Let me be clear—the above picture is not even remotely close to what my skin looked like from December 2021 to February 2022. Guys, this is definitely an after. And, while I very much wish I could supply you with a before, I was so traumatized by the complete 180 my skin did last fall that I quite literally didn’t take even one photograph. To be completely honest, I wanted to crawl into the deepest, darkest black hole planet earth could offer me, never to return.
As much as I hate to say it, and as much as I wish I was above feeling self-conscious about less-than-perfect skin, I was in a complete state of panic, anxiety, and depression. Practically overnight, my skin had gone from clear, even, and glowy, to red, inflamed, and bumpy—mostly around my chin, mouth, and nostrils. Sure, that might seem dramatic, and there are certainly far worse things happening in the world than my all-of-a-sudden inflamed skin, but I think anyone who has dealt with any type of skin condition will understand the toll it can take on your psyche and self-confidence. Especially when you have no clue what it is, what caused it, or how to treat it.
I talk more about what happened here, but after a few weeks of research and product experimentation and little to no improvement (in fact, the redness and bumps only seemed to get worse, spreading like wildfire), I booked an appointment with a dermatologist in Arizona where I was living at the time. After talking to a friend who had something similar happen and was diagnosed with perioral dermatitis, I had a hunch that was what I was dealing with. But, I wanted to consult a professional A) to confirm and B) for a treatment plan.
Sure enough, my derm only needed to look at my skin for two seconds before proclaiming that the rash-like spread of bumps and pustules around my nose and mouth was perioral dermatitis—likely triggered by stress and/or a recent overuse of active skincare products. To help clear the situation, he prescribed me a specialized antibiotic, and while he said the PD could come back eventually, the treatment would clear it up. (Spoiler: it worked like a charm!) Even after my skin had cleared, however, I was curious about PD. According to my research, it’s very much on the rise, and way more likely to affect women—Hailey Bieber has even said it’s something she struggles with.
Since it’s still a bit of a murky topic, and since, apparently, lots of other people are probably also dealing with PD, I decided to reach out to more experts in the industry to get their take—what perioral dermatitis is, what products to use and avoid, and what the “ultimate” if I may, skincare protocol would look like for people struggling to get their inflammation under control. Of course, you’ll most definitely want to book an appointment with a professional—I definitely don’t recommend self-diagnosing—but consider this a helpful, supplementative resource. Keep scrolling! Everything you ever wanted to know about PD is just ahead.