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'Bachelor' alum Kristina Schulman shares struggle with PD flare-ups in makeup free selfies

The former reality star began struggling with perioral dermatitis in May 2019.
/ Source: TODAY

Kristina Schulman, a contestant from season 21 of “The Bachelor” and season 4 of “Bachelor in Paradise,” opened up about the flare-ups she’s been struggling with due to her perioral dermatitis.

Schulman, 28, shared a video on Instagram documenting her skin through selfies and short video clips over the last year, showcasing the good and the bad of her “raw, emotional, and unfiltered” skin journey.

Kristina Schulman.
Kristina Schulman.kristinaschulman / Instagram

“This morning I woke up feeling down, overwhelmed, sad, and defeated,” she began the caption. “For the past few days I stayed quiet and off social media in hopes that I’ll reach mental state where I can share my skins journey + progress — that progress hasn’t come... just yet.”

She continued, adding, “After years of quietly dealing with perioral dermatitis (PD) I wanted to open up and share my journey. In late December of 2020 many of you have responded to my IG stories with your own personal struggles and what has helped you to either cope or treat the condition.”

Schulman said that she listened to the personal stories of her followers, did her own research, and took the advice that applied best to her when it came to dealing with her PD. She said that she tried a dairy and gluten-free diet, but her PD kept coming back.

She shared some of the other suggestions she took into account for her routine, adding, “⁣Nonetheless, I kept up with my dietary changes, introduced an anti-inflammatory diet, I eliminated SLS products, I wash my sheets with Hypoallergenic detergent, I wash my makeup brushes & eliminated makeup products that I sensed may have caused my flare ups, I reserved to using only a gentle cleanser, light moisturizer, and occasional Aquaphor mask... but here we are, still struggling with random flare ups that hurt, itch, burn, feel very dry and tight⁣.”

Schulman went to see a dermatologist in May 2019, who suspected that she had PD, and treatment planned a solution to her condition.

“Treatment worked for a couple months but not long term, doubt and defeat began to set in,” she said. “I have an appointment scheduled to see my dermatologist, this time I hope to be better prepared and offer some knowledge in return⁣.”

She concluded her statement on an optimistic note about her condition, writing, “While I know I am not alone in this or with this condition (which is very tricky to treat since triggers are different for each individual) I hope we can create a community where we can openly share our journey and success stories — in this post I share my journey, by no means is this medical advice.”

What is perioral dermatitis?

According to the American Osteopathic College of Dermatology, perioral dermatitis is a facial rash that most commonly occurs around the mouth, but can spread up around the nose and occasionally the eyes. The rash will appear red and may have a scaly or bumpy texture with the potential for mild itching or burning. The Cleveland Clinic reports that while it is most common for women between 24 and 45 who use topical steroids and face creams, men and children can develop PD as well.

Schulman is not alone in her struggle with PD. At the end of 2019, a local news anchor in Miami opened up on camera about her painful struggle with the condition.

Frances Wang shared a series of photos on Instagram in October 2019 of the progression of the rash that periodically got worse over the course of four months. After believing she was only suffering from eczema, she was eventually diagnosed with PD, which complicated her on-camera job.

By December 2019, Wang’s condition seemed to be improving, sharing an update on Instagram after her first post captured social media attention. Wang was still left with some redness but said that most of it is flat and is easy to cover with makeup. The inflammation decreased and her skin was on the mend overall.

“The one thing I truly feel was instrumental in my healing is the relief I felt in sharing with you all,” Wang concluded her update. “My stress levels & anxiety went way down since I 1st posted those pictures in September. Anyways, just wanted to give y’all an update. THANK YOU for following my journey to clear skin again.”