I was diagnosed with Perioral Dermatitis(PD) maybe 3 years ago or longer. I was given a prescription antibiotic. I was told to use it all over the mouth area and nose, even though at the time the rash was only showing in the small right hand corner of my chin and mouth.
I was to apply the cream twice daily, for a month, even if the rash went away. I did. And it did. But it came back. It was so small I barely bothered with it. But then it got a little worse so about a year later I went back to the dermatologist and he once again prescribed antibiotic cream. This time Metronidazole. With the same instructions. Also, he said if I get a flare up again to just use the cream again with the same instruction, so I didn’t have to keep coming back for the same visit. It worked. Then it came back. Then the cream worked, again. Then it came back. And so on and so on. Until now.
Today! I’m in full-blown flare up of PD. All around my mouth, chin, nose and spreading out to my cheeks. It’s so painful. And itchy. And stings. And is tight. And generally looks disgusting. Yay me! And the cream is no longer working. But I’m afraid to stop using it because what if it’s keeping it at bay.
I stopped wearing make-up. That’s what the forums say to do. Stopped using facial cleansers, and lotions and creams. Wash my face with warm water. That’s what the forums say to do. Also, try zinc oxide (diaper cream), tea tree oil, lavender oil, grape-seed oil, wash towels and pillow cases, maybe anti-fungal cream, but the only concrete advice was don’t use steroid creams because it will only make it more angry. Lots of forums not a lot of help.
But the thing is, WHAT IS IT? WHY AM I GETTING IT? No one knows. It affects mainly women, over 90%, so it’s probably not surprising that there’s little research. (Yes, that was a feminist dig.) Truth is, there seems to be little research as to why dermatitis flares up for all walks of life.
I can’t help but think it has something to do with my diet. Over the years I’ve had these little tiny bumps on my fingers, that look very similar to the pustules on my face. For years I suffered from the itchy bumps and no doctor could tell me how to clear it up. First it was heat bumps. Bu,t I got them at different times of the year. I finally discovered that if I eat a lot of sugar, including anything made white flour, I would get a break out. So I would cut back on sugar and yummy sweets and the bumps would go away.
But my skin issues didn’t end. I had some major dental work done about 7 years ago. And after, my mouth broke out into white sores on my gums and roof of mouth, (So painful. ) I went to 3 different doctors, a dentist and 2 different GP’s. Many blood tests later, nothing. I guessed it was thrush. Only because it looked and acted like the thrush my baby had when she was little. Say, “thrush,” in a doctor’s office and they won’t even put that on you chart. One doctor put it in my chart as thrush and another doctor changed it to Aphthous ulcer of the mouth. Now that’s fine, only mine doesn’t occur on the inside of the cheek or lips but on my gums. But, whatever.
I was given a mouth wash that you held in your mouth on the sore spots but wasn’t suppose to drink. Gross! I followed the instruction but it did nothing. So I took matters into my own hands. It’s THRUSH. Which is a yeast infection. So I stopped eating sweets and held plain yogurt in my mouth 3 times a day and by the next day it was almost gone. I don’t get it as often and usually only when I’ve had serious work done in my mouth or have been on vacation and overindulged in all sorts of bad food and drink.
Yogurt and done. Bye-bye doctor. By the way. I throw a little yogurt on those hand bumps the minute it looks like it’s flaring up and it too goes away.
But now. I have this. Perioral dermatitis (PD). And if looks and feels very similar to all the other issues. Only each issue gets more severe and harder to ignore. My face is so gross I don’t want to leave the house. So I can’t ignore my body any longer.
Something is wrong. And no doctor seems to have the answers.
Lately I’ve been trying a lot of fad diets. Trying to get my weight under control, in doing so, I think I’ve thrown my body into a tail spin.
I’m not saying that these books don’t have something to offer. But they are a one size fits all thing and if it’s not sustainable then I think it does upset the natural order of things in your body.
New strategy: 30 days. No dairy, wheat, grains, beans, legumes, sugar (except what natural occurs in whole food) and no alcohol. Why, because these food are not high in nutrients and hard on your system for digestion. Maybe some have good nutrients, I’m talking about you beans and legumes, but if your body can’t break it down then your body is not absorbing the good stuff. Let’s just say if you recognize it out the other end of your body, you probably didn’t reap the benefits. It’s a theory.
Now I’m reading The Paleo Cure, Chris Kresser. But not as a diet but maybe as a life line to good health.
I’m on my second day. I have a call into the Dermatologist. But not hopeful. I’m currently using Metronidazole Cream. Maybe it’s helping. And I’ve cut all the bad food. But I’ve been addicted to sugar and all baked goods for over 40 years. I only hope that when it’s all over, that one day I’ll be able to have pasta, bread, chocolate, and alcohol. Wine, Beer and spirits, I love them all.