Zinc Oxide for Perioral Dermatitis

| Modified on Oct 25, 2021

8 User Reviews



Posted by Felicia (Anna, Texas) on 11/12/2018
5 out of 5 stars

This is the only thing I use when I get a nasty rash on my face! Desitin maximum strength ointment. It's used to treat diaper rash in babies.


Zinc Oxide
Posted by Megan (Omaha, Ne) on 08/25/2017
5 out of 5 stars

Finally, after so many attempts to calm and stop the stinging and peeling and puss filled bumps that itched and then dried up and left me feeling ugly and exhausted... I tried a gluten free sunscreen with zinc oxide 40%!!! I lathered my face--AVOIDED OOZING SPOTS--and went to bed. It did sting. I'm very sensitive due to celiac disease... but I stayed strong & just thought I had to try it! The next day my face was less red and seemed more calm and the red bumps were decreased in size and way less red. I felt able to go in public! I continue to use that sunscreen every night and it seems to be the only thing that will keep my dermatitis away. During the day, I avoid makeup. Still working that out.

Feel free to give recommendations!!
Megan-celiac disease diagnosed 7 years ago


Zinc Oxide
Posted by Donna (Massachusetts, USA) on 07/13/2015
5 out of 5 stars

Zinc oxide cream is what has worked best for me for perioral dermatitis.But you have to stay with it. I use it at night and then apply a thin layer during the day and cover it with a little foundation. It really works, but the rash returns if I forget for a day. I also have not found a moisturizer that I can use. Even coconut oil seems to aggravate it.


Zinc Oxide
Posted by Carlene (Boise, Id) on 09/24/2014
5 out of 5 stars

Perioral dermatitis -such a difficult thing to get a handle on. I am post-menopausal and thought the skin issues were a thing of the past, then wham - last year about this time I started with this horrible itching, redness and scales. Started under my nose, spread to below my lower lip on my chin, and eventually even spread up to my eyebrows. What I found that finally cleared mine up was a zinc soap by Cynthia Bailey - no moisturizers - even coconut oil flared mine up, a couple of rounds with Gaia's Oregano Oil. Also started a B-complex and vitamin C. Totally agree with healing the gut. Kill the bad bacteria (Oregano Oil), replenish the good bacteria with a good probiotic after about two weeks on the Oregano Oil, eliminating any toxic chemicals from personal care products (got pretty good at making my own cleaning and personal care products using essential oils), eliminating fluoride in toothpaste and foods, and being very vigilant in eliminating wheat, dairy, eggs, soy, corn, sugar, chocolate, coffee, cinnamon, and peppers. I'm happy to report that the POD is now a memory - but it did take probably 4-5 months to resolve.


Zinc Oxide
Posted by Nicki (Israel) on 04/06/2014
4 out of 5 stars

Like many other contributors on this site, I thought my break-out around the left side of my mouth and chin was adult acne. I do sometimes have acne and at 51, figured I could be having a bout of hormonal acne. I'm under crazy stress and do get hives on my legs when overly stressed. Tried my arsenal of mostly natural acne medications and nothing worked: lavender which usually dries up zits very well only exacerbated the situation.

After self-diagnosing POD from images on the internet and then reading up on remedies on this site, I proceeded to try hydrogen peroxide (I have a bottle that expired in 2008, but figured better than nothing) and natural yogurt as a mask. The hydrogen peroxide seemed to help dry things out, but wasn't providing any healing. I then went to look for calendula oil and found a shea butter based one which I applied that evening. Woke up to what appeared to be a less angry red chin, but during the day, it worsened. Kept applying hydrogen peroxide and was starting with apple cider vinegar, though I only have standard store-bought and not that dark, organic stuff. Burned a little, but didn't seem to be doing anything.

I thought overall it was starting to clear but then I returned from a few hours out (no makeup on) and it looked shiny, red and much more bumpy. Kept applying those three remedies but it wasn't improving much. The next day, I washed my hair, taking care not to let my usual (SLS) shampoo run down my face, but by day's end my face was looking awful. That night, I dug into my essential oils and found oil of thyme. Hmmm, why not I thought, but stupidly forgot that this MUST be diluted. Put a drop on my chin area and it started burning like the dickens. Icing my face helped with the pain but I was fiery red that night and the next day. Calendula cream did not calm it down.

Then I remembered not having tried zinc which was recommended here. Found a tube of Desitin from 2007 (yes, half of my meds/treatments should be tossed) but figured that the zinc isn't going to lose potency, especially since the cod liver oil had retained its consistency. I spread this on and hoped for the best. Before bed, I gently removed what hadn't melted off my face with a cotton pad and water, dried my skin, applied some hydrogen peroxide, let it dry, and again applied the Desitin. I awoke this morning to a noticeable difference. Hard to tell quite how good things are because the Desitin is making the pimples flake off and I don't want to disrupt this, but the angry redness is gone. I'm in a new coating now as I write this and am hoping that this is it.

Going on antibiotics just isn't something I want to consider and from what I read here, antibiotic cream didn't work well for anyone. As to what brought this on, I had mentioned stress. I had also been using a toothpaste for sensitive teeth (Elmex) which has a high concentration of fluoride, though not any higher than my usual toothpaste but a different type (amine fluoride as opposed to sodium fluoride). I still find it hard to believe that this is what triggered my POD. The last thing I want to say is that it's essential not to touch the area: needless to say one shouldn't try to squeeze the pimples, but even trying to flake off a bit of skin is a no-no. I'm sure the healing process would only be hindered from bacteria laden fingers.

Hope this helps!


Zinc Oxide
Posted by Kara (Central, Illinois) on 02/10/2013
5 out of 5 stars

First off, thanks to all the commenters for sharing their experiences and solutions. The community has been a lifesaver for me!

Had a rash on my face, caused by stress, sunscreen and who knows what. I was diagnosed with seborrheic dermatitis and given steroid cream, which cleared it up a lot. Until it didn't. My face was a hot mess. Went back and dermatologist said, "whoops, not seb. Derm., it's perioral dermititis. " Was told to take 6 weeks of oral antibiotics and given new steroid cream.

Thank goodness I found this site before filling Rx! I believe my real diagnosis was an acute reaction to the first steriod cream and perioral dermatitis. I did some research on the effects of prolonged steroid cream and my skin looked like the pictures on those sites. Unfortunately, I didn't taper off the steroid cream, I just stopped it. This made my skin explode. My recommendation is to taper it off or let it explode, but don't put anything harsh on it, such as the ACV or GSE when it's angry.

Once it calmed (a few days of painful, angry skin that itched like mad--putting anything on it made it worse) I started with the diluted ACV and GSE on the rash, and calendula cream. I also took ACV and GSE orally. This helped things a little, but what really calmed things down was diaper rash cream (which I read about here!). First I started with cream with 16% zinc, but found a common brand in USA that had 40% zinc, and also had cod liver oil in it.

This diaper cream was a life-saver! I put it on at night--my kids told me I looked like Joker from Batman--and slept with towel on pillow. Stung a little at first. Next morning, the change was remarkable. Used the 40% zinc stuff for 10 days, along with ACV, GSE, and calendula. Then went back down to the lower zinc cream (the 40% is hard to clean off in morning before work--the calendula cream helped get the white off best). I have had slight flares of itchy bumps--feels like the last gasps of the problem--which I apply the 40% zinc to and they have subsided.

All told, it's been 4 weeks and a day and my bumps are gone. The redness has been cut about 80%. Hoping that goes away soon. My skin has been dry and flaky, but lots of calendula cream has helped that,

Good luck--don't believe the negativity out on the general internet that this can't be solved. It can and pretty soon, your natural defenses will work with these natural solutions and return you to good health. Best of luck to you!

Replied by Kara
(Central Il)
10/16/2018

I got POD again this summer. Tried the same protocol that worked for me in 2013 to no avail. The one thing that has worked incredibly well is Oregano Oil taken orally. It has improved things dramatically, to the point where I see clear skin for the first time since August. I take it with water a couple/few times a day. A few drops. I also put it on topically with water/coconut oil, but it's too much.

Good luck!


Zinc Oxide
Posted by Kitty (Melbourne, Australia) on 11/04/2011
4 out of 5 stars

I have some form of dermatitis and over the past couple of weeks I have been experimenting with zinc oxide. I notice some improvement for a few days after using it. Then I take a break and I start having problems again. So I'm pretty sure it does the trick ;)

I totally distrust doctors too after I've had terrible wrong diagnosis, adverse reactions to medications, etc. In fact I saw doctors, dermatologists, skin specialists, you name it for what was going on with my skin and none of them could diagnose it! I was told maybe rosacea, maybe acne rosacea - I knew it wasn't any of those things because my trigger was washing my face! Washing my face with tap water that is loaded with chlorine and fluoride was causing my face to be totally sensitized and painful, it would be bright red, dry, flaky, scaly, peeling and with bumpy pustules! Duh, it was washing that caused it and none of these medical twits could work out it was dermatitis! I'm sure the medical fraternity love all of the chemicals dumped into the drinking water because it causes so many dermal and internal health issues and they make loads of money out of treating us for these conditions!


Zinc Oxide
Posted by Camille (Minneapolis, Mn, Usa) on 11/02/2011
5 out of 5 stars

I have been struggling with perioral dermatitis for more than 15 years. It came and went periodically until 2 years ago when it began growing and growing and I couldn't get rid of it.

At first, I tried all the remedies here (apple cider vinegar, borax and hydrogen peroxide, etc. ) Nothing worked. Finally, I broke down and started using a tube of prescription-strength hydrocortisone because I just couldn't take it anymore.

A few weeks ago, my tube ran out. Rather than going to a dermatologist, I decided to once again try and solve the issue myself, so I started experimenting and researching. Nothing worked--again! The rash was much worse this time. (Apparently, hydrocortisone cream actually causes dermatitis if used too long! ) Ugh. My entire lower face was covered by a thick rash. My skin was itching and peeling horribly. I was so embarrassed to leave my house.

During my research I came across some articles about how dermatitis is actually yeast growing on your skin. Ted is definitely onto something when he recommends borax and hydrogen peroxide. However, I think that some of us might have really strong or immune yeast. In any case... FINALLY I found something that worked. Zinc oxide!

During my research, I came across a tiny listserv posting where dermatologists were discussing dermatitis remedies--this remedy is known within their community. According to doctors (although I distrust them completely! ), it can take anywhere from 5 days to 6 weeks to cure the rash, depending on how long you've had it and how resistent your rash is. I've been using zinc oxide (at 40% strength in a diaper cream and in a sunscreen although you can also buy it straight on amazon) for the past 4 days and my rash is more than 70% gone. What a relief!

When I came to curezone and searched for this remedy, I was surprised that I didn't find it. I realize that oftentimes the remedies that only one person posts don't usually get tried often, but I think that this one should work for a lot of people. I hope some of you try it. I have struggled with dermatitis off and on most of my life. I'm glad to find something that actually works--I tried practically every remedy imaginable over many years and nothing worked for me like zinc.