CBS Miami’s Frances Wang Says ‘Less Stress and More Confidence’ Healed 'Painful' Skin Condition Frances Wang Frances Wang Frances Wang

One year after CBS Miami’s Frances Wang made the brave decision to reveal the painful skin condition she had been hiding under layers of makeup, she feels like a changed person. Her skin has healed, sure, but the news anchor has also found a level of confidence she didn’t have, even before she developed perioral dermatitis.

Wang's perioral dermatitis, or skin inflammation, spread across her face after she was incorrectly prescribed topical steroids in May 2019 for her eczema. For months, she covered up the itchy, painful bumps with thick layers of makeup, hiding it from viewers and even her coworkers, but in September, decided it was time to come clean. In an honest message, shared on Instagram and with PEOPLE, Wang bared her face, dermatitis and all.

“I can still remember so clearly how low I felt during that time. I was emotional, scared, confused, in pain, itchy, insecure,” Wang tells PEOPLE now, reflecting on that Instagram post from a year prior. “I also felt a lot guilt for being so upset about my face when so much worse was happening in the world.”

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*takes deep breath*⁣ OK. Here I go. ⁣⁣⁣ ⁣⁣⁣ I’m honestly terrified of posting these pictures, but I’m also so tired of trying to hide it. 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). ⁣⁣⁣ ⁣⁣⁣ The 2nd slide is me usually when I feel great about my skin…the 3rd is NOW & the progression over the last 4 months of a condition I had never heard of before called ‘perioral dermatitis.’ Doctors don’t know the exact cause (although there are some ideas) and the treatments are trial & error, hence why I’ve been on 6 antibiotics in the last few months and have put on so many prescribed topicals on my face that I’ve lost count. ⁣⁣⁣I never had acne but I did have eczema on-and-off growing up. ⁣⁣⁣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. I’ve gotten a few mean comments, but also some really nice ones from people who are just concerned or want to help. Never in my life have I felt more self-conscious (not even in middle school 😩) on top of it hurting like he** sometimes. ⁣⁣⁣ ⁣⁣⁣ I know there are people dealing with much worse. I’ve felt a lot of guilt & shame from crying constantly over skin😔. My friends & work family have been SO supportive when I randomly just break down. I’ve also found comfort in strangers through a Facebook support group – so many say they have hid from the world or even quit their jobs. As someone who never had skin issues before, I wouldn’t have been able to relate. But now, I will be so much more understanding & empathetic and for that, I am grateful. ⁣ ⁣⁣⁣ 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 😩. I try to think that when this goes away, I will be glowing more then ever so just a heads up 🥺😭. ⁣⁣ #PerioralDermatitis

A post shared by FRANCES WANG (#FrannyInMiami) (@franceswangtv) on

Though she was terrified to share the photos, Wang says she “truly” feels it was “instrumental in my healing.”

“Stress is a huge trigger of skin issues…and sharing felt like taking a huge breath after being underwater for so long,” she says. “Once people knew, I felt more comfortable going out and doing things that brought me joy!”

Wang says that “less stress and more confidence, with a mix of skincare” were the keys to recovery, along with patience.

“I realized it just took time, since the condition was caused by a steroid withdrawal,” she says. “I was instructed to put those topical steroids on my face for about 2 months and the noticeable part of my withdrawal process was about 16 to 18 months.”

Wang posted side-by-side photos of her skin — one from September 2019, and the other a current shot — on Instagram Wednesday. She says that looking at the two images “feels a bit surreal.” Frances Wang Frances Wang Frances Wang

“I still have some physical scars and 'maskne' is now a thing, but I'm so happy with where I'm at skin-wise,” she says. “Now I just want to get my skin back to its old texture, rid of the scars as much as possible, and raise awareness so others can avoid this!”

Wang says she’s learned that “positivity can come from vulnerability” and she’s now “empowered and inspired to do more good.” Along with continuing to post updated on Instagram, she’s sharing photos on TikTok and loves the “good energy” on the platform.

“Skin conditions are painful and debilitating — it’s not always just a skin issue, but a health issue. It can also be confusing and emotionally exhausting,” she says. “I always want to do more to make others feel comforted, remind them they’re not alone and to feel better about themselves!”

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