Perioral Dermatitis
Health Benefits

Apple Cider Vinegar Plus for Perioral Dermatitis

| Modified on Feb 08, 2024
Apple Cider Vinegar Plus
Posted by Susan (San Diego, California) on 05/26/2012

Hi, I just wanted to tell you that I got he perioral dermatitis around my eyes, what they called periocular dermatitis as well and I used tre times per day to clean the area with peroxide, when dry after 5 minutes I used Apple Cider Vinegar and 15 minutes later I will put a mix of coconut oil with a couple of drops of oregano oil around the area very carefully cause the oregano oil stings pretty bad during like 5 min. Then it goes away. You have to be consistent, I did it during a month an now I am clear, I also took probiotics and the Apple Cider Vinegar orally like twice per day, in my case I think the candida brings all this problems up so no sugars and carbs is necesary for keep everything at bay. just be constant even if you dont see improvements in the beginning! I also meditate and asked for help to fix the problem to the higher powers and to my body to fix the problem as well, (it couldnt hurt, right?).

Love to all of you, Namaste

Apple Cider Vinegar Plus
Posted by Rosanne (Stouffville, On, Canada) on 01/24/2013

I am female, 45 years old, and I've been struggling with perioral dermatitis for the last few months. Initially I did not know what it was, so I went to the the doctor, and he gave me... Steriod cream! Argh!

I started researching on my own, which led me here, and made me realize what a bad move it had been to start putting steroids on my face. I gradually weaned myself off that cream, but of course, as soon as I did, the rash exploded all down my chin.

I am writing this post, mostly to encourage others to be patient with the course of their treatment, whatever remedies they choose to try. I became discouraged when I read posts where someone tried some product for three days and suddenly they were all better, because after weeks, I was certainly not.

So...the first thing I tried, and what I believe did make the biggest difference was ACV. I would swab Organic Apple Cider Vinegar over the spots twice a day. It was not a miracle cure, and there were times I would despair because I did not seem to be getting any better, but I could see that it was changing. I kept going with it mostly because I couldn't find any GSE (more on that in a minute). But after 6 weeks, lo and behold, no more new spots... Much less flaking... And I could honestly say I was healing. 6 WEEKS... 6 weeks of patiently applying it twice a day. I also started drinking it a couple of times a day- 1 or 2 tbsp mixed in water with a bit of raw honey.

I would also apply some plain yogurt to the area after swabbing with the ACV. I figured that the ACV would kill off the nasties and the yogurt would put back what was good... That's just my theory, though. I left the yogurt on for about 10 or 15 minutes, then gently wiped it off with cold water. That always felt good.

After that, I would moisturize. For moisturizing, I did try coconut oil, but for me, it made things worse. What worked well was Calendula ointment. It's a little greasy-looking at first, but nice and gentle.

This routine helped after about 6 weeks, but I was still looking for something to get rid of it entirely. I had read the reviews about Grapefruit Seed Extract and wanted to try it, but I couldn't find the liquid. I bought some capsules and took them as directed on the package, but they honestly didn't seem to help. And then, I went to a health food store and asked them for GSE. It turns out, due to packaging regulations in Canada, that you won't find a product labelled GSE on the shelf. It is there, though. {the product that I bought is The Original Liquid with Vitamin A and Zinc, contains GSE }

Finally I had the elusive GSE. I started to take it in water, 3 times a day, 7 drops each time. That gave me heartburn, so I have cut back to 5 drops, 3 times a day. I made up a solution of 1 tbsp water, 10 drops of GSE for swabbing my face.

And now... Healing! I am still swiping my face (all of it) with diluted ACV twice a day. But I also dab the affected area with the GSE a couple of times a day, and also if I wake up in the night. I should say that I don't think I would do this if the rash were still really bad... I think that would be too painful and drying.

My best advice:

1. Be patient. :)

2. Be gentle. Don't make the mistake I did of using a commercial exfoliant, no matter how gentle, to try and get rid of the flakes. Trust me when I say that will make it much, much, worse! Yes, your skin will peel. I found that a very gentle scrub with a washcloth while removing the yogurt mask was the best time to get flakes off.

3. Treat the whole area from your nose to your chin and all around your mouth with whatever you are using (except the moisturizer, perhaps). Whatever this stuff is, it will jump around. If you are treating the rest of the area, any spots that do pop up will be small and quickly gone.

One more thought- I only recently started Oil Pulling and I can't help but wonder if that might be a helpful thing to add to the treatment routine of Perioral Dermatitis, especially using Coconut Oil. If it is, in fact some sort of yeast that causes this condition, then OP should help to correct that. Just a thought... I'll throw it out here in case someone more knowledgeable than me might like to consider that further.

Apple Cider Vinegar Plus
Posted by Rosanne (Toronto, Canada) on 03/11/2013

Update to my original post- I am healed!

Healing took four months from the time I first quit the steroids and started with the ACV.

What definitely worked: ACV applied topically, yogurt masks and Calendula ointment. I did apply the ACV full strength at first, but if I had to do it all over again, I would dilute it a bit with water. It is awfully harsh on skin that is sensitive to begin with. But it did get the job done.

What probably helped: ACV taken internally, GSE applied topically and taken internally, probiotics.

What may or may not have helped: Bioten, switching soaps to an all-natural glycerine bar, oil-pulling.

What made it worse: Aloe Vera gel, coconut oil as a moisturizer, commercial exfoliant.

Feedback on using ACV- I noticed that at first it would fizz and sting the affected area and that it would turn white. But as healing begins and continues, that stopped. When you apply ACV toner (that is, ACV diluted with water) to healthy skin it doesn't burn and it doesn't bubble up at all. I wondered if I might be damaging my skin by long term use of ACV, but that wasn't the case.

I also mentioned in my original post that it's a good idea to treat the whole area around the mouth, even if there are no spots. I should also have treated my nose! I was nearly healed around my mouth and chin when the area around my nostrils started to peel and flake. It didn't last long, likely because I was well on the way to healing from within, but still I could probably have avoided that small outbreak. Now I am wondering if the real root cause of my POD was connected with my long-term using of a steroid nasal spray.

I just wanted to again encourage anyone who is suffering with POD to be patient while trying to treat it. Just because a treatment doesn't work miraculously for you in 3 days doesn't mean it might not work for you in the long term. Best of luck to you.

Apple Cider Vinegar Plus
Posted by Rosanne (Toronto, Canada) on 03/24/2016

Hi, Nikki

It's been three years since I wrote about POD and I'm happy to say that once it cleared up for me, it pretty much stayed away. Rarely I will get a little flare-up around my nose, but just swabbing a few times with diluted Apple Cider Vinegar will nip it in the bud. I can always tell if it's POD by the fizzing feeling on my skin. Once that feeling is gone, I quit swabbing.

I did try the capsules and they didn't seem to work for me. But everyone is different and perhaps they will help you. If you can get liquid GSE you can use that to swab your face, so it might be worth looking for. I wish you the best, and I hope it clears up for you.

Apple Cider Vinegar Plus
Posted by Tracey (Calgary, Alberta, Canada) on 09/23/2009

Perioral Dermatitis / ACV / Hydrogen Peroxide

I must begin by expressing a sentiment I have read many times throughout this site yet feel compelled to reiterate just the same. I am simply agog at the time, money and heartache - especially the heartache - I wouldn't have had to spend if just one of my doctors had known of the effective, natural cures I have found here at Earth Clinic. Thank you, Earth Clinic.. from the bottom of my heart.

After almost two months of being mostly trapped indoors with perioral dermatitis, I found this site. For five days I followed this regime:

~ 2 tbsp of pure organic apple cider vinegar in 16oz of water, 2-3x/day
~ Saturation of a cotton pad application of straight apple cider vinegar to the affected area 2-3x/day

Less than a week later, 85% of the hideously shaming rash had cleared. Rather than a solid mass of red bumps (scattered with whiteheads) from nose to chin, the condition appeared as individual spots, more like regular acne. I noticed these spots were stubborn and seemed somewhat resistant to the ACV. Additionally, in areas that had healed, hyper-pigmentation was extensive.

I searched about this last issue and found the page re. hydrogen peroxide and acne. Yesterday (day 6), I did this three times:

~ Dip cotton swab on stick (you know the kind for ears .. won't say brand name) in HP
~ Apply to individual spot and hold in place for at least 5 minutes

I did this on the couch while watching a movie because it was a little time consuming. When my husband came home and saw the difference after two applications he yelled out loud (with joy for me :). The speed at which HP healed the remaining spots was astonishing. I literally could see it happening in the mirror. Toward the end of each of the three sessions, spots I had started with were visibly reduced. So was the hyper pigmentation. I expect another day or two of this will completely clear things up. :D !!!

Today is September 23 and I went out WITHOUT FEELING HUMILIATED for the first time since August 5th. Until a week ago, I hid away indoors as much as I could and watched the summer end while agonizingly waiting for prescribed pills and creams to work. If I hadn't found this site, I expect things today would be much the same. Thanks once again, Earth Clinic! And to anyone who reads these posts and can relate, we're all rooting for you! Give it a try, don't give up hope and have faith in the healing power of Ma Nature!

EC: Thank you for the kind words and detailed feedback, much appreciated. Congratulations on finding a cure!

Apple Cider Vinegar Plus
Posted by Marilee (Moore, Ok) on 03/11/2016

Hi all, I cured POD. I did. And after trying many things here is what it took.

1) Gentle facial cleanser with no sulphates, I use one I got from, my dermatologist.

2) natural Apple Cider vinegar. Mix 1/2 ACV with 1/2 water in small bottle and add 5 drops natural tea tree oil. Use as a toner after cleansing.

3) Natural Calendula Cream. Put all over your face as a moisturizer, it isn't greasy.

Do this morning and night. Mine was gone after 5 months of trying yogurt, selsun blue, fungal cream, non-flouride toothpaste, and lots of others. Don't use the ACV straight, it's just too harsh. THANKS

Apple Cider Vinegar Plus
Posted by Hayley (Edmonton, Alberta Canada) on 04/22/2013

Anyone who has used yogurt, do you find that it stings? I just tried it today for the first time, and after a few minutes it started to sting!

Apple Cider Vinegar Plus
Posted by Marie (Coorparoo, Qld, Australia) on 07/18/2011

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.

Apple Cider Vinegar Plus
Posted by Dely (Canoga Park, Ca) on 03/11/2017

Hi thanks for this but can you please give the amount of the half apple cider vinegar and half water mixture is that half a cup to half a cup or...? Also which brand calendula cream and face wash did you use? Thanks!

Apple Cider Vinegar Plus
Posted by Kb (Chicago, Il, USA) on 01/30/2013

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.

Apple Cider Vinegar Plus
Posted by Anne (Las Vegas) on 09/01/2014

I use yogurt and it stings at first because its so cold. I think it helps but not sure. I stopped using fluoride toothpaste over a year ago and I still have the peri oral. I also am using unfiltered vinegar a couple of times a day. those things seem to help but not make it go away. I'm going to order some calendula. I read it has helped some people. I'm ordering it from where they make it. I found it online. the one at target has too many other things in it. I'm 78 1/2 years old and I got perioral feb 2013. it must be payback for my youthful mistakes.:-(. also using organic coconut oil.

Apple Cider Vinegar Plus
Posted by Nikki (South Carolina ) on 03/23/2016


I was reading your post and I have been diagnosed with POD and have been given steroid ointment and antibiotic ointments to help ( my derm highly recommended oral antibiotics but I am breastfeeding and can not take it). The ointments cleared it up initially but it has come back. I went and bought some ACV and GSE (capsules) and want to begin trying something a little more natural. I also will try the yogurt mask. My questions to you are; after you were all cleared up, do you continue this as a daily routine? How do you keep it from coming back? And also, do the GSE capsules work the same as the drops?

Thank you for your post and I look forward to hearing from you!


Apple Cider Vinegar Plus
Posted by Tab (Ky) on 06/24/2017

Thanks for your post. I've been reading all these post saying next day it was better, after 3 days it was gone, etc. That is not my story and therefore I was losing hope. Glad to hear your testimony.

Apple Cider Vinegar Plus
Posted by Jc (East Coast, New England, United States) on 12/04/2011

Just thought I would post this link here as this information literally saved my life as well as cured me of my skin problems, including Perioral Dermatitis and Eczema. You are all on the right track with Apple Cider Vinegar, Lemons and Yogurt.... Now you need to get more of those, and other Alkaline Foods, INSIDE your body and your skin will Thank You on the Outside.

My problems were cycles of severe Acidosis and when they say that letting it get too severe can cause coma, they aren't kidding... I was there 5 years ago with no explanation as to why. Please go to this link to start with and then do a search on Acidosis. It causes many problems in the body that cannot be explained. It costs nothing but a little time to keep your diet more balanced (unless you buy the inexpensive PH test strips to monitor your PH). I'm just sharing it in hopes that it will help someone. You can fix and avoid many health problems right at home with food!! :0)

Oh, I should also add that my tap water was very soft (acidic) so it was part of the problem... Now I just add a slice of lemon or lime to every glass of water to get it balanced. Even though citrus foods are acidic, they have an alkaline effect on the body.

Apple Cider Vinegar Plus
Posted by Sherry (Vancouver, Wa) on 03/15/2008

I found this site while looking for natural remedies for my perioral dermatitis that I have been battling w. for around 7 years. Before that time I never had any kind of rash before. I have taken oral and topical antibiotics many of times of the years with no or little relief from it. I was never told it could be allergies of any kind.....although now reading through some of the other testimonies am beginning to think this. I have been using ACV 1x daily on the affected area before bed. It definently burned and turned red..when I awoke the next morning the bumps had scabbed over and were indeed healing themselves. Also...just to note that I have been putting Yogi green tea bags on my rash 1-2x's a week and also washing w/ baking soda before bed about 4x's a week. Have noticed dramatic changes in skin. My skin tone is great and my pore size has changed as well. Small wrinkles on forehead have even become less noticeable. Not sure which product is responsible for such changes...perhaps it is the combo. I am loving it check book is loving it too!!

Apple Cider Vinegar Plus
Posted by Lisa (Charlotte , NC) on 02/06/2008

After finding this site during many hours of researching ways to combat perioral dermatitis naturally, I read the many testimonals that using Apple cider vinegar cures this terrible skin rash. I applied the ACV to my dermatitis and within a day it began to diminish. I am here to tell you that it works. I am also using Vitamin E oil that contains soybean and coconut oil in it as well. I have used Elidel cream (non-steriod) that helped but not like the ACV. All dermatitis is an reaction due to an allergy. I was diagnosed years ago with having several different food allergies. Wheat being one of them. I have not had any skin rash until October 2007. I am going back to the Allergist to be retested. I strongly advise that if you have dermatitis you find out exactly what is causing it so that you can avoid what triggers it. Take plenty of B-complex as well. Green Tea supplements is a great anti-oxidant and antinflamatory. One more note. After research I was stunned to find out that long term use of oral steroids for treating such illnesses as asthma can cause perioral dermatitis. I will also be asking the asthma specialist for different meds without steroids to help with my asthma. I truly hope that my findings and knowledge can be of some help to any one who suffers with dermatitis. It is a hard condition to live with. Love to all.