Is this perioral dermatitis?

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Hi, in the last few weeks I've noticed a rash on my "smile lines". It's dry and flaky, and only mildly itchy in hot conditions. I live in Australia and the weather has been getting a bit cooler, so I initially just put it down to that, but it is red now. I don't know if this is related, but as you can kind of see in the photo, the area above my upper lip is whiter than the rest of my face. Anyway, treating the rash is my first concern. 

The only product I use on my face are goats milk soap, which is very mild, and I've been using it once-twice a day for the last 5 years or so. I wear make up every other day. The only things I apply are foundation and powder. The foundation is very thick. 

Is this perioral dermatitis or could it be something else? Thanks in advance.


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  • Posted

    Hi Jaslyn

    So, from my own experience this could be either sebhorreic dermatitis or psorasis.  I say this because when I was diagnosed by the dermatologists, they couldn't agree on what I had!!  Although they told me to use the shampoo they prescribed for my head (as I suffer from that too) on my face, which I did, it left my skin so hard and dry, that I couldn't use it again.  This was four years ago and I didn't realise that I had suffered from it for the past 8 years.

    You could have developed a reaction to the goats milk - this does happen.  Why don't you try not using it for a week and simply clean your skin with olive oil and wipe clean with a warm cloth?

    Since then, I have done loads of research and what I now use, learnt that where it comes to dermatitis or psorasis and include eczema in the list, these types of skin requires loads of moisture.  However, the key is that the moisture must sink into the skin and not just sit on top.  This is just a barrier to the skin and does nothing for it.  Moisture needs to go deep into the skin.   I looked at what I was using and started to change my skin care products slowly.

    I have to say that my skin is now clear (although once in a blue moon it flares up) but that is rare. 

    Hope this helps.


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    • Posted

      Dear Gayle i dont know how i get through this forum but when i red your comments i recognized myself. If you're kind the email me or something i have big problem with my face with dermatitis already 6 years. I'm Tome i'm 26 and i come from Macedonia please write to me as soon as you read this reply. Thank you 
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  • Posted

    Hi Jaslyn, 

    I know you posted this about a month ago and I hope you have had some releif in that time - I just thought I would share with you my advice (I live in Australia also, and I am a registered nurse so I have some good medical advise). 

    I have had perioral facial dermatitis for the past 8 months and didnt realise it - I had the same small red spots around my nose and chin area and I had some steriod cream at home so I put that on and they went away for a few days then came back and I would put the cream on and so forth. Little did I know that this was 100% the WORST thing you could ever do. So 3 weeks ago i decided not to put the steriod cream on and I had the biggest rash like small red pustules all over the sides of my nose, chin and it actually spread to my forehead and cheeks, it was very red and so angry and i couldnt even touch it, the sensation was horrible -  I cried every day for like a week and i wear a good amount of makeup to work etc and I just felt like an alien! 

    I went to the GP and they gave me some Doxycycline tablets (which are very strong antibiotics) and some cream called metronitazole. I took the pills for a week and put the cream on twice a day and it almost got worse. So I live in far north QLD and we dont have a dermatologist here so I drove 5 hours to the closest town where there is one and I had to wait a week to get an appointment. 

    During that time i did some MASSIVE research and i completly eliminated this product called SLS or sodium Laurith sluphate in all body/face products - believe it or not its in almost everything you use - soap, body wash, face wash, shampoo etc etc - I started using this product that i purchaed from a discount chemist called Sukin its all natural and soap free and really cheap. no SLS no parabins, no bad stuff so its awesome. 

    Anyways I saw the dermatologist and yes he confirmed that what I have. This is the bad news - its doesnt go away, it lays dorment in your body and when you are run down or stressed it mat flare up. Its caused by 4 things.... Stress, alcohol, spicy food and hormones. There is only one treatment and that is Doxycycline tablets 50mg per day for 30 days minimum when you have a flare up. 

    He told me the following - avoid soap on your face and only use soap free products. you can still wear makeup and do all the other normal things. Only exfoliate 3 times per month - e.g the less you do for your facial skin the better ( i was getting facials weekly and microdermbrasion etc). otherwise try and avoid the 4 triggers i listed above. and whatever you do - DO NOT PUT STEROID CREAM anywhere near it - no matter what the GP says. 

    I hope this helps you and goodluck 



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    • Posted

      Hi sarah!

      I really loved your response and so glad I came across it. I hadn't been to the doctor in more han 5 years (I'm 24 now) and live in NYC. You and I both have the same condition! About 7/8 months ago I started having this weird rash (it started when I actually began to go to the gym more frequently) and it was crazy itchy.

      I went to my physcian and he prescribed me what it looks like a steroid cream. But now reading up on perioral dermatitis and your response I see people/doctors say to stay away from it. I apply it every night before I go to bed and sometimes I wake up with a clear face and sometimes after a long day of work Im red in my chin area.

      I do work for Sephora and Its mandatory to wear makeup ( as I have read to stay clear of makeup).

      The steroid cream of course is a temporary fix but I want this to stop.

      Over here in NYC it is the winter time and as you know winters do get brutal. I have learned that stress of course is a factor and if I have too much dairy in my day I see a flare up as well.

      ( funny because instead of getting cold sores which i have always gotten when extremely stressed I have this now)!

      I have read so much on the topic and feel like anything you do/ dont do can contribute to a flare up!

      I think it best to find a dermatologist to best diagnose my situation but wanted to ask you for your advice on what skincare you use. Of course working at Sephora I have many options/ skincare at home but most have parabens/sulphates in them.

      Is sukin only sold in Australia?

      Please let me know your thoughts!

      I would love to hear your input!



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