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Let me preface this by saying I'm not sure it's an allergy, but it could be.  


I have little red, sometime itchy bumps around my mouth and on my cheeks, predominantly on the left side but it happens to both sides. It isn't acne. And I went to the dermatologist three years ago and he prescribed a non-steroidal cream called Elidel. I had tried over-the-counter topical steroid cream prior but it didn't work. I asked the dermatologist what it was on my face, and he said, "it's like eczema but it's not eczema."  Okay, that cleared things up.


The Elidel worked, but I was worried about the side effects so I never used it again. The bumps stayed away for a year and reappeared the next winter. and really haven't cleared up since.


I think I had this "eczema-like but not eczema" in high school. At the time (1987), the dermatologist at Kaiser prescribed topical erythromycin and I don't remember it working. I had it for a year or so and then it cleared up on its own. I never got it during college or after until after I gave birth. That first winter when my son was turning one, I had the "eczema-like but not eczema" thing back.


It's worse in winter and gets better in summer. I swear sunshine helps it.  I do not want to go back to the dermatologist because they just dole out drugs and creams. I want to fix it without jeapordizing my health!  


Any suggestions? 


As an aside, we do not use dryer sheets, we use Trader Joe's toothpaste, and I do not put anything on my face, even makeup. I've tried non-perfumed moisturizing creams but they do not work. I eat dairy rarely, but do eat it. And I've been excluding salt from my diet, but I get craving once in a while and eat really salty popcorn. I haven't noticed any correlation with food and the severity of the condition, but it's a definitely possibility.