If you follow me on social networks, especially on Instagram, you may have read my recent skin issues. I suffered of pimples which are not ending since this episode of July that returned in its worsened version last week with pimples all over the face and especially around the mouth and eyes. But this time, the buttons were not just red. Some were like acne pimples with white tip and we just want to squeeze them…
How to diagnose peri oral dermatitis?
Very bad where I wondered what was happening, why, what to do…Well, Monday I was in such pain that I wanted to go to the ER. I was advised to go to the St Louis Hospital for dermatological emergencies…but, surprise! They take no more dermatologic emergencies and you need to go to the Henri Mondor Teaching Hospital Center in Créteil. In short, I had to cross the entire Île-de-France compared to where I live. I did it and it was crowded.
After several hours of waiting, the interne diagnostic was a superinfected eczema and prescribed an antibiotic and cortisone cream (Diprosone). She took a sample from one of my pimple to know what was the organism that had infected my skin.
I started taking the antibiotic, the skin improves a little. And I further reduced cosmetic products.
Nevertheless, I still wanted another medical opinion because professionals always spoke to me about eczema but my imples were only on the face. Generally, eczema also nesting on other body parts (elbows, neck, etc.). A friend advised me a dermatological office in central Paris. I went last Friday and HALLELUJAH!
I finally met a qualified dermatologist. Meaning, that really takes the time to examine you, which is in pedagogy and explain to you what happens to your skin. In short, it was a big relief.
Of course, I had kept the photos of my pimples and even before the examination, he already had a clear idea of diagnosis.
What I have is called peri-oral dermatitis. This is an acute inflammation of the skin, especially around the mouth and eyes. It affects between 0.5 and 1% of the population, mostly women between 20 and 40 years old. In these people, there is a predisposition due to atopy and/or dry skin.
The disease appears due to overconsumption of cosmetic products (in my case, I want to clarify). This consumption is related to dry skin that feels tight and cause discomfort throughout the day. So we tend to apply cream several times a day (morning and evening, generally) to relieve these sensations. We are momentarily feeling comfort but the skin is actually overhydrated. The protective barrier function of the skin is disturbed, unbalanced and this is where the problems begin.
The skin appearance is found changed: swelling of the skin, red patches and red pimples. The skin becomes “grainy”. If the symptoms persist, the microbial flora is particularly disturbed and pustules, as well as symptoms of desquamation.
The skin feels tight even more, sometimes burns…And we tend to apply more creams. That was my case. Although I reduced skincare products since that time, I continued to apply plenty of moisturizer and even the doctors had prescribed me a cortisone cream. The dermatologist assured me that the Diprosone was definitely not made for the face!
In short, the only solution and treatment is a skincare products detox! In short, diet! It is necessary to stop applying creams and other cosmetics onto the skin to restore itself and eliminates all the excess products absorbed.
Say i’s easy would be a lie. When you’re used cream every day, it’s very hard to stop. And above all, sensations of discomfort, burning, tightness are at their peak. It has been only a few days but it’s very hard not to moisturize my skin. She peels off a lot but its appearance has improved so I’m hanging in there. Moreover, the dermatologist informed me that several months would be necessary to restaure the skin’s natural balance (at least 3 months).
In parallel, the dermatologist prescribed me a little treatment for three months to calm a bit from the inside . However, the real challenge is really to not applied anything onto the skin.
The last advice he communicated to me is to apply black tea compresses (cold of course) on the skin to help drying it. More tea is brewed, the better!
Which products with a peri-oral dermatitis?
I asked about skin cleansing because in Paris, this is not pollution that’s missing. The key is to have products that rinsed off with water. It is important not to choke again pores. The dermatologist advised me a light milk, for example.
I looked at what I had in my beauty stash and found a cleansing milk, Biocleanse Silky Soft Cleansing Milk from Estelle & Thild. I use it with my makeup remover washable cotton pads (Disques à Démaquiller Lavables – Les Tendances d’Emma) that I wet to clean my skin. Then I finish with a few sprays of Avène Thermal Spring Water. The only part of the face that I hydrate my lips are as they are not affected by dermatitis.
The last question was about makeup. Dermatitis is a sterile illness unrelated to bacteria or anything so it doesn’t contaminate makeup. The dermatologist didn’t forbid me. If I want to hide a bit of redness or use so eye makeup, that’s not a problem. However, no liquid formulas foundation as this would “hydrate” in a way the skin. The powder is tolerated.