A New Day

Taking a look at all of the things I've been missing

A Recent Discovery and a Skincare Challenge

on March 21, 2016

This story is maybe not what you think, however I thought this story would be appropriate to share on the blog, as it does relate to beauty but in a slightly different way. If you read my blog regularly, you know that I’ve mentioned been battling something that I thought was eczema for the last couple months. It has made me incredibly self-conscious and has led me to being overly critical every time I look in the mirror. My already sensitive skin has become even more sensitive, even painful at times. It has been beyond frustrating.

The symptoms started in January as a red, flaky patch in my right nasal fold. Then I developed what looked like acne on the same side on my chin, but near the corner of my mouth. I assumed it was some sort of reaction to the products I was testing out at the time along with allergies. I stopped using this and went back to my previous day and night routine, thinking that I was too sensitive for a high content hyaluronic acid product (my apologies, L’Oreal).

To treat the dry spot, I started applying argan oil twice a day and put some on the weird acne spot just for good measure. After a couple weeks, there was no relief. To complicate things, I now had a matching red patch on the left side, mirroring the right.

I asked a couple friends with eczema what type of home treatment they were using and they all suggested hydrocortisone cream. That seemed like a very logical next move, so began applying to the spots in question twice a day. This reduced some of the pain and inflammation but only temporarily. I didn’t notice any reduction in the size of the rash and in fact, it advanced further to the left nasal fold. A week later I had 4 painful, bright red spots. I finally made the decision to schedule an appointment with the dermatologist, but it was 3 weeks away.

My first instinct every morning was to hydrate and then conceal, conceal, conceal. The first concealer was color correcting the red with the green tinted Make Up For Ever Step 1 Redness Correcting Primer, followed by the Maybelline Master Conceal in 10 Fair, then foundation and the Laura Mercier Secret Camouflage in SC-2 (yellow) topped off with setting powder. After a few hours, the red would start to shine through and the pain would return.


A couple weeks ago, my friend Noreen and I went to visit our local Sephora for new moisturizer (for her, I promise) and we started discussing eczema treatments. My skincare gal, Jess recommended the First Aid Beauty Ultra Repair Cream, which I already had along with the face wash. I went home and immediately washed my face and applied the lotion. Within minutes, I noticed that the inflammation subsided a bit. Hallelujah. Again, I didn’t know the diagnosis yet, so was open to ANYTHING to relieve the symptoms.

While filling the time over the last couple weeks waiting to get into the dermatologist, I used the FAB cream twice a day religiously. And I have noticed a significant difference in the overall inflammation and the spot on the lower right is nearly gone! This is not to say that there was 100% relief, but I was feeling so much better. I was really hoping that if I got the diagnosis of eczema that I could get a steroid shot and go on my merry way.

On the day of my dermatologist appointment, I packed up all of my skincare because I figured they would want to see what I was using on a daily basis, but also included some makeup wipes and makeup figuring I would need to reapply… I removed my layers of concealer and foundation and the nurse practitioner took one look and said without hesitation Perioral Dermatitis. Wait, what? What is this?


Perioral Dermatitis affects mainly women ages 25-40, could be caused by fluoride or whitening products or topical steroid creams, but there is no real known cause… but most likely a result of stress. I laughed at my dermatologist. Out loud. Then apologized. She then informed me that the only way to really get rid of this is a 3-month treatment of antibiotics. I did not laugh at that…  She said it could come back in 5 years or never. If it does, we do another round of antibiotics.

I went home and searched Perioral Dermatitis and found a million suggestions of how to treat it. None of which seemed to be a magic cure. I read about violet extract, aloe, cutting back sugar and eliminating sodium lauryl sulfate. All of the commenters on the stories had some sort of “cure” but never really eliminated the symptoms, except for the individuals who sucked it up and took the antibiotics. I appreciate a good, natural cure, but sometimes, you just need antibiotics.

Many of the commenters in the articles, including those in this interesting piece in xovain, mentioned using gentle products from Avene (which I already do) and toothpaste without whitening agents. My dentist had recently recommended switching to Sensodyne so I went ahead and made that switch as well.

So here I am, day 7 of doxycycline, week 3 of the FAB products, and using new toothpaste. I already feel better. After the first day of antibiotics I noticed decreased inflammation and less pain.

I hope to use the blog as a platform for discussing my perioral dermatitis and the progress over the next few months as I recover. This is significantly more personal than I typically get… so if you are used to reading a lighthearted review, welcome to a bit of a different side of me!

Have you experienced perioral dermatitis? How did you find relief from the pain?


4 responses to “A Recent Discovery and a Skincare Challenge

  1. […] A Recent Discovery and a Skincare Challenge Apr […]

  2. […] my last post, I shared the backstory to discovering the problem and my over the counter attempts to treat it. […]

  3. DuKafie says:

    Hello, Sensodyne didn’t work for me. Make sure your toothpaste and mouthwash are fluoride free, strictly. Don’t use make up on the rash, use a calendula based organic moisturiser or an all natural organic moisturiser with zinc or any such other variation (Green People I use). Avoid too many oil based moisturisers. Dont use hot water on your face it worsens up quickly. Best thing to do, bestest of all, is to avoid any washing whatsoever and maybe dabbing a bit of the aforementioned creams at night. Do not use base, concealers on top of your rash. It just upsets it really badly. Get good sleep and yes, diet is key, especially keeping yeast overgrowth at bay. It is not about avoiding sugars, wheat, dairy, chocolate etc but about eradicating yeast/candida completely. That is a whole protocol, but at the end of the day I do believe that PD is about an underlying gut issue.

    • Laura P says:

      Thanks! And you make an interesting point.. While the PD has cleared up, I have had a significant change in my digestive health over the last few months. I’m sure this is all tied together!

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