There is this redness around my nose that has been awful.

What’s wrong with your face?

Those 5 words are words I’ve feared hearing since my Perioral Dermatitis came back with a vengeance.

I have been telling friends and complaining to Ryan how I hated going out in public because my face looks so awful. I’d try covering up with makeup, but that only made it worse.

Redness Around Nose

Let’s rewind a minute. Back in the beginning of April, I told you I would heal my Perioral Dermatitis naturally.

It has been just over 3 months. Not only am I not better, I have gotten worse.

There is redness around my nose, and I am breaking out around my mouth.

Perioral Dermatitis and owning it vs. fearing it Brazen via

I have felt ashamed, and I have felt an immense amount of fear on so many different levels.

So when someone spoke those 5 words to me this past weekend, I was embarrassed. Those weeks of bottled fear had come to fruition.

But then a funny thing happened, I felt relieved.

Brazen and Learning to Live Without Fear

Click HERE to save this post for later.

Why? Because that was my biggest fear, and when those words were spoken I realized just how ridiculous that fear was.

A couple moments later, I looked down on my right hand. And there it was, flashing at me….

Brazen and Learning to Live Without Fear own it via

#Brazen is not my thing. The #Brazen belongs to Carla Birnberg, but I have been wearing this bracelet for several weeks now and yet I have been ashamed.

With a million changes in my life currently, this physical manifestation is my body’s way of saying,

You’re done with too much. Delete. Get rid of. Destroy the fear. Stop being everything for everyone. Start being something for a few. 

I do not regret all of the changes I’ve made with my personal care items, but I am more confident than ever that something else is going on. (UPDATE: There was. It was SIBO. See the bottom of this post.)

finally made the doctor’s appointment I’ve been needing to make, thanks to a great friend and her referral of an Eastern meets Western doctor in the North Bay.

But here’s the thing…..I can’t get in until September.

A week ago that would not have been okay with me. I would have feared those 5 ridiculous words for the next 2 months.

But now?

In public – no makeup.

with Periorial Dermatitis and my Peekepoo Fiona

At home – no makeup.

Brazen and Learning to Live Without Fear Adoption

In everything I do, with everything I give….I refuse to be ashamed, but instead brazen.

If you liked this post, you might also enjoy:

  1. Natural Makeup Looks {After Perioral Dermatitis}
  2. My Perioral Dermatitis Journey
  3. One Change for Perioral Dermatitis


p.s. I would learn later that the Perioral Dermatitis was related to my undiagnosed (for years likely) SIBO (that I was diagnosed with a few months after I wrote this original post.) You must believe in the gut-skin connection. Click HERE  to read more about it. In 2017, I really began to address fear. Like, REALLY began to address it – check out – Brazen Trail Racing.

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  1. I shared on my FB page and cant seem to nail my feelings as eloquently here.
    I just get this.
    we all have this
    our thing
    and it’s never as hard or as bad as we fear when we let it into the light.

  2. What exactly causes Perioral Dermatitis? Why do you think it’s getting worse? I wish you well! I contracted exzema last year and have been sporting it on my arms ever since with no abatement nor answers. At least it does not itch; just looks red and patchy,

  3. I’m so sorry that your dermatitis has gotten worse and that you are having to deal with it. I hope that the new doctor has some good approaches and maybe their waiting list will get you in sooner! It’s hard having to wait for an appt though so I understand that! Honestly you are beautiful with make-up and without and that’s what people notice I’m sure!

  4. Once again you are exactly what I needed today. My face looks just like that and has for about a month now. I thought to myself, I wonder if I have that thing Sarah talks about. And here’s your post. It’s funny that once you go gutsy you just “know” when things are off. And they are.

    I am always so grateful to you and for you. Brazen I shall be. 🙂

  5. Hey. I’ve been so careful with diet and sleep for nearly two years. But, stress gets me every time. I have dishydrotic eczema on my left foot and it itches and stings. I’ve had it for 10 years. It will tease me and go away for a week or so then come back with a vengeance. It itches all the time and its so distracting. It makes me irritable, which probably makes it worse. Its frustrating but I somehow always keep believing “this WILL go away someday”. I just keep hoping.

    I hope you have a great doctor visit and I hope you find some freedom from this. We all understand and are cheering for you.

    1. Thanks for sharing, Lauren! I can *literally* feel that pain. I’m confident this doctor is going to be amazing, and I can’t wait to share all about it!

  6. Sarah! I am so sorry to hear about this and so proud of you for your strength!

    I just went back and re-read your post from April. Please, please, please STOP using Bare Essentuals Makeup. I worked at Sephora for years and have seen the damage it’s caused in women. Doctors recommend it as “all natural,” but there are chemicals in it and they cause major skin irritations. I used it ONCE and had issues from it for weeks (big red bumps all over my face). Bismuth Oxychloride is an inactive ingredient used in the foundation and it causes cystic acne.

    I hope this tidbit of information helps you! 🙂


  7. WOW & love this & so resemble with the face stuff but me, I still will not go out without covering it.. mine is stress & more age hormones & all the hair on the face now that just gets inflamed & crazed. I just can’t go out without covering it…. I am glad you are where you are & going to get help too!

    Can I just say this about your last comment: happy faces don’t always tell the full story (and neither do faces which look “torn and worn.”) We are all fighting our own, daily battles, but I’m learning – constantly – that fear and shame are not battles to fight with.

    I really think so many don’t get this… Personally I feel some have given up on me yet nobody ever knows the whole story…. thank you!

  8. Good luck with your healing process. I can sympathize; I’ve had brutal allergies all spring and have been walking around with swollen eyes, looking like I’m wrapping up a week-long crying jag or something.

    And I have to ask: Who in the world goes around asking other people what’s wrong with their faces? That’s just bad manners! That kind of question is not OK to ask people unless (maybe) you know them really, really well.

  9. You are beautiful without makeup and especially inside.
    I love Brazen too…since I was little. I go back to my 9 year old brazen “Puss in Boots” or Mighty Mouse self when in doubt. Just finished my 9th swim from Alcatraz and wind my age group and got third in AG the week before in The Escape from Alcatraz triathlon. I am 60. Life is too short to NOT be bold, braze, bitchy and brave. Keep it up.

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