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Perioral Dermatitis- Please help

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Hello! My name is Caitlin and I am a 19-year-old college freshman. For the past two years I have had a small rash appear under my bottom lip every now and then but it would soon go away so I never went to a derm for it until recently this past year (my senior year) when it seemed to flare up and not go away. I was put on steroid creams and whatnot and it eventually went away. The second day I got to college, the rash came back and got bigger and bigger. It itches and burns and although there are no bumps, it flakes frequently and is very red. I went to the local doctor who diagnosed me with PD and put me on monocycline. I have been on the medication for about two weeks or so and have seen little improvement.

I am banishing all products with SLS in it and the only thing I apply to my rash is vaseline to moisturize it. I am feeling very helpless about this getting better and would so appreciate some advice on what worked for other people. I hate wearing foundation but find myself wearing it more than ever now because its the only thing that covers my rash.

Any advice or help is so greatly appreciated. This has caused me a great deal of depression and stress and I am trying to remain hopeful and trying to not get stressed as I know that may worsen the condition but there are so many options to make it better I don't even know where to begin. .

I have ordered calendula cream and am waiting for all my SLS free products to come in the mail. Is there anything I can do in the mean time? I heard about tea tree oil helping but also heard that it can make it worse if applied directly on the rash. I would also like to know if vaseline is helping or hurting the rash.

PLEASE HELP! I really need it :[
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First Helper gohari1

replied October 5th, 2011
I have the same problem and have realized it is allergic/contact dermatitis. Stay AWAY from petroleum jelly (ex. Vaseline), sulfates, preservatives, menthol/minty stuff, spicy foods, isopropyl myristate and alcohol. Try black currant oil 500 mg 2x a day and put vit. E oil on it! ps stay away from cortisone creams since they are just temporary and make it come back worse. gluck!
pps throw out lip balms too. they have beeswax usually which prevents natural skin cell turnover and makes things worse in the long run. just use a natural calendula based balm or cream. My stuff includes
1. "All good lips" tangerine balm with spf 15 (has a teeny tiny bit of beeswax bc mostly olive oil but lots of calendula etc. which feels amazinggggg)
2. Solbar mineral sunblock
3. Boscia cleansing gel (expensive so i sometimes make my own)
4. the only make up I wear now is Origins.
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replied October 5th, 2011
Thank you gohari1! Since my post I have done the following and my perioral dermatitis is almost completely gone:

-Have been on minocylcine for about a month
-Stopped using birth control (causes hormone changes which can trigger PD)
-Used calendula cream as much as possible
-Bought SLS free EVERYTHING (shampoo, conditioner, toothpaste, detergent, etc. . )
-STOPPED using vaseline. I have been using this for years and believe it is to blame now!

Everything I use is organic and I have noted which spicy foods trigger my PD. THANK YOU SO MUCH for your advice! I will try the vit. e oil to see if that makes it even better!
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