Many have been there. One day, your chin is soft and happy and pimple-free. And the next? The floodgates open and you come face-to-face with a mountain range of zits, right along your jawline. To combat this, you use your trusty acne products – but nothing seems to be working. No matter what you do, those pesky pimples won’t skedaddle.
But why?! Why must this happen?
Beverly Hills dermatologist Harold Lancer has the answer. While speaking to Allure, he explained that such a breakout actually has nothing to do with acne: “Hormonal blemishes usually involve the entire jawline. Perioral dermatitis is totally different. It’s yeast bacteria usually [found] around the upper and lower lip area, the angles of the mouth, and maybe the nose.” Dr. Lancer added that this bacteria can present itself as a “reddish, orangey, waxy, lumpy, bumpy, [and] inflamed” rash.
Considering that this skin condition isn’t acne, that would explain why traditional acne treatments don’t work on it. Actually, the opposite may happen: Your fave acne product might actually make the perioral dermatitis worse. That’s why it’s recommended that you instead use a prescription corticosteroid cream. However, this type of cream is not a cure.
Dr. Lancer explained, “If you treat it purely with hydrocortisone, when it recurs, it gets progressively more difficult to control. It hides the symptoms, but it’s not treating the problem.”
But, why exactly does perioral dermatitis occur?
According to Dr. Lancer, stress and humidity can lead to a bacterial yeast overgrowth, which in turn causes perioral dermatitis. Sadly, carbs and alcohol don’t help the problem. With this in mind, if you want to address such a condition, it’s important that you make some lifestyle changes (after talking to their doctor, of course).
“We teach patients about nutrition – going to zero caffeine intake, zero dairy intake, and very low carb intake,” revealed Dr. Lancer, who also recommends that patients apply hydrocortisone and anti-fungal treatments, twice a day, for two days.
Though this type of breakout may not be fun to deal with, it’s comforting to know that those dealing with it are definitely not alone.