By Frances Wang

A message to CBS Miami viewers and readers from Frances Wang:

I’m writing to let you know why I will be off-air for a few weeks, but also to hopefully spread some awareness in sharing my personal story.

For the past 4 months, I’ve been going on-camera everyday trying to hide something from all of you – a skin condition I had never heard of before until I was diagnosed with it called ‘perioral dermatitis.’ It is essentially acne meets eczema: a painful, inflamed bumpy rash around my mouth. It has also since spread to my forehead.

When I first moved to Miami, my eczema flared up and I sought help from a dermatologist. A PA gave me steroid creams. Based on advice from the four dermatologists I have seen since then, here is what I have learned and want to share with you.

(Courtesy: Frances Wang)

Powerful steroids like the ones I was given should never be used on a long-term, daily basis (and if you are instructed to do so, get another opinion!) Steroid creams were a quick fix for my eczema but triggered a completely new skin condition, much harder to treat and cover.

Many people are not aware of the potentially severe side effects of steroid creams. We often consider side effects for oral medications, but not necessarily with something topical. Always be sure you are fully aware of any and all side effects associated with a product or prescription – even if it you’re putting it ON your body, not IN it.

It is a very confusing condition. The most common known causes are overuse of steroid creams/nasal sprays, fluoride toothpaste, or sometimes… the cause is unknown, as I have learned for many of the people I have met online since through a Facebook support group.

(Courtesy: Frances Wang)

I have been given all the textbook treatments for Perioral Dermatitis, more antibiotics and prescription creams than I can count. Nothing has worked, although I’ve been told it looks much better!

 

I felt a lot of guilt and shame for being so upset about my skin – after all, people are going through much worse. However, I have realized in sharing, that struggles with skin is something that has affected many of us and at the core, it is a medical issue. I have received thousands of messages from people who have gone through or are going through the same thing. I am glad I shared because I want people to know they’re not alone. If you have any questions or want to share your personal story, feel free to reach out! I would love to hear from you.

With the encouragement and support of my CBS Miami family, I am taking some time off to not wear makeup and hopefully heal my face.

I will be keeping you updated on my Instagram account.

Until then, lots of love and see you soon!

Frances ❤

 

Frances Wang

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