After a month away from the anchor’s desk on CBS Miami, Frances Wang is ready to go back to work — even if her skin didn’t heal as much as she hoped.
Wang, 27, has been dealing with perioral dermatitis for most of 2019, after she was incorrectly prescribed topical steroids. The skin condition spread across her face, and Wang was “emotionally exhausted” trying to hide it before she went on-air.
At the urging of her boss, who convinced Wang that she needed to take a break for her mental health, she went to stay with her family in Northern California for the last month.
“I didn’t want to take time off, but looking back, it was necessary for my health — both the medical aspect and even the mental aspect,” she tells PEOPLE. “Until I took time off, I felt the condition was spreading and worsening. Finally, it seems like it’s going the opposite direction, which is healing.”
Wang spent the month focused on her diet — she eliminated dairy, eggs and gluten — and stuck to a careful skincare routine. She swapped out her toothpaste, shampoo, conditioner and detergent, and started using Osmia black clay soap and skincare products from Amperna, along with a new topical cream from a dermatologist.
Wang is happy that she “mostly saw improvements,” though she was slightly disappointed that there wasn’t a huge change.
“It isn’t the miracle I had prayed for and looked for every morning, but I’m thankful that it’s getting better,” she wrote on Instagram, along with side-by-side photos from before she left for Northern California, and now.
Wang says the best change, though, has been to her mental health. Right before leaving, she decided to open up publicly about her skin condition, and found that it brought her relief.
“I think being public with my journey has really lifted my spirits, and has helped me mentally and emotionally,” she tells PEOPLE. “If I was still trying to hide this from everyone, I think I’d feel really down waking up every morning and not feeling like I [see] improvements.”
Wang will make her return to TV this week, and says she’s “so ready to go back!”
“Sure, I’m a bit nervous if I’m being honest about being back on-air with makeup on and feeling like people can still notice,” she says. “But now that my story is out there, I hope people will have seen or taken the time to read [it], and be more forgiving and kind if they do notice.”
She also hopes that in sharing her story over the last month, people will “feel more comfortable being their best selves and living their best lives, despite any insecurity they may have.”
“I hope that by me posting pictures I never meant to show anyone but my doctor, family and close friends, that other people, from women to men to teens, know they’re not alone.”
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