My Perioral Dermatitis Journey
Updated: Mar 29
The redness on my chin in the photo below is the beginning of my Perioral Dermatitis. My condition started around 2007 and has been wielding its ugly head ever since. It all began with just a red tinge to my chin area, and I believe the cause was getting a few facial peels at the dermatologist office and probably some skincare products I used daily.
Perioral dermatitis is an acne-like condition of unknown cause. It can also affect the skin around the nose, cheeks, and eye areas and affects mostly women ranging in age from 16-45. Some possible reasons are the use of topical corticosteroid creams, cosmetic products, oral contraceptives, fluoride, and anti-tartar ingredients in toothpaste. Sometimes I get small red, pus-filled bumps and flaky, itchy skin around my mouth. I am in my early 40's in this photo and you can clearly see the red cast and irritated skin. Lucky me!
As of today, it has spread from me picking and touching my face. It is now on the left side of my nose, bridge of my nose, 11's area between my eyebrows. I have taken antibiotics, which did help, but it came back with a vengeance soon after. I have also applied either Clindamycin or Metronidazole 0.75% on the affected areas with some results and calming.
The redness caused by perioral dermatitis is associated with a variable level of depression and anxiety; I suffer from both. I also have to be very careful if using any actives on my skin and must wash my hands thoroughly before I touch my face. I now always complete my facial routine in the morning and night before adding any products to my neck, chest, and body. I use Amlactin on my body, which contains 12% lactic acid, and let me tell you if I touch the perioral areas after; my skin is on fire. Also, any retinol or other acids will result in a massive flare.
I have switched my toothpaste to two brands that are recommended for people who suffer from this condition. Jason, "Seafresh Strengthening Flouride-Free Deep Sea Spearmint" and Tom's of Maine, "Natural Rapid Relief Sensitive."
Another product I have added to skincare routine is Boudreaux's "Butt Paste." It contains 40% zinc oxide and reduces the irritation and dry patches, but has not cured it. Boudreaux's Butt Paste is not "cruelty-free." I get great results after applying this each night to the affected areas. Another good and cleaner ingredient list is Burt's Bees, "Diaper Rash Ointment." This product also contains 40% zinc oxide, other great ingredients and is cruelty-free.
Please do your research on all the skincare products you use or plan to purchase and see what works for you. There are so many articles and blogs on this subject that have helped me a great deal. I am not a dermatologist or physician. The links are affiliate links that are at no cost to you, but help to support my blog and Instagram.