It all started around Christmas. A small bump on my chin sneakily spread into a full-fledged rash. Red angry bumps lining up on my face, prepared for battle. I had never experienced such a widespread problem area, although I had faith that the mysterious skin eruption would subside.
After a few weeks of tending to the issue in my normal manner of bathing my face in salicylic acid, I had come to the conclusion that this angry rash had only gotten worse. I took to Google and concluded (incorrectly) that I had somehow contracted ring worm of the face. My solution? Athlete’s Foot cream. Yes, slathering Lamisil on the inflamed skin twice a day did lend a bit of relief. But then the rash just migrated to a slightly different location as if it was moving steadily toward the borders of my chin.
I broke down on my birthday and went to the dermatologist after six weeks of dealing with the rash. She immediately concluded it was Perioral Dermatitis, a mysterious rash with no known cause or cure (awesome!). The doctor prescribed Clindamycin, a topical antibiotic, with no guarantees.
After several weeks using this rather expensive prescription lotion, I was not seeing any improvement so once again I looked to the interwebs for advice. Solutions varied widely. Many concluded that this rando rash was a reaction to a product. In order to find out which one, you would have to try the “zero method” and eliminate all products from your routine. Obviously, I would NEVER subscribe to such an insane method. But I did cut back on everything but the most basic: my ever-so-gentle Avene Hyper-Sensitive Face Wash and Moisturizer, the antibiotic lotion, and of course my makeup de rigueur. But the rash persisted.
Other suggestions were equally irrational, calling for eliminating such staples of the American diet as wheat, dairy, alcohol, and even sugar! So instead, I switched my toothpaste. Recommended paste: Sensodyne Pronamel. Yes, I was bound and determined to find a solution, and I knew it would be something simple, not a radical lifestyle change.
And then I found it. I stumbled upon a reply in a thread about the issue that resonated with me. This commenter had discovered that with a combination of Violet Extract and Boudreaux’s Butt Paste (Maximum Strength, of course), along with zinc supplements and probiotics, you could cure this skin villain. The combination of diaper cream and a random herbaceous tincture was just odd enough that I knew it would work.
Sure enough, within a few days of using the diaper cream my rash was almost completely gone. The violet extract took longer to get ahold of, but it seems to have helped as well. Besides, the reviews of that extract on Amazon are filled with Perioral Dermatitis survivors, insisting that this was the cure. So, I’m pretty much obligated to believe in it.
So there you have it. I would recommend trying to resolve Perioral Dermatitis by testing these products in the following order.
1. Boudreaux’s Butt Paste Maximum Strength :: Try this first! I bet any diaper rash cream with 40% zinc would work but this is what I used. If after a few days your rash has not subsided, add in the following items.
2. Herb Pharm Flowering Top Violet :: Just gently dab some of the liquid onto your rash before you apply the diaper rash cream.
3. Avene Hypersensitive Skin Regimen :: If you are using a harsh cleanser or moisturizer try switching to this line designed for very sensitive skin.
4. Clindamycin :: If you haven’t already, it may be a good idea to book an appointment with a dermatologist to confirm that this rash is indeed Perioral Dermatitis. The prescription topical antibiotic Clindamycin may have helped clear up my rash, although it wasn’t effective in the 3 weeks I was using it by itself. I did continue using the Clindamycin only in the mornings while I added in the Boudreaux’s Butt Paste at night so I can’t rule it out as contributing to my success.
5. Sensodyne Pronamel :: Another item I was using at the time my Perioral Dermatitis was resolved was the Sensodyne Pronamel toothpaste. Do I think this is what solved it? Nope. Is it possible it helped? Yes. Try this if other suggestions aren’t working.
6. Oral Supplements :: Finally, I would suggest looking into taking zinc supplements and probiotics if the above topical methods have not worked for you. While I resolved my rash without these oral supplements, this might be that final step for others.
I am posting this regimen in hopes that it will help another person struggling with perioral dermatitis. After researching this mysterious rash for weeks, I discovered that, unfortunately, PD doesn’t always have the same cause or the same cure from person to person. If this doesn’t work for you, as it did for me, keep looking around the internet to see what worked for others. Eventually you may be lucky enough to stumble upon the perfect solution for you! Good luck.
This post contains affiliate links to the products that I believe helped resolve my perioral dermatitis. If you are interested in trying these products too, and you click on the links I have provided to make a purchase, I may earn a small commission at no expense to you.