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I have lived most of my life with beautiful skin. I’m not bragging, it was nothing that I did specifically to make my skin that way, I was just born with it. I’ve never had products to recommend to others on how to get perfect skin, because I’ve never used products. It didn’t matter what I would put on my skin or what I didn’t put on it, I still woke up the next day with nearly perfect skin. Of course, I would have the occasional blemish, but it wouldn’t last and it wasn’t enough to make me feel insecure. I’m thankful that I was able to live the majority of my life not having to worry about having clear skin. But in the spring of this year, I started to get a small, dry, red patch on my face. I wasn’t sure why, I didn’t know what it was and didn’t know how to make it go away. I was told by health professionals that it was eczema, I then started using prescribed eczema ointment hoping to get rid of it. As I kept using the ointment through out the summer, the small, dry, red patches started to grow. The ointment relieved me of itchiness and redness, but never made it fully go away. Looking through photos of me from the last 6 months, I’ve seen the progression of these red patches go from being the size of a dime, to covering most of my face. I changed many things in my life in the past 2 months, doing everything I could and everything I’ve been told to do in order to get rid of this. Nothing worked. I went to see a dermatologist last week, who told me she believes this is much more than eczema, she believes what I have is Perioral Dermatitis. After being told about Perioral Dermatitis and looking up the symptoms, it became clear to me that this is what I have. Perioral Dermatitis is a skin condition that can be caused by fluoride, yes, fluoride. In most cases though, there is no known cause for it. For some reason, it is most common in young women. I was prescribed an antibiotic and told it would take a couple months to see results. I was also told to stay away from makeup and not let any cosmetic products touch my face if I wanted it to clear up. I was devastated.
I started researching home remedies to speed up the healing process, but reading stories about women who have struggled with this for years only discouraged me more. I was depressed. I read these stories about women doing everything they could to get rid of it and still having little to no results. I had a constant flow of tears as I thought about the worst case scenario. I didn’t want to look like this forever… or even for a few years. I cried some more… I cried A LOT. I felt sorry for myself, I pitied myself. My mom was frustrated with how I became so discouraged after reading more about the condition and about the experiences others have had with it. She told me it doesn’t matter what happened with other people, she told me to have HOPE and to have FAITH, that this was not going to last as long for me. She told me to have FAITH in a God who heals without limitations, who heals where healing seems impossible or so far out of reach. I didn’t want to hear it…. I just wanted to cry and feel sorry for myself and I wanted everyone else to feel sorry for me to. I couldn’t see past my current circumstance, I couldn’t see past my temporary problem, I couldn’t see things getting better.
After I spent most of that night crying, I decided to pray, to talk to God. I told Him that I still love Him, that I know He didn’t make this happen to me and I thanked Him for healing me even before I’ve seen the healing come to pass. I needed that time to cry and I also needed that time talking to God. I woke up the next day feeling encouraged. I woke up no longer feeling sorry for myself, but accepting what was happening. I am not dying, this skin condition has no effect on me internally, it’s only cosmetic. I woke up feeling incredibly SHALLOW for thinking that my life was over because of a skin issue. I was consumed with thinking about what OTHERS would think of me, how they would see me differently, how they would look at me. But I am ALIVE and well and a silly skin condition isn’t going to keep me from praising God for my BEAUTIFUL life! I decided that if people want to judge me when they see me, those are people that I don’t want in my life. I decided that I’m not going to let my temporary problem have any control over my future. This doesn’t change who I am, I AM NOT MY SKIN and I am not my SHELL.
I decided to trust God. I am still taking the antibiotic and I am still doing every home remedy that I have heard of, I haven’t given up on healing, I’ve simply given up on caring how others see me. This skin condition, it’s out of my control, so to let it bury me deep into a depression would be foolish. I don’t want to hide in my house, I don’t want to be scared to go out in public. It’s not contagious, it’s just not… perfect. But that is simply my SKIN, that is my temporary SHELL. I’ve always known that beauty isn’t only skin deep. Beauty comes from the SOUL. Beauty starts from the inside. It doesn’t matter if others see me as beautiful, I am NOT what they see in me. I am what GOD sees in me.
I know that the internet is full of mean people who hide behind their computers just to tear others down in order to make themselves feel better. And as scary as it is for me to post a photo of what I currently look like, it’s scarier to let this keep me from being ME! I understand that some people will still look at this photo and only see ugliness, and that’s okay, I can’t change that. But my prayer is that some will see this and be able to accept themselves FULLY just the way they are. YOU are SO MUCH more than your shell, you are a BEAUTIFUL and UNIQUE SOUL.