Let me be clear – the image above is not even close to what my skin looked like from December 2021 to February 2022. Guys, this is definitely a after. And, while I really wish I could provide you with a before, I was so traumatized by 180 damage to my skin last fall that I literally didn’t take a single photo. To be completely honest, I wanted to crawl into the deepest, darkest black hole planet Earth could offer me, never to return.
As much as I hate to say it, and as much as I wish I was above feeling embarrassed by less than perfect skin, I was in a complete state of panic, anxiety, and depression. Almost overnight, my skin went from clear, even, and shiny to red, inflamed, and bumpy, mostly around my chin, mouth, and nostrils. Sure, that might sound drastic, and there are certainly far worse things happening in the world than my all of a sudden inflamed skin, but I think anyone who’s dealt with any type of skin condition will understand the toll that it can take on your psyche and your self-confidence. Especially when you have no idea what it is, what caused it, or how to treat it.
I talk more about what happened here, but after a few weeks of research and product experimentation and little to no improvement (in fact, the redness and bumps only seemed to get worse, spreading like a wildfire), I made an appointment with a dermatologist in Arizona where I was living at the time. After talking to a friend who had something similar and was diagnosed with perioral dermatitis, I had a hunch this was what I was dealing with. But, I wanted to see a professional A) to confirm and B) for a treatment plan.
Sure enough, my dermis only needed to look at my skin for two seconds before proclaiming that the spreading bumps and pustules around my nose and mouth were perioral dermatitis, probably triggered by stress and/or a recent overuse of active skincare products. . To help clear up the situation, he prescribed me a specialist antibiotic, and although he said the Parkinson’s might eventually come back, the treatment would clear it up. (Spoiler: it worked like a charm!) Even after my skin cleared up, I was curious about Parkinson’s. According to my research, it’s very much on the rise and much more likely to affect women—Hailey Bieber even said it’s something she struggles with.
Since the topic is still a bit fuzzy and apparently a lot of other people are probably struggling with Parkinson’s as well, I decided to reach out to more industry experts to get their thoughts: is perioral dermatitis, what products to use and what to avoid, and what the “ultimate” skin care protocol would look like for people struggling to get their inflammation under control. Of course, you will definitely want to make an appointment with a professional – I certainly don’t recommend self-diagnosis – but consider this a useful and complementary resource. Keep scrolling! Everything you ever wanted to know about PM is right in front of you.