Apple Cider Vinegar Remedy for Perioral Dermatitis

Oct 16, 2017

Apple cider vinegar is the top cure for perioral dermatitis at Earth Clinic. Many of our readers have found healing for this tenacious health problem with a remedy that is already in many kitchen cupboards!

How is Apple Cider Vinegar Used for Perioral Dermatitis?

Apple cider vinegar is mixed with water and applied to the face once or twice a day. Many of our readers find the best solution is 1/2 apple cider vinegar and 1/2 water (preferably distilled or spring water.) This is applied to the affected areas of skin with a cotton ball, in a spray bottle or with the fingers. If skin is very sensitive or if skin is broken, it may be necessary to dilute the vinegar even more. Even 1 tablespoon of vinegar in a cup of water may be strong enough to improve perioral dermatitis.

Some of our readers find it helpful to take apple cider vinegar internally as well. A typical apple cider vinegar tonic is 1-3 teaspoons of apple cider vinegar in a glass of water, once or twice a day. It is generally best to start with the lower dose to make sure the tonic agrees with your system. Increase the amount slowly over days or weeks if desired.

Many readers find that following up with a skin nourishing moisturizer helps as well, since apple cider vinegar can be drying to the skin.  Castor oil, shea butter, coconut oil or calendula cream are some great moisturizers for those who suffer with perioral dermatitis. Petroleum jelly and other products with chemicals would not be good choices as they are likely to aggravate perioral dermatitis.

Side Effects of Apple Cider Vinegar for Perioral Dermatitis

Some of our readers find that apple cider vinegar is drying to the skin. Others find it stings the skin.  Some find that it causes the skin to redden temporarily. If you experience side effects, try diluting the vinegar more, or rinse it off after 20 minutes.

Have you tried apple cider vinegar for perioral dermatitis? Please share your experience with us!

Continue reading and you will find our readers stories about the use of apple cider vinegar for perioral dermatitis.

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Posted by Meredithb (Saint Paul, Mn) on 09/11/2017
5 out of 5 stars

This article on natural cures for perioral dermatitis has absolutely saved me!! Thank you! I've had POD pop up around my mouth and eyes a few times in my adult life, but its been most aggressive in the past year. I was most recently on oral and topical antibiotics for 6 weeks, as prescribed by my derm, but after I tapered those off it came back with a vengeance! I tried just doing the topical antibiotic for several weeks but saw no change. I was very, very close to getting my prescriptions refilled for both antibiotics, but decided to research some other options first. I'm so glad I did!!

This article is a little overwhelming with things to try, but I decided to start with apple cider vinegar since several people mentioned it and I already had some on hand. I'll outline what I've been doing below. In about two weeks time my POD has nearly disappeared. There are still a cluster of red spots, but they get better every day! They are no longer oozy either! Just slightly red and a bit flaky.

Here is everything that I did over the past two weeks. I wish I knew exactly which of these made such a difference, but honestly it wasn't hard to do all of these things together and it has made such a difference!

1. Didn't wash face with anything but water

2. Cut out all body products (shampoo, conditioner, soap, etc etc) with Sodium Laurel Sulfate. I usually use all SLS free stuff, but had a free conditioner from a friend that I had been using with SLS in it. If a product doesn't have SLS in it, it usually doesn't have other nasty ingredients like parabens and synthetic fragrances as well.

3. Used a cotton ball with apple cider vinegar on it to gently dab on the affected area 2-3 times daily.

4. Took 1 tbsp ACV with 8 oz water every morning

5. Used a face mask of bentonite clay mixed with ACV every 3-4 days. 1 tbsp ACV mixed with enough clay to make a thick paste. Smear all over face and leave for about 20 minutes and rinse with cool water. It made my entire face very red for about an hour after removing it, but then that starts to go away. Immediately after using this mask I see an improvement in the POD.

6. Switched to a flouride free toothpaste

7. Stopped making out with my boyfriend!! Seriously though, he has been out of town for about 10 days during this whole process and my POD has gotten so much better! I'm no sure if its his beard, lip balm, etc that might have been aggravating it, but I will be paying attention to what happens to my skin after he gets back.

8. Cut back on sugar, grains, and alcohol. I know these foods mess with my body already, so I tried to cut back even more than normal.

9. Started taking Zinc and Vitamin D supplements

I've had acne since 13 and then throw this POD on top, I just felt like I'd never have clear skin! After two weeks of what I listed above, my skin has never looked better! I really encourage you to give this a few weeks before you head to the doctor.

Posted by Deanna (Queensland Australia) on 03/21/2017
5 out of 5 stars

I had perioral dermatitis a while ago for about a year and a half, it really makes you feel awful, and look awful. I tried so many things but nothing worked and I finally took anti biotics which did work, but my skin took a long time to recover, as I had had the condition for so long, and had spread and caused a lot of damage. I was free of it for about another year, and my skin has finally been good.... until I suddenly started developing this awful rash again on my chin!! I was so devestated! It's been there now for a few weeks, and I hated the thought of going on weeks of Anti biotics again. So I thought before it gets too bad I'm going to try again to find a natural cure, and saw ACV on this site, I tried it just three days ago, and it is well on its way to GONE! I have been using half ACV half water a few times a day, and it's disappearing. I am so relieved that it's working, and if it ever comes back again I'll go straight to the apple cider vinegar!!!

Replied by Nelda Sanchez
Holland, Mi

I've been reading the reviews on Perioral Dermatitis and I am just amazed as to the findings that people have experienced using ACV. I've had mine for years and tired of taking antibiotics and using the prescribed cream. It's not working. I am going to start trying the ACV and coconut oil for a moisturizer. I did want to ask if anyone would know, I have now been diagnosed with idiopathic uticaria and I thinking if I drink the ACV as indicated by everyone do you think it may help this as well. I have stopped using a probiotic, but I think it makes sense to start it again. My concern with the ACV is how long do you drink it? Would it be wise to drink it forever or just when my condition flares up? If anyone has any advice it would be greatly appreciated.

Replied by Michelle
Saint Paul Mn

Hi Nelda,

I was just diagnosed with Perioral Dermatitis today. I had this rash for a few weeks around my mouth/nose and thought I could just treat it with eczema cream. Since that didn't work and it only got worse here I am researching alternative remedies. Why, because when I finally went to the doctor what I got was the diagnosis and a prescription for Doxycycline. I don't think antibiotics are the answer (for much of anything of this nature) and from what I have read today I would be right. It might be a short term solution but the condition often returns worse than before. I am also going to discontinue my use of Flonase/Fluticasone which is a nasal steroid for allergies (which I suffer from) and avoid fluoride in any form. I am going to try an ACV, Coconut Oil and Colloidal silver mixture on my rash in the coming weeks. I also ingest ACV & Coconut oil regularly in a elixir designed to prevent colds & flu. Coconut oil is also excellent for use in "Oil Pulling" - google it - to remove toxins from the body. Plus you can fry eggs with it!

I hope this helps and I wish you the best of outcomes with your PD.

Replied by Laurel
5 out of 5 stars

I've had red bumps around my eyes for about 5 months and recently went to a dermatologist and was diagnosed with periorificial dermatitis. the dermatologist prescribed antibiotics and a topical gel and told me to wear absolutely NO cosmetics, NO moisturizer or cleansers, water only. I used the topical gel for a few days and saw slight improvement with redness but the bumps were still there. I refused to take the antibiotic as I am aware of all the negative side effects to the gut. I looked online for a natural treatment as I do not like using any prescription drugs and found this page.

I started using ACV both internally and on my face and saw immediate results. I'm still not wearing any cosmetics which has been very hard because I'm in the beauty industry, and was wondering if anyone could tell me what they've been doing as far as cosmetics are concerned. Can I wear cosmetics and a moisturizer and do they need to be only natural or can I go back to wearing anything? I also wanted to mention that I have had gut issues for 30 years, leaky gut, candida yeast and have mostly eliminated bread and refined sugars from my diet and have had great improvement with my gut over the last few years since doing this. So I find it very interesting that people have commented on this issue being related to the gut. My doctor told me this condition was caused by cosmetics. I'm still not sure what the cause is, as I'm also going through menopause and was told hormonal changes can also be the cause. I will continue to use the ACV until this is completely gone and I'm thrilled that I found this page so I could use a holistic remedy, so thanks everyone for your stories and suggestions.

Posted by Lizzy (York, England) on 12/05/2016
0 out of 5 stars

Hello I am suffering from perioral dermatitis. I have had it for about 10 weeks. Have been to my gp and he gave me rozex which I used for 2 weeks which worked but then came to a standstill. I then read up and found this site and have been using apple cider vinegar for a week which does seem to be working but it is still very red And sore and seems to have spread around my eyes? It's really starting to get me down and I feel very self conscious. I have cancelled a lot of social plans as I'm terribly embarrassed. Please let me know if there's anything else I can do or if I'm just been impatient. Thanks Lizzy

Replied by Mmsg
Somewhere, Europe

Lizzy, you can dilute the ACV. And you can also put coconut oil.

Posted by Wendy (Gold Coast Au) on 09/27/2016
5 out of 5 stars

I am just so happy that I can finally write on here and say that ACV helped my PD!! I tried zero therapy (not wearing makeup almost killed me! ) anti fungal creams antibiotic cream and yoghurt masks mixed with probiotics. I made an appointment to see the dermatologist because it had been 6 months of it being around my chin and nose area and I was just so over it as you all understand.

I thought that I would just try the ACV as a last resort while waiting to see the doctor & after 2 & a half weeks its 95% better and I'm positive that I will have it cleared up completely in the next week or so. All of the bumps bar 2 have gone and my face is now smooth and doesn't flake when wearing makeup. I have some redness still but my skin type takes ages for redness to disappear even after a small pimple.

I just used leftover ACV that I had in my pantry for I don't even know how was OLD! I hammered my skin with it every time I went to the bathroom I put it on. I know people on here were saying they did it twice daily & I'm not saying you should do what I did just telling you how I did it. My face looked terrible the rash was way worse so so red and the bumps were really inflamed for almost 2 weeks and I was getting a bit edgy that it wouldn't heal. But everyday it seemed that 1 or 2 bumps would be inflamed then flake off and wouldn't come back so although it was slow I could see that it was slowly working.

I had some minor success previously using baby rash zinc cream but that seemed to only take the redness out of the rash and not actually heal the bumps) so I decided to use that help take the redness out of my face after using the ACV so I wore that to bed for 3 nights in a row and I just can not get over the difference it really is amazing.

I just got a new bottle of ACV the the other day with the mother and will continue using it until my face is 100% clear. My advice is try it & stick with it, for me it didn't heal up overnight like some peoples did and perhaps if you have a really bad case it might take 3-4 weeks... Oh & yes it stings but totally worth it!!

Thank you to everyone that took the time to write on here and tell their story it really helped me so much :)

Replied by Sara
Bay City, Mi

I just started using ACV last friday for my PD and I have noticed a difference. It doesn't feel prickly or hurt when I touch my face. I do agree it stings, but not for long. I was reading that it's better to dilute it so it doesn't sting as bad. I have been using straight ACV on a cotton ball 3x a day. I think I will start diluting it. From now on I will be using ACV for my PD instead of what my Dr. prescripted.

Posted by Rose (Phoenix, Az ) on 08/31/2016
5 out of 5 stars

After trying to apply ACV topically, I started ingesting it instead, as described as a possible cure for acid reflux. And it work! I think that I have finally linked for myself that my POD was related to acid reflux after being perscribed Prilosec and having my face clear up immediately. I added two tablespoons to a tall glass of water each morning and it clears up my POD better than anything else I have tried over the past three years to get rid of it.

Posted by Sasha (Abu Dhabi) on 08/29/2016
5 out of 5 stars

I suffer from PD (perorial dermatitis) and over time I realised that its just a natural way of my body telling me that I'm lacking in a healthy balanced and nutritious diet.. the apple cider vinegar (ACV) would sting my skin and when it healed it would dry up my skin. The best way is to drink it is with diluted water daily and immediately change my diet to improve my vitamin intake with fruits and vegetables.

Posted by Leo (Lisbon, Portugal) on 08/06/2016
5 out of 5 stars


I got perioral dermatitis from using too much hydrocortisone on a rash I had. After 3 months of using elidel, which reacts when drink alcohol and makes me sensitive to sunlight, I discovered apple cider vinegar. I read it first here that people were reporting that their rashes were fading away by applying vinegar directly on their rash. I bought a bottle and used it two times on the first day. My face got completely red and it stung like crazy. I went to sleep, and woke up with a very dry face, but with smaller rashes. I continued using it, this time increasing the dosage, since I started with 1/3 vinegar - 2/3 water, now I'm doing half and half.

Beware that you might think it's not working since your face gets very red when the vinegar is applied, but with patience, and continuous use, the rashes will get smaller and smaller. Sometimes the rash won't get smaller on the first two days, but please persevere, you will most definitely see results.

Replied by Judit

Hi, I am having dermatitis on my not so sure how similar is it with Perioral Dermatitis. I have started my Apple Cider Vinegar treatment 2 days ago. It seriously stung my face and feel burning sensation. Whenver I applied acv, some tiny white spot (not sure isit the infection or skin) popped up. Do u habe similar experience? Now is my day 3 applying it, my skin still rash & itch feeling that burning senasation. Im not sure is it getting worse or its normal. I seriously dont wish to go back on steroid cream and trying to be determine to continue with acv. Will u be able to share a little bit more on the effects after applying acv? How can I start notice that the dermatitis is curing using acv? And how long does it start taking effects? Hope to have your reply soon though. Many thanks in advance.

Replied by Rose
Toronto, Canada

Judit, are you diluting the ACV? If you aren't, try half and half with water and see if that feels a little better.

I found that when I applied ACV on patches of POV it would feel like my skin was crawling for a few minutes after. If I apply it to normal skin, that weird feeling doesn't happen.

Replied by Mmsg
Somewhere, Europe

Judit, dilute it. A lot. But first stop for a few days so your skin can heal.

Replied by Sara
Bay City, Mi

Don't go back to the steroid cream that will only make it worse. I have white spots every once in a while after applying the ACV, but it goes away after a while and so does the stinging burning sensation. Maybe try diluting it a little more. I just started using this treatment a few days ago and I have seen a difference. ACV works better than what my Dr. prescriped me. Hope this helps.

Posted by Crystal (Usa) on 05/18/2016
0 out of 5 stars

I am almost 22 weeks pregnant and never had skin problems until my pregnancy. About a week ago, I began noticing a dry patch around one corner of my mouth. I continued moisturizing every night before bed but I noticed it was getting a little more red and bumpy. I found out it was Perioral Dermatitis and decided to use ACV with a cotton ball about 3 days ago along with discontinue use of my face wash. The first night, it worked real well, the redness went away, but fearing my moisturizer was going to make it worse, I didn't use anything after that or rinse my face. When I woke up the next morning, the spot was extra dry and more red and another spot started in the corner of my mouth on the other side. I used ACV again before going to work and that night, my patch had peeled off revealing a fresh red smooth patch of skin underneath.

Ignorantly, I added ACV again and followed up with coconut oil. This morning I woke up and my patches on both sides of my mouth had grown in size and an ugly brownish red, still dry and now very tender. I began applying ACV again and at first the redness began to disappear but then my skin began to bleed! I rinsed with water and immediately applied coconut oil but now it looks much worse and hurts so bad! I can't eat or smile without feeling the discomfort and pain. I learned I may have overused the ACV and now instead of using topically, I am just drinking the ACV water. (2TBS in 16 oz water)

I am still using coconut oil but I am wondering how long this is going to take? (I have to wait another week before my new toothpaste, mouthwash, face soap and aloe vera gel arrive in mail) I can only apply the coconut oil in the morning before work and at night before I go to bed. I have to wear all natural tinted spf moisturizer to try to cover up the redness while at work. (My appearance matters to my company unfortunately and cannot show up to work looking like I have a flesh eating disease) I am worried I made a bad situation worse and now fear bad scarring. Can I use my palmers stretch mark massage cream in addition to my coconut oil to speed things up or should I just stick with only coconut oil until my PD products come in?

Please Help!

Replied by Kylie
Adelaide, Australia

I have been going through same torture. But I wanted to know which oils block pores before I put anything on my face. This is caused by chemicals in our skincare so I stopped using the skincare that kept my skin clear and radiant for the past year. Until now I opted for vinegar and a non comodogenic oil. Simple right? Turns out coconut oil is a 4 on the pore blocking scale (out of 5). Argan oil is a 0 as is sunflower oil. Make sure you get organic because many oils are obtained via a harsh chemical process. This is the best I can do for this horrible condition. Is improving by the day. Good luck.

Posted by Rachael (Portland, Or) on 03/02/2016
5 out of 5 stars

This is my first post/ review of anything-- but I feel compelled to share my experience using ACV (apple cider vinegar) for perioral dermatitis (PD). I had been struggling with PD for a year. I was prescribed metro gel (antibiotic ointment) and clindamyacin antibiotic cream. I religiously used them and saw minimal improvement. About 3 months ago, I went to Earth Clinic and read many reviews on ACV (with 'the mother') and decided to try. I used a cotton ball dipped in ACV and swabbed my face, focusing on problem areas. It burned...but eventually -- within about 2 weeks-- perioral dermatitis was completely gone. I did the cotton ball routine about 1x/day at night for about 3 nights in a row.. then throughout the next 10-12 days... every 3-4 days. The PD areas scabbed, flaked and generally look much worse at first. However, within 2 weeks ALL PD was gone. Since then, I use ACV on a cotton swab as a preventative maybe once/week or whenever I think of it. I have not had PD return. :)

Replied by Judit
0 out of 5 stars

Hi, I am having dermatitis on my not so sure how similar is it with Perioral Dermatitis. I have started my Apple Cider Vinegar treatment 2 days ago. It seriously stung my face and I feel a burning sensation. Whenever I applied acv, some tiny white spot (not sure is it the infection or skin) popped up. Do you have similar experience? Now is my day 3 applying it, my skin still rash & itch feeling that burning sensation. Im not sure - is it getting worse or its normal. I seriously don't wish to go back on steroid cream and trying to be determined to continue with acv. Will you be able to share a little bit more on the effects after applying acv? How can I start notice that the dermatitis is curing using acv? And how long does it start taking effects? Hope to have your reply soon though. Many thanks in advance.

Posted by Lrg (Los Angeles, Ca) on 02/05/2016
5 out of 5 stars

ACV helped clear up my perioral dermatitis along with cleaning up my gut. Antimicrobial herbs for SIBO, followed by tons of probiotics to rebuild. I would warn that undiluted ACV will make the condition look much worse at first and can lead to some scarring. I would try to dilute it first, I am not sure how this will extend the process though. It took me 1 week to see improvement, I am 1.5 weeks out and I still have a few pustules/marks left but the condition is much better.

Posted by Grace (Florida) on 09/16/2015
5 out of 5 stars

I am 16 years old and have had Perioral dermatitis off and on (mostly off) for 5 years now. I only get it around my nose and on my chin, and this time it really flared up so I looked for some natural remedies. I started using apple cider vinegar around my nose and my chin and the puss bumps and oiliness has gone away immediately. When I first apply it it stings and my skin gets very red, but the bumps shrink in size every time. The skin is now in the process of flaking off, and this has been working well so far. Hopefully I will be dermatitis free in a couple of days!

Posted by Kristin (San Diego, Ca) on 07/21/2015
5 out of 5 stars

I suffered with perioral dermatitis for about 6 months. Dermatologist put me on antibiotics for 2 months. Not sure if it helped. Plus prescribed elidel cream which I feel gave me a horrible reaction. Severe burning and redness. When I stopped the cream the severe burning went away. What I feel helped the most was apple cider vinegar unfiltered. I applied it slightly diluted to the rash. After a week or so the rash dried up turned white and flaked off. I also used borage oil to moisturize. Coconut oil seemed to aggravate it.

Now when I noticed some redness and burning I immediately start the apple cider vinegar application and a few days later the rash dries up and flakes off. Apple Cider Vinegar is my best defense! I also switched to natural products for hair and face. Good luck!

Posted by Blayne (Atlanta, Ga) on 07/15/2015
5 out of 5 stars

So I am writing to share my experience with perioral dermatitis. It's a nightmare, it's embarrassing, and super itchy and burns. I have struggled with psoriasis for a few years now, but with a diet and life style change I have come a loooooooong way. My doctors put me on steroid creams for my face and body, which seemed to do the trick. Then a year ago I noticed a little rash appearing under my eye and on the bottom of my chin. I just assumed it was psoriasis. It wasn't up until a month ago I went to my dermatologist and she took a look at me and said it was perioral dermatitis. Bottom line I had to stop using the steroids.

I checked on this website for home remedies and sure enough I had most of the stuff on this website. Apple cider vinegar with the mother enzyme was the key ingredient. I apply it as toner twice a day, and drink a tablespoon in a cup of water. It's gross tasting, and burns on the skin. But it is only my second day and everything seems to be going the way people on this website said it would.

Also I have been doing green tea leaves straight on my face, soak them first (either the leaves or the bags of tea) and let them sit on your face. It takes a lot of the itch and pain away, honey helps a lot too. My face seems to be drying out. To help with the drying, I have been using calendula infused coconut oil. I have already cut out gluten from my diet but upon further research, I will also have to cut out milk and sugar. Trust these natural cures, they will serve you better than prescriptions. Prescriptions will make you dependent and with terrible side affects. I will post in a few more days the progress.

Replied by Blayne
Atlanta Ga

So I am now on my 3rd day of natural remedy treatment for this horrible PD rash. It was literally COVERING my face. Relieved doesn't even begin to cover how well these remedies work. In 3 days my rash has almost completely dried out, turned light pink and is flaking right off and no more pustules. It is quite a process but stick with it. I quit using steroids the dermatologists gave me cold turkey. My face reacted immediately and the rash literally covered my face. It was swollen, red, and had a bunch of little puss bumps. I was mortified. I have been toning my face with Apple cider vinegar (with the mother enzyme) 2-3 times a day, which burns like crazy. I have also been drinking ACV diluted in water. A lot of studies show that there is a direct relationship with your skin and your gut, so, you need good bacteria in your system. To soothe my skin, I've been using green tea. I make a cup and use the tea bag on my face. Green tea has antioxidants so to drink it and put it on the skin surely helped. I also did a zinc oxide mask and boy did it dry up the rash quickly. I do the zinc at nights. Also honey, and goats milk yogurt or Greek yogurt are very soothing. For moisturizer I've been using coconut infused with calendula oil, and that really helps. I expect to be fully clear within the next week or two. Thank you to everyone who posted on here. I have never been more embarrassed or scared of my appearance in my life. These remedies really do work, try these before you spend insane amounts of money on prescription drugs. I hope this helps the next person and so on and so forth. Thank you earth clinic, this has changed my life.

Posted by Amy (Toronto, On) on 05/05/2015
5 out of 5 stars

I have had perioral dermatitis come up twice. The first time I had it for a year before I realized what I needed to do, and the second time I knew what to do! Both times ACV, probiotics (100 billion enteric coated capsule each night before bed) and aerobic exercise cured it. Twice a day I put 1/4 cup to 1/3 cup of ACV in the bottom of a 1L jar and fill the rest with water. I drink as much as possible immediately at this strength and then fill it up with water again to dilute it. I sip on the rest as my thirst dictates. As for exercise, I started running approximately 5k 3x a week at a high intensity. Getting as much oxygen in as possible is the key. It really helps your body to flush out the toxins. I've always had a pretty good diet: minimal gluten, minimal dairy, but I love chocolate (sugar + candida prone) so I am sure my overindulgence sparked candidiasis and brought my POD back. Never again! Not only is my POD gone again but the eczema on my hands is gone and my skin is baby soft!

Posted by Cara (Sydney, Australia) on 03/25/2015
5 out of 5 stars

I don't usually post on things like this but felt I had to, given that the posts on here healed my condition and gave me my confidence back again.

I'm 29, have had clear and beautiful skin my entire life. Never had acne or pimples on my face prior to getting this lovely little rash.

First, I'll start with the background of my condition: In the past, I have been diagnosed with both eczema and psoriasis, and for the eczema I was given a steroid cream to apply for both my body and my face. Over the years, this worked fine, I had no issues and it worked well. However, in the last year, I seemed to have a weird little rash that kept popping up - mainly on the right side of my face Around my chin. It was red and had loads of tiny little bumps that contained a clear liquid. I tried a variety of old creams that I had used on my skin conditions in the past - Bactroban, advantan, novasone, kenacomb, DermAid most of which being steroid based and quite possibly the worst thing I could do. Anyway, the novosone seemed to do the trick and kept it at bay for a while, but only if I applied it every day. However, over the course of the year, this seemed to loose its effect and I was at my wits end.

I went back to see my Dr, who told me sometimes people react with a rash from steroid creams, and to discontinue use - which I did. And wow, did my trouble begin after that! My rash spread all over my chin, around my eyes, and on my cheeks near my nose. It was horrible. I bought a multitude of lotions and options to try and get rid of it, nothing really worked. Luckily, I came across this site within a week of going off the steroids. I noticed loads of people had tried to Apple Cider Vinegar (ACV) with success but thought it might burn the hell out of my face and was reluctant to try. I ordered the grape seed extract and violet something (can't remember exactly, it is yet to come), but have not used them. I thought bugger it, I'll try the ACV until they arrive. Here is my experience so far.

Treatment: first I bought ACV from the supermarket, unfiltered BUT WITHOUT the mother. The mother enzyme is very important. I feel it could explain why some people had success, others not.

When I applied the one without the mother, it stung a little - but not as bad as I thought. It didn't really do much, there was no 'fizzing or bubbling' of the skin like others described, and it didn't seem to do much at all.

I then went to my local natural store and bought ACV with the mother enzyme - brand being 'Briggs'. I placed it undiluted on my skin with a cotton ball. It fizzed, it bubbled - I was amazed! It bloody burned too, like my face was on fire. It stopped burning after a minute or so though.

Anyway, that was around midday. I applied again at night, and it was becoming bright red, painful, and seemed to be bringing more of the stupid little bumps out. I was devastated, I thought it wasn't working for me. I applied some more anyway just in case before bed, followed by some calendula cream to aid the healing process. I did not rinse the ACV off prior to putting it on, I just placed it directly over the top. This was yesterday.

I woke up this morning absolutely amazed, my skin looked 50% better! The rash seemed to be drying out, reducing, and the bumps receding! I am amazed! My husband couldn't believe the difference, and nor could I!

I placed more ACV on it, it has turned red again and drawn the bumps out, but please do not be disheartened by this, I strongly believe it is similar to draining the bad stuff out and killing it. I will post an update in the next 3-4 days, fingers crossed this continues to work! I am gobsmacked! Thank you all for sharing, without your help I would have been taking Rozex and Doxycycline the Dr prescribed, which from what I've read makes little difference long term with very bad side effects. Will update soon!

Replied by Bailey
Bellevue, WA

Thank you so much for sharing this, please post an update! I very curious to hear it if worked. I swear I've been living of doxycycline for years and I want a better solution. Thanks again, fingers crossed!

Replied by Cara


Hi again, just thought I'd update you all on my progress.

It has been 6 days now and my rash is almost 85% cleared! There is a lot of dryness and some slight redness left, but there is not a single pustule or bump in sight!

The rash has completely healed all around my cheeks, nose, & under my eyes - you wouldn't know anything was wrong even if I told you to be completely honest!

My lower chin has some redness where the rash was originally, but when I say tiny, I mean it. The only thing I have left now is slight dryness. (However, 2 days ago, my redness was HORRIFIC - it's just the body healing itself. Don't give up, you are NOT making it worse. It's the bacteria playing tricks on you. I know it hurts, but believe me, it's worth it.)

I feel it is important to note that some days I saw much improvement, but initially the area was very raw, sore, and it appeared as though I was doing more damage than good. This continued, for me, for the first 4 or 5 days. I believe this is simply because use of ACV is so strong - it needs to bring the rash OUT first prior to it being killed off! You will question if it is working or if it is making it worse. I almost stopped, thinking I was doing the wrong thing and that my face was just getting worse, not better.

But by day 5, I knew it was getting better. The difference is amazing!

I think it is important to note that this DOES work, but it may take longer for some to see an overall improvement - it depends on how quickly you get to it (I started three days after going off steroid creams - which I was on for a year) and how bad your rash is.

I have stopped using ACV x2 a day, and now use it at full strength once at night. I began only using it once on day 5. Twice per day before that, as well as consuming it orally. I then apply calendula cream over the top and sleep with the mix on.

If you use ACV, you MUST use the one with 'the mother' enzyme. I can't stress that enough. Make sure it is organic as well.

Please don't give up hope.

I have also been doing the following, which I believe is very important in my quick results:

Taking Probiotics (Inner-Health Plus) to assist in reducing my candida overgrowth. According to my natropath, I have a candida overgrowth - which can result in this horrible mess I had on my face. Apparently, taking a good probiotic can slow down and reverse my Candida overgrowth.Probiotics work by attacking the Candida in a couple of different ways. Firstly, they restore your intestinal system to balance by replacing the good bacteria that were lost when my Candida overgrowth started. Secondly, probiotics keep the Candida under control by inhibiting its growth.

Drinking water with 'Violet Extract' in it: I also noticed whilst doing my research that many others had great success in using VE - so I thought I'd give it a try too. Apparently, many herbalists through the ages have attributed a number of benefits to the plant: it's been used for coughs, colds, dizziness, insomnia and nervous exhaustion. It is known as a cooling, cleansing, and antiseptic herb. I'm assuming it's antiseptic properties is what is helping to cleanse my system.

Using cleansers (face wash, moisturiser, body wash & hair care) free from SLS & Paragons: These have been known to cause rashes on the body ? do your research, it's mind-blowing!

L-Glutomine supplements - To restore my gut health and reduce the candida overgrowth;

Consuming Oregano oil internally: Oregano oil contains strong immune-enhancing and antioxidant properties and supports the respiratory system. I believe this may be helping to kill bacteria internally, and as a result - helping my skin condition.

Stoping the use of Fluoride Toothpaste: as it has been known to cause an allergic reaction in some people and may cause perioral dermatitis.

Using Calendula Cream: at night, following my ACV treatment To aid healing and prevent dryness.

Taking Zinc Supplements: very helpful, great for skin and healing I believe.

Candida Diet: I have also begun to follow the Candida Diet - which basically means cutting out all dairy, yeast products (e.g. breads, in condiments etc), ALL FRUIT and anything processed. I found a few great websites that helped me to distinguish what I can and cannot eat - if you are interested, see the 'Food matters' website or 'The Candida Diet'.

Basically, many skin conditions such as perioral dermatitis, eczema, psoriasis & acne are the result of a candida overgrowth ? and the quickest way to fix it is to starve the little buggers. Candida flourish in the presence of both refined and unrefined sugar, such as fresh fruit, dried fruit and fruit juice. Cutting off their food supply can bring their numbers back to a healthy level.

They also love refined flour products and anything fermented, such as alcohol and soy, so if you have a serious overgrowth, you may need to cut out all of the above for a number of consecutive weeks. I have found this t be particularly helpful.

Each of these elements is fighting the external effects of my candida overgrowth, particularly my perioral dermatitis. I don't believe in taking antibiotics anymore ? my problem is clearly my body trying to tell me something, and I wholeheartedly believe many of my issues are largely due to a candida overgrowth. My natropath took one look at my tongue and said I certainly do have a yeast overgrowth. He prescribed me L-Glutomine, oregano oil, and probiotics. He also suggested I begin the Candida Diet immediately, which I have.

There is a test to see if you have candida overgrowth -

  • When you get up in the morning, and before you brush your teeth, eat or drink anything, fill a glass with bottled water at room temperature.
  • Spit some saliva gently into the glass.
  • Come back every 20 minutes for the next hour and check for some of these tell-tale signs of Candida: - ?Strings' coming down through the water from the saliva at the top ? Cloudy saliva sitting at the bottom of the glass ? or Opaque specks of saliva suspended in the water are all signs that you have it.

Do your research on the effects this can have on the body - it is likely if you have it you will present with many of the symptoms and have no idea that they are all actually related. Our skin does not just REACT this way for no reason - it could be an indication of leaky gut, candida overgrowth - or many other causes. It is crying out for help, and it is our job to fix it. Anyway, hope that is some food for thought. Sorry for the lengthy update, but I have learnt so much in the preceding week that I had to share. I cannot believe the difference I have seen, please don't give up hope. It will work, just give it TIME. Each of us have different underlying causes and extents of this rash, it is not surprising some take a lot longer to respond to ACV or that others have bad initial effects to it - given the extent of their rash already.

Anyway, I'll keep you updated on my progress. Hope this helped someone in the way everyone's responses did me.


Replied by Lauren

Hey, how did it work out for you? Is it gone? Please tell me it is!!! :)

Replied by Cara
Sydney Australia

Quick update to those asking - 3 months on and I'm clear. ACV only helped temporarily, it was only once I stopped consuming gluten or wheat in any form that it went away. The reaction went within a week (bumps), but I still have slight redness and the occasional pimple in the area in which I most prominently applied steroids.

I thought my PD may have been related to yeast extract or sugar (as the products my skin reacted to contained it), but it was actually gluten (Which was also in them). I had to go into hospital a few weeks after posting here and was diagnosed there. As soon as I stopped I noticed a difference after a week or two.

I used topical steroids for years prior to getting PD, and I've since discovered these are anti inflammatory. Coeliacs is a inflammatory condition, so by using topical steroids it was masking my bodies anti inflammatory response to the gluten.

I strongly urge anyone experiencing skin conditions to check for a coeliacs/celiacs and food allergies or intolerances. I hope this helps!

Replied by Ashleigh

I'm from Sydney too just wondering how your skin is now? I'm the same as you have never had bad skin and for 7 months been going to doctor after doctor....second day with ACV it looks to be better already.

Replied by Cara

Hi Ashleigh, I've been completely clear without taking any medicines or products for about 9 months now - avoiding gluten at all costs (in food, products, supplements etc) cured me completely. Good luck!