Curing Perioral Dermatitis — A Continuing Struggle

Perioral Dermatitis typically effects young, white women and is skin rash that focuses mostly on the chin area but is not limited to it. You can get the rash through any breaks in the skin. My dermatologist blames makeup, moisturizers, steroid creams, toothpastes with whitening ingredients, and cinnamon (see my favorite, safe products). I have also heard stress, rapid change in temperature, strong soaps (including detergent), and vitamin deficiencies can play a role. If you would like to see pictures of the rash, click here.

After suffering from perioral dermatitis for nearly 2 years, I want to share my story plus every tip I have found on the annoying, itchy rash. I am not a doctor or have a medical certification. I am only sharing my story.

First off, please know you aren’t alone. I remember breaking down in the car after my mom told me a blister was (again) peeling on my chin after being on antibiotics for the rash once before. It was so embarrassing for me to walk around with the red bumps on my chin, and it stressed me out. My advice to you: breathe. It will help ease your stress level and reduce those awful bumps.

Information I’ve Found on Perioral Dermatitis

My Favorite Everyday Products To Help Perioral Dermatitis
A Organic Mask with Natural Acid & Healthy Fats — Great the Night before a Big Event 
#1 Thing NOT to Use on Your Perioral Dermatitis 
Also, here is an interesting link about using Zinc and food allergies to fight dermatitis.

Tips To Curing Perioral Dermatitis

  1. See a dermatologist -- He or she can prescribe an antibiotic and gel to apply. My perioral dermatitis has never cleared on its own unless it was a small flareup.
  2. Take a zinc supplement twice a dayZinc has been shown to help clear up dermatitis.
  3. Review what types of soaps and lotions you use: body, face, laundry detergent, perfume, makeup, etc. Sodium Lauryl Sulfate (SLS) is considered a known toxin in Canada; however, it is in a ton of products in the United States! Nuts!!! SLS is a common skin irritant, and you should avoid it. Don’t forget you may be allergic to any of the other ingredients in your soaps and until you figure out what it is and stop using it, it is harder to cure your dermatitis. See my favorite products
  4. Avoid cortisone creams — They make your skin thinner and can even bleach it! The creams are also shown to flare up perioral dermatitis and make it come back quicker and heavier.
  5. Manage your stress effectively – Here is a whole post on how I manage my stress.

My Perioral Dermatitis Story 

I’m sorry, I don’t have any pictures. The idea of sharing my story was after the fact. I hope it will help you all the same though.

I ended up with perioral dermatitis after signing up for a double major my senior year of school. I decided to take on finance based on the idea of becoming a financial advisor and showing people I could do it. ALWAYS a wonderful idea…not! Within the first month, I was stressed out and the bumps appeared in August.

I called the dermatologist to come in 2 weeks after seeing blisters. I was hoping a shot or a cream would get them gone in a week…2 weeks tops. She gave me a steroid shot, Minocycline, Finacea Gel, and the awful news: “give it at least 6 weeks and then we’ll reevaluate.” WHAT?! I had class everyday and a new boyfriend. I hated it this rash.

After a month of taking the antibiotic and applying the gel twice a day, the dermatitis cleared up. I was in heaven! I even cancelled my 2nd appointment! I would never, ever take my smooth chin for granted.

By Christmas, it was back. I scheduled an appointment with my family doctor, and she put me on a stronger antibiotic: Doxycycline. The Doxycycline made me so thirsty and my stomach hurt, but it was worth it. Again, the bumps went away after about a month.

I had another nice little break before having yet another flare up. This time I was fed up. I began researching about vitamin deficiencies and natural ways to cure it. I began applying a mask of Stonyfield yogurt and coconut oil. It helped significantly for about a week. After that, it only really worked if I didn’t use it everyday. I still use the mask if I have a big event coming up, but it is not effective treatment for everyday use.

I ended up dealing with my perioral dermatitis until late August. I decided to go back and see the dermatologist again after crying over it in a shopping center parking lot and not wanting to go in with a bright red, burning chin. She put me on antibiotics again and also suggested I start taking zinc everyday. Studies have shown a zinc supplement can help  dermatitis significantly even if you are eating healthy.

Since August, the zinc has been helping. The rash cleared within the month of taking the antibiotics, but the zinc has kept it at bay so far pretty well. Currently, I am having a small flare up, but it is not nearly as bad as it used to be. The flare up is because I skipped a zinc supplement one day when I was out of town and the stress of starting a new job. I am trying to remain calm and write down any stressors. While there is little documentation about stress and perioral dermatitis, I feel they are strongly connected.

I am also thinking of limiting my peanut butter intake. I eat a ton of it during school, and it seems like my flare ups happen around school. It will be hard though. It is one of my favorites. If the lack of peanut butter doesn’t help, I may limit my wheat. I only eat whole wheat products right now, but I do have a sensitivity to it anyways. It may not be helping my dermatitis.

Do you suffer from Periorial Dermatitis? Do you have a solution or tip? I’d love to hear from you either in the comment section or email me at soreykalee@yahoo.com

Also, please see my favorite skincare, makeup, and hair products that are safe for dermatitis if you have questions relating to cosmetics.

drugstore.com - new customer offer

Comments

  1. Fiona Nagy says:

    Once again thanks for sharing your story. I can really relate to the part where you are in a shopping mall parking lot crying! In november i was decorating the christmas tree with my 3 beautiful children and husband. Everyone was having a great time and i just burst into tears, so overwhelmed with the burning itch and unsightly red bumps on my chin. I vowed from then on that i would stop stressing about it so much, and i’ve really gotten to a place that is calmer and excepting of the rash. And it has gotten better because i’m also sure stress is a major trigger. Even though with 3 kids,,,, my life will never be stress free LOL! Oh I also forgot to mention that i’ve been taking the zinc for over a week and it is so much better! That was a great tip and I thak you for it :)!
    fiona

  2. My 13 yr old son has had perioral dermatitis for almost 2 yrs now. Although it is extremely rare in men and even more so in younger males, his skin biopsy returned suggesting perioral dermatitis. His has actually spread from around his mouth and chin, to his nose, under his eyes, and the middle of his forehead. It is driving us insane, especially since his appearance matters SO much at his age. The first dermatologist placed him on all this nasty facial ointment. For 6 months, we applied this stuff as instructed, and I kept thinking that it would eventually improve. Ecause everything I had read suggested it was very time consuming to get under control. She refused to place him on antibiotics so I finally decided to seek a second opinion. That dermatologist performed a skin biopsy and placed him on doxycycline and metro gel. He has been on this for 2 weeks and can’t tell a big difference. I also want to throw in that he has NEVER applied a steroid to his face. I am convinced that the massive amounts of sunscreen we’ve used has caused it. I am so frustrated and hope that one day it resolves but it’s looking pretty bleak right now:( Any stories on perioral dermatitis are appreciated. It does help to hear them!

    • Misti,

      I am so sorry to hear about your son. It breaks my heart that he is having to go through this. Have you heard of tetracycline? One of the other girls I have met with it has been on it, and it is finally clearing for her after a year. She is about to write another post on it so we can have a few stories for people to read and relate to…and hopefully share some tips. Have you heard about taking zinc? I swear by it and now it is even helping my friend as well. It’s cheap and doesn’t have side effects that I know of. My derm also mentioned using Accutane if mine did not clear up. She really didn’t want to put me on it because of its side effects, but it may be an option too especially since he is young. If you ever have a story you want to share (and hopefully a success story) I am always willing to help get it out there. I hope his clears up very soon!

    • Fiona Nagy says:

      Hey there! I really feel for your son! Just a question, i have read that many children will get perioral dermatitas from using steroid inhalers. Has he used something like that?
      Also, really give the antibiotic a chance. i’ve read that it can take 2 months to get a decent result. So persevere! Tetracycline has been a lifesaver for me but it does take time. I’m wishing your son all the best and quick healing
      Fiona Nagy

    • My son is going through the same thing. He is also 13 years old and he is so miserable. We have tried the gels and nothing work. It is getting worse! Now he is on an antibiotic and another new gel and hoping it works. We did the Zinc but my husband does not think he should take it with the antibiotic because the label says you should not take any vitamin with the antibiotic. Wierd. I am now switching his toothpaste and shampoo to all natural stuff to see if that works. Right now he is home from school because his face is too swollen and red. I feel like screaming because I think he will be like this for a while and he has to go back to school. I hate that he is going throught this.

      • Hey Sally,

        I’m so sorry he is going through it. I can’t imagine being 13 with it. Hopefully it will clear up soon or at least lose some of the swelling. Maybe the greek organic yogurt mask will help too!

    • How awful. Has he been tested for gluten intolerance? Apparently there is a strong link. Best wishes for a speedy and permanent recovery. Being 13 is hard enough!

  3. Hello :) I was just diagnosed “officially” about a week ago. I have had this horrible rash around my entire mouth and under my nose and every once in a while, it will pop up under my eyes for almost 2 months now. Seeing photos of different breakouts, I am thinking I have had this for years, just not this severe. I would usually just get a slight redness around my chin area with a few bumps here and there, it would usually go away in about a week. Never gave it much thought because it was always around the time of my period. My dermatologist put me on doxycycline. I have noticed a slight improvement with the inflammation. But I still have the itchyness, flakiness and horrible bumps. Other than the repeated attempts to swallow the awkward shaped pill, I, luckily have not had any issues with the antibiotic. Around the time of this breakout, I was just started to use a whitening strip, and I had also just gone through a heartwrenching break up in which I loss a significant amount of weight! So stress and whitening chemicals and malnutrition…makes sense! I have watched this thing on my face grow and grow and worsen and worsen! I have broken down a few times! The night I started my antibiotics, I actually had a dream that I woke up and it was all cleared up…I was bawling in my sleep I was so happy! My stress level has diminished significantly, but I am constantly battling my brains with thoughts of this! So, I am trying to not stress about it! TRYING being my key word!

    I am going to try the zinc and also the mask that you have suggested in hopes that it supplements the antibiotics! I have also read somewhere that Apple Cider Vinegar helps as well, but the smell is horrendous! So, until I can make it to the store for my baking goods and my zinc, I am going to attempt the Apple Cider Vinegar! And just have to deal with the stinky repellant ! LOL.

    Thank you so much for all the information you have posted!!

  4. Hello all! I must say its a bit of a relief to find you all out there, I really thought I might be suffering alone! I had beautiful skin for years,taken for granted of course… and then aged 32 went on a trip to India in 2006, I got this terrible rash…. travelling through India for 4 months meant I couldnt treat it, and when I finally got back home I was diagnosed with Tropical Acne. Since then I have been on everything, including tetracycline, which its now resiliant to, mynocycline, which now gives me cold sores, and finally the dreaded Accutane for 11 months… Now, after 9 months of clear skin, its come back and newly diagnosed as perioral dermititis. I know how you all feel, sometimes I just want to take a lighter to my face and try and burn it all away…

    Ive been trying Pantothen, but havent seen any improvement. I will try the Zinc, thank you for giving me another option!!!

  5. Hello :)

    Thank you for sharing your story.
    I am a 22 year old girl from Norway with a stereotypical scandiavian look (fair skin, blonde hair and blue eyes). I have never struggled with acne or spots except from a couple every now and then near my period. Over the past few years my skin has started to get quite dry. I have always struggled with dry, chapped lips during the winter. My lips get especially dry by the corners of my mouth.

    About a year ago I experienced something that seemed like dryness spreading from the corner of my mouth towards my chin and cheek, it was only small area with tiny tiny red rash looking dots. I asked the nurse about what it could be and she said it could be some kind of yeast infection and gave me a prescription for Canesten Hydrocortison cream. This seemed to work really quickly and I put it on whenever I saw some sort of dryness near my mouth. It all cleared up and I had no problems at all over the summer.

    About October/November time 2011 my lips got chapped again and the rash on the corner of my mouth was back in the exact same place. I tried to put on the Hydrocotison but it didn’t work this time, in fact it seemed to make it even more dry and irritated, so I stopped it and started using lip balm instead and eventually it went again.

    It came back late February 2012 and I was so annoyed, I also had got some strange spots on my cheeks near my nose and some on my lower forehead. My rash by my mouth was spreading even further away from the same corner of my mouth, leaving a clear area between the dry corner and the rash. I did not understand what the reason could be and decided to see a doctor. He only looked at it and said that it was perioral dermatitis but a very mild case. He asked if it bothered me and not surprisingly I said yes. It’s not painful, but the skin feels dry and stiff. I do not have any blisters around my mouth though, only ally dry red rough skin.

    My doctor gave me oral antibiotics, oxytetracycline, for a 2 month period. I’m currently within the second week of treatment and the rash has calmed down already. However, it did seem to do that previously anyway, like it would face a bit before it got worse again. I was told to not wear any makeup. I have managed to not put any makeup on the affected area near my mouth, but I still wear make up on my nose due to a few red spots. Hopefully the oxytetracycline treatment will make the rash go away completely.

    I am also having horribly dry lips so I just can’t stop using lip balms because stopping only makes it worse. Like you, I think my rash is caused by stress relating to studying. Since university started in January I’ve had a rough few weeks with intense report writing as we had several reports due in about the same time. I was fine over the summer and Christmas holidays when I didn’t stress at all. I am quite a perfectionist and have high expectations when it comes to my academic results and exercise routines. The only other thing I can think of which may have caused it is a new primer I bought from smashbox which I bought just before Christmas and started using more frequently from january as it kind of smoothed out my dry skin before applying foundation.

    I will take your advice and purchase some zinc tablets, the only thing is that I can’t take them 2 hours before or after I take the antibiotics which I have to take twice a day.

    Can I also ask what kind of makeup you use and how you managed to cover it up? I am useless when it comes to covering up spots etc, and have no clue how to deal with dry skin.

    I have had a look at loads of pictures online and I’ve realized that I should consider myself quite lucky as the rash has only spread to a smaller area. When I see some of the blisters people get I get confused whether I have perioral dermatitis or not because the rash around my mouth has never had any blisters the same size as acne or spots. However, I guess I should trust the doctor.

    My skin used to be like porcelain even though I used to sleep with makeup, wash my face with hand soap and apply cheap sunscreen to my face. I will never again take my skin for granted again and ensure I don’t put a lot of crap on my face.

    Thanks again for the information

  6. Hi there,

    I’ve been dealing with what started as two red spots on my right cheek, to what has now spread to both cheeks, chin and forehead. I’ve taken the antibiotics, and each time the best result i got was a 90% clear up and then it came back. This has made me take a big look at the way i live my life and the things that i’m putting into my body. From the research ive done on this it seems pd can start up for a variety of reasons, i believe mine to be a mixture of not looking after my teeth, my skin and my health in general. I started on a course of vitamin supplements, including zinc, plenty of fresh food and water as well as excersise, and my skin was improving, but then i sorta fell off the wagon and guess what, skin turned crumby again. Currently reading a book called inner cleansing, this is good for me because now i know what the supplements, plenty of water and fresh food are actually doing to my body and how theyre working, making me aware and therefore less inclined to return to the bad lifestyle habits. I’m back on it now, taking burdock and milkthistle-these are supposed to be good blood cleansers, a probiotic, -this is good for replacing the good bacteria in ur stomach if on antibiotics, vitamin c and biotin. I’m not eating ANY sugar as i know for a fact sugar aggravates it, avoiding whites like salt and flour is also recommended if trying to flush out and cleanse the body. Neutrogena two in one face mask/scrub is sensitive and doesnt contain sls (I havent gone down the whole avoid sls products route-not sure yet if i need to)- and i apply weleda calendula cream at night, which seems to keep my face/spots calm. One of the things in this book im trying out is the ‘miracle salad’ – raw onions, raw garlic, raw spinach or another green leaf with an apple cider dressing, eating this before every meal helps the body to dispose of toxins. My feeling about this thing I’ve got going on with my face… is that it’s a build up of waste and sediment within the body, it needs to be flushed out and the way i can help that is by limiting if not completely stopping putting harmful things into my system. Good luck everyone xx

  7. Mary O'Brien says:

    Kalee, my name is Mary and I have had perioral dermatitis since I was in 4th grade. I’m 31 now and I remember my dermatologist telling me that it will commonly form around any orafice on your face such as the eyes, nose, and yes, the mouth. I recall saying, oh no, I ‘ve only had it around my nose, I highly doubt I’ll get it anywhere else. Holy bananas! This crap has made the whole freaking round since then. The worse was when it was circling both my eyes and lids, and if anyone is reading this now with it around their eyes, I alternated cortisone cream and ointment, and it was the only time applying something actually helped. As you stated this stuff is tricky; once you find something that works, and seems to be helping, it will all of a sudden completely stop helping, and the dermatitis comes back with even MORE avengence. I truly believe dermatologists are just taking shots in the dark when they prescribe things. I have been through more creams and ointments than I can count, all costing upwards of $75.00 a piece, AFTER insurance, and nothing is a good fix. I wish I could remember them all to leave a warning, but I know I’ve tried metrogel, and some creams with sulfer in them. What really burns me, is that alot of these products only come in the form of ointments, that give me zits all over the affected area, or super drying liqueds/creams, that exacerbate the scaling. As for the last post I just read, about using healthy eating as a way of flushing it out; I’m a vegan that eats barely any processed “bad for you” food, and being vegan pretty much cut out all fast food, and makes going to a suitable restaurant a rare luxury. I was a meat eater when this all started, so I give up on the theory of attributing it to what I put into my body. Thank you for letting me vent here, I’ve had this on and off for so long, the last time I really outwardly spoke about it was when I was diagnosed a million years ago, and just a few words to the boyfriend of 6 years, who occasionally wants to talk about it because he too gets much smaller bouts of it. I’m going to get the zinc and yogurt, (even if the yogurt goes against my vegan spiel), and give’em a shot. I wanted to know of you had problems w/the coconut oil giving you pimples. I’m afraid. The plague is on my chin today, and of all places, a little bit on my upper lip, which is really wierd having my lip scaley. Stress definately adds to this, but there are definately times when there is just no reason for this. Okay. Thank you again, I’ll get back to you after I try these remedies.- mary

    • Thanks Mary for sharing your story! I’m so sorry you’ve had to deal with this for so long! :( I agree that once you find something that works it often has to be adjusted to something new to keep the rash from coming back/intensifying. It’s also interesting to know that a vegan diet hasn’t helped. I went vegan for about a month and noticed my skin was clearer, but about the 5th week my POD started with about 1 or 2 blisters and I broke out the acidic ointment to try and stop it. I was also really stressed then though (my grandmother was in the hospital). I have wondered if some type of medicine like Valtrex or something would help, but I’m just as in the dark as anyone else. The zinc has really helped me (2 times a day), but you can only take it up to 6 months out of the year. Good luck with the remedies and thanks again for sharing!

  8. Hi Everyone, I was diagnosed with Perioral Dermatitis about 2 months ago. Although the symptoms started about 2 years ago. My family doctor put me on a steroid ointment, and that kept my symptoms at bay until about 6 months ago. I was then put on doxycyclene and have been taking it for a little over a month. My dermatitis is around the corner’s of my mouth. I have also been put on the metro gel, but after a small clearing of the symptoms, I have found that they have returned full force. I will try the Zinc to see if it helps any, but I am really discouraged. I have never really had acne , and at 28 I would think that my skin problems would of been in the past! Thanks for all the stories, and advice!

    • Hey Nikole,

      I hope it clears up for you. I never really had acne either so when my PD popped up at 21 I was really upset too. I still have flares of it, but as long as I keep my stress in check I am able to control it pretty well. Doxycylene helped me. You will want to make sure you keep following the instructions though. I ate before taking it, and I felt bad for about 2 days. Just try to remember you aren’t alone. There are a lot of us out there, and no one else notices your PD like you do! Don’t let it completely stress you out! Good luck with the zinc!

  9. Hi there… it’s my first time posting on a forum like this but I wanted to share my experience so far. I’ve had Rosacea my entire life, so skin “stuff” has been on the back of my mind pretty much every waking moment of every day of my teen and adult life. About four weeks ago I started getting the mild symptoms of Perioral Dermatitis (PD): the severe burning, itching, sensitivity, and the redness around the lips and chin. I attribute it to sports-related activity as I wear a helmet with a chin-strap and a mouth-guard with my uniform a few times per week. Nothing over the counter helped, and actually it made it worse. It got so bad last week that scheduled a visit with the Dermatologist last Tuesday and she confirmed that PD is indeed what I had. After reading up on PD incessantly, I made a personal decision NOT to take the Cortizone topical cream and the harsh oral antibiotics she prescribed. Instead I decided to take the all-natural way first before diving into the scary world of harsh pharmaceuticals prescribed to me, since my body and skin are both very sensitive to medicine and antibiotics.

    Well, it’s been ONE week and I can assure you that the following combination so far is helping me A TON:

    – Do NOT use any make-up, moisturizers, face creams, ANYTHING that is synthetic. Leave your skin free of any soaps, washes, solutions, topical creams, etc. Trust me!!!

    – Start out by gently cleaning your face with ORGANIC honey… I know, it sounds weird, but just start by washing it with warm water and the honey (trust me, it cleans your makeup off too!)… it leaves your skin super-soft and moisturized.

    – When you are ready, start adding a plain yogurt mask to your cleaning regimen, preferably after gently washing your face with the honey. Try mixing the yogurt with the honey–it makes for a great, soothing, deliciously-smelling mask. Do that once in the morning and once at night.

    – After a day or so of the honey and yogurt, add some ACV (Apple Cider Vinegar) to your regimen. For the last 4 days, I have used it as a toner, as well as taking it internally. As a toner, use a dab of it on cotton or soft tissue over the affected area for about a minute, and let it dry, It WILL burn as all hell, but just let it be. The burning wears off as the effect of the naturally-acidic properties dry off. Then…

    – Take a swig!!! The properties in the ACV are VERY helpful with balancing the properties of your skin. I don’t claim to know much about that part or the ACV regimen, but I can tell you, my skin has NEVER felt his happy. Nor my tummy’s digestion. It’s done something to my body that I can’t explain… just read up on it.

    – Finally, I have been taking vitamin E and calcium supplements since last week. I have also been using the oil of the vitamin E to dab upon the affected area overnight. It feels funny because it’s an oil, but eventually it dissolves into the skin and it makes it feel supple and happy :)

    Don’t forget to drink tons of water and to also stay away from spicy foods and sulfites… these are killer for PD.

    So far like I said it’s been 6.5 days since the worst of my symptoms and I feel 95% back to the normal way I felt before. I will stress to try the natural way before you try the prescription creams/medicine. Best of luck :) I know it’s frustrating as hell.

  10. Anja Simonsen says:

    First off I would like to say thank you so much for the youtube videos about perioral dermatitis! I am 19 year old girl, starting my second year at UC Davis and am suffering from SEVERE perioral dermatitis all around my mouth. There are painful, cystic, red bumps on both sides of my mouth, on my chin, and on my mustache area (if I was a guy). It is so swollen and painful, making it hard for me to even eat an apple. I am so so so self conscious about it, whenever my roommates go out I always just choose to stay at home which makes me more depressed because I hate being alone like that. I can’t stand to look at myself in the mirror, like I can’t even believe it’s actually my reflection when I look at this girl who has horribly red bumpy skin all over her face. I can’t sleep even though I am always even tired.

    I am currently on my 4th week of doxycycline and have seen no results thus far. When do you think I will start seeing results? Also, what type of concealer should I wear? I know I shouldn’t be wearing any at all but there is no way I can go out in public without it so what would be the best type to use? I am also confused about using moisturizer… I have been using a moisturizer/sunblock or plain cetaphil moisturizer during the day, should I stop using those and start using coconut oil instead? I feel so helpless and lost, I don’t know if my daily face regimen is making it worse or better. Could you please help me figure out what I should be putting on my face in the morning and night? Your advice would mean the world to me. I am hoping I can get relief soon, every day living with this is like torture :(

    • We feel the same way :( I’m 16 years old and I’m having this PD for about 1 year now. It’s all over my chin and around my mouth. All red. :( I’m now taking antibiotics for a week and taking anti histamine . I tried the topical cream, it really worked but then now It’s worser than before :(

    • Hi Anja,

      Try using calendula gel or calendula oil on your POD. Don’t go overboard on applying the cream. But that’s with anything in life. Just be patient and don’t be desperate trying all sorts of things which will just make your condition worse. Use Tom’s fluoride free toothpaste. Hope this helps. If you really really have to put makeup on, use Bare Minerals.

  11. Hi, I am a 54 year old and my dermatologist confirmed about 1 month ago that I have PD. I think that this condition started for me several years ago. Approximately 3 years ago I started having swelling, redness, dry skin (no bumps at this time) around my mouth. I went to the dermatologist at that time and the first question out of his mouth was “are you under any stress?” At the time I said no, but afterward the answer should have been YES!. My jobs (working 2 jobs), daughter off to college, etc. The dermatologist gave me some cream (don’t know the name) and told me to discontinue using any form of lip balm. I stopped the lip balm and left both of my jobs. The redness, etc improved and only occasionally returned. Sometime early this summer I started with the redness, bumps, itching, etc. and notice that being in the sun and heat made it much worse. I am know on antibiotics and a cream with some improvement. As of today I will be taking Zinc x2 daily, watch my sugar intake, try to manage my stress. I just want this to GO AWAY… I have never had any skin problems and I feel like everyone I meet is looking at my skin. But, I’m not stressing :).

  12. Hi all,

    Reading these posts makes me feel less alone, but also extremely sad. I had a facial last Thursday in preparation for my wedding next week. I have never had skinn problems/breakouts, but of course I wanted to look extra perfect as my wedding draws near. I gave the facialist the ok to add on a microdermabrasion treatment which probably wasn’t the best idea given how sensitive my skin is… Friday night, my face broke out in a rash from ear to ear below my nose. All weekend I was I tears, and I sat in the parking lot of a dermatology office Monday for 3 hours until they opened. Within 30 minutes, the dermatologist diagnosed me with PD and gave me a prescription for doxycycline. I have only taken 3 of the 42 pills, but there is no improvement or sign of hope. I’m devastated, and I would do anything to make this clear up in the next 11 days. I am going to go but zinc today. Can anyone else help me figure out what to do? Thank you. Lindsay

  13. Lindsey sorry to hear about this. I will keep you in thoughts and prayers.
    I was just put on doxycycline two days ago, hoping it would help considering both of my eyes are surrounded with rash. I’m a man so I can’t wear makeup too. It’s tough.

  14. Hey All,

    I’m a 24 year old male (one of the few it seems), and I’ve had bouts of PD for a few years now, after always having exceptional complexion growing up. I recently (about 1.5 months ago) got it again on the corner of my mouth, after wishfully assuming it was gone for a long time. It was over a year since the last time I had it, and since then I had switched to Flouride toothpaste and SLS-free soap. I’m so upset I have to deal with it again, and for the other 3 times I went to my dermatologist who prescribed tetracycline, and later, doxycycline. However, this time I wanted to try to naturally heal it using various products ive spent countless hours reading about online.

    I was forced to use standard toothpaste w/ flouride in early Septermber 2012 at a camping trip, and it was only maybe twice in 3 days. I don’t want to think something so harmless would cause my recent outbreak, but I truly don’t know what else may have caused it. After that I noticed a very slight red patch, and didnt want to believe it was the beginning of PD. To be safe, I started off using VIOLET EXTRACT, straight from the vial, and dripped it onto the area. I have read from various sources online that the violet extract works wonders with PD. Well after 2 or 3 weeks with it, nothing changed, and the rash gradually grew into a noticeable patch of red bumps.

    Next, I tried APPLE CIDER VINEGAR w/ the mother, and topically applied it (mixed with a little water) with a Q-tip on the area, twice a day. I also drank it twice a day, 2 tspn morning, and then night. This seemed to put the rash through cycles, in which initially it would seem angry from the burning of the vinegar, and then it would subside into hardly noticeable after a week! However this was a tease, and only lasted for 2 days before it would come back again, very red. This cycle happened for about 3 weeks. As soon as I started the ACV, I also bought two supplements I have read about: BIOTIN and PROBIOTICS (acidophilus). I took each of these everyday, as directed on the bottle. This method with the ACV and Bioton, ProBiotics didnt cure anything after a good 3 weeks, only bringing the rash down (to almost nothing) a couple times.

    Just 2 days ago, I decided to try yet another natural remedy I’ve read about. I bought California Baby’s CALENDULA CREAM. For the past 3 days I’ve cut out applying the ACV in the morning, and instead apply the Calendula Cream in the morning, at noon, and again at 6pm. I’m still putting the ACV on it at night, as well as drinking it twice a day, and taking the Biotin, ProBiotics everyday. Initially, the calendula cream does not seem to be doing much, and in fact it looks a little more red to me since i started using it. I’m not ready to give it up quite yet, and will stick it out for the week, however, I’m getting pretty depressed over this. I think I will have to call my Dermatologist today and get back onto the Doxycycline, which is never a quick process.

    Other remedies I’ve read about that I have not tried include:

    Tea Tree Oil (however, i’ve been using Tea Tree soap in the shower for over a year)

    Coconut Oil (the last one that seems to work for many people that I’d be willing to try)

    Zinc (as I read about here thanks to Kalee)

    Neem (Ive only seen the cream in my health store, however people use a soap)

    I hope something happens soon, I’m really sick and tired of this stubborn infection. I just wish someone can discover a cure-all, end-all!

    • Flouride-free** toothpaste meant to say!

    • Hi Jesse!

      Thank you so much for sharing your story. I am so sorry you suffer from PD, and I hope something helps soon. I have had the same hope and letdown of the rash going in cycles. I don’t know what flares mine either besides stress. If you’ve been really stressed or upset, try to take some time to relax each day as dumb as it sounds. It seems to help mine. I would love to know if you find something to clear it up again. I hate Doxyclycline too. Yuck!

      Thanks again for keeping us up to date!! :) It’s nice to know it’s a little more common than I originally thought.

      Kalee

  15. I too suffer from POD. I am 42 years old and have had bouts of it since I was around 12 years old. Right now, I am having the worst POD I have ever had. It has been present for over a month. I have tried the ACV, yogurt masks, calendula cream, Finacea gel…nothing has worked…so I put myself back on Doxycycline starting today and am using the Finacea gel. I am hoping to see some improvement soon. Not only do I hate the way I look, but it is itchy and irritating. It does seem that stress plays a big part in my POD so I need to figure out some ways to relieve stress…

  16. Hi, first time I have wrote anything on these forums.My son is 6 tears old, he has asthma and has a steroid pump through an inhaler.about 4 months ago he got a rash around his chin and the doctor gave him hydrocortisone cream.it got no better so I stopped using everything and just put a little bio oil on.Now for over a week he has got it all round his mouth and under his nose.I looked up on the internet and I knew it was POD. I took him to the paediatric ane and he prescribed erythromycin oral and trimovate cream with double base gel.I have changed his asthma chamber to one that doesn’t go around his face and he just puts his mouth round it now so hoping this will help.I have been crying my eyes out and at my wits end with doctors.since reading about trimovate it states not to use on pod! It has a steroid in it.I really don’t know what to do.its so inflamed and red and itchy.I’ve heard there are creams that are just antibiotic and no steroid in.he has a vitamin supplement once a day that contains zinc.is it still ok for me to use the double bas gel.will be soo grateful for any advice.Thankyou

  17. I was diagnosed Wednesday with perioral dermatitis after having minor, but increasing symptoms over the last month. I have been prescribed doxycycline and metronidazole cream, and since I’ve been using it, the affected area has gotten larger, redder, more itchy and painful. Has anyone else experienced this? Does it have to get worse before it gets better? It’s embarrassing. I bought the recommended Basis face wash and zinc this morning.

    • I’ve had that happen, but my derm also told me it could get worse before it got better. Also, it’s gonna take a couple weeks. I’m 26, and it’s embarassing! I had it over a year ago, and it went away. Now it’s back:( For about 7 weeks I have been on Minocycline and the Metrogel. I have a stubborn area on my chin, and it’s a pain! I have bought zinc, and once time I used Grapeseed Oil from Walgreens. It seemed to help.

  18. Hi Guys, I too suffer from the occasional bouts of perioral dermatitis. I have tried so many different creams, cleansers and soaps. Both organic, natural and medical. Most creams only left my face drier and scaley or bright red and and inflammed. I recently tried some products from Kora Organics, having read so many positive comments about this Company I decided to give it ago. I purchased the cream cleanser for sensitive skin and the soothing day and night cream. I noticed a difference within two days and two weeks later my dermatits has pretty much completely cleared up. My skin has never felt or looked better. I have always had really dry sensitive skin and oily nose/chin area. I would definitely recommend giving it a go. I am not usually one to post stuff like this but I know how frustrating and worrying it is having dermatits and this worked for me.

  19. Hey kalee,

    I read your post about peri oral dermatitis and i’m really happy you’ve shared your experiences.

    I’m dutch so my knowledge of the English language isn’t that flawless :p

    It is very difficult to find usefull information about how to treat dermatitis and which products you can still wear,lots of website tell that they don’t really know what causes the dermatitis.

    Last year i mentioned having skin problems on my chin and around my mouth but in the beginning i dind’t took it very seriously ,thought it might be the result of heavy working, less sleep and airconditioning.
    I have wearn a lot of make-up every day since i was 16 and i haven’t had any problems yet,i even never had acne.

    But the last year was very tough,i had it almost constantly and it effected my life for a big part.

    It didnt only surrounded my mouth,but i began to have it next to my nose and it climbed up to my cheeks and eyes.

    It could go away for a week (by quitting using any cosmetics or soaps) but even when i dind’t put it on i could have bubbels.

    The heaviest break out was lost month,i had wearn a Garnier BB foundation for 2 days when i had a clear moment and afterwards.That was very stupid of me and my punishment: i had a major break out.
    I looked afwull,it was so serious,my boss told me i could stay home for a few days because i wasnt very approuchble anymore and my job really aqquiers to look spotless.

    And personally,i dont think its only a dissaster the way it looks, it was also extremely painfull, burning and itchy.

    I finally decided to go to a very known dermatologist in the city wich has waitinglists from arround 2 months and when he saw me at the entry ,he arranged a appointment an hour later,because he had never seen it so bad.

    He gave me antibiotics and a gel from Wimder. He also let me promise not to use any cosmetic for the next two weeks.
    The antibiotics gave me stomicproblems so i had to quit it before i ended it and the Widmer creme didn’t help,it became even worse.

    The best soloution that really makes it stay away is in my opinion just don’t wear any cosmetics.

    Although,i cant help,i really want to wear a little bit of make up once a while,im still a woman…

    I tried a lot of expensive anti-allergic cremes from the farmacist,and nothing helped. La Roche Possay,Roc,Widmer,it caused new break outs.

    But i finally found already three products wich keep my skin clear now(fingers crossed!):

    -Dr Hauschka Rose cream (i apply a little bit every morning,not to much because its oily)
    - Vichy Area tint cream foundation (i do try to clean it off when i’m home immediatly,because i think that it still a risk when it covers thee skin to long)
    and
    -Cleanising lotion Garnier Essentiel (no perfume,no colrants or parabens)

    For the last 2 weeks i haven’t had any dermatitis,for the first time in a year and i hope it stays his way,because its really hummulliating to walk around with an itchy rash on the age of 26..

    I will also try your tip by taking zink tablets,thanks to share it.

    I hope you will heal from it very soon,

    Greats,
    Hannelore

    • Thank you so much for sharing your products, Hannelore! I am so sorry you broke out so badly!!! I was tempted by the Garnier BB foundation. So while I hate that you had that experience, I am VERY grateful that you shared it. I will not try it, and I will stick to the minimal makeup that seems to keep the POD at bay. Thanks again!

  20. So as I sit in publix Parking lot, I’ve been reading all of your comments and im so afraid. I believe that I have POD. I woke up today mind you, it’s NYE, with red patches all around my mouth nose and what seems like tiny scaly breakouts, that burn like crazy! I’ve been researching online since I literally woke up this morning. I already suffer from extreme acne breakouts for almost 2 years, after having clear skin for the majority adolescent life. And now this i really the cherry on top. This really sucks! I’m scheduling an appointment to the derm ASAP :( thank you guys this forum has been honestly the most helpful! Wishing all of you the best this upcoming year!

  21. charlotte says:

    I’ve been dealing with pod for a bit more than a year, but my breakouts are pretty mild (5-6 bumps) and used to last about a week but I’ve had a constant breakout (still pretty mild) for the past month so started to take antibiotics and using finacea gel a week ago and its 95% gone i will continue to take the antibiotics for 6 weeks… the thing is that i have an anxiety disorder and even though i should consider myself lucky that my case is mild, i keep worrying that its gonna get worse over the time…..its always on my mind..

    • I totally understand about worrying. I pray that yours will completely go away and stay gone. I have found writing down my worries has helped me calm down about it. Maybe it could help you too. good luck!!

      • Dear all:

        Kalee your site is brilliant, thank you for sharing your story and your tips. I’m always inspired by people that reach out to share their experiences and knowlege.

        I have also had reoccurring episodes of POD.

        The initial question is “what on earth is this?”
        But the lingering mystery to me is “what is causing this?”

        Of course I completely understand that initially, all you care about it getting the bumps off your face, and FAST… So antibiotics, like minocycline or doxycycline are taken, gels and creams like protopic are applied… and they seem like a great solution as long as they take that rash away…

        …But when it comes back, and keeps coming back… I think this is a very clear message from our bodies, that the original cause has not been addressed. Western medicine fails to address the cause, and simply treats the symtoms.

        Therefor I think it is important to adopt a more holistic approach. What is the bigger picture? It is an opportunity to examine our lives and reflect on what is going wrong.

        Something that is toxic to our bodies, either that we are ingesting or coming into contact with is manifesting itself through our skin.
        Stress can be toxic, the chemicals in products we are using can be toxic, even certain foods may be toxic.
        Our livers bare a heavy burden for us, detoxifying our blood for the entire body! We can help take the weight off our livers by drinking more water, incorporating certain foods into our diets, and cutting others out. It may help to look into the various methods used to detoxify the body. See the Wild Rose cleanse for example.

        It would also be worthwhile to scrutinize the products that you are using. The most natural and least intrusive is always the way to go.

        There is a lot of research available online about how to reduce stress in your life. Kalee also offers some insight into this as well.

        I know that it is difficult to keep a level head when your face is burning, or bumpy or red, and lingers ON AND ON. So treating the symptoms naturally like the yoghurt mask that Kalee describes, or taking zinc are good options to keep the rash at bay while you seek other holistic methods of cleansing your body and your environment. Even resorting to more drastic methods, like antibiotics, are possible, temporary solutions.

        But the key is that these solutions are only temporary, aka bandaid solutions.

        My main message is to encourage those to seek the cause of the issue, and take the time to examine your life, and try to implement healthier choices. If you need support, perhaps working with a naturopath would be a better option than working alongside a dermatologist.

        Believe in yourself and you will sort it out!
        Be persistant, try a cleanse, and stay positive!

  22. Priscilla says:

    I was diagnosed with PD a week ago by a dermatologist, but fear I have had it for years. My general doc had prescribed a steroid cream which I have been using for YEARS. The more I used it, the more I needed it. I went off the steroids cold turkey last month and the rash has come on with a vengeance. The rash has always been around my nose. It has now spread to my upper lip and my eyelids.

    The dermatologist prescribed Metrogel and doxycycline (and no cosmetics). I am 55 years old and an avid cosmetic user. This is not fun.

    I also have rosacea. Does anyone use sunblock on their face? If I don’t use sunblock, I will fry out there. Does sunblock worsen the condition?

    Thanks—

  23. Wow, these stories are very inspiring… thanks so much for sharing – makes me feel as if I am not so alone! I have not been officially diagnosed with PD and an not even sure if I have it, however, I am a sixteen year old girl and have been suffering from chin acne since about seventh or eighth grade, it never was overly severe more so mild-moderate and I became accumtomed to covering my blemishes up with make up until grade nine ( yes, by blemishes I mean pimples, which I know doesn’t exactly fit with the PD criteria, I’ve never experienced a rash *knock on wood*) when I began to not apply any make up to my chin hoping it would improve … it didn’t! I became very stressed at the end of the year, causing more pimples and began to use a topical cream which prevented some pimples but leaving me with a red, inflamed and very dry skin then making it very necessary to cover my chin with make up and worsening my condition. I have now tried two more topical creams only leading to severe dryness which I try to combat with moisturizer which I believe causes more pimples. Sometimes I feel like the battle is never ending and right now i’ve reached a point of frustration, in the midst of a flare up, I find myself wanting to put my head down at school not wanting to expose my dry, flaky and red skin to the public. Sometimes I break down and cry because all I want is to not worry or think about my chin, just like the rest of my friends and around Christmas pimples began to pop up around my mouth and now I am experiencing dryness on my forehead, cheeks, nose and most importantly my chin, I hope my condition will improve but soemtimes I feel like I lost hope, there are so many moments where I am left thinking “Oh my god, what does my chin look like right now… is it really dry? Can anyone see my pimples?”. Now I am hoping I will be able to go on tetracycline and hopefully that will help!…. wish me luck :)

  24. Melanie Sullivan says:

    I am the mother if a 6 year old little girl who has pod. Her doctor prescribed a cream called Cutivate . I put it on her daily and her face has been clear for a year give or take a few bumps here or there. I am wondering if this is ok to stay on or will she have a major out break if I stop using it? I don’t want her to spend the rest if her life having to put this on everyday. If anyone knows about this cream please let me know. Thanks

  25. Hi Kalee,
    Try researching Candida overgrowth in the intestines. I was diagnosed with PD. I was put on Doxycycline as well. I have almost cleared mine in 2 weeks just by doing a Candida cleanse and going on the strict Candida diet. I wondered why my PD was itchy. I researched it and it totally makes sense that an overgrowth of yeast in your intestines..goes through the walls of the intestines into your bloodstream and can affect many people in many different ways. For me it was this itchy horrible rash on my face. You honestly have to be willing to do whatever you can to get rid of it. I to believe that stress plays a roll. Did you ever wonder why the PD comes back after you go off your antibiotics??? There is a root to the problem. We don’t just suddenly become allergic to SLS, fluoride and creams and lotions we’ve been using for years for no reason! You body in compromised by an overgrowth of yeast in your intestines. You need to look at it like the glass is overflowing and you need to empty it. Trust me, this works!!! Eliminate all sugars and carbs and fermented foods (vinegar, beer, wine) in your diet. NO fruit or fruit juice either! No honey! Only sweetener you can use that Candida will not thrive off of is called Stevia. It is an herb and very sweet but you can add it to anything just like you would regular sugar. No milk, cheese…they all contain lactose..which is sugar. You need to do the cleanse…google it Candida cleanse and Candida diet. It will tell you all the foods you can eat and the foods to stay clear of so that you can rid your body of the Candida. The cleanse will cleanse your intestines and get rid of the existing yeast that’s causing your pd and the diet will make sure the pd goes away because you will not feed the Candida so it dies off. You will have to take a pro biotic at night before bed to recolonize your intestines with the good bacteria they need to be healthy. I like Bio K strong. Make sure the pro biotic is entric coated so that they dont get killed in the stomach before reaching the intestines. Try tea tree oil on the rash. It does wonders and is completely natural. It will burn a bit but that means it’s working! Also try 100% vitamin E on your face if it’s dry! It has amazing healing and smoothing qualities. Drink 1 to 2 litres of water everyday! Keep taking the zinc as i do as well. Take vitamin E as well.
    Get off those antibiotics!!! They are terrible for your body. They kill all the good bacteria in your intestines and then the Candida thrives in there!
    This diet is hard but it will pay off! You will look healthier because of all the healthy foods you are eating. Incorporate good fats whenever you can, they are fantastic for your body and skin! A lot of them because you will need the fat. You wont be getting it from the sugar and carbs. Some of the ones I eat are flax seed oil, avacado, pumpkin seeds, almonds and almond milk (unsweetend) then add your own stevia. Coconut oil! Its great to cook with and you can put it on you body and hair! I do it everyday and my hair and skin has never looked better! Please just try this for 2 weeks! You will see results!! TRUST ME! You may notice that the rash gets a little worse when you start the diet and cleanse but just keep at it! After the first week…it just gets better and better! You skin will look the best it has since you were a kid!
    Eventually after the Candida is killed off you will be able to re introduce the things that you ate before 1 by 1. Then do everything in moderation. You may actually start to enjoy the foods you are eating while you cleanse and continue eating a lot of them as well.
    Good Luck!
    Let me know if you try this and it works for you. It worked for me and I hope that I can help at least one person! :)

    • Wow Sarah, thank you!! I did a cleanse in June and noticed a difference, and right now it is cleared up (knock on wood!!). Your reasoning and passion are great, and I will DEFINITELY try it if I have another flare up (which I know I probably will). I will also let others know about your story, and I really appreciate you sharing it!! :)

      • Allegra says:

        hi there!

        This is really interesting. I have had PD for a few months now but I was misdiagnosed and given a steroid cream which I now found out just made it worse. I just found out that it is PD and trying to learn about everything I should be doing to get rid of it. This cleanse sounds really interesting. besides the candida – do you think the sulfites in wine and other foods affect PD or is that completely different?

  26. Suzie Sublette says:

    I’ve had POD for about four years, on and off. I am surprised few have mentioned food products as an aggravater. After much research, I learned it’s true that any stimulant around the nose/mouth area can cause problems. My triggers are alcohol (sadly!), hot foods and drinks such as soups and teas, and stimulants such as caffeine, so especially coffee, even sodas and spicy foods. Any heat or stimulant in the facial area causes the bacteria to quickly multiply. The worst is if I sleep with my hands against my face – bad outbreak! Mine came and went the first couple of years, but I recently gave in to coffee after giving up soda and tea – whoop, here it is, with a vengeance! Doxycycline kills my stomach, but it works for a while. Someday, some wonderful drug co. will finally create a ($$) cure!!

  27. Hey all, I’ve been struggling with Perioral Dermatitis for the last year. My POD is a red, burning rash that comes up under my bottom lip, and after being told it was cold sores over and over again, I finally found a dermatologist that could recognise the problem. I’m fair-skinned, in my mid-twenties, with a history of irritable skin issues including eczema and dermatitis. The POD is so troubling, it is so noticeable and you can’t hide it under anything! Trying to date with a problem like this is difficult as well, which is unfortunate. It’s like “I can’t kiss you for about 10 days while my lip is red and swollen, I hope that’s ok”. Not cool.

    The treatment I’ve had for POD has consisted of Doxcycline (100mg/day) for 12 weeks which did not provide much benefit. I’ve just had a patch allergy test performed on my back, and found I’m allergic to Nickel, Nutmeg and Corticosteroids. Interestingly, i’ve used cortisone cream on my hands for dermatitis for about 10 years – which most likely sensitised me to produce this allergy – but i’ve never put this cream on my face. It shouldn’t cause this lip problem.

    Regarding food, triggers include spicy foods, wine and chocolate (very very sad about this), coffee, and acidic foods like orange juice and tomatoes. Similar to one of the comments above, it flares up around the time of my period. My POD seems less frequent since going back on the pill. From that, I assume that there may be a hormonal influence to the condition. And the link with stress, and therefore stress hormones like cortisol, may also suggest this. My dermatologist pointed out that many of her patients with POD use Clarins skin care products (perhaps an ingredient they use may trigger the problem). I’ve used their products since I was a teenager.

    I have been a religious lip balm user for as long as I remember – this seems to be common with many of us here? I’ve recently stopped using Lucas papaw ointment as it can induce POD because it contains the irritant plant resin, Balsam of Peru. Apparently Vaseline is the only thing that shouldn’t irritate it further.

    I think you are right about the Zinc supplement – i’ve recently stopped my supplement and it’s come up quite badly – so am definitely going back on them, and upping to 2 a day as you suggest.

    I am so glad that I stumbled across this site in a random google search – Thanks for the tips guys! Keep them coming!

    • Deb,

      Thank you so much for sharing your triggers, tips, and story. It means so much to me to see normal women talking about it, and it helps to know that we aren’t alone. I totally related to your dating comment….my dermatitis showed up about 2 weeks into dating my now boyfriend of 2 years. It was SO embarrassing, and I was scared he would think he could catch it. He was really sweet though, and now he still has to keep any stubble gone so it doesn’t irritate my chin. :P

  28. Thank you for all of the stories, I’m glad to know that I am not alone… Sorry for my English, it is my second language… My name is Michelle and I am 26 years old. I have never had any skin problem in the past and have never used any make up in my life. The only facial products I have been using are the facial cleanser and moisturising cream, which I have been using for 2 years. I am always reluctant to change my facial products as I have sensitive skin and have tried many different products before I found the one that I “can” use. My battle with POD started 3 months ago. It started with dry skins around my mouth, which then became extreme and started peeling off even when I speak. I went to my GP and she gave me some oil ointment to put on my face. It became worse and after 2 weeks rashes and bumps appeared. I was then referred to a Dermatologist and was given stronger oil ointment creams (with steroid) to use. It didn’t help, instead it became worse. It spreads to my eyes and larger areas around my mouth, and it is redder and more obvious than before. I was then referred to Skin and Cancer lab to do an allergy test to see what started this. The result came back negative, which means that I am not allergic to any of the products I have used (not that I have used many). I was then referred back to the first Dermatologist to work out what happened to my face. I’ve just been to my Dermatologist today and just been diagnosed as POD. I am now on antibiotics and will have to take it for 4 weeks, and have been advised that I will only see improvements on the 3rd or 4th week. I can totally feel the frustration everyone felt, I even put on a mask to cover my face to go to work, but then it makes people think that I am contagious so I stopped doing it. I haven’t been going out at all except to work (who knows how long I will be able to keep my job as I work at front line and have to face customer everyday). I even gave up at one stage and just stopped using anything for 3 days but then the dryness drove me nuts and forced me back on prescribed cream. I really want this to go away, I was very optimistic in the past but since I have POD I have been depressed and stressed. I just want it to go away….

    • Michelle,

      Im so sorry you are having to deal with the rash. I hope our stories inspire and help at least a little. It is funny, but it seems like a lot of us have a job around people (I’m also a high school teacher…teenagers notice EVERYTHING and don’t hold back) so I hope you can relate to us and know it gets better. Also, we are the ones that see it at its worst. If you haven’t already seen it, I also did a post on safe products to help cover up the dermatitis too. It maye help. ;) http://soreyfitness.com/tips/perioral-dermatitis-safe-products/

  29. Thank you so much for this webpage and for the extremely helpful links. I have been struggling with skin and allergy problems ever since I was diagnosed with Perioral Dermatitis. Regarding this, I was wondering if you had any experience with your lips swelling, burning, and having small red sore areas on them along with your PD? This occurred along with my POD initially, but my dermatologist who diagnosed me with POD said that it sounded like an allergy to him (i.e., not a part of the POD since PD usually spares the mouth). So… I thought it was an allergy to SLS because it stopped immediately after switching toothpastes, but it happened again yesterday without me having spared from my careful grooming regimens. Do you have any experience with these lip symptoms? Thank you in advance.

    • Thanks for checking out the blog. I am so sorry to hear about your perioral dermatitis!! :( I know it can be tough, and yes, I have had a lot of problems with my lips. They have burned and swelled before, and when I use the acidic gel for dermatitis or the antibiotic they often get really dry (like flakey on the outside). It does heal just like dermatitis though; it just takes some time. I LOVE LOVE LOVE Kiss My Face’s chap stick. It’s light enough that it doesn’t clog any pores, it tastes better than any SLS-free thing I have found, and it’s SLS and paraben free. Here is a link to it

      Sorry it’s such a huge link! I tried a smaller one but it wouldn’t work. Weird!

      I hope yours heals up soon, and if you need any help or find something that works I’d love to know :)

  30. Thank you for sharing this. I know first hand how horrible this condition is. I pretty much stick with one non irritating toothpaste, avoid cinnamon, and apply no makeup below my nose. i still have flare ups from time to time though, and they are sooo painful. I found that during a flair up if i keep a thin layer of vaseline on the area, it heals faster and doesnt get as dry cracked and painful. Hope this helps someone..

  31. HollywoodDreams says:

    THANK YOU for sharing your experience. I learned 3 days ago my nonstop breakout for the past 2 months is NOT hormonal or due to stress as I would have thought. No, it is infact this awful, horrible rash. Emotionally, it has shattered my self esteem. I don’t want to get out of bed on a daily basis knowing people will see it and wonder what’s wrong with my face. Even more frustrating is I recieved my Estheticians License last October and am not only a skin care product junkie but a COSMETIC junkie as well. Now that i am sure of what i have and have researched the disorder for hours and hours, I am really struggling not being able to use my beloved products and cosmetics. I’ve been dying all weekend, waiting for Monday morning so I can get in to the derm ASAP. I only hope now that I don’t become a statistic and end up suffering this damn thing the rest of my life. Some esthetician/make up artist I’d be walking around looking like a monster!! :( So again, thank you. For the tips, advice and information…but mostly for making me feel as though I am not alone for the first time in 2 months. I wish anyone suffering this a quick recovery and sympathy from the bottom of my heart to yours. Here’s to hoping this will clear and stay that way, allowing me to get on with my life and the ability to look in the mirror without bawling my eyes out.

    • Hey Holly!

      I think you will be such an influence in this though because of your training! I can’t wait to hear what the dermatologist says and your take on the safe- products. I hope it heals very soon for you!

      Kalee

  32. THANK YOU for sharing your experience. I learned 3 days ago my never ending breakout for the past 2 months is NOT hormonal or due to stress as I had been thinking all along. I have always had clear skin, never even having acne as a teen. Stress and my period were always to blame for little blemishes here and there through out the month. But not this time. No, it is inface this awful, unsightly rash. Emotionally, it has completely shattered my self esteem unlike anything else I have ever had to experience in my 26 years. I don’t want to get out of bed on a daily basis knowing people will see me and be thinking to themselves ‘WHAT in the heck is wrong with this girls’ face?!’ Even more frustrating is I received my license in Esthetics last October and therefore am not only a skin care product junky but also a cosmetic junky as well. Now that I am sure of what I have and have done the hours of research on the disorder, I am really struggling not being able to use ANY of my beloved products/cosmetics. I strongly believe my rash stems from the overuse of steroid/ topical creams and ointments. Around Christmas I was suffering what I thought to be a regular PMS related breakout (now I’m not so sure…) so what do I do? Load up on Aveenos Clear Complexion Moisturizer with .5% SA and swap out my regular MUFE Full Cover Concealer for a ‘healing’ one by Almay which contains 1% SA. I would swear a couple days would go by and I would see a slight improvement. Only to wake up 4-5 days later to a complete DISASTER. Tight, itchy, flaky, severely dry, painful…most of all…indescribably humiliating. It has had it’s up and downs (mostly downs unfortunately) ever since.
    I’ve been dying all weekend waiting for tomorrow morning (Monday) so I can call and make a derm appt ASAP. Praying the doctor can see me this week as I know the longer I go on like this, the worse it will be and the more I will hate myself. I only hope now that I don’t become a statistic and end up suffering this damn thing the rest of my life. Some esthetician/makeup artist I’d be walking around looking like a monster…not using skin product or any cosmetics myself. Won’t be very good for my business. So again, thank you. For the tips, advice, COURAGE and COMFORT you have given me. But mostly I must tell you thanks for making me feel as though I am NOT alone for the first time in 2+ months. I wish anyone suffering this rash a quick recovery with little to no embarrassment and my utmost sympathy from the bottom of my heart to yours. Here’s to hoping this will clear and stay that way, allowing me to get on with my life and the ability to finally look in the mirror again without bawling my eyes out! :(
    GOOD LUCK TO ALL OF US!!! <3

    P.S- I was ECSTATIC to see MUFE Full Cover on the list of safe to use products for PD. My favorite concealer of all time made the cut! However, until I see my derm, I will continue to only rinse with warm water and blot dry. Zero product. Zero makeup. After talking with the derm and once I begin to see improvement and because of your own research experimenting with Full Cover and PD, I will HAPPILY be using it again! :)

    • Hey Holly,

      I’m so sorry you are suffering from the rash and all the mental worries that comes with it. I know it is terrible, and you want to look great for your job. I feel like someone may think my rash is “unhealthy” or a result of my diet or something so I can relate somewhat. It can and will get better though. I hope your doctor is able to help. I also recommend a zinc supplement 2x a day until it clears so you may ask him or her about it. My doctor suggested it to me, and it’s helped a lot.

      I’m glad I could help a little. :) Keep us updated about how your dermatitis heals. :) I think once you find what helps yours you will be a HUGE inspiration and help to those with the rash because you ARE certified in esthetics! I am just a blogger with no skin experience besides testimonials and trial-and-error, and people have still seen an improvement through the blog. Imagine what you can do for people!!

  33. hello, I have just stumbled across this website whilst googling for help for Perioral Dermatitus. I have been seeing a dermatologist for approx 12 months due to another skin condition Idiopathic Angiodeama and Urticaria. My skin has been a constant issue for years I have been diagnosed with Adult Acne etc had oral and topical medication on and off for years ( I am now 44 ) whilst at the dermatologist I asked about my skin and was diagnosed with Roscea. Anyway to cut a long story short I have been using steroid cream on my face for around 12 Months, I found this the only thing that helped with breakouts. approx 2 weeks ago the spots around my mouth, nose chin turned really nasty a rash really with papsuls looked like horrendous Acne. I didn’t go in work went to the doctore cried and cried and was given more steroids cream and topical Skinoren which had been prescribed by my dermatologist. Any way it sort of got better. As look would have itbI had an apt atbthe Dermatologist last week for the Urticaria. I asked him to look at my face he instantly asked have I been using steroid cream? Obviously I HAD. anyway he has now told me to stop the steroid cream completely and that it will get worse before it gets better….., Boy was he right !,, My skin is horrendous it almost looks like I have been burnt it is all around my mouth, nose chin it’s soo bad ! I went in work but wanted to die, I am so depressed. Luckily I’m part time. Thursday and Friday I have hibernated in the house dropping kids off at school and straight back to hide. I’m so unhappy. the dermatologist doubled my Dapsone from 50 mg to 100 it’s been over. A week now and done nothing, neither has the Skinoren apart from sting like mad and completely dry out skin. It’s flaking as well as red and bumpy??? . Tried covering it up its almost impossible. I use mineral makeup but this doesn’t help?. The concealer just seems to dry up the issue more but I cannot go out with nothing on !! Please help which moisturiser can I use? Which concealer a are best? Do use green concealer? How do you stop the flaking and hydrate the area? Any advice would be greatly appreciated I’m so desperatley unhappy and just don’t know what to do ?. Will try the zinc suggestion . Many thanks. tracey xx

  34. Not a POD fan says:

    I suffered from a pretty annoying case of POD about 5 years ago. It developed in my nasal folds and at the corners of my mouth. Ugh. It seemed to spread and nothing I did helped it. Shortly thereafter, and totally unrelated, I developed a really bad cold — but it was a bacterial respiratory infection so the doctor prescribed me an antibiotic called a “Z-pack”. Well, this cold was a nightmare so I’d put the POD out of my mind and carried on to rid myself of the horrible respiratory infection I had and took the anibiotics. Lo and behold, the cold went away…..but SO DID THE POD. Whatever a “Z-pack” is, seemed to rid me of the POD as well.

    • That makes sense because it’s an antibiotic which helps kill bacteria. I also always get Z-packs for colds. They don’t seem to help me really either, but it’s good to know it helps with POD! :)

      • Tammy Jo says:

        My POD cleared up while on a steroid pack, but flared back up the day after I finished. (I think cinnamon is my fuse, so now I know).

  35. Jalaine says:

    For the last couple years, usually in the winter, I’ve been getting what i now believe is Perioral Dermatitis. I get it on the sides of my nose, and right under the nostrils. I’ve seen my dr every time, and she usually gives me something different every time, without any real explanation as to what this is and what i can do about it. So glad i just found this site! finally i believe i know what has been plaguing me all these years!!! Now if only there was a permanent solution…. This last episode has lasted for about 6 months, fading a little bit then coming back. She recently prescribed me Fucidin H cream. Since the first application it has gotten so much worse, and itchy, ive been told that it gets worse before it gets better, but this is leaving me with very little hope. I’ve been using the Spectro cream and cleaner for about 2 years now, because my skin tends to be sensitive, and use almay makeup, the only makeup products that dont make my skin break out… I am going to try the mask, but I am not sure if i should continue with the cream the dr prescribed?

  36. Jalaine says:

    I have been suffering from what i now believ is perioral dermatitis for about 4 years now, mostly during the winter season.Always right around the bottom sides of my nose. Ive been to the dr many times and she has given me many different creams as treatment, but never any real answers. This last flare up has been terrible and lasted about 6 months now fading slightly then coming back. the most recent cream she has prescribed is Fucidin H cream. I started using it friday night, and it has gotten so much itchier and redder. Ive been told that with the antibacterial cream, it gets worse before it gets better. I am so grateful for finding this site and finding an answer to something thats been plaguing me for years, thank you. I am going to try the mask, but i am worried about the cream, should i continue to use it or quit now before it gets any worse, and maybe try to find some zinc cream? Thank you

    • Hey Jalaine!

      Thanks for commenting on the blog. I am sorry, but I don’t know anything about Fucidin H so I can’t tell you what I’d do. :( I do think that taking zinc orally could help based on my experience, but I am sorry I can’t be much more help.

  37. Shannon says:

    Hey there, I just wanted to thank all of you for putting your thoughts and comments online. I recently began to develop a rash around my mouth, much like the ones described here on this site by other people, and your thoughts and comments have been invaluable to me in figuring out what to do about it. I have experienced it before, but never this severe.

    I have done some thinking and research and there is only one thing that I think I may contribute to the topic. I have noticed that Zinc supplements have been recommended as a way to hold the condition at bay. I was interested in Amy’s comment (Jan 16, 2013), stressing that we should be looking for the CAUSE, and that the rash itself is only a symptom of something bigger. Sarah (Feb 5, 2013) suggests that perhaps it is a Candida overgrowth, and that a cleanse may help to kill off the over growth and rebalance the system.

    I thought it may be relevant to mention that in the course of my research I have found that Zinc boosts the immune system, and that a Candida overgrowth will actually reduce the effectiveness of your immune system. In addition, Zinc boosts your body’s ability to fight a Candida overgrowth (Google Zinc and Candida and you should find a number of interesting articles).

    The more I look into this the more sense it seems to make. I would suggest that you have a look at the list of symptoms for a Candida over growth. If this skin condition and a Candida infection are indeed linked, then you would likely have more than just the skin condition as symptom. I know I will be participating in a cleanse, as I seem to have some things that could be explained by a Candida overgrowth in the intestine. It can present in some rather unusual ways it seems. Dermatitis is on the list as well as many other things.

    I plan on trying this cleanse, and I’ll keep an eye on this blog and let you know how it turns out. Thank you again for all your research and support!

    • Wow thank you for the insight! I am going to Google right now! :) Thank you for offering to share your results from the cleanse too. I can’t wait to hear about them!! How long is the cleanse?

  38. I am a 26 year old female and am currently 22 weeks pregnant. I was diagnosed with POD about a month ago after suffering from an annoying red/dry/itchy rash on a few places around my mouth.
    It all started after a snowmobiling trip I took where I rented all the ear, including a face mask. And as soon as that mask came off I was devastated by the rash it left behind. I started using excema cream and it helped immensly, but after seeing a doctor
    and reading up on POD I realized I had to stop the steroid cream and heal this. I just moved to a new town where I dont know anyone, and because Ive stopped the steroids my POD is out of control. To the point I wont even leave the house. I saw the doctor here and he prescribed Erthromycin gel and I have seen improvement. I have also stopped using flouride tooth paste and products with SLSs. Ive tried Coconut oil and that just made it flare up. I am at my wits end with this and feel hopeless with getting rid of it. Im walking on eggshells with this pregnancy as far as medications I can use, and am thinking being pregnant has had some influence in the severity of my POD. I guess Im just looking for support and any answers anybody has.

    • Congrats on your pregnancy Alisha. I know how you are feeling about your face, and I hope the tips and makeup will help you survive and get out of the house a little. I do think the pregnancy could be a part of it because others have said they had flare ups when being pregnant.

  39. Hayzh1985 says:

    Hi everyone, I’ve just come across this site which I think is great, found it when looking for ideas to get rid of my eye bags! I also have PD. I’m from England so don’t know if these products are available in your countries but I find that if I use a little bio oil over night it helps and also just eucerin moisturiser in the day, which has urea 5% in it which is the ingredient which helps. Anyway guys, hope all of us find a cure soon, fingers crossed! Hayley x

  40. I have suffered with PD for 2 years and have tried EVERYTHING you can imagine for it. The ONLY thing that works is extra virgin olive oil and powdered sugar. You make a lotion paste with these two ingredients, put it on your face and leave it on all day and night until its gone. Typically will take 5-9 days to dissapear. THIS WORKS AND IS A MIRACLE!!! This is the ladie’s website that I found it on. I promised if I found a cure I would post it and here you go!! http://dawnmarie4.wordpress.com/2012/09/07/a-little-bit-of-sugar/#comment-4138

  41. Rambino says:

    Right now I am recovering from a really, really bad bout that attacked the area around my mouth, around my nose and also went all the way up my forehead. It went angry and red and swelled up before developing into most attractive pustules that burst as time went on. I used olive oil infused with thyme to stop the skin from cracking and tried with all of my might not to scratch my face. Cold water gave instant relief. The doctor gave me hydrocortisone cream, which was supposed to stop the itching, but actually made it burn. I washed that off and just continued with the oil and zinc supplements. It abated after around 3 days and is now mostly back to normal.

    I have learnt that there are two things that trigger this for me. The first is stress. The second is dryness. The latter means that I get PD more often in the winter months, as the air is dry, the heating is on and I like hot showers. I have stopped using any kind of face cleanser and am being more careful to remove all remnants of toothpaste from my face. I have also stopped using cosmetics except for my tee tree oil coverup stick.

  42. Hello I’ve been reading all the comments…and I really dont feel alone anymore:)
    Im 25 yrs old and i got PD last year for the first time…The dermatologist gave me antibiotics and said i should get Avene SOS cream ( which has Zinc in it) it’s really soothing and it helped me a lot…also i bought the Avene spray termal water and it’s amazing too…but a week ago the PD came back again :( really frustrating…I started looking at the products im using(i changed everything the first time threw away everything and bought new bio stuff) and i found SLS in a shower gel…damn! hating this…so maby this is the cause of it all… I’ll see…
    also bought Zinc supplement and started yesterday-hope this helps too…
    And I dont wash my face with water- cuz i heard thats a huge NO NO!
    So i use regular olive oil to cleanse my face daily.
    I also have oil of st.John’s wort-it helps so much- if you can get it anywhere BUY IT it has antibacterial and anti-inflammatory effects. May be useful in the treatment of infected wounds and inflammatory skin diseases. SO any rash, burn, cut…just rubb some on and you’re good to go ;)
    You can also pick this flowers on fields, dry them, put them in a sealed jar and pour good quality olive oil on it, then put the sealed jar in a sunny area for 40 days-after that you can use it ;)

    But if you’re not sure if the flower is st. John’s wort- its probably best to buy the oil online or in a store :)
    hope this helps anyone.

  43. Reading all these stories reminds me im not alone! :) But it saddens me too. I suffered from PD my junior year of high school and was put on steroid creams with helped but then of course made it worse. After seeing three ddermatologists I was put on antibiotics and my PD cleared. I thought it was gone for good. It’s now my senior year of college and my PD is back! :( I’ve tried everything (including antibiotics) and this time it’s being stubborn. I have it around my nose and chin and it’s bright red. My make up barely covers on days I go to school. Thanks everyone for sharing your stories! I won’t give up, I’m hopeful one day I’ll look like myself again.

  44. Angelina says:

    Hi~ I know exactly how you feel! I’ve had perioral dermatitis for about 4 years now. I’ve had it all through high school and I can definatley say that it made me a little depressed. I felt ugly and was always jealous of people with perfect skin. I always wished that I had acne or something other less horrible that a red mustache. Anyway, like a lot of the users on here, I’ve tried just about everything. Here’s what worked for me and is still working to this day; Apple Cider Vinegar mixed with 50% water as a toner, jojoba oil as a moisturizer (squirt 3-4 drops on your palm each night after washing your face and apply, but be sure that your hands and face are wet), limiting sugar is a huge one, also STAY AWAY FROM FLUORIDE AND CHLORINE!!!! I can’t stress that enough!!! About a month ago I switched from drinking tap water to drinking bottled water that has gone through reverse osmosis, I also started washing my face with it. You wouldn’t believe what a difference it makes!!!!! I’m so happy. I recommend that everyone try it, who knows it might also be your cure. Thanks for your blog!!

    • Wow Angelina!! I love all of your tips and am so thankful that you took the time to post them!! :) I have heard of the apple cider vinegar, but it always drived me out so the jojoba oil is a great idea. I will use it next time I have a flare up!

  45. Hello!I would like to share with you how I got rid of my perioral dermatitis disaster. Unfortunately, my GP was not helpful at all, actually gave me more cortisone creams.. so i made my own research. I was only using organic face stuff(make up, creams..), but be aware they might be pretty harsh too.
    So here are some tips:
    -Buy Biotin and Acidophilus supplements(to treat it from inside)
    -To help you with spots and itchiness buy Apple cider vinegar from MOTHER(this really helps!!)
    -get rid of alcohol, sugar and salt
    -Make yourself a face mask from white yogurt(no sugar with live cultures)on daily bases and leave it on your face for up to 30mins, this way(to treat it from outside)
    -stay away from flouride toothopaste, buy yourself an Aloe one, it’s really good
    -keep your face away from sun, keep hot showers to minimum and try not to use water to clean your face(chlorine, flouride) and make sure products like shamphoos, conditioners don’t come in touch with your face(and opt for Organic ones)
    -STAY AWAY FROM SLS AND PARABENS, this is the most important advice I can give you so make sure you check your products and gift them to someone else as you should NOT be using them! SLS and PARABENS FREE products can be found mostly in health stores.
    -and last advice is THROW AWAY ANY CORTISONE(STEROID) CREAMS and NEVER, EVER TOUCH THEM AGAIN!!!!

    I really hope this helps!
    Wish you good luck all!

    Jana

  46. Brittney says:

    I took a zinc supplement daily, probiotic daily, switched to cleure mineral makeup, washed area with zinc bar soap and then swabbed with apple cider vinegar, applied organic plain yogurt once daily and used vicco turmeric cream on the affected area. Within about a week it was almost gone and now it’s just a little pink. Hope that helps someone. The cleure mineral foundation covers things up really well too once you get the dryness under control.

    • Where can I find this foundation?

      • Sephora has it :) You can also find it online at most places like beauty.com or amazon.com

        • Thank you so much! I ordered the makeup and a few other things from cleure.com I really hope they work. I also have a question about ACV am I suppose to rinse it off or just leave it on my skin? I’m new to all this and still trying to figure things out.

  47. I found the cure. It’s passion fruit seed oil. I found it by accident. At first I put the oil all over my skin but it would get in my hair and make my hair oily by the end of the day. Now I just dab it around my mouth and its gone. I just don’t know why it works.

  48. Hello!! So glad I came across this website. Have been having this problem for 8 months now. It all started when both my cheeks got itchy then tiny bumps/blisters started showing up. At first I thought it was nothing major and put cortisone cream on and would go away. Then this year my face became really itchy can’t help but scratched it, this time, around the mouth and jawline. Went to dermatologist 4x diagnosed me first with eczema then dermatitis then now rosacea. I googled each dx and later found out that symptoms I’ve been having is really more like POD. Idk if I should go back to the derm for re-eval or what. Anyways, I’m currently on Abt and metrogel which I think treats pod as well. I’ve been on the txt for 2wks now and I don’t see any improvement yet. It actually made my face worse. Face around mouth, jawline, cheeks are dry, flaky, red, sore, burns and stings like hell. I started using calendula cream 2 days ago and it actually helped sooth my skin. Had burning and stinging sensation the first time I applied it but went away after 15mins I’d say but since then I haven’t had burning sensation which is a huge relief. I’m still itchy and gets small bumps but not as bad as before. Thanks for the advice I’ll try the zinc supplement and hopefully it will work for me. I do have a question. What dosage or how many mg should I take a day? Thanks again for all the input!!

    • Ouch–I hope it settles down for you. I know how frustrating it is. I did 50 mg twice a day of zinc, and I still do if I have a breakout. Good luck!!

  49. I suffered from this over January/February, I don’t know what caused it, I tried everything to get rid of it before going to the Dr’s and finding out what it was. I cured mine in a week by taking zinc tablets, Doxycycline tablets for 3 months and a 1% hydrocortisone cream. I know you’re advised against using hydrocortisone cream as it can reduce the appearance temporarily, but as it this the skin, it can return later and worse than before. But I had a wedding to go to in a couple of weeks and I was willing to risk it so the unsightly rash would be gone by the wedding. Well, it’s now June and my dermatitis has never come back! It was an absolutely horrible and embarrassing experience (especially working as a nurse and having patients, families and co-workers looking at you like you’re diseased), I would’ve loved to stay at home and hide myself from public viewing! Never found out what caused it, so I can only hope that it never comes back again!

  50. I found the yogurt to be very relieving initially, but then I broke out even worse. Trying the zinc and probiotics now. The Apple cider vinegar is also VERY aggravating — those of you that tried it does it make it angry at first and then get better?

  51. I have been dealing with this for a few months now, and was extremely frustrated that I tried everything I had read and NOTHING worked. I had a long round of doxycycline, antibiotic cream and at the beginning before I knew was it was; steroid cream! The antibiotics did very little except upset my stomach, the antibiotic cream just made it oily, and the steroid cream took away the bumps (temporarily), but left the red patches. Two days after stopping the steroid cream (corticosteroids), the rash came back worse and spread to the other side of my chin. I tried apple cider vinegar, I tried zinc pills, I tried not doing anything, I tried everything and nothing worked. I was so annoyed because it kept flaring up, start to look better, then blister and start all over again!.. I even had a pharmacist get me to put canesten, a yeast infection cream on it!!!! .. Anyway luckily, I went (despite my doubts) to a naturopath, who did a saliva test and found I had an overgrowth of bacteria/ fungal overgrowth. I was amazed at the connection as it can cause a lot of different, seemingly unrelated symptoms. I started taking really good probiotics and prebiotics. Prebiotics provide food for the probiotics and allow them to flourish. You take the prebiotic powder mixed in water before dinner, then the probiotic after dinner. It’s been 10 days and everything on my face is completely gone. I also feel a million times better in my gut!! I also put emu oil cream on it once a day. Do some research on fungal overgrowth, it worked for me!!

  52. Hi Kalee,
    Thank you for your reply and thanks again for your wonderful site, advice and encouragement. My PD has finally died down in May this year, that was a 6 months long battle and I have to say, although it wasn’t pleasant, it sure has changed me a lot. I dunno if this will help anyone, but I have the following conclusion about my PD:

    1. Stress – I was working 2 jobs, one full time and 1 part time, and 6 days per week, 9-12 hours per day. My full time job was really stressful and my long hours part time job just make things worse. I was really stressed and tired all the time. And when my PD broke off, I was in more stress. I believe that my PD was a sign from my body to tell me that I was in so much stress that it was pretty dangerous to my mental and physical health. In Mar this year I spoke to my management and have asked them to review my workload, which they did and had allocated some of my work to another colleague. And then I cut down on my hours for my part time job. Then I asked for annual leave for 2 weeks and went overseas. As I didn’t care what people think of my face when I was overseas, I was able to let go of the stress completely and really enjoyed myself. By the time when I came back, my PD was 80% gone like magic. Within a month, my face was back to normal and looks just a bit red (like blushes), but there was no more rash/ bumps. Now when I work, I don’t push myself too hard and always take leave when I feel that I need a break. My advise is don’t stress too much, be very positive and relax, take a break when you think you need one!

    2. No / minimum chemicals, Natural product is the way to go – Ever since I had PD, I have spent lots of time and money visiting dermatologists and buying prescribed cream and antibiotics. Everybody is different but I have to say, none of the cream/ antibiotic worked for me, instead they made things worse and I had to go back to dermatologist and then buy more cream. It was a never ending cycle and I finally gave up. I went for Chinese Acupuncture treatments as per my mum’s friend suggestion. I had a few treatments in a month or so and although it didn’t help much, I have learned how to relax (well if you tense up it actually hurts!) and also the beauty of natural products (herbs, vege etc.) I then went to a local Natural Product store and asked for the most natural moisturising cream they have in store and they recommended MooGoo products. They also recommended to take fish oil daily. I have to say, these things work way better than the chemicals, as they are repairing your skin and body. I am still taking fish oil everyday and only use MooGoo’s facial cream on my face. Also, now I only wash my face with clean water (not too warm or hot) without any cleansing product. To be honest, I don’t need one, as my face has stopped producing oil (therefore it’s always dry and flaky). I am also using baby products for my shower and only use gentle toothpaste. I am also eating more healthy (more vegetable and fruit, less meat, less preservatives, no more spicy or hot soup type of food). My advise is if the chemicals are not working for you, try natural products, they do less harm to your body. Also, only use gentle products and eat healthy.

    3. Drink lots of water – don’t just depend on moisturising cream, drink lots of water to keep your body hydrated. I live in Australia and it is a very dry country. Before my PD, I never drank much water as my work is always very busy and I have no time to even open my bottle and drink! Now I always take 3 big bottle of water and have forced myself into a habit to finish all 3 bottles of water before I finish work everyday. I have to say, this new habit has improved my skin and body a lot as a whole.

    I hope my experience will help someone. It is a long battle but don’t give up, be really positive about it, and you are definitely not alone!

  53. The culprit of my struggle for many years with PD was toothpaste and mouthwash. Stop using all those fancy tooth whitening, sparkly, gel toothpastes. I switched to Jason brand Seafresh toothpaste and stopped using mouthwash. It’s gone! only once in a while if Im away and forget it and use a regular toothpaste will I get a bump or two. I also stopped chewing gum… also another product with whitening agents and excess junk in it. I also just use Dove sensitive soap and water on my face. I 100% maintain this on my own now, and have not been to a dermo for many many years. I don’t take a zinc supplement. Other than that, I do nothing else to treat it. Hope this helps!

    • Hi Kalee,
      I have recently been diagnosed with Perioral Dematitis , it started appearing just before Christmas past, and in March I decided to get it seen to by a doctor, who said it was Rosacea. I was given an ointment to use Advantan, which at first did clear it up , but then returned even worse. So I went back to the doctor who then prescribed Doxycycline. I read up on this and lots of people say it works great on Rosacea.
      I didn’t get much of a chance to find out as within 24 hours of taking the tablets it turned out I was allergic to them and suffered severe aches and pains, with freezing cold shivers and shakes followed by severe temperatures. This lasted 7 days till it all came out of my system.
      So back to the doctor, still thinking it was Rosacea, he then put me on Erythromycin , my face calmed down a bit, not going away , but regressing.
      A major upset happened at work causing me to majorly stress out , flaring it up again even worse , so back I went to the doctor again where he took swabs to test for Herpes, that came back negative. Luckily.
      But still thinking it was Rosacea I then tried Rosex with Metronidazole in it , which just seemed to burn my skin and make it unbearable, so I stopped that one .
      Back I went, new tablets – Metronide and new cream Finacea- no that one I could only stand twice , it was a horrible itching/ aggravating sensation on my face that I had to wash off after 5 minutes.
      I was at my wits end, my face all around my mouth and nose felt like it was burnt, so to try and soothe it a bit I used DermAid, this gave it a little relief on the pain side but it seemed to make licking my lips taste terrible so I stopped that and then tried Bepanthen, this eased the burning sensation a lot.
      But by now I asked to see a skin specialist
      He took one look at me and said it’s not Rosacea but Perioral Dermatitis. He asked me what I had been taking and using which I told him everything and he told me I was actually feeding my dermatitis.
      I am quite annoyed at this because a lot of it was the doctor prescribing it.
      So I am now on a 6 week course of Akamin 50mg tablets and Nizoral 2% cream. First week down so far.
      Let’s see if this helps me. I am not telling or saying that any of the items I have used will or won’t help other people I am just saying what has happened to me over the last 10 months.
      After one week my face is slightly less red, it is very dry and peeling a lot , I have a constant dizziness in my head, making me feel nausea a lot of the day, but again I feel I may just have to put up with this feeling to let the medicine heal my face.
      I will keep you up to date with how it goes.
      Cheers
      Lucinda
      Lucinda recently posted…Diet Food Doesn’t Have to Taste Like Cardboard – Healthy Pizza RecipeMy Profile

      • Hello…
        I’ve been quickly reading through all the comments and suggestions. I have been struggling with POD for the past few years. Tried hundreds of topical skin products from natural to stuff from my dermatologist. I am 48 and have had Rosacea for years, not to mention extremely sensitive and reactive skin. I have been taking Minocycline off and on for the past 5 months. It’s difficult to say how much it has really helped. I am going to buy some zinc pills today and try that. Someone suggested Mederma…I’ve been using it for a few days and have definitely noticed some improvement. I have also used Curad Silver Solution Gel…that has also worked on aggravating spots. I was one of those with perfect teenage skin so all this has caused a lot of distress. I am also going through menopause, which doesn’t help. Keep posting the suggestions and good luck to all with your skin. I truly don’t feel alone any more.

  54. I would like to share my Perioral Dermatitis story with you, since it helped me alot reading others. I’m a 22-year-old Danish, girl so I’m sorry if something is not correct English way of saying it ☺
    A couple of years ago I got a lot of red small lumps around my mouth. I can’t remember the more detailed circumstances, but I can remember that I was very upset getting them. In my teen years I had a lot of problems with acne, so at first I thought that might be something returning for a period of time. I tried to cover it up with makeup and didn’t treat it very well – I wasn’t gentle to it at all. Finally I got so annoyed with it that I went to the doctor. I can remember I went many time before I finally got to see a skin doctor. He gave me a good cream that burnt on my skin when I put it one, but the rash went away after a couple of weeks. But it can’t have been too bad back then, cos I cant find any pictures of me where you can see it. But I can remember it took some time to get rid of because I got so many different creams before it worked. Unfortunately I didn’t keep the cream box…
    Because when I this summer started to get the same red itchy and lumps with fluid in them, just a couple of them at first, I thought to myself ohhhhh no. I was on holiday in America and couldn’t get to see my doctor. I couldn’t remember what I got for the rash last time, but I was scared and desperate so I tried buying something from the shelves in America. I ended up buying cortisone cream; because it sounded like something that could help what I thought was some sort of red eczema. And it seemed to work, and I was so happy and proud of myself how good I was to self medicate…
    But! Of course it returned when I got home. I don’t know if it was because of stress (I was about to move from DK to England a few days later), but I didn’t really feel worried. But maybe my body reacted to something unconsciously.
    The following months the rash got worse and worse. The red lumps wasn’t that uncomfortable, but they were still a bit itchy and they were in the middle of my face around my mouth. I had just moved over and there was a lot to get used to and take care of, and at the same time I became more and more aware about my rash and it made me so unhappy. My mum sent me some of my old creams I had from previous various skin problems, and because I thought I was so good at self-medicating, I tried Fucidin, Fucicort and others. I discovered Fucicort helped a little bit, but it never went away!!!! I tried calling the doctor I had in Denmark to hear if they could find out what they gave me last time, but they said they couldn’t see anything that was like I described – I don’t even think they gave me a diagnose back then, maybe the skin doctor was just lucky with picking a cream..
    Anyway, I gave up and starting seeing my new british doctors – they gave me an appointment at someone new every time. But every time I went there, the rash had a good day so they thought I was a bit silly, but it was bad enough for me! I started to take pictures of it when it was angry. But they tried giving me all sorts of shit, instead of listening to me or look into it. Every time I went there, I saw a doctor for 1 minute and then came out with a new cream. They even gave me Avicir for cold sore (everyone can see its not herpes, come on), they gave me a wide range of topical steroids (all the ones I tried to tell them I tried, Fucidin, Fucicort and so on). It just got worse and worse, and the stress about thinking about it, definitely make it even worse. At that time I had that rash around my mouth for about five to six months and getting really sick of it. It was only at that time I got so desperate that I sat down and googled it. It took me 45 minutes and after that I was 100 % that I had POD. I was so obvious and I was (still am) pissed that the doctors couldn’t even figure that out. It was clear that the problems other people had, matched mine perfectly. And if the doctors would have bothered to ask me more about this thing, they could have found the diagnose on their own NHS website… Mine was luckily now really that bad when I looked at others, but mine was still spreading and I was so aware about the rash that I didn’t want to leave the house. It was a relief to find out what it was, so I could start to do something about it. And just taking action helped a lot on my mood. But I discovered like many others, that all the topical steroid creams I had been using was the worst thing I could have done to my POD. So from that day I stopped using it, and my skin got really bad the following weeks when it had to go on “rehab”.
    I tried so many different things I read about, I ordered stuff from ebay right away. It was so nice that people shared their story and what they did to make it go away. Unfortunately not the same cure at all, every POD is very different. And that is also what makes this so annoying – because why do you get it, and how can it be treated?
    I didn’t have many of those triggers people blamed for their POD. I don’t drink, I exercise 5 days a week, I don’t use a sunbed more than three times a month, I don’t wear makeup, I rarely use any skin products. My shampoo did contain Sodium lauryl sulphate, so I bought another one, but refused to change my toothpaste since it’s the same I have used the last five years.
    I don’t drink coffee or tea either. Of course I eat sweeties and unhealthy food once in a while, but it less than normal people do. I don’t eat spicy food either. So I think it’s very unfair that I got it ;)
    I went to the doctor again and again and said: listen! I am pretty sure I got perioral dermatitis. – help me!
    But the doctor didn’t listen at all, and was about to give me more topical steroids. UTROLIGT!
    So I cried all the way home and continued my home treatment.
    I made a list of some of the things that people had tried:

    Apple vinegar cider:
    - Use non-diluted on cotton wool, against skin 1 min
    - Use non-diluted as skin tonic, diaper rash cream on it afterwards
    - ½ lemon juice, ½ AVC put on skin with cotton wool at night, sleep without cleansing it off

    - Argan oil
    - Avene products (tolerance extreme cream, soothing mosterizer moisture mask)
    - Calendula diluted with for example coconut oil
    - Claymask 2 times a day (eclos plant stem cell mask)
    - Clarifoam
    - Greek yougurt: Facemask 30 min
    - Grapefruit oil dliuted with some water. 10 drops, 2 tablespoon water. 2-3 times a day.
    - Grapeseed oil
    - Lanolin
    - Lemon juice and sodium bicarbonate (baking soda) as a skintonic
    - Mederma scar gel
    - Metro cream
    - Neem soap
    - Organic honey: as a facemask (can be mixed with greek yogurt)
    - Oregano oil: 2 drops mixed with coconut oil drops, a couple of times a day
    - Sulphur naturel lavender soap
    - Toothpaste without Sodium lauryl sulphate
    - Tea tree oil diluted with water
    - Violet extract: use as skin tonic
    - Zink (both tablets and cream)
    Someone talked about Kora Organics and much much much more. But these are the ones I wrote down.

    I bought:
    Greek yougurt, honey, apple vinegar cider, baking soda, lemons, black mud soap from the dead sea, shampoo without SLS, nixoderm, sudocrem, grapeseed oil, calendula, coconut oil, tea tree oil, primrose evening oil tablets, cod liver oil, b-vitamin, zink tablets, fish oil, probiotics and probably much more I cant remember right now.
    Most things I could buy in a normal shop, or in a pharmacy, and the rest I ordered on ebay.

    What worked for me:
    I tried a lot of different stuff, but finally got into a routine that made my POD better:
    I got up, ate my breakfast, and with that a big cold glass of water with a tablespoon AVC in it. It taste horrible but I think everyone with POD are willing to do much to get rid of it ;)
    I had my supplements with the breakfast. I was (and still) taking fish oil, cod liver oil, b-vitamin, zink, evening primrose oil, probiotics.
    I put organic honey on my POD, and let it cleanse off the creams I’ve put on the night before. So I left it on for about 5-10 minutes. Then showered and was careful not to get shampoo or toothpaste in my face. I washed my face with the soap from the dead sea, black mud soap, and nothing else.
    When the rash was very angry and bad, I would put my skintonic mixture on it after shower. I made a mixture of one table spoon AVC, maybe 5-7 tea tree oil drops, and then a small squiss of calendula oil, put it on a cotton ball and press it against the rash for a minute or two until the burning feeling didnt feel comfortable anymore. Now the rash is dry when I get out of the shower, so I mostly just put Sudocrem on to moisture it and make it feel less tight.
    I did that treatment (skin tonic) to my skin everytime it felt itchy and like it was getting worse during the day. It is ”amazing” how many times the rash can change during a day!
    Anyway, sometimes I would just let it dry up after, but most of the times I put Nixoderm on the places where it was angry, and I put Sudocrem on the spots where I could feel it needed some moisture and something to calm the skin (mostly spots where only the redness was left).
    Usually I put organic honey on again around dinnertime and washed it off in the sink and washed my face with the black mud soap again.
    Before bedtime I put Nixoderm on all of the POD and slept with that.
    You look really stupid and it gets on your pillows, but who cares!! For me, I was willing to do everything to get rid of that monster that had occupied my face.

    I didnt give the home treatment much time to work on it’s own, cos I was soooo upset about my face that I cried all the time. So I went to the doctor for the 15. time, and begged to get on antibiotics and luckily it was a doctor I haven’t tried yet and she was much smarter and could see what it was and that I should try the antibiotics.
    So I got two months worth of Doxycycline tablets, one month first to try and see if that was enough to get rid of it. It took almost the entire month to get rid of it, and you can still see where it was. well I can see it, no one else notice it. But there is still pink skin areas. During the whole time I stille continued my home treatment and I am 80 % sure that it has helped a lot.
    I just stopped taking the antibiots three days ago and it haven’t returned – YET! I am still waiting very nervously to see if it stays away.. I bloody hope so. But at least now I now what kind of nature my POD has, and I got the remedies to treat it.

    Good advice about antibiotics (Doxycycline):
    What the nice doctor forgot to tell me was that Doxycyline do something so your birth control pills doesn’t work like they should. I read the declaration inside the Doxycycline box, but not everyone does that!
    Take your supplements and antibiotics two hours apart.

    Good advice in general:
    Drink loads of water during the day. It’s important all the time, but especially if you are trying to ”flush” something out of body!
    Don’t touch your face with your fingers or hands, too many bacteria – use cotton sticks or balls. So that means no biting your nails either, if you have that bad habit like me.
    Be careful when using a lip balm. I think I saw someone wrote that the only good thing is using Vaseline. I was just careful, and put it on less time a day, but every POD is different..

    What DIDNT work for me:
    Greek yougurt (my POD just got angrier)
    Grapeseed oil
    Mixture of lemonjuice, AVC and baking soda (maybe helped a little bit, but not enough)

    I also read about POD could be caused by that underlying reason that you have too much yeast in your body, and that it would go away if you went on a candida cleanse /diet.
    I researched it a lot, and it’s really worth trying. I did it for two weeks but I didn’t get the full benefit from it because I was on antibiotics at the same time. I will definitely try it longer time if the POD returns now.
    Many different views on how to do it, so you have to choose what makes most sense to you.
    I am taking either garlic pills or raw garlic shots even after I’ve now stopped the diet.

    And thanks to everyone on the internet that shared their story and made me feel less alone and less like a hysterical girl.. It is really horrible to have a thing like that in the middle of your face even though its not life threatening it can certainly have an influence on your life, but you are not alone.

  55. I’m from South Africa, Cape Town. Ok, so I’ve read a lot of every ones stories and it is heart breaking to see other people going through the same thing as me, I’ve been suffering with Eczema my whole life (I am now 18) and in 2009 and I came across a doctor that said she had a solution to my suffering. She gave me a cortisone, I used it and it did wonders, immediately it started to clear up all my eczema and I started living a normal life, I kept on begging this lady for more everytime mine finnished because my skin flared into a huge red, itchy rash over my face. I used the cortisone cream until January 2013. I went to see a dermotologist in order to get more cream since I wasn’t in contact with the doctor that was supplying me with the cream any more. The dermotologist then diagnosed me with POD and everything she told me made sense with what happens to my skin. It is extremely embarrassing and I am struggling to live my life like normal now that I am off of the cortisone cream. I’m also having problems with my boyfriend that I’ve had for 3 years now, so between him and work I am constantely stressing. I’ve changed my shampoo but I’m struggling to find a toothpase that doesn’t have SLS in it. The dermotologist put me on a 3 month antibiotic and im only in week 2. It is extremely fustrating for me to have to watch what I eat and drink all the time. After reading a lot of peoples stories I have realised that I have to wait at least a month before I will see proper results. My parents are so tired of seeing me at home now, I just don’t feel like I can go out because it is not just on one place on my face, It is on my whole face, its even gone down onto my neck and ears. I sometimes wake up with swollen eyes and my skin always feels tight. I take different allergects just to stop the itching and burning felling but I don’t feel like it helps much. Writing on this page gives me some sense of closure and also relief that I am not doing through this alone.
    So THANK YOU for starting this page:)

  56. I have suffered with Perioral Dermatitis for 2 years. My initial treatment of antibiotics reduced the flare up but it never really went away. My dermatologist said it was due to an allergic chemical reaction from cosmetics so I stopped using makeup and switched to gentle/organic products. But even 6 months after doing this, the Perioral Dermatitis was getting worse. I went back to my GP who put me on a coritzone tablet and antibiotic. The condition cleared up within 3 days! I then stopped the coritzone tablet but continued with the antibiotic and I could slowly see the flare up coming back. I saw another dermatologist who told me that the likely cause is an allergic reaction some kind of food. This means that I get a rash near my mouth, which can then get easily infected with bacteria and spreads. This explains why my Perioral Dermatitis cleared up because the cortisone was reducing inflammation and the antibiotic was killing bacteria. However, prolonged use of coritzone tablets can actually increase bacteria growth so that’s why I have not gone back to it. To make matters even more complicated, my blood tests do not show any common allergies. This means I will have to get a Patch allergy test done. In the mean time I have stopped using Lucas Papaw Ointment. I used this religiously on my lips and skin because they were so dry, but thinking back, it has been the only thing that I have not stopped using, which might explain why the dermatitis has never gone away. Use of ointments can actually accelerate bacteria growth. I also thought that it was a natural product but it is not. Lucas does not disclose what ingredients are in there ointment, but it does contain petroleum jelly and other harmful chemicals that can cause skin irritations.

  57. I have suffered from perioral dermatitis for almost 20 years! My skin dramatically improving by cutting out all cinnamon, tartar control products, and anything made by Crest. Also make sure your sunscreen does not have oxybenzone in it. For flares I use prescription finacea topical gel which does WONDERS. My skin is incredibly sensitive – these are the ONLY products I can use, so they should work for you all as well:

    1) Facewash: Oil of Olay Sensitive Foaming Face Wash – if they stop making this I will be devastated.
    2) Sunscreen: pricey but worth it and one bottle lasts a few months – every day I use EltaMD UV Clear on my face. It has niacin in it which reduces redness and actually improves my skin, and does not trigger perioral at all. It does not make you sweaty and feels very light. A cheaper product that also calms your skin but does make you a bit sweaty is Oil of Olay Complete Sensitive SPF 30. For swimming, hiking, etc I use Neutrogena Pure and Free Baby 60+ (it’s thick and makes you sweat but works). Note – use only sunblocks (zinc oxide, titanium dioxide), not chemical sunscreens!
    3) Makeup – I have yet to find a foundation that doesn’t trigger my perioral, but Aveda spot concealer and light application of their powder bronzer do the trick most days and never bother my skin.
    4) On my body, just for general skin sensitivity, for soap I use Dove Sensitive or Dove White bars.

    I hope this helps some of you – it has been a long road for me to find these products, but they are worth it!

  58. I was diagnosed with POD around 3 days ago and pretty much begged my doctor to put me on antibiotics but he didn’t. He just said to leave it alone and put vaseline on it. It’s also spread to my eyes as well :( I’m going away on holidays where lots of photos will be taken next week and it hasn’t improved at all!! Everytime I put vaseline or zinc oxide… It starts leaking pus. I don’t know whether to dab it off or leave it to dry? I can’t believe it’s going to take so long to heal :( I have so many events coming up and it’s making me feel depressed and more stressed!!

    • I’m so sorry!! I would start taking a over-the-counter Zinc supplement to help dry it up and apply a coconut oil to it 1x a day…I usually do it when I know I’m not going anywhere and won’t wipe it off. It acts as a natural topical antibiotic so it will help with the redness, and it actually helped mine not burn as much. I’m not a doctor though — just know both of those helped me. I hope it clears up soon! Maybe get a 2nd opinion on the antibiotics as well if you can — it’ll clear it up quicker.

  59. I have had Perioral Dermatitis since Feb 13, 2014. For four months I have been going crazy trying to manage it and make it go away. I’ve been on a strict diet of no sugar, no gluten and no dairy for 4 months!! 2 1/2 weeks ago, my nephew’s wife strongly encouraged me to try Phillip’s Colon Care Probiotics. I was already using a very expensive probiotic but I checked it out, and my expensive one didn’t include these three strains of probiotic that are in the Colon Care product: Lactobacillus Gasseri, Bifidobacterium Bifidum, and Bifidobacterium Longum. So I decided I had nothing to lose and bought another type of probiotic that had much stronger doses of those three probiotics and have been taking a double dose for over two weeks. My skin has stopped breaking out and I am clear!! I knew it was working after 3 days because my cravings for bad carbs and sugar completely went away! For anyone suffering from this nightmare, please consider trying this. It may take longer than 3 weeks, but just stick with it. If you notice your cravings going away, be encouraged…. it means it is working! Best of luck to everyone who suffers with this terrible rash!!

  60. I felt like I had to write again and say that the probiotics really do help, but the diet is essential I believe. I also heard about something yesterday which is very interesting. It is called Histamine Intolerance and it can cause a rash. Since no one seems to know what causes this, I am still looking for the cause so it won’t come back. I am going to research Histamine Intolerance more because this could be the cause for me. It is worth looking into. I am not completely clear like i was a few weeks ago but I am much better. Stress plays a big part in this for me too. Also, my sugar/gluten/dairy free diet really helps too. Look up Anti-Inflammation Diet – it really helps. I think I started breaking out again because I started eating ‘bad’ things again. I am back on the strict diet. I am really feeling for the 13 year old who is struggling with this. I hope this info helps some.
    Patty recently posted…3 Better Ways to Track Weight loss Without a ScaleMy Profile

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