[YEA] I developed Perioral Dermatitis last year. The cause, I suspect, may have been a new all-natural face lotion, with a significant amount of Hyaluronic Acid in it, that I started using about a month before it showed up. Personally I think all it takes is the PH of your skin being upset and suddenly you've got problems. My case was a relatively mild one. And I assume this has to do with the fact that everything natural you are supposed to do to cure Perioral Dermatitis I was already doing; and had been for some time. I've been eating a grain free, dairy free, sugar free, egg free diet for 18 months now. I've taken Probiotics, Flax oil, Vitamin B, and Zinc for years. I don't use face, beauty or hair products with Silicone, Parabens, SLS or anything I can't pronounce. And I gave up toothpaste last summer, because of the Glycerin, after my last battle with a cavity. (I use baking soda... ) So imagine my surprise when the rash started on the left side of my mouth. And spread to the right side and up around my nose and then finally by each eye. That's pretty much when I figured out what I was dealing with.
Then, unwilling to go to the Dr. for antibiotics unless absolutely everything else failed I began my research and experimentation. Aloe Vera juice, Aloe Vera gel and raw Aloe Vera, fresh from a plant cutting, did nothing at all. Tea tree oil really didn't either. Almond oil, Coconut oil, Rose water, pure Glycerin, Green Tea, Vaseline, antibiotic ointment, pure Vitamin E, Shea butter, Oatmeal mask, Epsom salt, Zinc cream, an all natural version of Vicks, raw Honey and Ghee all disappointed me for one reason or another. Either the rash calmed down and yet still spread or it looked angry, red and raised or it dried everything out and made the burning, itching and tingling unbearable. ACV burned and stunk but of everything I tried it made the most difference progression wise. But though not spreading the rash looked no better. Then I tried Lavender oil. This did more than the ACV and smelled a lot better. But the rash still hung on, sometimes looking nearly gone, sometimes looking like it was around for the long haul.
Near the end of all this trial and error I was getting desperate and depressed. And beside the pain of the rash and the unsightliness of the rash, my skin didn't even feel like skin anymore. I was so tempted to just see a Dermatologist and be done with it. But the reason for my crazy, restrictive diet is Leaky Gut and long term antibiotic use is the last thing my system needs. Then a dear friend passed away and I spent the good part of a week in tears and apparently that is one of the worst things for PD. Or at least for mine. The rash turned not only more red but raw and started spreading with a venegance. All the moisture, I think. I could barely smile and forget contacts or makeup or lavender oil or even washing my face. Everything hurt. I got some organic yogurt and put that on my face. It felt wonderful and calmed things down somewhat but the skin was still tight, scaly and horrible looking. My 5 year old told me she was sorry about my rash like 20 times a day. Which was sweet. But I think it hurt her to look at my face. Then I tried the last possible thing I could think of. (And if it didn't work I'm not sure what in the world I was planning to do...) A homeopathic cream made of only Arnica Montana and Calendula. (Which is used for the treatment of sore muscles, bruises, sprains and plastic surgery. It reduces pain, swelling and inflammation. ) And it was the God-send I had been praying for. It felt so soothing to spread on. I must admit that after all I'd been I was skeptical. Especially when it didn't even really absorb. (Because my skin was so distressed and damaged, I think. ) But come morning the redness was greatly diminished, the puffiness and tightness was gone and the scaliness vastly improved. My skin felt like skin!! And from that point, though it's still early days, things have gotten better. So now that my face has calmed down I am back to washing it. (I use Borax dissolved in warm water... No scrubbing... ) and wiping it down, lightly and gently, with a very diluted Lavender oil/distilled water solution on a cotton pad. Then I use the Arnica Montana and Calendula cream. The PD around my mouth is gone. Just a few flakes. And the stuff around my eyes is much, much lighter in color and smaller. And it is no longer raised. I am very hopeful. And the best part is I did it naturally.
Replied by Maureen
11/18/2014Posted by Lizzy (London, Uk) on 04/11/2012
After years of living with perioral dermatitis, I have finally worked out what has been causing my sensitive skin - bismuth oxychloride in my mineral make-up.
I'm 33 years old and about 5 years ago I started getting red, scaly, itchy spots on my cheeks and chin. I initially went down the medical route (prescribed antibiotic creams etc) which helped briefly, but then just made my skin worse in the long run. About a year ago I discovered that SLS that I used in face wash and aqueous cream (routinely prescribed in the UK for eczema, dry skin) was an irritant, so stopped using and switched to SLS, paraben etc- products. This undoubtedly helped clear my skin. However at the same time I also switched to using mineral make-up in the hope that it would suit my sensitive skin better. Despite not using any other products on my skin (just plain SLS-free cleanser and baby oil to moisturise), my skin has just got worse over the last few months, which naturally coincided with me using more mineral make-up to cover it up. I've tried a tonne of the other remedies suggested on this site, but got no long-term benefit. To cut a long story short, I researched mineral make-up some more and found that bismuth oxychloride is a known irritant (i'm surprised it's not mentioned more on this site). I stopped using the makeup a week ago and my skin is 95% better, I'm amazed - for the first time in years when I run my fingers over my cheeks they are smooth and soft and the blemishes have nearly almost gone.
I've ordered a sample of a pure mineral make-up from a small company in the UK (that doesn't use bismuth, talc etc), but at this rate I won't be needing any cover up! I thought it was worth contributing my story in the hope that bismuth may be responsible for anyone else's sensitive skin. Note it's contained in lots of make-up powders, blushes etc (its what gives makeup its 'glow'). Best wishes everyone and thanks for a great site!Replied by Lisa
East Islip, Ny