A Lesson in Vanity : Perioral Dermatitis


Probably around the winter of last year, I noticed a cluster of small, sometimes itchy bumps around my nostrils. I freaked out because I’ve really never had issues with my skin. I rarely even get pimples and I’m VAIN self absorbed, so I don’t want any blemishes on my face. At that time the bumps were tiny and barely even noticeable (they are circled in red above), but because I look at myself often, I noticed them immediately. Also around that time, a friend of mine had contracted ringworm. I figured that I’d gotten it from her, so I bought some Lotrimen cream hoping it would clear it up. After a few days it was gone!! *dances around bathroom in joy* But not so fast – about 3 months later, in March, while visiting my dad in Trinidad & Tobago – they reappeared. I didn’t have my handy dandy Lotrimen, so I used what was available to me in the bush (literally, my dad lives on acres of land with every plant, fruits, and vegetables imaginable in the Caribbean😀 ) : aloe vera and tea tree oil. I rubbed it directly on the bumps and it cleared up again! But not so fast – a few weeks later, they were back. By now, I’d made up my mind to see a dermatologist. Being that I don’t really use western medicine, I really didn’t want to see a doctor because I figured they’d give me a prescription. Plus, I was already feeling guilty about putting that Lotrimen on my face, but its my facccceeeeeee!!! I cant just walk around with these random bumps all over. How would I take cute selfies anymore? So my boss recommended a dermatologist. Long story short : I saw a Dr. She was super sweet and helpful. She diagnosed me with Perioral Dermatitis. I was given oral antibiotics to take for 30 days and a topical cream to use as well.

What’s perioral dermatitis, you ask? I had no clue!  Perioral Dermatitis : The exact cause of perioral dermatitis is unknown. Small, red, pus-filled bumps and mild peeling of the skin around the mouth are symptoms. The condition can also affect the skin around the nose, cheeks, and eyes. Apparently its a form of acne and rosacea. At the age of 30, I finally get acne, lol. I immediately googled “all natural remedies for perioral dermatitis”. I wasn’t taking antibiotics for 30 days. Nor was I putting more steroids on my face. I kept finding remedies using aloe vera & coconut oil. I have a few aloe vera plants and I keep coconut oil stocked at all times since it can be used for just about everything. I started applying those to my face every other day or so and didn’t have any “breakouts” for a few weeks.

Cut to, 3 months later, towards the end of June. I’m volunteering at a week long camp and guess what? Bumps reappear. And they reappeared like they never had before! Not only did I have bumps, but I also had redness and inflammation.


Omigah, so embarrassing! This is when I realized that my breakouts were triggered by heat; Scorching hot temperatures in Trinidad & Tobago and now, activities outside all day in the middle of summer. I even recalled a doctor telling me years ago that I had a tendency for getting heat bumps in the summer. Now I’m at camp, with no choice but to be in sun/heat and I don’t have my aloe vera plant.  As soon as I got home, I took those antibiotics so quick!!! GET THESE BUMPS OFF MY FACE!! I put the cream on and everything. After a few days it cleared up but left unpleasant, dark scaring in that area – that has since cleared up. 😊


Since then, I apply fresh aloe vera flesh & coconut oil to my skin nightly before bed. Occasionally I get bumps, but never any that stick; they are usually gone within a day or two. I do my cardio exercises outside, so if its hot, I make sure to apply aloe vera flesh as soon as I get home. That combo has been keeping breakouts at bay. My lesson : I can’t be so concerned with my physical beauty. Its cliche, but its really only skin deep. Do I get self-conscious if there a few more bumps than I’d like some days ? Sure. But I’m not letting it control me. And honestly, it could be a lot worse.


Nightly Routine :

  1. Wash/Clean Face ( I’m a sucker for Neutrogena facial cleansers and they have a new line called Healthy Skin Booster with Chamomile & Vitamin E – my face loves it!)
  2. Cut a slip of my aloe vera and squeeze out the flesh & juice
  3. Rub it on my face and let it dry
  4. Rub coconut oil on my face & get in the bed!



One comment

  1. […] your skin and hair are among the things that will go awry. Last year, I found out that I have perioral dermatisis, which is a form of rosacea/acne. This came as a total shock to me because I’ve rarely ever had […]

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