(I've always dreamed of using my writing to help people. I never thought this would be the way it ended up happening, but hey...I'll take it!)
I decided to write this follow-up post to Perioral Dermatitis Treatment: My Story and provide everyone with an update on my condition, plus some tips and tricks for clear, healthy skin I've picked up along the way.
Did it come back?I do have occasional flare-ups of perioral dermatitis. Any number of factors can trigger them: stress, hormones, diet, lack of sleep. I've learned that the better care I take of myself, the less likely I am to have a flare. But hey, life can get crazy, and that's not always possible!
When I get a flare, it's about 5% as bad as the original case of perioral dermatits was for me--mostly just some redness and a few bumps under one side of my nose. The same treatment I discovered originally, my (absolutely lifesaving) Clotrimazole 1% still clears it right up within two to three days. I also sometimes use a small amount both morning and evening as a preventative.
But in addition to that, because I hate perioral dermatitis (even at 5%!) so, so much, I continue to actively seek solutions to help keep my skin in check and reduce the flare-ups as much as I can. Here's what's been working:
Moisturize & CleanseIn my quest to find natural treatment options for both my perioral dermatitis and my combination skin in general, I no longer use conventional moisturizers. It was definitely a leap of faith to use straight oil on my face after a lifetime of being told never to do that, but I'm so glad I finally gave it a try. My skin has never looked better, and I'm pretty sure I'm never going back! In the mornings, I use organic, cold-pressed jojoba oil mixed with aloe vera gel in after I wash my face. In the evening, I use a blend of equal parts jojoba, hemp seed and rose hip oil (mixed myself from the products listed below.)
Teddie Organics Rosehip Oil
Leven Rose Organic Jojoba Oil
Renewalize 100% Hemp Seed Oil
Earth's Daughter Aloe Vera Gel
In addition, I've started washing my face with a sulfur soap and using sulfur ointment as needed. Before the invention of corticosteroids, sulfur was the go-to treatment for perioral dermatitis. It dropped out of fashion in the '70s, but some doctors are returning to this treatment plan. It didn't work by itself when I originally used it for my PO, but for daily maintenance, I find that it keeps my skin clear and bright, and makes a noticeable difference in the lingering redness around my nose that my PO seems to have left behind. My pores appear noticeably smaller when I'm using the sulfur soap regularly. I use the sulfur ointment as a spot treatment for flare-ups (use as directed and remember, a little goes a long way!)
Branfells Labs Sulfur Soap
Branfells Labs Sulfur Ointment
Vitamins & SupplementsAfter a terrible, seemingly endless round of chronic ideopathic urticaria last year (I know, I know, I'm a medical disaster sometimes...but that's a whole different post) I started experimenting with supplements for my skin and overall health. I currently take a multivitamin, evening primrose oil capsules, a probiotic, and vitamin D and omega-3 supplements. I've seen measurable improvements in skin since I've started taking these: fewer breakouts and smoother overall skin tone. My favorites:
Nordic Naturals Ultimate Omega
Barlean's Organic Evening Primrose Oil
Naturewise Vitamin D3
Diet & ExerciseWhen I eat better, my skin looks better. I still love Oreos and ramen noodles and pizza (and and and) but after successfully completely my first Whole 30 earlier this year, I'm committed to healthier eating 80% of the time and I can feel a difference in my whole body inside and out, skin included. I highly recommend giving it a try at some point! I'm also a (fifteen years strong!) devotee to hot yoga, which has dramatically changed my physical, mental and emotional health :)
For more information on Whole 30 living, check out:
The Whole 30: 30-Day Guide to Total Health and Food Freedom
MakeupSince I've yet to find a 100% guarantee that this nasty condition will ever go away for good, finding makeup that gives me my confidence back has been a lifesaver. This product has been an absolute lifesaver!
It Cosmetics Bye Bye Redness Neutralizing Correcting Cream
(applied with the It Cosmetics Pointed Precision Brush, which is also awesome)
(AND, as a PSA, because I'm finishing a novel and getting up at 4:00AM every day to do it so really know my concealers at this point, the It Cosmetics Bye Bye Undereye Concealer is also pretty much a miracle product)
So that's my update! Thank you to everyone who has written to say my original post helped them. It means so much to me, and I hope people struggling with the frustrating reality of perioral dermatitis continue to find helpful answers here and elsewhere on the internet. Cheers!
Disclaimer: The links that appear here are affiliate links, which means I receive a small percentage if you place an order through Amazon for the products I mention (at no cost to you.) Thanks for your understanding and support!