I have had perioral dermatitis since January 2012, however I only got an official diagnosis in May. I suffer from atopic eczema across my body and face, so I thought it was just a case of eczema. However my eczema is usually treated with doublebase cream and usually goes away within a few weeks. But I found that this was not going away and I had tight red flaky skin around my mouth. This became a problem and deeply effected my social life and self confidence. When going to uni people would think that I had been licking my lips too much (as it looked like the red mark children get around their lips) and makeup wouldn't cover it as it was too dry. When I did put makeup on it it was really irritated and sore. I finally went to the doctors and was diagnosed with perioral dermatitis and told not to use anything on my face except when washing with water. I did this for 4 weeks, in the first week my skin was like going cold turkey and my lips cracked and were bleeding and my skin was so sore. They gradually got better but at the end of the 3rd week I went back to the doctors to find another treatment. I was prescribed with Erythromycin (a treatment for acne). I am currently on the last day of taking the tablets but there hasn't been much improvement.
I have tried all the natural remedies such as Apple cider vinegar (oral and topical), natural yoghurt, lemon juice and green tea. I have also been using calendula cream, this does really soothe my skin but it is still flaky. I have ordered California Baby Calendula Cream as this is meant to work! I have also cut out Sodium Lauryl Sulphate and fluoride and using an Aloe Toothpaste. I think the cause of my perioral dermatitis was from using steroid creams on my face (which I would never ever do again). But for now I'm just trying to treat this for good. My perioral is different to the pictures I have seen as I don't get the little spots, mine is just dry skin and a red colouring. This picture below doesn't look so severe. This is when the dry skin has peeled off leaving away the tender red skin:
UPDATE AUGUST 2014
I have managed to be free from perioral dermatitis for over 18 months now! I can honestly say I hope it never ever comes back. I believe that it was the combination of Nelsons Graphites and Calendula cream that helped clear it up. You can order these from amazon and for a few months this is all I ever put around my mouth, not even vaseline or lip gloss. It's hard and you don't see results instantly. I also found that I found it stung when you first put it on and I really wanted to itch but don't because this makes it so much worse. It was a long process but I got there in the end and now my skin is back to normal!
At present I am still wary about what I use near my lips. I don't use any Vaseline at all!! I try to use natural products like the Burts Bees lipbalms and when I wear lip products I make sure I remove them with a micellar solution. I also don't put any steroid creams on or near my face!! I'm so happy to be free from perioral dermatitis but I know it still affects many. If you have or know anyone with perioral dermatitis get in touch and hopefully we can share our stories.