Natural Remedies for Perioral Dermatitis

Jul 19, 2017

Perioral dermatitis is a rash on the face that can be frustrating to treat. Because perioral dermatitis can have a variety of causes, finding a natural treatment can involve a good bit of trial and error. The good news is that there are many home remedies that are indeed effective for this stubborn condition, irrespective of the cause.

What is Perioral Dermatitis?

Perioral dermatitis is a rash on the skin around the mouth, nose or eyes. This inflammation is often red and irritated. It can be scaly, flaky, bumpy, or weepy. It is nearly always embarrassing.

Perioral dermatitis has a variety of causes, which contributes to the challenge of treating it. It can be cause by an allergy, bacteria, fungus or virus. It can come and go. Sometimes it seems to be responding to a treatment only to become worse than before!

Not only are natural remedies for perioral dermatitis generally safe and inexpensive, they are often more effective than antibiotics and steroid creams.

Natural Treatments for Perioral Dermatitis

Apple Cider Vinegar

Apple cider vinegar is effective for a variety of skin rashes, including perioral dermatitis. It is diluted for topical use on the skin. Apple cider vinegar is often a "go to" natural remedy for perioral dermatitis because it can work against bacteria, fungi, and viruses.

Colloidal Silver

Colloidal silver also works well for viruses, bacteria and fungi. This remedy is quite gentle to the skin. Colloidal silver can be mixed into aloe gel for topical use, or just sprayed onto the affected skin. Colloidal silver gel can also be found online and in health food stores.

Yogurt

Plain yogurt, with no sugar or artificial sweetener, can be used topically to calm perioral dermatitis. This cooling remedy can also bring healing. Yogurt can be taken internally as well. Yogurt is especially effective if perioral dermatitis has a fungal cause.

Hydrogen Peroxide

Hydrogen peroxide can be used for perioral dermatitis. It may be drying to the skin and not the best remedy for perioral dermatitis that is dry in nature. You can use the 3% hydrogen peroxide from the grocery store and apply it twice a day with a cotton ball. If your skin is very sensitive, you may wish to dilute the peroxide even further before topical use.

Honey

Quality honey has strong healing properties, yet honey is a gentle remedy. It is best to find a local raw honey. Manuka honey, while expensive, is another good option. Honey can be applied topically to the rash.

Clay

A variety of clays can be used for dermatitis. French green clay and Bentonite clay both work well as a face mask. You can mix clay powder with water to make a paste and apply it to the skin. Rinse off after 5-10 minutes. Clay tends to be drying to the skin, so if you skin is already prone to dryness, try a different remedy first, or plan to follow up with a healing oil like castor oil or Shea butter.

Herbs for Perioral Dermatitis

Calendula

The calendula plant has a beautiful orange-yellow flower that is gentle but healing. The flowers are often used to make an oil, salve or tincture that can be used topically. Calendula is a useful herb for a variety of skin problems, especially those of a fungal nature. If your perioral dermatitis is weepy or wet, the tincture form, which contains alcohol may help in drying it out. If your perioral dermatitis is dry and flaky, a salve will be more a more soothing option.

Turmeric

Turmeric root is a powerful anti-inflammatory that works very well for skin problems. It may be especially helpful for perioral dermatitis that has a bacterial cause. If your perioral dermatitis has responded to anti-biotics, turmeric may be of particular help. It is even effective for staph infections. Turmeric can be mixed with water into a paste and used topically, or it can be taken internally. Be careful when using turmeric on your face. It causes a yellow stain on skin that can last for hours. It is best used topically at night so the yellow has time to wear off.

Green Tea

If you make a mug of green tea, you can use a cotton ball to apply some to your perioral dermatitis and drink the rest. This tea has many anti-oxidants and healing properties. Because green tea contains caffeine, it is best to only use this remedy early in the day.

Oils for Perioral Dermatitis

There are a number of healing oils that are effective for perioral dermatitis. These will be especially helpful if your dermatitis is dry. Test any new oil on a small area first. While these oils are usually helpful for perioral dermatitis, there will always be people who find an individual oil seems to aggravate their dermatitis.

  • Castor Oil
  • Coconut Oil
  • Shea Butter
  •  Lanolin
  • Emu Oil
  • Olive Oil

Essential oils for Perioral Dermatitis

Tea tree essential oil and lavender essential oil are both helpful to dermatitis. While these oils are sometimes used undiluted on the skin, they are very potent and really should be diluted for topical use. You can dilute them into any of the oils listed above. Do not dilute them in a hydrogenated oil.

Less is More with Perioral Dermatitis

In a desire to get rid of this miserable rash once and for all, it can be tempting to add remedy after remedy, and product after product to your treatment plan for perioral dermatitis. However sometimes the "cure" is the problem. More than one dermatitis sufferer has learned that the best treatment is to leave it alone! Try giving up all products on your face for a few days and see what happens.  Wash gently with water only. You may be surprised at the results.

Perioral Dermatitis Triggers

Along the theme of "less is more," you may need to evaluate your collection of health and beauty products. Sodium Laureth Sulfate, fluoride, make up, and lotions are often the root problem of perioral dermatitis. See this page for an extensive list of, "things to avoid," if you have perioral dermatitis.

Antibiotics and Steroids for Perioral Dermatitis

Traditional medical treatment for perioral dermatitis is usually an oral antibiotic or steroid cream. These medicines often work for a time, but after discontinuing them the rash returns, sometimes with a vengeance! If an anti-biotic worked for your perioral dermatitis, your dermatitis likely has a bacterial cause. Consider using an antibacterial herb or remedy like colloidal silver, honey, or turmeric. If steroids worked, at least for a time, you may be dealing with some sort of allergy. Finding your own "trigger" for perioral dermatitis is the key to healing.

Fungal Infections and Perioral Dermatitis

Sometimes an over the counter anti fungal medication works for perioral dermatitis. If this has worked for you, then it is likely that your perioral dermatitis has a fungal cause. If you have reoccurring skin issues, you may wish to consider an anti-candida protocol to address the root problem of your skin issues.

What have you tried for your perioral dermatitis? We would love to hear from you!



Apple Cider Vinegar, Colloidal Silver  

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Posted by Law (Minneapolis, Mn) on 07/21/2016
5 out of 5 stars

Thank goodness for sites like this—saved me from weeks or maybe months of rash agony given the stories I read from others. I had PD for 10 months, but not until last week did I know what it was or that the steroid cream I was prescribed and told over and over to keep using by three different primary care doctors, did I find that natural methods of healing were the answer. I threw away the antibiotic I was prescribed, because I am convinced that it was started this all for me months earlier. I was a series of recurring UTIs, and I had been on several antibiotics because I was being prescribed the wrong type for 3 of 4 infections. I am sure that is what damaged by system and manifested the rash.

Here is what I did:

1. Apple Cider Vinegar with the mother (ACV) wiped on the area 2-3x/day—blotting only and treating the rash as though it could spread (not wiping and spreading)
2. Colloidal Silver gel on rash 2x a day
3. Homeopathic Calendula cream very, very lightly at night; I did not start this until a few days of using the two above (not until it was less weepy)

I ingested ACV 1 Tablespoon each night; and gargled with it also
I began a very high probiotic, 42 billion

I also stopped products with SLS, switched to fluoride free toothpaste, and began newton candida homeopathic drops.

Those are the things I did, and in one week's time it is 95% gone. Not noticeable to anyone but me—and a week ago it was extremely painful and very, very unsightly. I was so worried, but am very grateful for the many people sharing what worked and what did not work. I tried Desitin one time; it seemed to soothe but I thought it was very difficult to remove on my fragile, raw rash and left a film that I thought would be more harmful than good. I once did honey on the rash, I don't think it did anything really, but it did feel good.

I wish so much that conventional medicine would incorporate natural methods. I have no doubt that I would have been facing months of prolonged agony without finding these cures. I went cold turkey from the steroid (it was Clobetisol Propeonate that I was prescribed). Shame on my doctors for repeatedly telling me to keep using what was only making it worse over time.

Replied by Mt
Minnesota
10/25/2016

Thank you for this info. Currently fighting off PD for the second time. I am really liking this web site. Making my list now!

Replied by Mh
Ar
11/28/2016

The Apple cider Vinegar brings a lot of relief. I have started taking a shot or two of it each day as well. Figured it couldn't hurt. Colloidal Silver gel, which one of these gel brands did you use? There are so many! I went back again to the Derm doc and have a third cream. They do nothing good for me at all. I have been searching for natural remedies. I went for two days with nothing on my face but I had a big meeting and I had to look decent so I applied some steroid cream and it wiped it out.......but I know its only gonna come back worse. I am doing the honey mask and apple cider vinegar 2-3 times a day, but just started that. Was wondering about the cream you were talking about, thought I might add that if I knew which brand to get.

Replied by Laura
Pennsylvania
12/03/2016

Hi! I've had PD for about three months, except mine is around my eyes. I thought it was triggered by the fact that I just restarted my menstrual cycle after 1.5 years (pregnancy, breastfeeding). My doctor has prescribed 2 months of doxicycline and flagyl fungal cream. I'm beyond upset, because you CAN NOT conceive while on doxi or your fetus will have detrimental effects.

Because of this being so close to my eye, I'm very cautious of what I should use. I've tried melaleuca on my nasal bridge as well as lemongrass essential oils, I tried discontinuing all makeup, lotions and face wash. Does anyone have suggestions for the area around the eye as well as eyelid? I would be forever grateful! Thank you!

Replied by Mmsg
Somewhere, Europe
12/04/2016

Laura, have you tried Coconut oil, and/or Castor oil? Both are to be used very sparingly.

Replied by Lynsey
North Vancouver
05/08/2017

Hi, I too started to get the rash after my period returned after my 2nd baby! I wonder if a hormone panel would give some answers?

Replied by Chrissy D
St Pete Fl
07/10/2017

Hi. I am not in the usual 'group'. I'm 60 & developed PD around my nostril area about a month ago. My doc prescribed antibiotics & 2% cortisone cream…after getting home I decided to get online & do my research. Here is what I've done/changed. I discarded the meds! I got apple cider vinegar 'with mother', tea tree oil toothpaste & Neutrogena facial wipes. I cleaned all my makeup brushes in alcohol. I brush my teeth using Zephyrhills spring water (no fluoride),

I clean my face with the wipes, when it's completely dry I apply the vinegar neat with a q-tip (very precise application). I allow this to dry. I then apply whatever moisturizer I'm currently using…but not on the affected area. I never put makeup on the affected area while I had the breakout. I also added B12, B3 & D3 daily. During a recent visit to the dentist…told him no fluoride, no latex gloves. My face is completely clear of PD. I have read that PD can return…so I apply the vinegar (50/50 water) to my nostril area every night…with the intention of lessening this to 2-3 times p/week…it stinks…but I'm determined to keep it away.

I would say one of the key things is to keep your hands very clean at all times…with this condition it's impossible to keep yourself from touching the affected areas…they itch!!


Avoid Fluoride  

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Posted by Meece (Springfield, Mo) on 01/26/2017
5 out of 5 stars

TRY THIS!!!! I have been suffering with PD on and off for 5+ years. Nothing has "cured" it. I have been on every drug, tried every ointment, every natural remedy and nothing has actually worked. A couple weeks ago I was at my wits end with my PD and kept noticing that it would be at it's worse right after I would get out of the shower. Most websites say to avoid FLUORIDE if you have PD and switch to a fluoride free toothpaste, but guess what has FLUORIDE in it! OUR WATER!!!

I bought a water pitcher that filters fluoride and have only been drinking that, and getting a cup of it and washing my face with it in the shower, and trying not to get my shower water on it and Oh my gosh I am telling you 50% better than I've been in years! Regular shower filters do not filter out fluoride and shower filters that do are massive and have to sit outside of the shower unless you can filter your whole water system, I live in an apartment so unfortunately I can't do that. TRY DRINKING NOTHING BUT FLUORIDE FREE WATER, MAKE YOUR COFFEE/TEA WITH FLUORIDE FREE WATER. Just try it! It takes a couple weeks to see results but try it!!!! I know in another month or so my PD will be gone, I'll let you guys know!!!!

Replied by Pdsux
Boise, Idaho
01/29/2017
0 out of 5 stars

Hello All PD sufferers,

Is this not the most frustrating thing? So I started out with the prescribed clindamycin and steroid...only got worse and spread. I began taking ACV internally and I have been diligently applying ACV directly every hour I am at home. It is kind of hard to get used to but guess what, it is working! I read on another blog that you just have to over dry it like crazy and then it scabs and will eventually go away. I am currently in the flaking phase but it appears to be getting better not worse for once! I have also been taking curcumin internally. I think it may be helping too. I am going to try turmeric mask tonight. I will report back! Good luck to all. All I can say is that modern medicine does not understand this rash and whatever you do, DO NOT USE STEROIDS, ANTIBIOTICS, OR OTHER PRESCRIPTIONS IT JUST COMES BACK WORSE!!!


Avoid Guar Gum and Carrageen  

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Posted by Acmce (Charlotte, Nc) on 02/01/2017
5 out of 5 stars

I had an outbreak of perioral dermatitis and I noticed it was after I ate certain dairy products - sour cream, cream cheese and milk shakes, soft serve ice cream. I reviewed all ingredients and noticed that all contained guar gum or carrageenan- a thickening agent. I would have no problem eating certain ice creams and those were brands free of the thickening agent.


Avoiding Mint  

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Posted by Holly (Cleveland, Oh) on 01/11/2017
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I have realized that my perioral dermatitis has been caused by anything with mint flavoring/essential oils etc. I have cut out all mint related products and foods (even my lip balm had peppermint oil in it) and the PD has started clearing. I have suffered with mild PD all my life and recently it got terrible (I may have eaten a few too many peppermint patties). I have also had horrible acne which I am starting to think may have been related to the mint because it was around my mouth, mainly.

I just wanted to write this because I know a lot of people give up toothpastes with flouride and SLS but don't think about the mint. I know others have written about mint, cinnamon, essential oils etc. (most of which bother me, too), but I wanted to point out the mint connection in case it is being overlooked.


Boron  

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Posted by Holly (Cleveland, Oh) on 02/10/2017
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I wanted to share my story because I seem to be having success clearing my PD and rosacea. Like most of the sufferers here I have spent hours upon hours chasing a cure (I have also had acne all my life and I am turning 50 in April). This is what I have learned. I finally broke down and started Ted's Borax remedy because I read how people had had success with it. I also researched Boron supplementation in case I could not tolerate the Borax because that is essentially the element you are getting from the Borax. I am very sensitive to things so, to make a long story short, the Borax was tough for me to tolerate (stomach ache from it), so I have decided to go with the Boron supplements even though they are more expensive (still very reasonable, though).

The Borax was clearly helping my PD so I knew I was on the right track -- now accepting that it was the Demodex mites taking over my face for the past 5 months. I take about 9mg a day of the Boron supplements total (3mg x3/day- trial and error as others may need more or less). I tolerate it well. I also made a solution of Borax and water (just water) to wipe on my face a few times a day. Whenever I added hydrogen peroxide to the borax it was too much for my skin and made it worse. I am totally on my road to recovery after trying every natural remedy available on this website and the web. EVERY ONE - ACV, manuka honey, violet extract, castor oil packs, cocunut oil, pumpkin seed oil, oregano, yogurt, clay, DE, GSE, you name it I tried it. Also gave up every ounce of makeup - natural included. I had noticed that natural lip balms made my lips feel weird. What I have determined about this condition for me is the following:

1) Demodex mites getting out of hand are likely the main problem.2) Boron/Borax are the keys to getting them under control. 3) There is research out there that people with Rosacea and possibly PD have different fatty acids on their skin. I believe this is the key. As I look back, I was using all natural products -- Castor oil, natural lip products, mineral makeup, etc. I believe the coconut/castor/ etc. oils were actually the initial cause of the problem (first I thought it was Titanium Dioxide, mint or mica causing the problem, but I have now narrowed it down to the natural oils). I was getting a better reaction using Dove than any other naturally derived soap which usually included coconut oil, castor oil, or the like. I could also only tolerate petroleum jelly as a lip treatment. I know it is not good for you, but everything else (mainly natural products) caused a reaction. I know everyone is different, but I wanted to pass my experience along.

My face is 90% clear after one week (it takes a long time for the PD to heal but slow and steady with the Borax/Boron and my rosacea is almost non-existant) and I feel my skin is starting to just look wonderful. I could never, ever say that before. I may be the one in a million who is worse using natural products and that is what it is. With regard to makeup, I am watching for castor oil and possibly mineral oil as ingredients that bother me. I don't know as much about mineral oil, but trying to avoid just in case. I just hope this helps someone.


Melaleuca Oil  

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Posted by Tina (Ca) on 07/15/2017
5 out of 5 stars

I have been suffering for 5 years from perial dermatitis. I have tried everything. My aunt gave me some melaleuca oil. I read this could help. I got a 2 oz glass spray bottle and added 8 drops of the oil and then filled the rest with water. All my symptoms disappeared after two days by spraying twice a day as a mist. No applying with a cotton ball. I am happy to say it's been three weeks and I'm still symptom free!! It's worth a try.


Oregano, Honey Mask  

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Posted by Daisy (Chico Ca) on 09/11/2016
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I had POD for five months- tried multiple remedies and nothing really worked. Because of the antibiotic properties, I made oregano tea (fresh, organic oregano) and applied it to affected area 3x per day. When it dried I put on a raw, organic honey mask- let it dry then gently wiped it off. My POD was completely gone in three days. I hope this helps someone!!


Replied by Amy
Wa
02/12/2014

I will try the grapefruit seed. Has anyone tried zinc powder directly on the face? It seems like everything I put on it makes it look really red, dry and irritated. Does this mean it's making it worse? I have been using the aloe/coconut/probiotics since sat feb 8th and it looks like the tiny bumps are sorta diminishing but the rash is in full bloom still. I had her tested for wheat, haven't received the results yet. If anyone has used this combo please give me any advise. I just don't know how long it takes or if I'm only making it worse. The dermatologist are no help! They only make it worse by telling me to use the wrong stuff. Please help me, thank you.

Replied by Mama To Many
Tennessee, Usa
02/13/2014

Dear Amy,

So sorry your little one is dealing with this! It sounds like you have tried a number of things already, and now you are going to be trying GSE, which sounds good.

For any kind of inflammation, we have had success with turmeric. It is so good for many different skin problems. I have used it with my little ones. For a 19 month old, I would try 1/8th of a teaspoon 3 times a day. You can put it in a little bit of apple sauce or yogurt.

If you have a reputable health food store, you could look for a good herbal salve. I would be looking for one with plantain, calendula, and comfrey. If you could find one with at least one of those as the main ingredient, that would be good. If you want to make a salve like this, I will write out a recipe.

I would also give the coconut oil internally, if you haven't already. You can give 1/2 teaspoon three times a day.

Please keep us posted. I hope your little one is better soon!

~Mama to Many~

Replied by Timh
Ky
05/13/2016

Many commercial farmed veggies have pesticides, herbicides, as well as pathogens. One can wash these foods with a natural soap like Bronner's or can oxidize with a food & water Ozone Generator found online retailers like Ebay or Amazon.

Replied by Kelly
Pueblo, Co
11/12/2015

I too painted my nails and toes which I haven't done in awhile and I developed dermatitis on my face. With the weather change and stress and possibly the polish was the reason. I took off all polish just now so hopefully the rash will disappear too.

Violet Extract, L-Lysine  

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Posted by Yorkshire Pudding (Helena, Mt) on 12/13/2016
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I wanted to share with other Perioral Dermatitis suffers what helped me to resolve my skin issues. I found an obscure blog on Cure-zone almost 9 years ago from a couple of sufferers who healed themselves by using violet extract on their lesions, and safely on their lips. I used a well known herb pharm brand. It began to work!

I also used Lysine- I caution readers that Lysine is a secretagogue, an amino acid that can increase human growth hormone...which is good, but still keep your doses down because hormones are powerful. I was told this condition was a type of Rosacea, so I found that by adding anti-yeast remedies like adding a fouth of a teaspoon of borax or so in approximately 1 cup warm water and applied topically cools the skin down wonderfully. I also use an aloe /neem gel to follow...great hydration on my skin, but not for everybody (some relatives reported redness). I also use a very gentle glycerine oatmeal soap, or even just my neem gentle formula shampoo dusted lightly with borax - which is great in your hair!

But I would encourage users to change their diets too - ACV, probiotics, maybe a good yeast cleanse formula. My face has been clear except I still have the Rosacea in my eyes, so I use the much diluted - an eighth of a teaspoon or less, in a cup of water to flush them clear... much relief! Hope this is helpful... Best of luck!


Vitamin D  

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Posted by Skyfinmom (Calgary, Alberta, Canada) on 12/10/2016
5 out of 5 stars

I have been suffering with perioral dermatitis for 5 years. I have tried everything this website suggests and nothing has worked for me. What does work is vitamin d. I noticed that my dermatitis would go away in the summer. I need about 20-30 minutes a day of full sunshine. My rash would fade in about 2 days after sun exposure. If I forget to get my sun for a few days my rash comes back. Now that it is winter in Canada I have to take vitamin d supplements. I haven't found the right dosage yet to keep the rash at bay, but it has to be a very high dose. I am experimenting with dosage and I am at 2000 mg per day right now. My rash is mild and hardly noticeable. I will keep increasing the dosage and report back. I hope this helps someone else!


Witch Hazel, Grapefruit Seed Extract  

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Posted by Emma (Wi) on 12/21/2016
5 out of 5 stars

I had perioral dermatitis for months last year and my best topical remedy is non-astringent witch hazel, I soak cotton pads in the the witch hazel and stick them on the rash until they dry up and fall off. Witch hazel is soothing, but the thing that I am convinced got rid of the PD is GRAPEFRUIT SEED EXTRACT, taken internally. I have bought the same type at whole foods and a co-op- you mix some with a little bit of water (I use about 30 drops instead of what they recommend) and it tastes awful but I swear it went away within a few days of starting GSE. Anyway, I'm on here now because the dermatitis is sneaking back for the first time and I always like to look for new remedies- but I will be buying a new bottle of GSE later today.

Replied by Ladybug
Calgary
01/04/2017

Has anyone tried pure iodine on the affected areas? I put it on for the last two days at night time. It stings but I heard it is antibacteria can kill fungus.

So far my skin is dried up at the lesions sites and flaking with no new white filled pimples. Im interested to see how it progresses either way.....