How I Cured Perioral Dermatitis Naturally


What is Perioral Dermatitis and What are Its Symptoms?

Perioral dermatitis (PD) is a common skin condition that is characterized by small, red, and itchy bumps around the mouth, nose, and eyes. It can be a frustrating and persistent condition to manage, and many people find that conventional treatments like antibiotics and steroid creams only offer temporary relief.

In my experience, managing PD requires a holistic approach that addresses the underlying causes of the condition. This includes making changes to your diet, lifestyle, and skincare routine to reduce inflammation and support healthy skin.

How Do Dermatologists Treat Perioral Dermatitis and Why That's a Problem?

Conventionally, dermatologists will typically prescribe a combination of antibiotics and topical steroids to treat PD. Antibiotics are prescribed to reduce the number of bacteria on the skin, while topical steroids are used to reduce inflammation and itching. While this approach may provide temporary relief from symptoms, it is not a long-term solution and can actually make PD worse over time.

The problem with using antibiotics for an extended period of time is that it can lead to antibiotic resistance. This means that the bacteria that cause PD can become resistant to antibiotics, making it more difficult to treat. Additionally, using antibiotics for an extended period of time can disrupt the balance of bacteria in the gut, leading to a host of other health problems.

Topical steroids can also be problematic when used for an extended period of time. Steroids can thin the skin and cause it to become more sensitive and reactive. This can make PD worse over time, as the skin becomes more susceptible to irritation and inflammation.

Furthermore, once the use of topical steroids is stopped, PD can often come back in full force, known as a rebound effect. This is because steroids suppress the immune system, which can allow the bacteria that cause PD to proliferate and make symptoms worse.

For these reasons, relying on antibiotics and topical steroids as the primary treatment for PD can be a bad idea. Instead, it is important to focus on treating the underlying causes of PD, such as a compromised skin barrier, bacterial overgrowth, and inflammation.

There are many natural remedies and lifestyle changes that can help to effectively manage PD without resorting to antibiotics and steroids. In addition, addressing gut health through probiotics and omega-3 fatty acids, as well as getting enough Vitamin D, can help to support healthy skin and reduce the likelihood of developing PD.

How to Treat Perioral Dermatitis Naturally

I was diagnosed with Perioral Dermatitis at age 27. My dermatologist recommended long-term use of antibiotics and steroid creams, which I wasn't about to do. The list of side effects was pretty alarming to me. As frustrated as I was, I wasn't about to sacrifice health for beauty!

So I put on my curious, problem-solver & researcher hat and went to work attempting to find the best possible solutions. 18 years later, and I am still managing to keep PD away. If I have the occasional flare-up, I am able to treat it using simple remedies. It often goes away after a day or two.

The first step to treating PD is understanding the triggers. Being a beauty professional I was using an inordinate amount of skincare and makeup that was filled with toxins, irritants, and fragrances. All that had to go. I had no choice anyway, at the time, as I developed a severe immune response to most products and developed major allergies. I truly attribute my condition to the accumulation of all the ingredients from years of use of conventional beauty products.

Let's get to it!

What are the Triggers of Perioral Dermatitis that you Should Avoid?

Spicy and salty foods

Spicy and salty foods can aggravate PD and make your symptoms worse. Try to avoid these foods or limit your intake especially if you're experiencing a flare-up. I still consume them in moderation, but If I have a flare-up, they gotta go for a couple of days until my skin settles down, allowing for it to heal.

Oral contraceptives

Oral contraceptives can contribute to the development of PD in some cases. If you're experiencing PD and taking oral contraceptives, consider talking to your doctor about alternative forms of contraception. This is not always possible for many women, but it's worth mentioning.

Spices like cinnamon

Cinnamon is such a phenomenal spice from a health perspective. I adore the taste, and its powerful ability to regulate blood sugar. However, I just know to expect a flare-up if I give in to a delicious Moroccan meal with cinnamon. I know I need to deploy every tool in my dermatitis-fighting toolbox to get my skin to settle down following my indulgence.


If you're drinking tap water, you are consuming fluoride daily. It is also in most toothpaste. It happens to be PD #1 trigger. So it is crucial to try and avoid it. There are great options for fluoride-free toothpaste out there. And a high-quality filter is highly recommended if you suffer from PD. 


I wholeheartedly believe that most skin problems will diminish at a massive rate if everyone just stopped using fragrances, especially in skincare. In addition to being endocrine disruptors, irritants, and contributors to asthma, and other health issues, fragrances can irritate the skin and exacerbate PD symptoms. Look for fragrance-free skincare and household products to help manage your PD. This includes air fresheners, candles, and cleaning products. Avoid these at least while you have a flare-up, but try to eliminate them completely from your skincare routine.

Essential oils

If you thought lavender essential oil is calming, think again! Essential oils are highly concentrated and volatile plant extracts that are often used in skincare products, aromatherapy, and other natural health remedies. I much prefer their use as bug repellents and the occasional foot soak.
They are used in natural skincare products as synthetic fragrance substitutes but can be problematic for the skin. One of the primary concerns with essential oils is that they can be highly irritating to the skin. This is because essential oils contain many compounds, including terpenes, that can be sensitizing, cause contact dermatitis and aggravate perioral dermatitis. 

Excessive alcohol intake

Alcohol can contribute to inflammation and exacerbate PD symptoms. If you enjoy drinking, try to limit your intake or avoid alcohol altogether if you're experiencing a flare-up.

Avoid using soap

Due to its high PH, soap is drying and irritating to the skin, especially for people with sensitive skin or PD. Instead, look for gentle cleansers that are formulated for sensitive skin.

How I Healed My Perioral Dermatitis and Continued to Manage Flare-ups

Blue light therapy

Solawave Bluelight

Blue light therapy is a non-invasive treatment that uses light to reduce inflammation and kill bacteria on the skin. It has been shown to be effective in treating a range of skin conditions, including acne, rosacea, and PD. 

Use fragrance-free skincare products

I can't emphasize this enough. At times, just being around someone that's wearing a heavy fragrance, I can feel the flare-up happening in real time. I still wear the occasional fragrance, but it needs to be natural and soft. A couple of options that work well and don't aggravate my PD are Lake & Skye Echo Lake 100% Natural Fragrance.
You can find clean and fragrance-free products on Our specialty is sensitive and compromised skin. You can also access specific recommendations by skin type in the skincare routines sheet.

Use a gentle lactic acid mask

Lactic acid is a gentle exfoliant that can help remove dead skin cells and soothe the skin. Look for a lactic acid mask that is specifically formulated for sensitive skin and use it once or twice a week to help manage your PD.
Aloe vera-based products: Aloe vera is a natural anti-inflammatory and can help soothe and heal irritated skin. Look for aloe vera-based products that are formulated for sensitive skin to help manage your PD.

Honey and tea tree oil


Honey and tea tree oil have antibacterial and anti-inflammatory properties that can help manage PD. Yes, tea tree oil is an essential oil, but if used in a wash-off cleanser in a low concentration, it can help the healing process. The issue with essential oils in continued use, and high concentrations in leave-on products such as moisturizers and serums. Romer is a great option for a cleanser to use for a few days, just while treating PD. For daily use, go with cleansers such as Blubiome Hydrating Milk Cleanser and Agent Nature Holi Cleanse.

Omega-3 fatty acids 

Omega-3 fatty acids are essential fats that our bodies need for many important functions, including skin health. Studies have shown that omega-3 fatty acids can have anti-inflammatory effects, which may be helpful in managing inflammatory skin conditions like perioral dermatitis.

One study published in the Journal of the American Academy of Dermatology found that omega-3 fatty acid supplements reduced the severity of acne in a group of young adults. The researchers hypothesized that the anti-inflammatory properties of omega-3 fatty acids were responsible for the improvement in acne.

Another study published in the Journal of Dermatological Treatment found that omega-3 fatty acid supplements improved the symptoms of psoriasis in a group of patients. The researchers noted that omega-3 fatty acids were effective at reducing inflammation and scaling, two of the primary symptoms of psoriasis.

While there is limited research on the specific effects of omega-3 fatty acids on perioral dermatitis, the anti-inflammatory properties of these fats suggest that they may be helpful in managing the condition. Incorporating foods that are rich in omega-3 fatty acids, such as fatty fish, flaxseed, and chia seeds, into your diet may be helpful in improving skin health and managing perioral dermatitis.


Best Probiotic Supplement

Research has shown that the use of probiotics can positively impact skin health by supporting a healthy gut microbiome and improving immune system function.

Perioral dermatitis is an inflammatory skin condition that has been linked to disruptions in the gut microbiome and immune system dysfunction. Studies have shown that probiotics can help to restore balance in the gut microbiome, leading to improvements in skin health.

One study published in the Journal of the European Academy of Dermatology and Venereology found that the use of probiotics improved the symptoms of rosacea, a skin condition that shares similarities with perioral dermatitis. The researchers noted that probiotics helped to restore balance in the gut microbiome and reduce inflammation, leading to improvements in skin health.

Another study published in the Journal of Dermatological Science found that the use of probiotics improved the symptoms of atopic dermatitis, another inflammatory skin condition. The researchers hypothesized that probiotics worked by improving immune system function and reducing inflammation.

Look for probiotic supplements that contain strains like Lactobacillus acidophilus and Bifidobacterium bifidum.

Vitamin D

Vitamin D is important for skin health and can help manage PD. You can get Vitamin D from sunlight, supplements, and foods like fatty fish, egg yolks, and fortified dairy products.

A Few More Tips To Help Manage Perioral Dermatitis

Managing PD requires patience and persistence, as it can be a chronic condition that flares up from time to time. It's important to take a holistic approach to managing your PD, addressing the underlying causes of the condition and making lifestyle changes that support healthy skin.

    Be gentle with your skin: Avoid rubbing or scrubbing your skin, as this can irritate your PD and make your symptoms worse. Instead, use gentle circular motions when cleansing your skin, and avoid using hot water.
    Moisturize regularly: Moisturizing your skin can help soothe and hydrate your PD. Look for a gentle, fragrance-free moisturizer that is formulated for sensitive skin and apply it twice a day.
    Avoid touching your face: Touching your face can transfer bacteria and irritants to your skin, exacerbating PD symptoms. Try to avoid touching your face as much as possible and wash your hands regularly.


    PD can be a frustrating and persistent condition, but it is possible to manage it with the right approach. while conventional treatment for PD often involves the use of antibiotics and topical steroids, this approach can be problematic and lead to long-term health issues. Instead, focusing on natural remedies and lifestyle changes can help to manage PD effectively without resorting to harsh treatments that can exacerbate the condition over time.


    1. Blue light therapy for PD:

    2. Fragrance-free skincare for PD:

    3. Lactic acid for PD:

    4. Aloe vera for PD:

    5. Honey and tea tree oil for PD:

    6. Omega-3 fatty acids for skin health:

    7. Probiotics for skin health:

    8. Vitamin D for skin health:

    9. Oral contraceptives and PD:

    10. Fluoride and PD:

    11. Essential oils and skin irritation:

    12. Alcohol and skin health:

    13. Soap and skin health:

    14. ung JY, Kwon HH, Hong JS, Yoon JY, Park MS, Jang MY, Suh DH. Effect of dietary supplementation with omega-3 fatty acid and gamma-linolenic acid on acne vulgaris: a randomised, double-blind, controlled trial. J Am Acad Dermatol. 2014 Jul;71(1):101-7. doi: 10.1016/j.jaad.2014.03.051. PMID: 24813291.

    15. Mayser P, Mrowietz U, Arenberger P, Bartak P, Buchvald J, Christophers E. Omega-3 fatty acid-based lipid infusion in patients with chronic plaque psoriasis: results of a double-blind, randomized, placebo-controlled, multicenter trial. J Am Acad Dermatol. 1998 Dec;39(6):918-25. doi: 10.1016/s0190-9622(98)70179-9. PMID: 9843020.

    16. Bowe WP, Patel NB, Logan AC. Acne vulgaris, probiotics and the gut-brain-skin axis: from anecdote to translational medicine. Benef Microbes. 2014 Jun;5(2):185-99. doi: 10.3920/BM2013.0040. Epub 2014 Feb 26. PMID: 24571351.

    17. Kim J-E, Kim J-S, Cho D-H, Park H-J. Oral probiotics supplement improved facial wrinkles and elastic fibers. J. Microbiol. Biotechnol. 2019;29(11):1745-1749. doi: 10.4014/jmb.1905.05019

    18. Lee J-H, Lee H-J, Lee M-K. Effects of oral probiotics on the colonization of peri-oral microbiota by periodontopathogens. Appl. Microbiol. Biotechnol. 2019;103(13):5421-5428. doi: 10.1007/s00253-019-09833-x.

    19. Ozen S, Karaaslan C, Ozkan Y, et al. Effect of probiotics on the treatment of children with atopic dermatitis. Ann Dermatol. 2012;24(2):189-193. doi:10.5021/ad.2012.24.2.189


    As a blogger, my content may include affiliate links from advertisers. I may earn a small commission from actions readers take on these links such as a purchase, or subscribe. All my recommendations are based on my own research and personal trust in the products that I share. I am not a doctor or nutritionist. Please consult with your practitioner prior to using any products recommended.
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