This post comes after weeks, if not months, of a hella frustrating skin issue. I've generally been pretty lucky with my skin and don't tend to have many problems. I always wear SPF (I'm half Irish and don't even try to tan on holiday), don't smoke, cleanse my face twice a day and ALWAYS take my makeup off after a night out. Recently though I've developed a condition around my nose and mouth of raised red blotches. It is flaky, blotchy, tight and generally looks horrid. It has been driving me mad. I feel a bit vain being so affected by it, but IT'S ON MY FACE. Having scoured the internet for a solution I have discovered that peri oral eczema - which I diagnosed after reading this Caroline Hirons* post - seems to affect quite a few people.
It first started in the summer but, as I was on holiday, figured it was down to different water, climate etc. However, since being back I've tried a number of things, including a course of antibiotics I'm currently on, to try and fix it and nothing seems to have worked.
Things that I've found have helped:
+ Antibiotic cream - as prescribed by doctor, a couple of varying antibiotic cream have helped to relieve symptoms but have not been able to shift it completely. Am hoping the drugs may FINALLY get rid of it for good.
+ Elizabeth Arden Eight Hour Cream. In terms of reducing flakiness and making my skin feel less taught, this has been the best thing I've tried. I don't think it's helping to cure it, but it is definitely helping to ease the symptoms.
+ Gentle, regular cleansing. To avoid getting it infected, I've been cleaning my face of all make up as soon as I get in. I figure the last thing I need is bacteria and dirt settling in and irritating it.
+ Sleep. I have the ability to sleep like a teenage boy, but during the week I never manage to get eight hours. It's amazing how much of a difference a weekend of good sleep seems to make.
Things that have not helped:
+ Cold weather - the eczema has recently become extremely inflamed and I'm pretty certain it's down to the cold weather. I'm trying to keep the lower half of my face covered by a chunky scarf. It's a strong look.
+ Heating. On the other side of the coin, my skin normally gets really dry in winter thanks to artificial hot temperatures indoors. This has certainly been the case for my face which is definitely not loving the central heating.
+ Alcohol. We all know how our skin looks and feels after a heavy night - grey, dry and blotchy. All of those things are now magnified when I drink and make my eczema very red, angry and dry.
+ Diet. Over Christmas I let myself fall hugely off the wagon and am pretty certain I ate my yearly allowance of sugar in one month. The results were not good and I definitely noticed the negative impact it had on my skin.
I'm desperately hoping the antibiotics will be the final treatment I have to try. They are a last ditch attempt as I hate the impact they have on my body. Failing that, you'll find my hiding behind my scarf on a night out, sipping from a bottle of water for the rest of my life. Any advice is VERY gratefully received!
* On a side note, if I want to know anything about skin then this is my first port of call. Caroline is hilarious and quite obviously knows her shit.