Posted by Leki (Greenville, Sc, Usa) on 04/05/2010
[YEA] I have had a moderate case of Perioral Dermatitis (PD) primarily around my nose and on my upper lips area for over 8 months. It began in early June of 2009 about half way through my third pregnancy. Not knowing what it was, I thought I just had dry irritated bumpy red skin around my nostrils and I began to keep it in check using lotion. This helped keep the redness down, but the bumps were still there - it also began to need increasing amounts of lotion to have an effect. I made the mistake of putting hydrocortisone on it about three months into the progression of the rash. As others have noted I saw immediate improvement, but it got worse ten fold as soon as I stopped the hydrocortisone.
I went in quest of a diagnosis and of course a cure. I immediately discovered that I had a textbook case of PD and that the hydrocortisone was the WORST thing I could have done. I read some of the posts on PD and began a treatment plan in early February. I quit ALL creams and lotions, cut out ALL Sodium Laurel Sulfates, Stopped using fluoride toothpaste and drinking fluoridated water (most city H2O is fluoridated). I read all about the Apple Cider Vinegar (ACV) and began to try it topically and internally for three weeks. During this time my PD got progressively worse and I became depressed, feeling that I may never rid myself of this terrible skin condition. Around the beginning of March I decided to give up on the ACV and to try something else.
I continued to stay away from all SLS products and Fluoride, and I then tried the Grapefruit Seed Extract (GSE) remedy- which was a bit of a stretch as there are not many posts on GSE in the dermatitis section of this website, but I found extensive discussion on GSE in the Melasma threads. I started the treatment of 20 drops in a small glass of H2O (@ 4 oz.) 5 times daily 1 hour after eating and 1 hour before eating again - Yes, GSE tastes terrible, but I decided that I'd rather deal with a nasty taste for a few minutes a few times a day than to feel like I had to hide my face for the rest of my life. I just chug it down and drink a few glasses of water afterwards to wash my mouth out. I also started a topical application at the same time - 10 drops in 1 TBSP of H2O well shaken and then dabbed on with my fingertip. The 1 TBSP mix usually lasts about 4 -5 days. I would use a Q-tip to apply it to the inside of my nostrils as it seemed I had the same bumps up inside of my nose as well as around the base and on the skin between my nose and lips. I washed my face with only warm water and was very tender with touching the PD affected area. Within 2 days I saw enough improvement to feel comfortable going out in public again - I would say 50% back to normal. Within a week it was at a level that was really only noticeable to me - 80% to 90% gone.
I have kept up with this treatment for the last four weeks and I have seen continued improvement. I would say that within the last week I can finally claim that my PD is 100% GONE! I am so relieved and feel a heavy weight off of my shoulders. Part of the depressing aspect of this condition is the great mystery surrounding it - on all the Dermatology sites there is conflicting info on successful medical treatments and it seems that everyone deals with recurrence. I feel much more comfortable with natural remedies in general and especially as a nursing mother. I am confident that should I experience recurrence the GSE will again be able to put the PD into remission.
I have also abstained from alcohol during the last three weeks as well as spicy foods (Thai curries and mexican salsas etc.) as I felt that I had a bit of a relapse after the first week of treatment when I had a glass of wine and ate a Spicy curry dish. I will begin to add these back into my diet in a few weeks to see what type of effect they have on my PD once it has been cleared for an extended period. I'll write back to let everyone know my findings.
I have begun to taper off of the GSE and am now only doing the 20 drops in 4 oz. H20 four times a day and topical application twice daily. I plan to keep up the treatment over the next two months gradually decreasing to NO daily internal or external use of the GSE and see how that goes. As I have read more and more and fought with this condition over the past few months I have come to believe that for some cases such as mine there very well may be a nano-insect at fault as Ted from Bangkok suggests.
Right now I am pleased to say that my face looks completely NORMAL and the overall condition of my skin is better than it has been in ages. Thank you to Earth Clinic for having such a wonderful site with so much rich information being shared. And to everyone out there with PD - there is HOPE! Try Grapefruit Seed Extract! It has been my miracle cure!