Perioral dermatitis is a rash on the face that can be frustrating to treat. Because perioral dermatitis can have a variety of causes, finding a natural treatment can involve a good bit of trial and error. The good news is that there are many home remedies that are indeed effective for this stubborn condition, irrespective of the cause.
What is Perioral Dermatitis?
Perioral dermatitis is a rash on the skin around the mouth, nose or eyes. This inflammation is often red and irritated. It can be scaly, flaky, bumpy, or weepy. It is nearly always embarrassing.
Perioral dermatitis has a variety of causes, which contributes to the challenge of treating it. It can be cause by an allergy, bacteria, fungus or virus. It can come and go. Sometimes it seems to be responding to a treatment only to become worse than before!
Not only are natural remedies for perioral dermatitis generally safe and inexpensive, they are often more effective than antibiotics and steroid creams.
Natural Treatments for Perioral Dermatitis
Apple Cider Vinegar
Apple cider vinegar is effective for a variety of skin rashes, including perioral dermatitis. It is diluted for topical use on the skin. Apple cider vinegar is often a “go to” natural remedy for perioral dermatitis because it can work against bacteria, fungi, and viruses.
Colloidal silver also works well for viruses, bacteria and fungi. This remedy is quite gentle to the skin. Colloidal silver can be mixed into aloe gel for topical use, or just sprayed onto the affected skin. Colloidal silver gel can also be found online and in health food stores.
Plain yogurt, with no sugar or artificial sweetener, can be used topically to calm perioral dermatitis. This cooling remedy can also bring healing. Yogurt can be taken internally as well. Yogurt is especially effective if perioral dermatitis has a fungal cause.
Hydrogen peroxide can be used for perioral dermatitis. It may be drying to the skin and not the best remedy for perioral dermatitis that is dry in nature. You can use the 3% hydrogen peroxide from the grocery store and apply it twice a day with a cotton ball. If your skin is very sensitive, you may wish to dilute the peroxide even further before topical use.
Quality honey has strong healing properties, yet honey is a gentle remedy. It is best to find a local raw honey. Manuka honey, while expensive, is another good option. Honey can be applied topically to the rash.
A variety of clays can be used for dermatitis. French green clay and Bentonite clay both work well as a face mask. You can mix clay powder with water to make a paste and apply it to the skin. Rinse off after 5-10 minutes. Clay tends to be drying to the skin, so if you skin is already prone to dryness, try a different remedy first, or plan to follow up with a healing oil like castor oil or Shea butter.
Herbs for Perioral Dermatitis
The calendula plant has a beautiful orange-yellow flower that is gentle but healing. The flowers are often used to make an oil, salve or tincture that can be used topically. Calendula is a useful herb for a variety of skin problems, especially those of a fungal nature. If your perioral dermatitis is weepy or wet, the tincture form, which contains alcohol may help in drying it out. If your perioral dermatitis is dry and flaky, a salve will be more a more soothing option. A recipe for home made calendula oil or salve can be found on Earth Clinic’s dermatitis page.
Turmeric root is a powerful anti-inflammatory that works very well for skin problems. It may be especially helpful for perioral dermatitis that has a bacterial cause. If your perioral dermatitis has responded to anti-biotics, turmeric may be of particular help. It is even effective for staph infections. Turmeric can be mixed with water into a paste and used topically, or it can be taken internally. Be careful when using turmeric on your face. It causes a yellow stain on skin that can last for hours. It is best used topically at night so the yellow has time to wear off.
If you make a mug of green tea, you can use a cotton ball to apply some to your perioral dermatitis and drink the rest. This tea has many anti-oxidants and healing properties. Because green tea contains caffeine, it is best to only use this remedy early in the day.
Oils for Perioral Dermatitis
There are a number of healing oils that are effective for perioral dermatitis. These will be especially helpful if your dermatitis is dry. Test any new oil on a small area first. While these oils are usually helpful for perioral dermatitis, there will always be people who find an individual oil seems to aggravate their dermatitis.
- Castor Oil
- Coconut Oil
- Shea Butter
- Emu Oil
- Olive Oil
Essential oils for Perioral Dermatitis
Tea tree essential oil and lavender essential oil are both helpful to dermatitis. While these oils are sometimes used undiluted on the skin, they are very potent and really should be diluted for topical use. You can dilute them into any of the oils listed above. Do not dilute them in a hydrogenated oil.
Less is More with Perioral Dermatitis
In a desire to get rid of this miserable rash once and for all, it can be tempting to add remedy after remedy, and product after product to your treatment plan for perioral dermatitis. However sometimes the “cure” is the problem. More than one dermatitis sufferer has learned that the best treatment is to leave it alone! Try giving up all products on your face for a few days and see what happens. Wash gently with water only. You may be surprised at the results.
Perioral Dermatitis Triggers
Along the theme of “less is more,” you may need to evaluate your collection of health and beauty products. Sodium Laureth Sulfate, fluoride, make up, and lotions are often the root problem of perioral dermatitis. See this page for an extensive list of, “things to avoid,” if you have perioral dermatitis.
Antibiotics and Steroids for Perioral Dermatitis
Traditional medical treatment for perioral dermatitis is usually an oral antibiotic or steroid cream. These medicines often work for a time, but after discontinuing them the rash returns, sometimes with a vengeance! If an anti-biotic worked for your perioral dermatitis, your dermatitis likely has a bacterial cause. Consider using an antibacterial herb or remedy like colloidal silver, honey, or turmeric. If steroids worked, at least for a time, you may be dealing with some sort of allergy. Finding your own “trigger” for perioral dermatitis is the key to healing.
Fungal Infections and Perioral Dermatitis
Sometimes an over the counter anti fungal medication works for perioral dermatitis. If this has worked for you, then it is likely that your perioral dermatitis has a fungal cause. If you have reoccurring skin issues, you may wish to consider an anti-candida protocol to address the root problem of your skin issues.
What have you tried for your perioral dermatitis? We would love to hear from you!