Table of Contents

Natural Remedies for Perioral Dermatitis

Last Modified on Apr 06, 2014

<< Continued from page 4

Avoid Pets Licking Face

Approval Ratings
YEA (1)

[YEA]  08/08/2012: Emily from Raleigh, Nc: "I had a mild to moderate form of perioral dermatitis for about 3 and a half years, tried medicines and creams of all kinds, tried apple cider vinegar, wholistic toothpaste, tried avoiding sodium laurel sulfate, pretty much everything on the internet. I suddenly realized it was gone one day. What was the only correlating factor? I stopped letting my pets lick my face! My cat used to like to get up on my chest at night and lick my face around my mouth which I of course thought was sweet, like he was giving me kisses. I don't let him do that anymore and I haven't noticed a problem! I also switched from using colgate total to using crest whitening advanced. Thought I'd mention that also. But it's like night and day.

So if you let your dog or cat give you face kisses, try stopping that altogether and see if it clears up!"

Borax, Hydrogen Peroxide

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YEA (1)

[YEA]  02/15/2010: Nycole from Wichita, Ks, Usa: "I've been struggling with perioral dermatitis for 4 months, ever since having my hormone-releasing IUD removed (after 5 years). I tried a few things, including apple cider vinegar, which helped a little, but didn't remove the rash. I finally found a calendula cream with calendula, several coconut products, aloe vera, viola tricolor extract (pansy), willow bark, yucca, vitamin e, french lavender oil, clary sage, and amino acids.

I read about people using calendula cream for eczema, so I gave it a shot. It is sooo soothing. I use it several times a day. It helped immediately.

I also decided to use Ted's topical remedy. The rash is now almost completely gone. I am still using both the borax/water/peroxide topically and the calendula cream, afterward. Almost totally gone! Yay!!!"


Approval Ratings

[SIDE EFFECTS]  05/18/2013: Carri from Nashville, Tn, Usa: "Hello~ I love your site and felt an immediate connection to trying Boron for my Perioral Dermatitis yesterday when I read about it. I took 2 3mg capsules yesterday and today and also bought Neem oil, which I LOVE, (felt and saw immediate positive results), and also a probiotic. This afternoon I have been nauseaus and had a terrible headache and am curious if this is the Boron, am I taking too much, or possibly the "die off", I've read about? Also, how long should I take Boron and do you think I'll be nauseus everyday I take it?

Thanks so much!!!! Carri"


Approval Ratings
YEA (2)

[YEA]  05/14/2013: Amber from Eaton, Co: "I've had perioral dermatitis for at least 7 months. I went to dermatologist and tried several different oral antibiotics (which all gave me horrible side effects) and topical anti-fungal and antibiotic creams. I used the oral antibiotics for only a week with each because they broke me out in a rash all over my neck and chest as well as changed my blood pressure and a host of other crazy effects. So I decided these weren't for me-especially after I kept hearing I might have to take them for months to years and it was likely the POD would come back again anyway.

For the past 6 weeks I've tried all kinds of remedies. I've tried ACV and coconut oil-both internally and topically. I've only eaten yogurt, fruits, and vegetables. I've been using fluoride free toothpaste (and more recently only baking soda and water. ) I've made sure to use only sulfate free shampoos and soaps. My POD seemed to be getting better but then was getting much worse and was now painful, super red, and very itchy. I then tried Greek yogurt masks and that too would make it more red, flaky, and itchy. I slept in Greek yogurt but my skin felt more irritated. Finally I tried Calendula cream and now my POD is 99% healed and gone and I've used the cream for about 5 days. I'm so impressed!

I wash my face in the evening with the soap then put on a yogurt mask for 15-30 minutes. I then wash that off with a 50/50 water and ACV mix. Then I sleep in the Calendula cream. I could see a radical difference the first night I used it. The redness was noticeably changed, flakiness was diminished and my scars looked faded. In the morning, I just rinse my face and then after shower splash my face with 50/50 water and ACV. I apply Calendula again before putting on light foundation.

I'm not certain that the ACV and yogurt has done much for me but I'm using them for good measure. However, I AM certain that my face wouldn't be healing like it it without the Calendula cream. I'm so relieved to have found something that not only is curing my POD but also gives my skin a healthy glow! I'm going to continue to use Calendula long after my POD is gone."

[YEA]  02/04/2012: Jasmine from Washington, United States: "I was told by my doctor that my perioral dermatitis was caused by hormonal changes in my body. Despite trying every otc cream and recommended by the doctor absolutely nothing helped.

I then came across a great article on line about the natural ingredient calendula and how amazing it can be for eczema and dermatitis. Well after reading this I got a natural cream I looked the like of from england called mama nature's proskin eczema. I could not believe that within a couple of days there was a marked improvement. It gradually faded to the point where after three weeks it is hardly noticeable. I will continue to use this cream and thank my lucky stars I did not give up on my PD. Be aware though this cream is not cheapest on the market but I would still recommend it just the same."

Calendula Cream

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YEA (2)

[YEA]  04/22/2013: Bj9 from Allentown, Pa Usa: "Hi I have never posted before but must tell you what worked for my 25 year old daughter's perioral dermatitis. She suffered with it for months all over her face using different creams the doctors had given her. Then I purchased calendula cream, the kind used for baby's diaper rash. Within a week it completely disappeared. That was about 5 months ago and it has not recurred. She uses the cream now very lightly on her face now. It was like a miracle."

[YEA]  09/28/2010: Heather from Naples, Fl, Usa: "I have been struggling with perioral dermititis for the past 6 months. It recently got much worse so I went to the doctor and he prescribed tetracycline... Even after a week taking the pills twice a day there was no change. I began trying the organic apple cider vinegar with "the mother" both internally (diluted) and externally. I did the yogurt mask, the probiotics, the eating yogurt, the mixing apple cider vinegar with green tea and applying it, the no flouride toothpaste, and the shampoos with no cetyl stearyl alcohol... Nothing helped.

Then I found this amazing tiny 2oz expensive jar of California Baby Calendula Cream. I applied it all day for 3 days and by the 3rd day the rash, and peeling was gone leaving me smooth skin with only a slight red color. (Im guessing because it was so damaged and so many layers I had peeled off) But I am now on day 5 and I can feel amazing.. I can put on makeup again to cover the slight redness and theres no peeling so the makeup looks normal. I recommend this cream... It's all organic and you can find it on the internet or I found mine at Whole foods an organic grocery store. I was told that the California Baby line sells at Target too but I have not checked there yet. I'm telling you this $13 cream gave me my face back. I'll put it on for the rest of my life if I have to. It's easier than all the other stuff I was trying!"

07/02/2013: Tammie from Miami Lakes, Fl replies: "The Calendula Cream REALLY WORKED!!! It took five days for me and I applied it all day everyday!! And it worked, so happy no drugs, GREAT! Thank you!!!"
02/12/2014: Clare from Newark, Nj replies: "When you say you apply the Calendula cream all day every day, what do you mean? I don't want to make my POD worse. Do you apply it lightly, heavily on the rash? All over your face? Morning and night? Thanks for your help!"

Calendula Cream, Grapefruit Seed Extract

08/04/2011: Grateful from Phoenix, Az Usa: "I have been struggling with perioral dermatitis for a couple of months and grew more and more frustrated and depressed as it continued to get worse, despite the many things I had been trying... 1) topical antibiotics (I refused to take the systemic ones the doctor told me about), 2) topical apple cider vinegar (made the pain and redness terrible) 3) heavy lotion to balance the pain and cracking (didn't allow it to breathe and heal) 4) and other attempts. I pretty much never write into any sites and I was so encourage by my most recent progress that I felt like I had to share. It's amazing how God has given us the ingredients and it is the most natural things that work. California Baby is a company that makes products that are some of the most natural out there. It is there calendula calming cream that I would like to write about because after just one application, I woke up looking and feeling better than after so many other products. This cream makes my skin feel like skin again, and for those of you with dermatitis, you know what I mean by this.

Along with using the cream, I have started a high-dose treatment of internally taking grapefruit seed extract (gse). The daily recommended dose for adults is around 30 drops and I upped this to 100 drops, spaced out in 5 or 6 doses throughout the day. This is like taking antibiotics without killing off the good bacteria that your body needs. I have not experienced any stomache upset or discomfort, so I will continue with the 100 drops for a while and then gradually reduce back to the 30 a day for maintenance. I highly recommend trying one or both of these options. My dermatitis was a result of first using a glycolic product that burned my skin and then using topical steroids to try and clear that up. The result was the dermatitis."

Calendula, Zinc

05/09/2012: Abbie from Canberra, Australia: "Long post, but it might help someone...

After the birth of my second child, I developed some strange spots under my right eye that were not healing. I decided it was some kind of ezema and remembered I had a tube of steroid cream from six years earlier that had been prescribed for a dermatitis patch on my leg. It worked brilliantly but the spots returned a few weeks later. I got into a cycle of dabbing on the steroid to clear them only to have to reapply a week or two later.

After a few months, I had shown the doctor the problem who said it was periorbital dermatitis and gave me a weaker steroid cream (apparently the leg one was too strong for the face). The weaker cream only made it worse, so I switched back to the stronger one. Back to the cycle.

A year later, the spots were now occuring around my mouth, all over my chin and around my nostrils. I had the doc refer me to a specialist, who couldn't see me for six months. So I researched everything I could find on ezema as that's what my sister had and these things run in families right? I had no luck pinning down what I had.

Finally, about two months before my specialist appointment, I came across a forum post mentioning perioral dermatitis. That rang bells as I remembered the doc originally diagnoising me with periorbital dematitis. Bingo! It was so obvious once I knew what to research.

So now I had a diagnosis that I was confident with, I read up on what I could do to help myself before I let the specialist treat me with a couple months of antibiotics (standard medical treatment).

One: Found out that the steroids were the worst possible thing I could do. Stop immediately. Suffer through the withdrawal flare. So painful and embarassing.

Two. Stop using all soaps, shampoos etc with SLS, stop with my regular moisteriser and make-up. Replaced regular soap with lovely scrummy all-natural goats milk soap.

Three: Tried dabbing apple cider vinegar on the rash. Disaster - painful and drying.

Four: Coat my face in baby diaper cream before bed. Messy and no effect.

Five: Bought a tube of calendula cream and a tube of high-strength zinc cream for treating fungal diaper rashes and rubbed a minimal amount of both in morning and night. Success!

By the time I saw the specialist I was about 90% cured. She insisted that the antibiotics were the only true cure but I decided to continue with my regime. I found the missing ingredient was to totally discontinue ALL soap on my face, even the lovely SLS-free goat soap.

I am now cured with the occaisonal spot if I accidently get some kind of soap or hair product on my face (e.g. , automatically using the soap in public toilets to wash my hands and then accidently touching face later on).

It also really helped to totally rub the creams into the face. The zinc cream is white but if you really rub it into the skin, it disappears.

Also, I found that make-up was fine. Some days I just had to cover up the unsightly rash and perversely it seemed to have improved the next day. I figured that I was touching the rash less when I was wearing concealer and that's what might have helped settle it down."

Castor Oil, Neem Oil

08/29/2011: Juliej from Moncton, Nb, Canada: "Hi! I have had perioral dermatitis for about 6 years - I'm 26 years old. This breakout has been the most severe - all around the mouth, cheeks and forehead. I have tried the apple cidar vinegar topically twice a day for a week, but that did not seem to improve it. I am beginning to see a naturopath who has suggested that I put neem oil and castor oil on my face at night. Has anyone out there had any success with this particular treatment?! Please let me know! Thanks!"

Check for Thyroid Issues

Approval Ratings
YEA (1)

[YEA]  03/15/2013: Ewilson715 from Waterville, Ohio, United States: "I never post anything on these types of boards, but I suffered from perioral dermatitis for 6 months and it was miserable. I tried everything- yogurt, probiotics, apple cider vinegar (I don't understand how that works for anyone, it dried my skin out so bad) I tried colloidal silver, calendula cream, tea tree oil. You name it, I tried it. What finally helped me was getting my thyroid checked. It was low!! I started 6 days ago on levothyroxine and it has pretty much entirely cleared up. I'm scared as I type this that its going to come back, but with each day that goes by it seems to get better and better. I just hope this helps someone else, because maybe it is just something as simple as a thyroid problem."

Clay Masks With Oregano Oil

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[BETTER BUT NOT CURED]  01/14/2011: Steph from Vancouver, Canada: "Last spring I was struck with a terrible case of Perioral Dermatitis (PD). It was horrible, I felt terrible about myself and depressed everytime I had to leave the house. As I didn't want to go the prescription route (months of antibiotics didn't appeal to me), I relied on discussion boards to find out about natural remedies. I tried everything. AVC, yogurt, coconut oil, changed my toothpaste and face wash (to non SLS products), calendula, probiotics, fish oils... This list goes on. Eventually I found what worked for me... Clay masks (buy red, green, or grey clay at your health food store) with a couple drops of oil of oregano in it (a great antimicrobial). It burns a bit, I won't lie, but after a couple of days of daily use my red, bumpy, weepy, flaky face began to clear. End of one week and I wasn't mortified to leave the house, by the end of two weeks I was feeling back to my old self. Recently, I had a flare up. Back to using the masks for a couple of days and it is under control again. This remedy may not be for everyone, but it was definitely the thing that worked for me."

Coconut Oil

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Coconut Oil Remedy for Dermatitis

Apply a small amount of coconut oil to any rash several times a day, just like lotion, to stop the irritation and cure most cases of dermatitis within a few days.

[NAY]  06/01/2011: E. from New York, New York, Usa: "Hi Earthclinic, I have been battling perioral dermatitis for three months now. I am at a loss as to what caused it, since I stopped using commercial soaps/face creams/detergents for over a year before the POD outbreak happened, and I've never before had issues with sensitive skin. Some posters on this site claim that coconut oil has alleviated their symptoms, but in my case, I suspect it may be exacerbating or even causing them.

1. About two weeks before the outbreak, I experimented with coconut oil as a facial moisturizer. I can't be sure whether this alone triggered the breakout, but I have used other natural oils -- olive oil, shea butter -- for over a year without any problems.

2. Sodium Lauryl Sulfate is cited as a common irritant for those suffering from POD. I noticed that some "natural" products contain an ingredient called "Sodium Coco Sulfate", a compound which to my understanding may be essentially a diluted form of SLS. (See:"

It seems wise for me to avoid Sodium Coco Sulfate just as I would SLS. However, seeing as these two compounds are chemically similar to one another, could other coconut and coconut-derived substances also be an irritant for those with POD? I've noticed that many other products I thought to be eco-friendly and thus okay to use, such as my conditioner and laundry detergent, have some sort of coconut-derived cream and/or chemical in them. I would like to find out whether I need to avoid these types of coconut-based substances.

Has any significant number of individuals with POD experienced an adverse reaction to coconut oil/coconut-derived substances?

Thank you."

06/02/2011: Rattlewood from Willits, Ca replies: "Hi there, I just wanted to say I had Perioral dermatitis also & tried many herbal solutions. I finally took a round of antibiotics after almost a year of struggle & it cleared up quickly & completly. It was the one time I was very happy with going the Western route."

[YEA]  06/12/2009: Starr from Rochester, NY: "Coconut oil is the cure. Here is what cleared up my perioral Dermatis.

For 7 days after I washed my face at night I wiped the dermatis with apple cider vinegar on a cotton ball. It will burn a little at first, but once it starts to clear up, it will no longer burn. I was also drinking apple cider vinegar during the day. I would mix 2-3 tablespoons of ACV with a water/apple juice mixture. I would drink that through out the day. I would also apply coconut oil directly to the dermatis whenever I was at home. I also ate the coconut oil, which surprisingly tasted pretty darn good. It's not strong or disgusting at all. It has such a light flavor. If you don't like coconut at all you may have a problem with it, but I actually like it. The more I read about the benefite of ACV and coconut oil the more I used it. I apply coconut oil on my body like I do lotion and I love it. You don't need a lot at all because it is very oily. A little goes a long way. But I truely believe that it is the coconut oil that cleared my dermatitis. i still have a little redness in the areas that were very dry before, and occasionally a few dry spots. However I still drink ACV and eat coconut oil daily and it keeps things under control, not too mention the benefits for other things. ACV is suppose to curb your appetite, and it has. Coconut oil has also improved my complexion. I will put it on every night before I go to bed and use it under makeup in the morning. I no longer put ACV directly on my face, but I do still drink it every day. I also want to report that I had no negative reactions to either of these remedies. You have nothing to lose by trying. My dermatis was so embarrassing I took two days off of work and went crazy with the coconut oil, and I absolutely love what I have discovered. I can't wait to go back to my Derm and tell him.

Oh - I use to wash my face with ___. i changed my face wash to ___ brand I got at the natural food store. I use the one with blue green algae and grape seed. I also use non-fluoride toothepaste, and have stopped eating anything with cinnamin in it. i am not sure if those were causes but I thought I would not use them and see. however I did eat french toast the other day that had cinnamin in it and didn't really have a reaction.

So i wish all of you luck with this. i would say there has been 85% improvement, but I still maintain with coconut oil and ACV."

[YEA]  01/20/2006: Cain from VA Beach: "I recently started using coconut oil on my skin. I have really bad acne and i tried almost every acne product you can think of and spent hundreds of dollars on medications and nothing worked. I came across some information on coconut oil and decided to try it. I started using the coconut oil two weeks ago. My skin has improved greatly. The texture of my skin is no longer dry and flaky, plus my pores are much smaller. My face looks so much clearer and I actually have been getting compliments on my skin and how healthy it looks. I want to mention that I have perioral dermatitis which in the past I had to use a steroid to get rid of this condition but as soon as I stopped the steroid the condition would come back much worse. I applied coconut oil on the affected area, and now I have no signs of dermatitis present. Coconut oil has worked for me so far."

05/27/2008: Missouri from St Louis, Missouri replies: "thank you for the comment regarding coconut i was diagnosed with perioral dermatitis...never before have i had a problem with acne or my skin...the intensive treatment was to use tetracycline for 1-2 months and that just didn't appeal to me..thank goodness for the internet and coconut oil floating around in the house with the rest of the organic "stuff"...will give a couple of weeks and see how well this works."
01/06/2012: Alicia from Omaha, Nebraska, United States Of America replies: "I have been recently diagnosed with peri oral dermatitis. I realized too late the affects of a topical steroid cream and am left with an angry red, scaly mess around my mouth and nose. I have recently eliminated SLS products, fluoride and have gone back to a vegetarian diet. This week I have incorporated the ACV from _____ and virgin organic coconut oil. After reading this thread, I am going to try it topically! Wish me luck!"
[NAY]  02/28/2012: Jessie from Vacaville, Ca replies: "I know that coconut oil can be your skin's best friend. But I just wanted to put out there that it makes my skin breakout with very sore pimples. I also have PoD and it doesn't seem to make it any worse, but I had to stop using it because of the painful pimples. I use CO for so many other things and just wanted to let you know that some things work and some do not."



Our readers offer information and opinions on Earth Clinic, not as a substitute for professional medical prevention, diagnosis, or treatment. Please consult with your physician, pharmacist, or health care provider before taking any home remedies or supplements or following any treatment suggested by anyone on this site. Only your health care provider, personal physician, or pharmacist can provide you with advice on what is safe and effective for your unique needs or diagnose your particular medical history.