Natural Remedies for Perioral Dermatitis

Oct 25, 2016

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.


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.


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.


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


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 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

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

Oregano, Honey Mask  

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Posted by Daisy (Chico Ca) on 09/11/2016
5 out of 5 stars

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

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 Donate

Tennessee, Usa

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 Donate


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

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.