Perioral Dermatitis
Natural Remedies

Apple Cider Vinegar Remedy for Perioral Dermatitis

Apple Cider Vinegar
Posted by Amanda (Melbourne, Victoria) on 11/22/2018
4 out of 5 stars

I have had PD on/off for the past 10 years. This past year has been particularly bad, and it's now the fourth time I have been prescribed Doxycycline (I hate antibiotics but for years it has been the only thing that has worked! ). However, this time it doesn't seem to be working and I have been feeling so unwell that I have stopped taking it after 1 month.

I used ACV yesterday for the first time after years of never trying this, and in the same day I noticed that the redness and swelling went down a little (and the skin dried out). I did 50/50 ACV/water. Today is day 2 of this (and no antibiotics) and already it seems to be better - not perfect but certainly a little less red and perhaps less bumpy.

Really hoping things continue this way!! I've always been very skeptical of this whole ACV thing but so far it's doing well..

Apple Cider Vinegar
Posted by Alexandra (Detroit ) on 03/14/2018
4 out of 5 stars

Ok so I used to get PD occasionally and I had no idea what it was. My lazy ass dermo didn't seem interested enough to even look. So I took it upon myself to research and I realized it was PD. I was so upset becaus I break out so easily and I finally had a steady routine and PD just ruined it all. I read for hours. I finally tried ACV and it seems to be working but drying out the skin. You MUST be patient and calm. Do not pick. Hopefully it will be healed in a few days.

Apple Cider Vinegar
Posted by Pandora (Toronto, Ontario) on 02/12/2018
4 out of 5 stars

2 years ago, I developed what I thought was seborrheic dermatitis on my face. My whole face became, red, blotchy, scaly and painful. I distinctly remember sitting my desk trying to work, scratching above my eyebrow and a huge chunk of dead skin falling off into my hand. It lasted for over 6 months. First bumps would appear, then they would flatten out, and scale over, eventually they would peel and I would have normal skin for a day or two before it would start again. I was depressed, withdrawn, and did not leave me apartment except to work and buy food/products that I hoped would help my skin. I did try ACV at that time, but I stopped when I didn't see results after a few days. That was probably a mistake, or at that point the infection was too severe.

My Dermatologist put me on Protopic (steroid cream) and antibiotics. I used it for a few months and it my rash disappeared. However, I was doing two other things at the time that I think helped. I was using a face cleanser that contains the same ingredient used to treat scalp dandruff. I also started covering my whole face in Vaseline after reading that it would “starve” the bacteria on oxygen. The first night I put Vaseline on, my face burned which I interpreted as the fungus dying.

I was left with normal skin, with a lot of hyperpigmentation because I had been so rough with trying to get rid of the scales. I think what happened is that the steroid cream kept my symptoms at bay while I continued to use the cleanser, which eventually killed the bacteria. I stopped using protopic after a few months the rash did not come back. Occasionally, I would see a bump or two, apply protopic and it would go away. The hyperpigmentation eventually faded.

In Oct 2017, I decided to go off of my oral contraceptive. In January 2018, I entered into a new relationship and so restarted my birth control. That's when I started getting bumps beside my mouth. Acne cream did not help, neither did the protopic. After some online research I self-diagnosed myself with perioral dermatitis.

From my experience two years ago, I knew how bad this could get. I was terrified and determined not to go back to what had been. My Dermatologist cannot see me until April! After reading all the reports on ACV on EC website, I bought some organic AVC and began to apply it to my face, followed up with calendula cream. I applied it full strength, I was diluting at first, but when done full strength I could see the “fizzing and bubbling” that others have mentioned. The PO active areas on my face would show white bumps. After the areas stopped reacting (2-4 days), I apply a diluted ACV solution to keep it from coming back.

I applied it not just to my mouth, but my forehead, nose and cheeks. I did this because in the past that's where the bumps would occur and fade. Sure enough, there was PO, hiding in this area too. The ACV definitely made my face worse before it got better.

Using it full strength caused some bad drying of my skin. Some patches look like burns. Even with the calendula cream, y skin was tight and I looked tired and wrinkly because of the dry skin. I returned to using Vaseline after the calendula cream. This made my face feel comfortable and normal. The dry skin began to fall off and the skin underneath was smooth.

I started using this treatment 2 weeks ago. The PO is not gone, but is remarkably better. My skin is smooth, not red but a light pink. I am going to continue to use ACV and hopefully can get rid of this for good. I intend to tone with diluted ACV solution morning and night from now on.

Other things I am doing

  1. Since I could not get the Born to be Mild cleaner anymore (they don't ship to Canada), I bought a soap on with the same zinc ingredient. It's not drying on the skin. I wash my face with this before applying AVC

  2. I take a probiotic, multivitamin and zinc supplement at night. I will stop the zinc after the PO is gone, because there is such a thing as too much zinc in the system. It can make you sick.

  3. I put AVC and turmeric in my green tea every morning. No more than 2 tsp of ACV, usually less

  4. I am not going back on oral contraceptives. I am going to speak to my doctor about other options

  5. I have been a vegetarian since the age of 10, about 75% of my diet is vegan.

  6. I do use makeup to cover the PO when I go out. Probably shouldn't, but I am not as brave as some. Just concealer and foundation. I use Tarte and Bare Minerals.

  7. Talked to people about what was happened. When this happened before I just hid at home and cried. This time, I was honest with the people in my life. I told the guy I was seeing about it before he saw me for our next date (he said he didn't notice anything, sweet guy) I told my friends about it and how scared/upset I was. When people ask “how are you?” I am honest and say “I'm having some skin issues actually; I'm pretty self-conscious right now.” The support has been immediate and I don't feel like I am hiding. From a mental health standpoint, it's helped.

I know my use of Vaseline may be controversial to some on this site. Most sites agree that it is not good for PO. But in my experience it has not made my skin worse, and everyone's skin is different.

Good luck everyone!

Apple Cider Vinegar
Posted by Casey (California) on 08/31/2015
4 out of 5 stars

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

Apple Cider Vinegar
Posted by Sarah (Denver, Colorado) on 08/09/2011
4 out of 5 stars

I am 32 and have never had perioral dermatitis until 2 months ago.

I went to two dermatologists. The first presribed clindamycin (sp?) topical antibacterial and a topical steriod. The second told me the steroid was the worst idea EVER and to immediately stop using it, but to continue the antibacterial! I also had a random and unrelated rash on my upper chest and the dermatologist told me to soak a washcloth in 1 part distilled white vinegar to 10 parts water and let it sit on my chest for about 10 minutes to clear that one up.

The rash on my chest went away immediately, but my face was getting worse and spreading. I decided that since my face rash wasn't going away, what could it possibly hurt to try the vinegar trick?

I dipped a cotton ball in the 1:10 solution and wiped my PD gently with it. Let it dry for about 10 minutes, then rinsed my face (cleanser for the rest of my face, just the water for around my nose). I then used mosturizer on my face except for on my rash. (Cetaphil facewash and moisturizer)

The next morning I was ASTONISHED at how much the bumpiness had gone down. Did the same thing in the a.m and p.m. for 2 days and had about 60% improvement. Even the redness went down! My friends noticed an immediate difference.

I have read much about Apple Cider Vinegar, but I just used plain old distilled vinegar.

Apple Cider Vinegar
Posted by Jamie (San Jose, California) on 03/11/2011
4 out of 5 stars

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.

Apple Cider Vinegar
Posted by Claartje (Utrecht, Nl) on 12/21/2010
4 out of 5 stars

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...

Apple Cider Vinegar
Posted by Nissa (Corvallis, Or) on 08/28/2010
4 out of 5 stars

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.

Apple Cider Vinegar
Posted by Cozette29 (Boston, Ma, Usa) on 10/23/2009
4 out of 5 stars

I used apple cider vinegar to cure my perioral dermatitis. I self diagnosed online after getting the rash for the first time a few months ago. I tried a few different things - getting rid of soaps, lotions, and using a yogurt mask since I read the rash may be caused by a yeast overgrowth. Yogurt worked a little bit, but didn't cure it. After reading about the apple cider vinegar review, I decided to try it. I just bought a small bottle at the grocery store. I splash a little onto a cotton ball and apply it around my mouth twice a day after washing my face - in the morning and before I go to sleep. It definitely stings and the rash turns bright red for a while, but after a few days of this I definitely noticed a difference. It's been about a week and you can hardly notice the rash now. I'm going to continue doing this for at least another week to be sure the rash has completely gone away. At the same time, I've also been only washing my face with warm water, and using a very light, basic lotion. As for other side effects, when I first started using the vinegar, it really dried out the rash and my skin was especially flakey, but I just rubbed a mild antibiotic petroleum salve on it for the first few days while my skin got used to it. I would definitely recommend this cure, it's inexpensive, easy, and you'll see results almost immediately.

Apple Cider Vinegar
Posted by Bella (Sydney, NSW) on 05/30/2009
4 out of 5 stars

Apple Cider Vinegar reduced the appearance of my perioral dermatitis.

Hey my names bella. After reading this site desperately 2 days ago, i decided to try using the apple cider vinegar on my face to reduce a breakout of dermatitis. I have recently been put of doxycycline for my dermatitis but found that i had a massive outbreak as soon as i started using the antibiotics and stopped using the steroid cream. I have also just moved in with my gorgeous boyfriend and was horrified and embarrassed when this happened. So i began desperately searching the net for home remedies and came across the 'apple cider viniger'.
I have been using this for roughly 2 days now and can already see a difference. I have used a face wipe that has been dampened with warm water and a splash of ACV. I have done this a couple of times a day and can already notice the bumps, and blisters/pimples reducing. I highly recommend you just GIVE IT A GO.

Apple Cider Vinegar
Posted by Meadow (Port Mcneill, British Columbia, Canada) on 01/23/2009
4 out of 5 stars

I have had a very red, blotchy rash on my face for weeks, mainly in the cheek area. I recently found out that I have Perioral Dermatitis, and when I researched more, I found out that everything I could have been doing to create this skin condition, I was doing. Firstly, I worked at Lush Cosmetics- so I was always using creams, face masks, and face wash... Mind you, most of it is organic, but it was overkill. I am also on birth control, which has been known to create imbalance. I ate many sugary, starchy, and wheat-filled foods. I was on antibiotics for a UTI before my chin broke out. When I self-diagnosed my self three days ago, I was red, embarrased because I didn't want my boyfriend to see my face looking a mess, and nothing I put on it seemed to help. I found this site, and was overjoyed by the good reviews ACV had gotten. I had some in my cupboard, and have been using 2 Tablespoons in a little bit of water twice daily. So far, it has really dried out my chin, but the bumps are fading and the dryness tells me that it is beginning to heal. In combination with topical ACV, I have been taking 2 tbsp's in tea or water 2x daily. My rash is slowly healing, and the quality of my skin is improving. I have faith that this will cure my Perioral Dermatitis, but I think my body needs more time and change to heal completely. Wonderful site!!!