Posted by Guinness (Bristol, Avon, Uk) on 12/19/2012
[YEA] Hi all! I wanted to post my experience with this debilitating skin condition called Perioral Dermatitis (it should be called Perennial Dermatitis! ) so that it may help another fellow sufferer out there...
I have had POD on and off for years since I was 19. It tends to occur in Autumn-Winter as the 'dry' version, and I have come to realise that I have had it in the Summer months too, albeit milder and 'greasier' looking, so I just assumed I had the odd acne pimple cropping up. Not so. I am now in my 40s. I firmly believe stress (which I always seem to have) and damp, cold weather play a key role. This makes me think the condition is yeast- or fungal-based. Anyway, as usual, this October I got a few bumps near the lower-right corner of my mouth. I thought nothing of it, that it was just a minor breakout of spots (how do I forget every year?! ). Unfortunately it spread like wildfire this time, faster than I ever recall before, even to the point I spotted one or two tiny pink blisters forming below my eyes, in between and above my eyebrows, and even under my middle jawline! The skin around my eyes felt as tight as a stretched elastic band, which is unusual for a long-term mild acne sufferer with supple skin.
I'll try and keep a long story short: I must have spent around £100-£150 in the last few weeks on either exact or similar products to what others have had success with - you name it - Baby Nappy Rash Cream, Calendula Ointment, Zinc Oxide Ointment, Violet Extract from the USA, Oregano Oil, Comfry Ointment (I figured why not?), Healing Calendula Cream, Calendula Cream, Dermatological Colostrum Cream (getting desperate by now), Manuka Honey, top quality probiotics, Biotin tablets, tubs of organic live greek yoghurt for face masks... You get the picture (and can no doubt relate)! All the while the rash was spreading angrily and forming a flaking, crusting, cracking, burning, itching, bright red, papular, eczematous mess in my entire muzzle area. It was like watching an ever-growing army forming; the small hard papules would group together defiantly, ganging up against whatever I applied to them. Whilst the rash was widely dispersed, the stronghold was evident in my chin crease - it started to hurt on opening my mouth to eat... In a matter of a few weeks I had a full on nose-chin beard of weeping, painful papules and sharp flaky shards of skin that I couldn't resist picking at in the evenings. I looked a mess. A few baking soda washes helped smooth the crusts out a bit, but it became so dry it was nigh impossible to cover up when I ventured out. Any of the above creams I tried out to soothe and moisturise the skin just brought out even more riotous bumps, and they were greasy so my cover-up makeup wouldn't 'sit' properly and broke apart in seconds. I could see shop assistants and passers-by looking at my lower face. Looped scarves became my best friend.
With Christmas looming I was getting desperate. I'm not vain, quite the opposite in fact, and just wanted to look and feel 'nice' over the holidays. I read up on ACV and caved in, vowing it to be the last £10 to spend before succumbing to the dreaded 1-2 month-long antibiotics route that would no doubt open up another can of worms health-wise. I managed to track down a local health food store that sold raw cloudy ACV 'with mother'. It had won a taste award, so I was sold. I absent-mindedly picked up some raw organic honey too (I'd read about its soothing benefits for skin wounds) and ventured over to the natural toiletry products section. I desperately needed to moisturise, but with what?! Then I spied a bottle proclaiming to be the best moisturiser for eczema and psoriasis sufferers. You don't even have to rub it in. Just spray and go. Bonus. POD is so similar to eczema that I shrugged and bought it, what was there to lose (except even more money)?
3 days later my muzzle rash was almost gone! It wasn't instant, I'll be honest and say that after the first use of all 3 new products above my skin flared up a bit. But I stuck with it figuring that if this is a yeast or fungal condition, it's just dying off or not accepting defeat and trying to fight back, briefly. Within 24 hours the angry redness was more of a dark pink, and I only got a few more papules trying to crop up on my chin and in my naso-labial folds. I could feel smooth bump-free areas forming in between. This was encouraging to say the least! I held my breath. Over the next 24 hours the papules didn't burst, weep or burn so much after applying the ACV and the itching bouts were starting to ease off. By the third day, without makeup I still had patchy discolouration where the (now dried-up) plaques and bumps had been, but once covered up, I started to look relatively normal with just a few discernible tiny bumps and dryness left. Now, in the second half of my trial week, with a few days to go until Christmas Day, I expect to be fully healed and skin-content. I must stress that the above healing still occurred despite eating a few sugary Christmas treats and drinking a couple of glasses of red wine at night (yes this previously made my rash flare and spread). So... if you want the details, here's what I did (morning and night):
1. Washed my face gently with raw honey, adding a little baking soda to help remove makeup at night and smooth down any crusts. Rinse well with lukewarm (not hot) water. Pat dry with a clean towel.
2. Soak cotton wool pads in 50:50 ACV/warm tapwater solution and apply and press firmly into the rash areas, sweep the pads over all the clear surrounding skin too, just to prevent the rash trying to crop up elsewhere (I discovered its nasty little migration trick after application #1! )
3. Let skin dry naturally and apply Dermaspray Intensive all over your face (use a spray-soaked cotton wool pad for around the eyes), saturating the rash area in particular. You will be in heaven. The peppermint is so cooling and soothing and you will be able to move your face afterwards - it'll be fully moisturised with no greasiness. In the evenings whilst watching TV, I applied it again within an hour or two if the tightness / dryness returned.
4. Cover rash and any redness with colour-tinted Night Treatment - lightly dust on and buff in a circular motion. I used the 'Medium' tinted version as it was a good match for my normal Winter skin tone. I'll use the 'Tan' one next Summer. This 'makeup that isn't makeup' contains zinc oxide and treats the skin whilst hiding imperfections. It is a gentle and natural solution to covering up the rash, and I highly recommend it for the daytime - nighttime is good if you are shy about baring your skin to your partner or family - you can even sleep with it on!
5. Add a tablespoon of ACV to a small cup of warm kettle water/fruit juice and a teaspoon of raw honey mixed in for flavour. Stir together and drink fast! It will go down a treat this way. Take this before your breakfast and evening meal. Remember to take your probiotics daily too, as instructed on the bottle.
6. Never go back to using products laden with nasty chemicals; stick to the above all year round - natural is best and your skin will thank you for it.
...and that's it! I sincerely hope that this experience goes a long way to helping someone else win the POD war! Merry Christmas! :)