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How I Cured my Periorbital Dermatitis Naturally in 2022

My periorbital dermatitis journey: the treatment, the comeback, and the clear up

My skin problems started around a year ago as a minor blemish.

This spread into fluid-filled bumps that appeared around my mouth and nose.

At first, I thought it was acne or rosacea, but the symptoms kept morphing.

The slight rash spread to the folds of my nose, and my skin became red, burning and itchy.

One morning I woke up, and my skin had started peeling and flaking; this was the point I began to panic.

I booked an appointment with my doctor to try and get some answers, and she told me I had a skin condition known as perioral or periorbital dermatitis.

I’d never heard of this condition before and was grateful I had some answer.

The treatment and the flare-up

My doctor explained that periorbital dermatitis is common among young women; I’m 25, which puts me squarely in the middle of the demographic for perioral dermatitis.

I was prescribed antibiotics, and although I wouldn’t say I liked taking them, my rash disappeared within a week, and I was relieved.

Fast forward six weeks, and it came back with a vengeance.

I was devastated; the tiny red bumps had become a full-blown inflamed rash around my mouth, nose, and chin which burned, itched and flaked continuously.

My doctor wanted to prescribe yet another course of antibiotics, but I was reluctant and knew there had to be a better way.

This is an account of my journey with perioral dermatitis; if you are suffering from this condition and desperately looking for answers, I hope my story will help you.

In the beginning, no theory or remedy was too farcical

This was when my skin condition became one of my life’s most significant catalysing events; it sparked months of detective work as I tried to decipher what had caused it and why I couldn’t shift it.

Questions I asked myself were:

  • Was it the fluoride in my tap water? I went fluoride-free and bought a water filter
  • was I reacting to my makeup? I switched brands immediately
  • was I possibly allergic to certain foods? I eliminated certain foods and kept a diary
  • could it be the face wash I was using? I went sulphate free.

The questions never ended, and the rash continued to swing between stages of stubbornness and anger.

That was until I came across the Naked Chemist. They had a lot of credible information on their site, so I reached out to Samantha and her team. They were accommodating and explained the importance of taking a two-pronged internal and topical approach to my perioral dermatitis treatment:

Step 1: Scale back on topicals

My first step was to strip back my skincare routine because, as it was explained to me, treating periorbital dermatitis is an elimination game.

I followed these steps:

  • avoid topical steroids
  • steer clear of fluoride in toothpaste
  • avoid heavy creams with emulsifiers and oils
  • avoid occlusive ingredients like beeswax
  • remove personal care products with sodium lauryl sulfate
  • avoid harsh ingredients, including alcohols, vitamin C, and peels
  • avoid products with essential oils and fragrances; citral, linalool, and geraniol, which could cause inflammation in my skin

Over time we figured out toothpaste was a MAJOR trigger and that my favourite lip salve had a base of beeswax, another common trigger.

My skin would sometimes burn and crust when I applied cream; Samantha explained it’s the emulsifiers found in creams; I stopped using cream-based products and opted for soothing water-based serums and gel moisturisers, which gave my skin almost immediate relief.

If you are interested in learning more about my periorbital dermatitis treatment plan, you can find it here.

Step 2: Take an internal approach

I learned that hormones and stress played a huge role in my flare-ups. My skin usually flares up before my periods, and I was diagnosed with polycystic ovary syndrome.

I booked an appointment with a naturopath who put me on an alkaline diet to detoxify and gave me a protocol to manage my hormones and stress.

My naturopath put me on an alkaline diet and told me about the benefits of a fermented drink called kefir. Packed with beneficial bacteria, it can help to heal your gut and is extremely beneficial if you’ve taken a lot of antibiotics over the years, as I had.

I hadn’t heard that kefir could be good for your skin, but if you consider it the largest organ and a map of your gut, this helped to clear up my skin.

My naturopath’s motto is – to heal your gut – heal your skin, and the many conditions like periorbital dermatitis, eczema, psoriasis, acne, and rosacea will diminish.

My Results

  • By week 4, after scaling back my routine and using the products Samantha recommended, which I discussed in my treatment plan. my skin was less inflamed and super hydrated

  • By week 6, the rash had reduced about 50%. I want to mention it was recommended I take a course in red light therapy, which was incredible for helping my skin heal.

  • By week 8, after two appointments with my naturopath, my skin was much clearer.

  • At around week 12, I had a relapse in inflammation. This panicked me, but I was assured this was normal and all part of the healing journey. I got strict with my alkaline diet and started drinking kefir daily.

  • Around the 24-week mark, my skin was 75% clear and looked vibrant.

  • It’s been nearly a year since my skin healing journey began, and I can say my skin has completely healed, with no trace of the blemishes, redness, burning and bumps on my lips.

To conclude. The naked truth

When I think back to that unhappy time, I remember being told by my doctor that I had to learn to manage my perioral dermatitis, especially if the antibiotics didn’t work.

I feel incredibly grateful that I took the time to find a solution that appeared to work for me.

I don’t believe you can do this alone; support is needed, and I can’t thank Samantha and her team enough for all the patience and advice in helping me heal this skin condition.

This, coupled with the support from my naturopath, we could work together to build a stronger foundation, strengthen my immune system, repair my gut, and make my body more alkaline to heal my skin.

I don’t take this for granted, and I appreciate that the same course of action might not work for you, but I can’t stress enough the importance of patience; there is no magic cure for perioral dermatitis. It won’t just disappear overnight.

But I have found that if you put the time and energy into figuring out what is causing it, you can most definitely heal your skin.

Yes, it takes hard work, determination and lots of trial and error to eliminate periorbital dermatitis, but I am an example that it is possible to turn your skin around. So don’t despair.

I want to mention here that I have not been paid to talk about or share my story., there are no affiliate sales links here; this is not medical advice, just an honest account of my journey. 

 

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