A local television reporter in Miami is receiving major kudos for opening up about having a painful skin condition that she tried to hide on camera.
Frances Wang, 27, shared a series of photos on Instagram showing the progression of a bumpy, red rash around her mouth and on her forehead that has gotten worse over the past four months. The television anchor said she had occasional eczema growing up but had never experienced anything this extreme.
"I’m honestly terrified of posting these pictures, but I’m also so tired of trying to hide it," Wang wrote on Instagram. "Those of you who know me know that I love feeling free to go anywhere at anytime not dressed up, with no makeup on. Which is why it’s been so hard for me to go from the picture on the left to the picture on the right (what I look like currently)."
After a move from California to Miami, Wang's eczema flared up, which prompted her to visit a dermatologist. She said she was given what seemed like one prescription topical steroid cream after another and has been on six different antibiotics in the past few months.
It turns out, her condition was more than just eczema. Wang was diagnosed with perioral dermatitis. While the cause is unknown, it is believed that topical steroids, such as the kind Wang was given by her doctor, could be a cause.
The condition is characterized by a red, bumpy rash, usually around the mouth, folds of the nose and the forehead. The bumps can also be scaly and itchy, making them especially painful for anyone who has the urge to scratch, something Wang has experienced.
Having a job that requires her to be on camera has made the skin condition extra challenging for Wang as she tried to cover it with makeup. However, she said her coworkers have been supportive and she's also found comfort in a Facebook group filled with people who know what it's like to live with perioral dermatitis.
"Between makeup & filters (and the 'lookaway pose' lol), most of you probably haven't noticed...but now it’s getting harder to hide, especially on TV," she said. "I’ve gotten a few mean comments, but also some really nice ones from people who are just concerned or want to help."
While Wang said she's never felt this self-conscious, not even in middle school, she said she's putting her perioral dermatitis in perspective by remembering "there are people dealing with much worse."
"Some weeks, I do just want to go into hiding, but I like to joke that the only thing greater than my insecurity is my #FOMO! I keep telling myself in my pep talks that this gives my inner beauty/witty charm the opportunity to shine, right." she said.
She ended her post on an optimistic note.
"I try to think that when this goes away, I will be glowing more then ever so just a heads up," she said.