermatitis.  As you can see the PD is very inflamed and is causing the rest of my skin to be irritated as well from the result of the PD. 

I decided as frustrated as I was, I know knew what this irritation on my face was and decided to do my own research about it. I quickly learned that there is a whole cult of PD sufferers out there. People are putting all kinds of weird stuff on their PD claiming it works but then conditions come back. I found in Europe there are all natural products to aid in the relief of PD but those of us in America can’t get those... Not surprising! I also discovered that my shampoo and soaps and even toothpaste were either causing PD or exasperated it! Then as fate would have it I met in person at A Night For Green Beauty two lovely ladies whom both had perioral dermatitis themselves: Dr. Sarah Villafranco of Osmia Organics & May Lindstrom of May Lindstrom Skin. Both of them soothed my concerns, and told me a bit of their stories and recommendations. I looked at them and all their natural beauty and knew that if they survived PD, so could I! Here’s a bit of what transpired: Toothpaste both claimed is a major culprit as well as my shampoo. I remember May said “ Don’t be surprised if you switch those products that your PD will just go away” Ah, that gave me HOPE. She also had a product recommendation for me to soothe my inflamed condition: The Blue Cocoon. You bet I bought it that very night. There’s more to come on The Blue Cocoon, for now you can read about the 3 highlighted ingredients over at Eco Diva Beauty. Dr Sarah gave me a sample size of her amazing Black Clay Facial Soap. I can’t live without the Black Clay Facial Soap. If I were on a desert island that would be one of several products I would have with me! Dr. Sarah also has a great blog post and video at her site with valuable information about peri oral dermatitis. 

These are some very recent selfies that I took with my iphone and as you can see my skin is free and clear from peri oral dermatitis.

I am so blessed and thankful to say that I no longer live with scaly, itchy, red and bumpy skin. I have been able to find the solution to my Peri Oral Dermatitis. The skin between my nose and mouth does have a slight pink undertone to it but its not bad at all. At least my skin is clear and not irritated any longer. So there you have my PD story in a nutshell. To continue my series of Peri Oral Dermatitis, tomorrow I will be sharing the serums/ topical products that I can’t live without. Each post from here on forward will explain in detail how I no longer have to suffer with PD and the easy skincare regimen that keeps it in check.