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Perioral Dermatitis
Natural Cures

Natural Remedies for Perioral Dermatitis

Last Modified on Feb 05, 2016

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Apple Cider Vinegar  
76 User Reviews | 31 YEA | 5 NAY | 8 BETTER BUT NOT CURED | 2 SIDE EFFECTS

Posted by Prettyninja15 (Crown Point, Indiana) on 02/16/2015

[YEA]  Back in September after moving to Indiana from Arizona, I started developing itchy dry patches in the corner of my eyes and eventually around my mouth! It was so annoying and it got so bad I stopped wearing makeup of any kind because it didn't stay on very long anyway and I thought maybe it was from my mascara or something. The weird thing was that when I'd go home for breaks, it cleared up almost completely in a day or so. I had no idea what it was and couldn't find anything to help at least relieve the itch and dryness. Finally after what seems like forever I found out that I had perioral dermatitis that was made worse because as a kid I had eczema as a kid. I started using apple cider vinegar even though I was a bit skeptical, with about a teaspoon of water to dilute it three times a day and used hydrocortisone cream as a moisturizer since I have very sensitive skin and was done spending all this money on organic creams and treatments. After 4 days my skin was back to normal with no trace anything had been wrong! Apple Cider Vinegar is awesome!

Posted by Tesswlo (Philadelphia, Pennsylvania) on 12/23/2014

[YEA]  I got a strange rash on my face that began as patches around my nostrils and a patch on my chin a few months ago, and was diagnosed by the dermatologist with perioral dermatitis. I was recently diagnosed with asthma and was using a steroidal inhaler to treat it, which can cause POD.

The dermatologist gave me metronidazole and clindamycin phospate lotions, which I used at night and in the morning, respectively. I was RELIGIOUS about applying these lotions, and the rash got the tiniest bit better and then began to get worse.

I was in tears one night and decided to look up other remedies and kept seeing apple cider vinegar as a treatment. After reading the posts on this website I decided to give it a shot. I used the regular ACV in my pantry, one part vinegar to one part water, and dabbed it on with a cotton pad to the affected area. I then waited about 15-20 minutes before washing my face.

It's been two nights of this application and my rash went from angry red, dry, pustules and papules, to a light pink almost smooth area. I was FLOORED. My family can't believe how quickly it worked.

Today I picked up the raw, organic ACV with "the mother" at my local superstore (I was shocked they had it) and some calendula cream from the baby aisle. I did a manuka honey mask today that helped to soothe the dryness.

When you first put this stuff on, it BURNS, and makes the area redder. It'll make the areas with broken skin turn white. Then the area got really dry and began flaking off, and when I put the honey mask on and washed it off, the dead skin came off with it revealing lovely, smooth, pink skin.

I'm 20 years old and this is the first time I've experienced POD, but I'm so glad there's an easy, NATURAL cure. Thanks Earth Clinic!

Posted by Penelope (New York, US) on 12/14/2014

[YEA]  Not sure where to begin, I hope this helps someone out there. mostly because weeks of researching forums have helped me.

To begin, stress and sugar both caused my Perioral Dermatitis. My period was about a week late as always, which is a personal thing I guess, but I noticed that as I have to wait and wait and wait for it, my hormones get more and more and more out of wack til it finally comes. I was on a plane, almost back from europe when I noticed my face itching on one side. When I got home a few hours later, my stress kept mounting. It showed on my face immediately.

Did not know what the deal was.. it started around my mouth and crept up my cheeks to my eyes and my forehead in HOURS. immediately googled it and learned it was PD, but failed to take it seriously. Ran hot water on my chin cuz I couldn't take hot water on my cheeks and eyes. Days later my cheeks and eyes mostly cleared up because I never touched them, but my chin looked like a thousand flaky angry bee stings and it definitely felt like it.

i realized I had to do something basic while I figured stuff out. I put tea tree on it all the time. I used so much vitamin E oil. I made myself smile everytime my face itched so I could concentrate on releasing endorphins. everybody knows smiles heal. once I was less stressed about it I was able to read all the info I could, objectively.

Simple: first of all never ever ever ever touch your face except to dab diluted apple cider vinegar on it. Skin is a reflection of internal problems.. cut out anything that has sugar in it, cut out carbs. ingest zinc and diluted apple cider vinegar. all the recommended topical treatments seemed to just make my rash look really angry. after dabbing with vinegar, DONT use oil, use GLYCERIN. oil preserves things, dont preserve bacteria on your face. and always remember dont touch your face no matter what. I noticed enormous immediate changes day after day. two weeks after having pd, it was showing promise of resolving. two weeks for me sounds alot better than these dragged out 8month-2year horror stories I found everywhere.

regardless what you end up doing, IF YOU TOUCH YOUR FACE it takes longer to go away. I hope you guys find what works for you.


diluted Apple Cider Vinegar in a glass 2x daily. dab face with diluted Apple Cider Vinegar 2x daily. after cleaning with acv, use glycerin on affected spots. drink so much water you cant stand it.

Replied by Penelope
New York, US
Here again with updates. After my face cleared in about two weeks with acv, I was super happy. Then I had some minor, minor stress and these really interesting huge red whiteheads came back. They took much longer than normal whiteheads to disappear. They itched when I tried to pop one. Soooooo I realized this may be the PD making a smooth return. I slacked on the vinegar after I thought I was in the clear, but that gave the super-acne a few days to make its appearance and try to stay with me. I kept taking the zinc and biotin that everyone recommended. I continued the apple cider regimen, ingesting about twice each day after i'd cleaned my face with it. Slowly it worked itself away after a week. Stuff I noticed:

For others who say supplements don't work, you have to eat mostly healthy in order to be able to see that. Otherwise of course it won't work. Clean your systems out, because the skin is a reflection of what is in your stomach. If I showed too much attention to my face it was like watching flowers grow. When I cleaned my face too much it would burn and flare up red and itchy, and it would then go away in an hour. Taking biotin and zinc supplements at night instead of in the morning was noticeably much more effective. Ppl hate the smell of acv. Ppl dont care why you need it. Make jokes and stay resilient. Dooooooont argueeeeeeeee
Dooooooont stressssssssss

Good luck. I'm sticking to simple regimens.

Replied by Susan
South Carolina

Are you still finding the AcV, biotin, zinc and glycerin to work? You mentioned vitamin e at one point, but dropped it off throughout your writing. Are you using glycerin or vitamin e, or both?

I've been dealing with what I think is PD since March. Just when I think it gets better, it comes back more aggressively and in new spots on my face. The worse is my eyes and eyelids. It hurts and almost feels burned. I take probiotics religiously, and have gone to see Two dermatologists, plus NDs. The dermatologiats tried to giveme 8 weeks of antibiotics and a corticosteroid cream. Both which I've read is worse on PD. antibiotics, especially 8 weeks worth, will kill my stomach.

I have are noticed that certain foods cause serious breakouts. Hidden valley ranch powder dressing, cookies, ice cream, are all breakout foods. I haven't figured out why the hidden valley ranch though. Any thoughts on on the food and what to eat would be helpful. ive lost weight trying to deal with the PD but I seems that I cant eat anything. No wonder I'm losing weight!!

I hope you have been successful at getting rid of it. It's depressing me that I can't.

Replied by Ellie
New York

STOP eating all those processed foods! It's very hard to change your diet, so do it gradually, but it's very important that you don't eat too much sugar. Read the label of the Hidden Valley Ranch dressing! Horrific ingredients, mostly chemicals! Yetch! Your face is telling you to eat a natural, organic diet! Grass-fed, lean meats, whole grains (if you can tolerate them), no dairy, no wheat. Start shopping at Trader Joe's and Whole Foods, or the natural foods aisle of your supermarket!

Posted by Noirgalactic (Indonesia) on 10/14/2014

[YEA]  Hi everyone. This site has helped me in clearing my face from perioral dermatitis (POD) and I thought I'd share my experience so more people can be helped.

The POD starts flaring on February 2013. I went to a dermatologist and she thought that I was allergic to a toothpaste (I DID use a toothpaste that's not my usual brand, though) and she gave me some pills and stuff and bla bla bla but it wasn't working.

The POD was still flaring, and I am so sick of it, so I researched my condition. It was then I self-diagnosed myself that I have a condition called Perioral Dermatitis a.k.a POD. I am so glad that it was the right predicament, and I stumbled upon this helpful website.

From everything that I read, I did the following:

1) cut off fluoride toothpaste

2) stop using anything with SLS in it

It helped, but didn't stop the POD, until I found a God-sent miracle in a bottle: Apple Cider Vinegar (ACV).

I apply undiluted ACV to the affected area on my face with cotton pad. It stings like cray cray, but I resisted. I know that the POD were burned, it left a white/greyish skin like it was burned from the ACV.

The POD are gone. But another problem arised: my skin is depressed. ACV is highly acidic, it preserves my skin natural acid condition if being used as toner (dilute one part of ACV to one part water) but if used undiluted (like I did to my POD) the acids left my skin red, scabby, dry and flaky.

I used plain yoghurt mask as advised, and it did soothe my skin for a while but didn't really heal my skin. So I tried another thing: California Baby's Calendula Cream. I don't live in the U.S., which means the expensive cream is getting even more expensive since I have to pay for the shipping cost as well.

But at this point, I don't care.... It's not as much as the money that I paid for the useless dermatologist anyway.

On April 2013, I clear all of the POD outta my face. And as of now, October 2014, I don't have any recurrence.

So thank you everyone! Thank you Earth Clinic! I hope I help someone somewhere out there who is trying to heal :)

Replied by Casey
[BETTER BUT NOT CURED]   I think I have perioral dermatitis, I used the ACV and it went away... But now its back... I am going to the Dr. in two days but I am afraid he'll just give me antibiotics I am checking my toothpaste for floride but what is SLS?

EC: SLS=Sodium Lauryl Sulphate

Posted by Slvb (New York, US) on 04/04/2014

[YEA]  I was diagnosed with perioral dermatitis about 9 months ago but I have had the condition for quite a bit longer. I don't remember when it first appeared because I have sensitive pale skin which is prone to break-outs so I assumed what I had was irritated skin. I also had a couple of bouts with sinus infections and took antibiotics for those. On me, perioral dermatitis looks like a red irritated ring of skin around my mouth. I moiturized and tried to calm the skin to no avail before finally admitting to myself that I needed to seek professional help.

My dermatologist recognized it right away and prescribed Oracea (antibiotic) and Elydel cream (non-steroid cream). I took Oracea for two months and the redness went away but my skin began to look dry and aged. I stopped taking Oracea and before long the redness was back and I began to break out. I also noticed my blemishes took a very long time to heal and the skin around my mouth was raw and peeling. To cover up when I did go out I relied on BB cream but it caused me to peel even more. Sometimes my faced peeled several times a day. Not wanting to go back to anti-booties

I began o search for answers when stumbled on to this site. I read accounts for hours and decided to try applying organic apple cider vinegar diluted 50% with sterilized water. I was nervous because the thought of applying something acidic to my raw irritated skin seemed so counter-intuitive but the accounts of all the people who found relief gave me the courage to try. It did sting. I applied it with a cotton pad twice a day and rinsed it off after a few minutes each time. I also consumed the apple cider vinegar in a homemade vinaigrette with extra virgin olive oil and honey on my salads.

Each day I was 50% better than the day before. After a couple of days, the vinegar solution no longer stings when applied. I also relied on an oil-less face oil called squalane during the day and an omega-3 repair oil for face at night to create a protective healing barrier. I stopped using BB creams with sunscreen and switched to mineral make-up to cover redness and blemishes. I cleansed my skin with a face wash that gently exfoliated sensitive skin before using the vinegar solution. Two weeks later, My skin is not completely clear yet but it continues to improve. My on-line research got me to thinking that when this condition appears, it is likely a signal from our bodies to address systemic inflammation. My plan includes consuming more raw fruits and vegetables that are alkalizing for the body (just like apple cider vinegar is! ) and also to consume more probiotics. These posts got me to focus on improving my overall health and my skin is healing because of these small healthful changes. I vowed to return and write a post so that I might contribute my experience and try to help others like the posts I read here helped me.

Posted by Emma (Hamilton, New Zealand) on 06/19/2013

[YEA]  So thought I'd share my story seen as reading many posts from others was how I came to "cure" my POD.

So it started about 4 months ago, I thought originally it was windburn as I had gone for a walk on quite a windy day and taken my glasses off so the skin around my eyes (like two days after) looks raw burnt and peeling. I tried just moisterising the area which made it burn and then get worse. Eventually after a few weeks I went to my Doctor who told me I wasnt using the right moisteriser and I should try neutrogina (great advice doc!! ) went to my beatician in the end who gave me a natural skin repair liquid and oil which was great at first but then my skin just started flaring up majorly red, bumpy, itchy, scaly and finally puffy... So at the end of four months of this carry on I was at my wits end, so went to the health shop and picked up some natural dermatitis cream and starting reading up on other peoples experiences. Eventually came across a few sites that mentioned Apple Cider Vinegar (including this one) so thought well I might as well give that a go too. Well you would not believe the effects, for the past week I have used the ACV morning and night, the repair oils around my eyes (I'm not game enough for vinegar round my eyes) and the dermatitis cream during the day to keep my skin from going dry. I also soak my face and neck with a damp cloth and been drinking load of water. In a week my skin has cleaned up so much, its soft, moistened, not red or bumpy. I cannot believe it, I am now cutting back the ACV to a night only and will wait to see how this plays out. But currently very glad that I found this website and heard about ACV. Good luck to all and thanks for sharing your stories :)

Posted by Kb (Chicago, Il, USA) on 01/30/2013

[YEA]  I have struggled with perioral dermititis for years. I've been to several dermatologists and taken antibiotics, applied a million creams, including steroid creams and everything else they prescribed. I've changed my toothpaste to a version that didn't contain flouride. I've tried Calendula Cream on it's own - it helped the dryness a bit but I kept breaking out and my face was still red and swollen and sore.

Apple Cider Vinegar changed everything. I happened on to this website a few weeks ago when I was doing some research on alternative remedies and immediately tried a combination of Apple Cider Vinegar, Calendula Cream and Calendula Soap. Within DAYS the red, scaly, itchy, acne-prone mess around my mouth was drastically improved. I couldn't believe it. It's been a few weeks now and I could not be happier with the results. You may need to tweak the routine I describe below but I swear these remedies work and they work fast!

Apple Cider Vinegar: as mentioned in many other posts, make sure you get the unfiltered, "of the mother" apple cider vinegar.

First day: I made a mixture of 1 part ACV, 1 part water. I dabbed this on the affected area every few minutes for most of the first day over a weekend. It will burn. I was ok with that - felt like it was working. Every time it stopped burning I applied more.

Second day: I didn't apply anymore ACV, but the entire affected area peeled off. It was still red underneath but much smoother and less scaly/dry than previously.

Every day since: I made a toner of 1 part ACV, 2 parts water - a little more diluted than the original mixture I used on Day 1. I apply the toner to the affected area morning and night after washing my face with Calendula Soap - I found a bar of Weleda Calendula Soap at Whole Foods and gave it a shot - it is not specifically facial soap but it's working for me. After using the toner, I apply California Baby Calendula cream only to the affected area and then a light facial moisturizer to the rest of my face. I tried using the California Baby on my whole face but found that I was breaking out in other areas. Using it only on the affected area only seems to be working perfectly.

My face feels completely different - it's no longer tight and dry and swollen feeling in the affected area. I am so happy I found everyone's advice on EarthClinic and am happy to share mine. I don't understand why derms don't know about these simple remedies.

Replied by Jenn
Woodstock, Ga Usa
Thank you for your day to day here. I have had POD for nearly two weeks and am about to go insane. I am, as we speak, dabbing ACV in my POD. I have also replaced all my products to natural. I am trying to be strong and positive... Break down every now and then, but I have a loving husband who has been amazing to my self-esteem!

Posted by Guinness (Bristol, Avon, Uk) on 12/19/2012

[YEA]  Hi all! I wanted to post my experience with this debilitating skin condition called Perioral Dermatitis (it should be called Perennial Dermatitis! ) so that it may help another fellow sufferer out there...

I have had POD on and off for years since I was 19. It tends to occur in Autumn-Winter as the 'dry' version, and I have come to realise that I have had it in the Summer months too, albeit milder and 'greasier' looking, so I just assumed I had the odd acne pimple cropping up. Not so. I am now in my 40s. I firmly believe stress (which I always seem to have) and damp, cold weather play a key role. This makes me think the condition is yeast- or fungal-based. Anyway, as usual, this October I got a few bumps near the lower-right corner of my mouth. I thought nothing of it, that it was just a minor breakout of spots (how do I forget every year?! ). Unfortunately it spread like wildfire this time, faster than I ever recall before, even to the point I spotted one or two tiny pink blisters forming below my eyes, in between and above my eyebrows, and even under my middle jawline! The skin around my eyes felt as tight as a stretched elastic band, which is unusual for a long-term mild acne sufferer with supple skin.

I'll try and keep a long story short: I must have spent around 100-150 in the last few weeks on either exact or similar products to what others have had success with - you name it - Baby Nappy Rash Cream, Calendula Ointment, Zinc Oxide Ointment, Violet Extract from the USA, Oregano Oil, Comfry Ointment (I figured why not?), Healing Calendula Cream, Calendula Cream, Dermatological Colostrum Cream (getting desperate by now), Manuka Honey, top quality probiotics, Biotin tablets, tubs of organic live greek yoghurt for face masks... You get the picture (and can no doubt relate)! All the while the rash was spreading angrily and forming a flaking, crusting, cracking, burning, itching, bright red, papular, eczematous mess in my entire muzzle area. It was like watching an ever-growing army forming; the small hard papules would group together defiantly, ganging up against whatever I applied to them. Whilst the rash was widely dispersed, the stronghold was evident in my chin crease - it started to hurt on opening my mouth to eat... In a matter of a few weeks I had a full on nose-chin beard of weeping, painful papules and sharp flaky shards of skin that I couldn't resist picking at in the evenings. I looked a mess. A few baking soda washes helped smooth the crusts out a bit, but it became so dry it was nigh impossible to cover up when I ventured out. Any of the above creams I tried out to soothe and moisturise the skin just brought out even more riotous bumps, and they were greasy so my cover-up makeup wouldn't 'sit' properly and broke apart in seconds. I could see shop assistants and passers-by looking at my lower face. Looped scarves became my best friend.

With Christmas looming I was getting desperate. I'm not vain, quite the opposite in fact, and just wanted to look and feel 'nice' over the holidays. I read up on ACV and caved in, vowing it to be the last 10 to spend before succumbing to the dreaded 1-2 month-long antibiotics route that would no doubt open up another can of worms health-wise. I managed to track down a local health food store that sold raw cloudy ACV 'with mother'. It had won a taste award, so I was sold. I absent-mindedly picked up some raw organic honey too (I'd read about its soothing benefits for skin wounds) and ventured over to the natural toiletry products section. I desperately needed to moisturise, but with what?! Then I spied a bottle proclaiming to be the best moisturiser for eczema and psoriasis sufferers. You don't even have to rub it in. Just spray and go. Bonus. POD is so similar to eczema that I shrugged and bought it, what was there to lose (except even more money)?

3 days later my muzzle rash was almost gone! It wasn't instant, I'll be honest and say that after the first use of all 3 new products above my skin flared up a bit. But I stuck with it figuring that if this is a yeast or fungal condition, it's just dying off or not accepting defeat and trying to fight back, briefly. Within 24 hours the angry redness was more of a dark pink, and I only got a few more papules trying to crop up on my chin and in my naso-labial folds. I could feel smooth bump-free areas forming in between. This was encouraging to say the least! I held my breath. Over the next 24 hours the papules didn't burst, weep or burn so much after applying the ACV and the itching bouts were starting to ease off. By the third day, without makeup I still had patchy discolouration where the (now dried-up) plaques and bumps had been, but once covered up, I started to look relatively normal with just a few discernible tiny bumps and dryness left. Now, in the second half of my trial week, with a few days to go until Christmas Day, I expect to be fully healed and skin-content. I must stress that the above healing still occurred despite eating a few sugary Christmas treats and drinking a couple of glasses of red wine at night (yes this previously made my rash flare and spread). So... if you want the details, here's what I did (morning and night):

1. Washed my face gently with raw honey, adding a little baking soda to help remove makeup at night and smooth down any crusts. Rinse well with lukewarm (not hot) water. Pat dry with a clean towel.

2. Soak cotton wool pads in 50:50 ACV/warm tapwater solution and apply and press firmly into the rash areas, sweep the pads over all the clear surrounding skin too, just to prevent the rash trying to crop up elsewhere (I discovered its nasty little migration trick after application #1! )

3. Let skin dry naturally and apply Dermaspray Intensive all over your face (use a spray-soaked cotton wool pad for around the eyes), saturating the rash area in particular. You will be in heaven. The peppermint is so cooling and soothing and you will be able to move your face afterwards - it'll be fully moisturised with no greasiness. In the evenings whilst watching TV, I applied it again within an hour or two if the tightness / dryness returned.

4. Cover rash and any redness with colour-tinted Night Treatment - lightly dust on and buff in a circular motion. I used the 'Medium' tinted version as it was a good match for my normal Winter skin tone. I'll use the 'Tan' one next Summer. This 'makeup that isn't makeup' contains zinc oxide and treats the skin whilst hiding imperfections. It is a gentle and natural solution to covering up the rash, and I highly recommend it for the daytime - nighttime is good if you are shy about baring your skin to your partner or family - you can even sleep with it on!

5. Add a tablespoon of ACV to a small cup of warm kettle water/fruit juice and a teaspoon of raw honey mixed in for flavour. Stir together and drink fast! It will go down a treat this way. Take this before your breakfast and evening meal. Remember to take your probiotics daily too, as instructed on the bottle.

6. Never go back to using products laden with nasty chemicals; stick to the above all year round - natural is best and your skin will thank you for it.

...and that's it! I sincerely hope that this experience goes a long way to helping someone else win the POD war! Merry Christmas! :)

Replied by Guinness
Bristol, Avon, Uk
Update: On the fifth day, I felt that the remaining 20% of the POD wasn't shifting and I even had one or two rebellious papules return, (evil stuff). So, undeterred, I popped over to a well-known herbal remedy store here in the UK and got them to make me up a 150ml bottle of pure calendula and myrrh tinctures (100ml:50ml ratio respectively). Having approx 50% of my wonderful intensive dermaspray left, I simply filled the remainder of the bottle with the tincture mix and shook it all up together - I now had a non-greasy base for the tincture which meant the alcohol wouldn't be an issue - it was time to kick this stuff into touch!

The good news is that it's worked an absolute treat! On the same day I also took 5ml of the tincture internally with water 3 x day before meals (as instructed), mixing in 10 drops of bitter Berberis tincture for good measure (I didn't add this to the spray though). All the tinctures are highly antifungal and antinflammatory, and just 12 hours later the last of my POD has died down dramatically so now I have only dark pink-coloured patches and 2 small drying plaques left to heal. I now feel that I want to recommend trying the tinctures and dermaspray over and above any other treatment if your POD is stubborn or recurs - I have tried everything - trust me! Good luck everyone!

Posted by Wendy (Middletown, De) on 10/18/2012

[YEA]  I am so relieved to have found this site! I have suffered from PD for almost 5 years! When I first went to the Dermatologist, I was given an anti- fungal cream and told it would take 4 weeks to see results. Ugh! I have a very public job and needed it gon right away. I found a make up that hid it very well... After 4 weeks it was almost gone but tolerable... I have had flare ups off and on ever since. I was even told by one doctor that I was allergic to limes.... The great new is that I have found this site! and thanks to AVC and hydrogen peroxide topical treatments to the affected area, I am PD free as of today!! All that is left is smooth skin... The first 3 days were rough. After the first Apple Cider Vinegar treatment the area stung. I new it was working. After that dried, I used the hydrogen peroxide on cotton balls and applied them for 5 min on the area and it bubbled up.. I was sure this was the cure. I continued this for 4 days. Sure enough after the dried skin sloughed off the area is clear!! Thanks for all who cared to share your success with this remedy!!! I will continue as needed (if needed) :) So very grateful!

Replied by Carol
I've had all the redness and small fluid filled pustules for several months. Don't know why this started. I used desonide .05 cream but it would get better and come back. Found this site and started with Apple Cider Vinegar right away, redness started disappearing, also started biotin 10,000 mcg, took one last night and more of redness is gone and no new pustules. Also bought some black African mud soap at health food store to wash face with. Will let you know further on down the road, but so far so good.

Posted by Sheena (Melbourne, Vic, Australia) on 07/21/2012

[NAY]  I have had perioral dermatitis for nearly 5 months now. At first it started out as a little red patch under my nose and another red patch on my chin. At first I just thought it was dry skin and used rosehip oil and moisturisers on it but it didnt go away. I then saw the doctor and he said it was dermatitis and gave me a steroid cream that I used for roughly 3 weeks, with no results.

I then stopped using the cream and my skin completley flared up and spread to larger patches on both sides of my nose and chin. When I went back to my usual doctor she prescribed me with a weeks worth of cilex (oral antibiotic). It did help slightly, my PD wasnt as red but it didnt completley get rid of it. I went back a week later and she gave me another weeks worth. This did not get rid of it either, although it didnt make it worse thankgod. At the same time I was on the cilex I was using apple cider vinegar and calendula cream. The calendula cream must be doing something to stop the dryness and redness but the ACV hasnt helped at all. When I first read about ACV and how well it has worked for other people with PD I was so relieved because I thought it would work on me too, but unfortunately it didnt! I applied it topically and took it with water everyday.

Anyway, when I finished the second week of cilex, I went to another doctor and explained what I had taken, she prescribed me with rozex gel which is commonly used for rosacea. I am not sure why this was given to me given that my PD was not mild. I explained to her that I had read that it wasnt good to take topical gels but she said this had an antibiotic in it. I thought that it was ok, so gave it a go. I have been on the rozex for just over a week and have noticed that the redness is fading but I am now getting heaps of little pimples ALL OVER my face. I think the dermatitis is now spreading under my eyes. I have made an appointment with a Dermatologist and I am hoping that he prescribes me with either tetracycline or doxyclycline because nothing else is working and it is really effecting my self confidence. I cant even go with out wearing makeup in front of my good friends!

I will be sure to update everyone on how my dermi appointment went, fingers crossed I will be rid of PD in no time!

Also, I have stopped using all products that contain SLS and I now use a herbal toothpaste. I am not sure if it is helping but better to be safe then sorry.


Replied by Virginia
Flint, Michagan
[BETTER BUT NOT CURED]   This rash on my mouth started sometime ago. I went to the dermatologist and a PA prescribed some Minocin and some cream called Desonide. Nothing has worked except for the yeast infection I got. Now I am using a solution call Domembro from Bayer. You dissolve it in water and you apply it at least three or four times a day. I am also using some clortrimazole and some plain yogurt. Every time I think its drying up some more will come. I am seriously about to lose my mind.

Posted by Lisa (Vancouver, Bc, Canada) on 07/06/2011

[YEA]  Thank you to all who posted here about the use of ACV in clearing up perioral dermatitis.

Like several others, I was using corticosteroid cream to treat my perioral dermatitis, and it was working fine. But, every time I stopped using it, the rash-stache came back. Horrible!

When I learned that my treatment was probably also the biggest reason I had the problem in the first place, I stopped using the cream, cold turkey. (I have read other places that you should taper down, and that might have been less difficult. ) The rash-stache went berserk; it was red and bumpy and so so soooo itchy.

The first time I tried the ACV I was mesmerized by its effect. It actually kind of fizzed and bubbled on the rash spots. I don't know what this means, but I think it's a chemical reaction between whatever causes the rash-stache (yeast?) and the acid of the vinegar. It burns, it hurts. But it *works*.

I overused the ACV treatment, I think, because I felt so sure it was working. My rach-stache changed from being a red itchy bumpy thing to being a sore, crusty, dry thing. It still looked horrible but it was drying out, not itching, and feeling better.

A few days later the crust began to peel. And wonder of wonders, healthy skin underneath, no rash.

I'm so happy!

I am going to keep an eye on it to see if rash-stache shows signs of returning. If it does, I will use diluted vinegar 50/50 instead of straight out of the bottle. And I will resist the temptation to treat myself ten times in a day! But now that I know ACV works, I'm so relieved that I won't be spending my life with rash-stache.

Thanks to everyone who posted!

Replied by Sara
Charleston, Sc, Usa
Help! I found this site a few days ago and immediately went to Whole Foods for ACV with the mother. I have been applying it with a cotton ball twice a day as well as using a yogurt mask. I am on day 4 of this and my face is still REALLY red. The PD seems to be drying out a little, but it's not going away. It still really hurts and I haven't left the house in 4 days because it is so embarrassing.

Can anyone tell me how long it may be before I see any kind of results? Is there anything that I can do to lessen the redness? I have to go back to the office tomorrow and I'm so mortified I just want to cry. *sigh*

Replied by Hakan
Arnasvall, Sweden
don't use cotton when applying avc to the face. Use your fingers only.

Posted by Claartje (Utrecht, Nl) on 12/21/2010

[BETTER BUT NOT CURED]  First of all - thanks for the great site which has literally saved me after months of hell with perioral dermatitis. My doctor started me on a steroid creme, which as many people here pointed out started off helping but then stopped working and it got worse and worse and spread up to round my nose too. I had had some limited success treating flare ups with tea tree oil, but no sooner would one bit dry out than the flare up would move a little and break out again.

Last week on Monday - 8 days ago - I started the apple cider vinegar treatment. I have to say it stung like hell, my face felt tight the whole time and the flare up given the steroid withdrawal was horrendous. I drank it too. I started rubbing natural yogurt into the inflamed area at night which helped a little. I then started making a mask to apply twice a day last weekend which has really helped and I wanted to share. The ingredients are natural greek yogurt, organic honey and lots of turmeric. I put it on after the apple cider vinegar every evening and morning and leave for 20 mins till it has dried out. It is very sticky and I then rub it off gently with my fingers which I think has helped to remove gently all the dead skin that has got left behind, then rinse with warm water. I read that turmeric not only is very antibacterial, but is also a strong anti inflammatory, and for me it has worked just like that. At night I have rubbed a little st johns wort oil into the red areas which seems to have also helped.

In addition to this I have been taking probiotics, and a antioxidant supplement as well as the usual zinc and vitamin b and the like (although I have taken many of these for some time now). I really believe that there has been a strong bacterial infection deep in the skin and the mixture of the Apple Cider Vinegar and the tea tree oil and the turmeric has helped to kill it off. I cant believe how much better my skin looks. It is still not 100% scar free, but I have not had any new outbreaks and it is all drying up and flaking off revealing new healthuy skin underneath. Thank you thank you thank you to everyone who posted their hints and tips on here. Without you all I would still be stuck in po hell - while I can now see a return to the clear skin I always had before...

Replied by Serena
Tucson, Az
I tried the treatment you suggested, but it was far from being real sticky. How much of each ingredient are you using when making this home remedy? Thanks.
Replied by Jamie
San Jose, California
[BETTER BUT NOT CURED]   4 weeks in and so far ACV has been a major factor in helping my POD to get better; read my summary below. The information on this site has been very helpful in terms of various natural treatments for POD & medical treatment that has not been successfull for many people. Now I know going back to the dermatologist will most likely be futile.

I have been suffering from perioral dermatitis for 4 years now, with unsuccessfull topical cream treatment from the dermatologist. I basically gave up and have been "living" with POD and keeping the inflammation down with otc 1% hydrocortisone cream, which I now know is really bad to use. One day I just became so frustrated & depressed that I resolved to continue the quest to find a sucessfull treatment. I have extremely sensitive skin and over the past few years have switched to all organic, natural personal care products with much improvement to my overall skin condition which tends to be very dry.

In additon my 10 yr. Old black labrador developed a horrible dermatitis all over his body... Inflammed, itchy, dry and flaky skin. I tried every medical treatment the Vet recommened from strong steroids to medicated shampoos, but nothing worked. My poor dog was miserable! It wasn't until (through my own research) swiched him to a grain free, organic, raw based diet w/high doses of fish oil supplements that his skin dramatically improved within a matter of weeks. Sorry to digress, but my point is that we are to a huge degree what we eat. That made me think there must be a natural treatment, or multitude of treatments that will work for my POD.

Based on other comments here I started with the ACV (organic, w/"the mother") 2x per day, applied undiluted to a cotton ball then directly onto my face on the POD areas, leaving it on 3-5 min. Then rinsing off with luke warm water (no soap afterwards). I also stopped using oral care products containing flouride and completely stopped using the hydrocort. The first day I applied the ACV to only 1/2 my face to experiment the effectiveness compared to the untreated 1/2. I used a yoghurt mask (plain, organic) on the non ACV side. The ACV burned and made my eyes water, but within 1 hour after rinsing off my skin was smoother and I did use a very small amount of jojoba oil to help with the dryness. The yoghurt mask did not work, it made my skin itchy and break out. So the next day I did the ACV treatment to my entire face. The first few days I noticed a slight improvement to the texture of my skin, which I attributed to the exfoliating effect of the ACV, but I still had overall redness and bumps. I was also taking into acount my skin was in withdrawl from the hydrocortisone. The end of the 1st week was the worst, it seemed my skin became worse and I was so tempted to apply hydrocort. , but I was determined to stick with it at least another week. by the middle of the 2nd week I stopped using the jojoba oil after the ACV as a mosturizer and tried a small amount of my organic body lotion (Alba Botianica - original, uncented). It contains no synthetic humiticants. A few hours later my face felt smooth and the redness slowly disappeared. Now into my 3rd week with the ACV 2x per day, rinse with only water (I use a gentle cream cleanser to wash off my eye make up only) then the Alba Botanica lotion to keep my face moisturized, my skin is starting to look better and 90% better than the first week. I also eliminated flouride containing products, and any make up on face (only eye make up). No lipstik either, I have POD on my lips so I use the ACV on my lips as well then use jojoba oil to moisturize them. I have also been eating at least 18 oz per day which contain various probiotics. I have also been taking fish oil supplements for anti-inflammitory/anitoxidant properties.

Now into my 4th week and the POD is 90% better, but not completely gone. I plan to stick with the regime and add oral probiotic capsules to my diet. I have also tried to cut down on my intake of refined sugars. ACV has helped a lot, but I also think the key to sucessfull POD treatment is a holistic approach (diet & topical treatment), there is not 1 single factor that will cure it. There are just as many things that can make it better, than can make it worse. So far I hope I'm on the right track to keep it getting better.

I dread summer, because most sunscreens make my skin break out, but I will have no choice but to start using some to protect my skin. Right now I'm just trying to let it breath and heal. Hope this helps someone else.

Replied by Mmsg
Somewhere, Europe
I've read that coconut oil is a mild and effective sunscreen. read up on it.
Replied by Debbie
Melbourne, Australia
Aloe vera is also a good sunscreen.
Replied by Connie
Greensboro, Nc, Usa
[YEA]   Hi All, I am so happy that I found this site, just as I was about to give up and resort to long-term antibiotic treatment. I'm into my second round of prednisone, prescribed by my dermatologist, who admitted he had no idea what the flame red, swollen, itchy rash encircling my mouth and creeping up into my eyebrows and on my eyelids could possibly be. This is even more frustrating since it's difficult to treat a condition that is so hard to identify. Thank goodness for the internet, and to all the brave souls suffering with this ailment that took the time to share their experiences.

My PD started after weeks and weeks of raging allergies, which caused me to blow my nose from morning till night. The skin directly under my nose was bright red and never would clear up. I thought I was doing myself a favor by using the tissues with aloe or the anti-viral ones. Boy was I wrong.

During this time I also developed cellulitis and was prescribed strong antibiotics to treat the infection. I take probiotics regularly, but I must not have been taking enough to counteract the strong antibiotic therapy. My first visit to the dermatologist I was prescribed a mild corticosteroid and told to apply it 3x a day. I smeared it all over the affected area, and it seemed to work for a few days. About a week into the treatment, after applying to the area under my nose, everywhere I put the ointment starting to burn, swell, turn red, and itch like crazy. I never thought for a minute it could be the steroid ointment causing all this mischief.

Back to the Drs. office to find out what was wrong. They didn't have a clue; gave me more samples, and a round of prednisone to calm things down. Of course, the prednisone cleared up everything, and I kept applying the new steroid samples to that area. Then just like before, it all came back with a vengeance. Back to Drs. Office for 3rd time. They are more puzzled than ever; prescribe another round of prednisone, and still more samples to try! I was also instructed to stop using the treated tissues, stop all makeup, moisturizers, etc. This was becoming a nightmare of endless agony to the point where I was too embarrassed to leave the house---except to go to the doctor.

I knew there had to be an answer out there somewhere, it just takes persistence and people willing to share. Like the suggestions from others I went to the health food store and got the avc "with the mother", organic greek plain yogurt, a bottle of high count probiotics. Started the treatment last night and can't get over the remarkable difference already. I am taking the Apple Cider Vinegar by mouth and applying a 50/50 dilution with water to a cotton wipe and applying it over the affected areas on my mouth, chin, and eyebrows. I also did the yogurt mask and it really was so calming. The visible peeling flakes of skin have almost completely disappeared, the redness is almost not visible.

The Keflex for the cellulitis really threw everything into turmoil and the topical steroids, along with the prednisone just added to the mess. I feel certain it's a yeast overgrowth underlying these skin issues. Unfortunately, the treatment that the dermatologist recommends makes matters worse with no end in sight. Thank you, thank you, thank you all. I hope everyone has the quick response I've had. It's truly a miracle.

Posted by Nissa (Corvallis, Or) on 08/28/2010

I have had this my whole life and didn't know what it was. I finally went to dermatologist, who told me is was the P-O Dermatitis, and I needed long term antibiotics. I thought it was great to have diagnosis! But since then, I have done maybe 6 courses of tetracylcine over the past 3 years. I just finished one this spring and my skin is WORSE THAN EVER. Watch out for the antibiotics!!! Also all the prescription creams such as Pramsone DON'T WORK. It has spread now all over my cheeks up to my eyes, and down my chin and chest. My skin seems to be addicted to the cortisone, and it is not working anymore either. Yesterday I had a huge breakout, scrubbed it with alcohol and slathered with cortisone. It still itched. I am feeling I can't stand it anymore and decided to google a natural remedy (I had amazing results for one for a common "female" infection). I went and washed the cortisone off, applied ACV with a wet cottonball- splash of ACV. It looks better already. I applied again this morn, it burned a ton last night but not so much this morn. I am going to start eating the yogurt/probiotics too. I know from past experience this can only be helpful for so many things. I'll post back with hopefully my long term success! Like my husband says, makes you wonder what these Dr.s really throw at you without really understanding the problem.

Replied by Nissa
Corvallis, Or
OK I said I would post back so I am. It has been 2 weeks since I quit Coritsone and other Dr. Creams. I was using the ACV a few times a day, diltued by 1/2, applied topically. It didn't seem to be doing much, and honestly I couldn't stand the smell anymore on my face, and it didn't seem to be doing anything. My sister in law who is a pediatric nurse suggested I try Cetaphil soap and lotion, said it is amazing on the kids "dermatitis". About a week ago I bought a bar of "anti-bacterial" Cetaphil soap. I started using it 2X a day. My rash seemed to dry up quite a bit, and if I put lotion on, it seemed to want to break out again. I let it get totally dry and flaky. Now 1 week later, I seem to have made a breakthrough! I don't know if it just took this long for my skin to break its addiction to hydrocotisone, but this soap sure seemed to help. Patience, I guess, for your skin to calm down. My face is now soft and 98% cleared up.
Replied by Zsaqwe
Brownsville, Texas
[BETTER BUT NOT CURED]   I was cripple with dermatitis for 20 years. I was desperate. And had to quit gymnasiums because when I sweat the make up was gone and I felt people staring at me, I hate it! One very concern lady told me to look for help if I was being hit by my husband. After many doctors and creams, I found a yahoo group that was using ethyl alcohol, ACV, and aloe vera. I was so bless that I have aloe vera in my backyard, ethyl alcohol is easy to get in the drugstore and ACV was in my kitchen (without the mother). I started the treatment washing my face then clean it again with ethyl alcohol and then the ACV without the mother, the one for salads, the brown one. It was painnnnnnnnnfullll!!!!! But I was desperate. I finish covering my face with the natural aloe vera gel from my backyard. In one week I saw the results, impressive, Finally my face can be free of the sones, cortisones addiction. I have find something that worked! I did stop when I got cured for the same reason that you: The smell. Dermatitis come back and the treatment again. Now I decided not to stop because is working wonderful in my face, I guess the aloe vera gel locks the moisture in. I wake up with a beautiful complexion. I do not wash it in the morning I make up over it. Maybe I should to prevent other from smelling my face. I have suffer so much of this dermatitis that I don't care about the ACV smelling face.

Recently I found this site and people where using ACV for weight loss, I immediately went on my quest to find the "mother". I am having three tablespoons a day mix with orange juice and V8, before eating. I will post results when I am sure it worked for me. I don't dare to doubt ACV it has been a lifesaver for me.

Replied by Nissa
Corvalis, Or
Hello there, I'm back! I just had to come back and say I was wrong about that soap (although I do still like it for my body). In the middle of the week, I had applied cortisone to an itchy bug bite on my leg and my daughters from camping, and I had touched my face. Once the cortisone effect wore off, oh my I had a massive breakout. I went back to ACV, but it still wasn't helping that much. I decided to try Ted's suggestion. I bought a jar of boric acid and had peroxide on hand. I mixed maybe 1 TSP, with 1TBSP peroxide with 8 oz of water. I apply this twice a day. If it is feeling too dry I also apply Aloe Vera straight from the plant, this feels lovely. I started this last Monday and it was absolutely amazing. The best part was the itch going away. I still have a few bumps, but overall this was the most effective thing thus far. It is still returning my skin looks like 90% better. Thanks Ted! I will continue to try the other things to see if I can get rid of it all together.

EC: Warning! Borax is the remedy used in Ted's formulas, not Boric Acid!

Replied by Firecracker
Longview, Wa
omg, I totally want to know just what those docs are thinking when they tell you that you have this or that, or worse.. When they tell you that they don't have a clue as to what it can be but here, take all these meds and creams and good luck with all that! I'm 26 years old and just discovered that I have PD or eczema. It started around my mouth about a year ago and I just thought that I had chapped skin or something. After a week it got worse and even though I was applying every type of chapped skin cream, lotion, and stick, nothing would work. I spend at least 3 months straight looking like a clown because right around my mouth I would break out in this big red ring. It was only and always on the sides of my mouth, never above or below which I always thought was odd. It looked decent in the mornings but would always break out quite soon after waking up. I finally made an appointment with a Derm and he told me that he thought it was PD but wasn't sure because it also looked like 5 other things... I decided to google them all as well as signs and symptoms. I finally settled on PD because it was an undeniable match. The creams would work temporarily but about a week after stopping (because the redness would go away) it would come back with a vengence.

I've given up hope with the creams so back to google I went and found myself on this forum. I was sooo happy to read about Candida being a huge problem and stress causer for this type of skin issue because when I called down to my local vitamin shoppe I was told that they sell products that attack the candida and it clears your skin and also lessens fatigue (something also caused by an abundance of candida). I also read that other things that bring on a flair are alcohol, bread, sugar, processed foods, grapes, tomatoes, etc.. Basically anything spicy, acidy, or anything else above that feeds candida. I'm also going to look into this ACV (apple cider vinegar). I rarely ever ate yogurts before but I've been eating them for the last 4 days, maybe twice a day, and I've noticed a dramatic difference in the redness and swelling/irritation/itching. Its not completely clear yet but it is a far cry from inflamed and spreading out of control! I already eat very healthy and am in the best shape of my life but that isn't good enough to fight this PD badass... Time to get inventive because I refuse to hide in my own house due to something I could be preventing by just taking on an even more natural and healthy lifestyle via switching up my diet. It sucks that I have to give up everything I love to eat and drink but it sucks even more looking like I have some kind of contagious disease (yeah, most people see just that).

Posted by Clare (London, Uk) on 01/12/2010

[YEA]  I have had what seems to be perioral dermatitis for nearly 20 years, have tried all sorts to manage this but for the past week have used acv in water...very quickly cleared up and very very grateful to this site. It gradually started to reappear when I went a day without sipping the acv and am anxious about taking this long term but so pleased that I seem to be heading in right direction :-)

Replied by Jackson
Newcastle, New South Wales
ACV is amazing, one use topicallly and I can already notice the difference, I've been the doctors 3 times for it and I was not responding to the minocyclin and being told the same thing again and again. Thank god for this site. Definately use acv! Definately
Replied by Marie
Coorparoo, Qld, Australia
[YEA]   I just wanted to say thank you to the posters on this site.
Like most of the people on here my doctor put me on steroid tablets and told me to apply steroid creams to my PD (around the eyes, mouth, and nose). I'd had for approx. 3 months. The creams and tablets did nothing. Literally zero improvement.

After reading the comments here, I started using ACV (organic, unfiltered) and noticed an immediate change. I could not believe that I was on actual prescribed tablets and it did nothing but two days of ACV and I could see it working!

For those who want to speed up the process, adding manuka honey helped in a BIG way.

I began flaking while using the ACV so I decided to make a gentle cleanser with manuka honey and olive oil. The manuka honey I had was the New Zealand blend (not graded like most manuka honey, although I'm sure those would work even better).

I made the mixture and then applied it gently to my face at night. The next morning I woke up and nearly fainted. I would say that there was a good 60-70% improvement in how I looked the night before. I am not exaggerating one bit.

That was a week ago and since then I do the honey wash in the morning and night and follow it with ACV each time.

I think in the next couple of days it will be completely gone - you can't really see it now.... well, I can cos I'm looking it for it : P

Not sure if this will help everyone but I felt compelled to put my two cents in cos I was floored by how much adding the manuka honey helped my PD.

Replied by Dawn
Albuquerque, Nm
I had a horrible POD that I had made really bad with all the different remedies I tried. I started getting flare ups July of 2011. These flare ups never healed completely. I finally tried sugar and olive oil paste and within 3 days... the pictures are at this link, the difference is really incredible. Somewhere around 9 days, it was gone. Totally. My skin was smooth. I have a picture of it with no makeup. It took away the pain and itch immediately, and then started healing. One of the things I was so afraid of was scarring and that didn't happen.

I'm still getting baby flareups... A few bumps at a time which go away pretty easily if I put sugar on over night and use as needed during the day when I can. I did spend alot of time in the sun this weekend, not like I used to, but more than I think my skin can tolerate right now. That resulted in a little flare up this afternoon so I'm sitting here with sugar paste on my chin.

Apple cider vinager did not work for me. But I think sugar would be similar to using honey which is why I'm putting the link under ACV because someone else mentioned honey with ACV and I'm a nay for ACV and unfortunately, I did not tolerate honey very well. It made me itch.

Posted by Taylor (St Paul, Mn, Usa) on 12/16/2009

Apple Cider Vinegar & Perioral Dermatitis

What a great site! About 4 weeks ago I started getting a rash around my mouth. Was diagnosed with Perioral Dermatitis. Dr. gave me some Metronidazole cream to put on it and at first seemed really to help. Then it came back. So, she decided I needed something stronger and put me on Doxycycline Hyclate pills. They seem to help dry it up but, still have much redness and some dry bumps. I understand that this is an antibiotic and therefore am taking acidophilus also. You all need to understand that we all have and need good bacteria in our system for it to function properly. When you take an Anti-biotic it kills both the bad and the good bacteria in our bodies. You need to replenish the good or you will eventually have many problems including yeast infection or candida. Yogurt has acidophilus or pro-botic in it.

If Perioral Dermatitis is caused by or encourged by yeast infection than it makes sense that Apple Cider Vinegar works to help it. That is an old and correct remedy to kill Yeast infection. I just put some on the rash with a cottonball that was first wetted with water. After only 20 minutes it seems less red and just a stinging at first. Hopefully this is the answer

Also, WATCH WHAT YOU EAT! Before researching what flares it up - I went to a friend's house had a couple of glasses of wine and some chips and Salsa. Wow - 3 hours later my dermatitis has flared up like wild fire. I understand Caffine or any other spicy food will flare it up also. Anything that dialates the blood vessels.
I will post later and let you know if the Apple Cider Vinegar worked or not.