Peri - about, around, near
Oral - relating to the mouth
Derm - skin
Itis - inflammation of
Now a picture:
(By the way, I didn't want to drag anyone else into this, so I took shots with the backwards iPhone camera.)
|I'm almost never in pictures, so trouble finding a true baseline. This was in the last week of December though, so when it had barely started on teh chin, but was nowhere else. I was very amused by the hat.|
Now that I've drawn you in, I'll take a step back and talk through the history of this face rot. Outside of a typical level of teen acne, I've never really had facial skin problems. It just kind of trucks along. Around the time I figured out I was pregnant, I noticed this weird patch under my left lip. Kind of a cross between acne and a rash. But, I had bigger things on my plate, so other than using the hypoallergenic cleanser and hydrating it with a hypoallergenic lotion, I didn't do anything. Then it spread to the right corner of my mouth. Still haven't done anything. And we get the left side above the mouth and the right side up towards the nose. Making fun of it more with friends and referring to it as the skin rot, but still not doing anything.
Then, it spread to my left eye. And the skin is sensitive there and so it actually kind of hurts:
It's apparently most likely due to stress and the normal treatment would be a couple of months of antibiotics. However, that is not a good plan with two growing fetuses who we would prefer not to have to endure teratogenic effects. So, she wants me to try a topical steroid called Desonide. But, it is also a category C. And while it may make it better, there is a distinct possibility that it will actually make it worse. I called the OB and after some discussion, they decided I should wait until today when I would be 13 weeks to do it and to try to use it sparingly. The reason to try it is that it has the risk of causing actual infections and as it is spread to the eye, it's a pretty significant inflammation.
I dropped it off, but I'm still not sure about using it. The internet makes it pretty clear that it REALLY can make it worse. Also, these shots are in the morning when it is at its best. True to a stress-based condition, it gets worse throughout the day.
I can almost hear you asking, "why don't you just cover it up?" And while my makeup skills are pretty lacking, I'm sure I could apply a base layer to really handle much of the redness and the fun crusty bits. However, the dermatologist said in no uncertain terms to apply NO PRODUCT to it other than Cetaphil (a moisturizer). I'm even supposed to be careful to not get any toothpaste in contact with the skin and even consider using toothpaste without fluoride for a while.
|Zero Rot at the beginning of December!|
So, what's the conclusion? First, the dermatologist is officially non-helpful and the label of the condition almost annoys me more. Second, I'm apparently under stress of some sort without really recognizing it. Third, I don't think there is any real good approach to managing it. My current plan is to continue washing it with the Cerave and hydrating it with the Cetaphil and I'm leaning towards trying the prescription very sparsely and very tentatively at first. On some level I'm hoping it will run its course and kind of fade away. The dermatologist said it was highly unusual for this to show up having never happened before.
Anyone have any brilliant insights into skin care? I definitely have never mastered these types of skills, so don't be afraid to state blatantly obvious things. If it's beyond clean, moisturize and don't touch, I probably haven't thought of it.
And I'm sticking with calling it the face rot.