Let’s Start With A Success Story: How to Cure Perioral Dermatitis!

I assume that in the course of the blogging, all my diagnoses this last year will eventually get discussed…making a list or just putting it all out there seems a bit much.  Sometimes I feel like people who are chronically ill develop the habit of wearing their diagnoses like badges of honor in some weird competition of who is sickest and suffering the most.  I don’t want to be like that.

But a huge part of my intention here is to help people with similar conditions by sharing my experiences, especially what worked and what did not.  I can honestly say nothing has helped me deal with what I’ve gone through more than reading people’s blogs.  I’ve gotten so many new ideas for treatments this way and lots of moral support.

Perioral dermatitis (POD) is an evil little monster that, like IC, carries the fun tag of “No known cause, no known cure.”  They say that even if it clears up, it may keep coming back months or years later.  Basically once you’ve got it, you might keep getting it. Yay.

POD manifests as a rash of redness, itchiness, flakiness and bumps that forms around (peri-) your  nose/mouth (-oral) region.   If you were a man, you could completely hide the rash by growing a goatee w/mustache as the rash doesn’t extend beyond the smile lines.  The funny/sad part is that 90% of the sufferers are women (just like IC!).  It can also show up around the eyes in which case it is called “periocular dermatitis.”  I learned that part because I got it too!

It’s not life threatening and it’s not even life-affecting like IC or billions of other conditions.  And yet many people whose posts I read on forums or blogs talked about it “ruining their lives,” “devastating” them, and keeping them from leaving their houses.  We all care about how we look and we live in a society where appearance is important (like every society).  Who wants to walk around looking diseased?  POD can thrash your self-esteem.  While I had bigger fish to fry that kept me from feeling like POD was ruining my life (IC holds the honor), I can really understand why people who had it worse than I did, or who were dealing with it as their primary issue would feel so devastated.

Here is a glamorous picture of me, totally sans make-up, with the POD in its heyday (forehead is not POD, just hormonal acne. Thanks PCOS!):

Derms call POD a cross between rosacea and acne, but they don’t know if it’s viral, bacterial, fungal, or an allergy.  Like IC and all these types of conditions, it might vary for different people.  In my case, I think it was allergic and bacterial in origin.   It may also be caused by sudden skin sensitivity to products with sulfates, products with fluoride, heavy moisturizer, chemical additives, preservatives, perfumes and cinnamon/mint flavors.  I’ve also read that hormones can play a part (there’s the female connection) and that both stopping and starting The Pill can be to blame.

That’s a lot of different potential causes!!

The standard “Western medicine” treatment is an antibiotic cream that takes up to six weeks for results, and/or oral antibiotics.  If that doesn’t work for you, there is NOTHING else to be done for you.  When I was diagnosed, I was given metronazidole cream.  I used it for a week and it made my rash worse.  I told my derm this and she encouraged me to keep using it.  I thought she was insane and I am so glad I didn’t listen to her.

Throughout this whole process, I felt like I was reliving the IC nightmare of trying to figure out what caused this and what I could do to make it go away.  I was so terrified that like IC I would never be able to make it go away.  Before diagnosis, I’d been struggling with it for about four months, covering it up with make-up and trying many lotions and potions I now know just made it worse.   I’d had it for six months by the time it cleared up.

My POD first appeared as a red patch around my nose, then spread to my chin, then started peeling, and then turned into angry bumps.   I realize now I had started a form of birth control and a thick perfumed face cream right around the time it began, but I still can’t say for sure that those things triggered it, as I had been on that type of birth control before and have never had reactions to any perfumed skin cream in the past.

I turned to my trusty pal the internet for ideas.  Turns out there are mountains of “natural cures” for POD online, just like IC.

Here is a list of things I did for POD.   The star means I think they were helpful:

  1. Taking biotin supplements (supposedly rashes can come from biotin deficiency, this did not help me)
  2. Swabbing my face daily with apple cider vinegar (lots of burning)
  3. Attempting to buy violet creme (discovered it costs a fortune and is primarily used for nursing mothers)
  4. Taking Grapefruit Seed Extract internally and spraying it (diluted) externally*
  5. Buying natural fluoride-free toothpaste*
  6. Twice daily facial masks with plain greek yogurt (greek is best because it’s thick; leave on until dry then rinse with water)*
  7. Using sulfate-free shampoo, conditioner and face wash*
  8. Using the fewest number of products possible on my face*
  9. Using all-natural products with hardly any ingredients*
  10. Never wearing make-up. :-(*

I try to believe that everything happens for a reason, or at least that you can get something good or even wonderful from every awful experience.  In this case, learning about the FDA’s NON-regulation of cosmetics and body care products was my reward.  I learned all about the irritating and potentially toxic chemicals and preservatives that fill just about every mainstream product on the shelves.  And when I stopped using any products on my face with “bad” ingredients, MY POD CLEARED UP!!!!!  Despite my long list of attempted treatments, I really didn’t start seeing results until I stopped wearing make-up and discontinued all my previous facial products.  I used to not believe the hippie hype and I thought that if it was on the shelves and people were using it, it couldn’t really be that bad.  Now I research every single ingredient in my products.  It’s great to be educated!

Scroll half way down the webpage below for a list of some of the most common and most problematic additives:

http://www.suisskin.com/toxicskincareingredients/

The Skin Deep Cosmetics Database is also helpful in learning about ingredients:

http://www.ewg.org/skindeep/

In an outrageous twist, the ingredients for the metronazidole gel prescribed to me by my dermatologist read like a “Most Wanted” ad for the worst offending chemicals in skin products!!  It has three different kinds of parabens, propylene glycol, sodium hydroxide (LYE!!!) and EDTA! WTF?  It’s too bad to be believed.

Here are the all-natural products I use that I attribute with saving me from this scourge:

  1. Dr. Bronner’s Magic Soap (unscented baby-mild)
  2. Heritage Store’s Rosewater spray (ingredients: water and rose flower oil)
  3. AloeLife Skin Gel (9 ingredients, I would only start this after you’ve begun to clear up)
  4. Uncle Harry’s Jojoba Cream (one ingredient unscented jojoba esters)

Aside from yogurt, these four products are literally the only things I put on my face.  When I have to wear make-up, I use nothing but mineral powder (Bare Minerals) for foundation and cover-up on the affected areas.  It only has four ingredients but I’ve read that this product can irritate skin due to the bismuth oxychloride which provides a pearlescent effect, and to the talc.  I use it very sparingly and have had no problems so far.

The greatest proof I can give that the cure to this disease is in your choice of products was when I had to get all-out made-up for a short film for the Santa Cruz Film Festival.  I had to wear tons of eye make-up and I couldn’t afford to go out and buy all new eyeshadow, eyeliner and mascara so I wore my usual stuff.  The very next day I had itchy red bumps around my eyes.  The periocular dermatitis had returned.  After a few days of no make-up, it went away again.

My only lingering question about the whole POD thing is why I suddenly became sensitive to all these products I’ve been using my whole life.  I feel it must be connected to a larger systemic problem in my body; i.e. the big mystery…

Summary:  Ignore the commercials and magazine ads and fancy enticing products on drugstore shelves! They are poison- all chock full of chemicals, artificial ingredients and preservatives.  Even brands like Philosophy and The Body Shop are loaded with chemicals and preservatives.   Put as little as possible on your skin for as long as possible and I hope the magic that happened for me happens for you.

Update- check out my blog post here for simple skincare:

https://sunshinefreedomalittleflower.wordpress.com/2012/11/30/great-skin-cheap-and-easy-even-if-you-have-pcosdermatitis/?share=email&nb=1

Here is a link to a guide for an all natural body cream I make myself easily at home:

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182 responses to “Let’s Start With A Success Story: How to Cure Perioral Dermatitis!

  1. Thanks for sharing your story and the links. Sounds like you found your cure and I’m happy for you. I’ve recently started taking milk thistle tincture once a day (32 drops = a dose) and this has helped control it although there are days when it starts to come back but not as bad as normally. I think you have the right idea about never using any makeup or beauty products with harmful chemicals.

    • I never post to blogs and comment on posts, but I absolutely have to share my cure for PD. I’ve struggled with this frustrating condition for years, I’ve tried EVERYTHING you’ve read about, and I’ve even been on doxycyclyn for 6 months, as well as fineca (topical), and still NOTHING worked!! I started researching blogs such as this one and I found a company called Osmia Organics in Colorado. I ordered their sample kit which is designed for PD, and I’m not kidding, after the first use my PD (which was at its worst), was 60% healed. After the second use it was 80% healed! Their black soap and the purely simple moisturizer are what fixed my face. Even if you just use the moisturizer around your mouth or trouble areas, it will work and last much longer. I am in shock, and I feel compelled to tell other people who struggle with PD, you have to try this product!!! Their products are expensive, but they work, period.

      • I’m so glad you found something that works! Have you figured out what your trigger is? Is there any chance you’ve still been exposed to irritants like propylene glycol during other treatments? Thank you for sharing what has worked for you, and all the best!

      • Thanks for sharing this important information. I have been researching like crazy about PD and I came across Osmia Organics too, so I purchased all the products they mention for PD. I just have a question, have you changed what you eat or drink to control PD as well and did you find that the weather had an affect on this condtion? For me, when I step outside when it is cold the whole area around my mouth is red and blotchy (it looks terrible). Thanks for any advice you can give.

      • Jasmine Petry

        Hey I’m not sure your name but to this courageous lady that posted her journey oh my goodness thank you! I’m 23 years old & I just recently started breaking out from this I’ve been researching online for hours & listening to videos on YouTube yal I’m so happy I found out what this actually is. I’m going to try these natural remedies & see what works for me. Thanks for your suggestions. & to Heather I’m going to try the Osmia Organics I’m happy this worked for you I hope we all can heal. Thanks for your suggestion also my condition is very mild but I’m still very red an irritated all the time I sometimes lose sleep from this bc I’m very uncomfortable! Please any kind people if you would like to email me w/any type of help I would love to hear from you I will respond back & I will appreciate your help so much! Thanks! Email: Cieaira90@gmail.com

    • I have found a few things that help. Spectro Gel Cleanser twice a day http://www.spectroskincare.com/. You can get this at Walmart or shoppers etc.. And taking Probiotics seems to have made a huge difference (you can get these from a healthfood store). I am starting to believe that Peri oral Dermatitis is caused by an overgrowth of yeast in your body (candida), which comes from Sugar, White bread, bad eating etc… I have also found a product called SkinFix. http://shop.skinfixinc.com/collections/dermatitis I got mine at Shoppers Drug Mart. But they sell it in a few place.

      I have seen a huge improvement when using these things. I would highly recommend them all together. I really hope this helps anyone suffering from this.

  2. I am a fellow sufferer of POD, going on two years. After tiring of antiobiotic side-effects, I decided to take matters into my own hands. I stopped using all of my current products and switched to SLS, SLES, and fluoride-free products (mostly from the Andalous Naturals line). For the last year and a half I have kept my POD mostly at bay by using coconut oil as a moisturizer and tea tree oil on the rash twice a day. It helps but never completely cures. About 2 weeks ago, I read up on the relationship of zinc deficiencies to skin conditions and began taking a zinc supplement daily. At the same time, I began using pure organic cold-pressed tamanu oil on my entire face. My skin has never looked so good. Whereas the tea tree would get rid of some spots, but others would appear, this combination has gotten rid of the current spots and new ones haven’t occurred! After having tried everything from ACV to manuka honey, biotin supplements, grapefruit seed extract, baking soda, calendula, psoriasis treatments, eczema treatments, rosacea treatments, and having none of them have any positive effect (and some very negative effects), I finally feel happy and confident with my skin!! I hope fellow sufferers will try this and have the same success I have.

    • Becca, I just read this post about POD. I’ve been diagnosted with that “thing” and want my good looking skin back soooooo bad! I really liked your combination of zinc and tamanu oil and I want to give it a try! Can you tell me the brand you used for the tamanu oil? I searched for it and found a LOT of different one….

      • Hi I am too suffering a massive case of PD I have been at home a week now depressed and upset :-( I was misdiagnosed 3 times until recently and have started on some antibiotics (also am desperate) its all over my chin, mouth and under nose. It’s bright red, bumpy and flaky! Looks horrible :-( I have been on the Internet all week looking for natural help. I am going to stop using chemicals and order some dr Bonners products. With the baby mild soap did you buy the liquid or bars?? My PD started for the first time mid way through my pregnancy and I was prescribed steroid creams and after using them for a few months I have had this massive outbreak :-( I am hoping it goes soon as I am too embarrassed to go anywhere and I have 3 small kids who need to get out :-(

      • So sad! Hate that they give us steroid cremes that make POD WORSE!! You might not want to take oral antibiotics (or even be allowed to take them?) if you’re pregnant. I would avoid topical antibiotic creams unless they find you one without PARABENS, and PROPYLENE GLYCOL. Other than that, try the many natural remedies like gentle soaps or no soap at all, yogurt masks, etc. I would avoid the remedies that burn, those just made me worse.

      • Tania Farries

        Hi Priscila, did you have any luck with finding a good tamanu oil? Any advice would be really helpful. Many thanks. Tania

  3. In regards to your usage of Bareminerals which contains bismuth oxychloride (can cause skin irritation): there are natural mineral makeup brands that does not contain bismuth oxychloride, such as Mineral Hygienics, Everyday Minerals, etc. You should try these brands instead! :)

    • Thanks Sofia! I have done fine with Bareminerals up until, well, this very moment. I’ve had to dust a heavy layer on almost every day for the last two weeks due to performing and I’ve now got some raised, red, flaky, burny patches on my cheeks and on my lip. Its not POD, it’s something else! :-P I suppose it could also be caused by the new products my aesthetician suggested, but I’ve read enough about Bare Minerals and people’s reactions that I think it might be the cause. I will definitely look into those other brands. Do you know if there are any stores where you can get color matched? Thats my biggest concern with buying make-up online. THank you for your comment. :-)

      • Just want to add that it turned out to be the moisturizer sold to me by the aesthetician that caused the allergic reaction, and not the bare minerals. I am able to use bare minerals with no problem. I kept trying out the moisturizer on different occasions and every single time I got the rash. Still don’t know exactly what ingredients caused it, but I’m assuming it’s some chemical preservative.

      • Can I recommend products that are better than even mineral makeups? 100% Pure sells makeup that uses fruits and natural products for their color. Organic and Vegan. I have read that even minerals are not really good for our face. I will be the first to admit it is not just like the brand name stuff you get at the mall, but it serves its purpose. Their mascara is great, and colored with tea, which is just awesome!

      • Thanks for the tip! I agree that mineral make=up, especially the mainstream brands, aren’t the greatest. At the very least, they can be drying for people with sensitive skin.

  4. This has been the best blog I have come across! After being misdiagnosed my derm thinks I have PD. I was praying it was something else but the picture you posted looks so similar to mine. I am so hopeless I have been struggling for almost a year and I don’t know what to do anymore. Everything I try makes it worse:(

    • Yes, I was also praying it was anything but PD. Have you tried just not putting anything but water on your face for a few days? I know its a horrible prospect since who wants to go out in public with the rash, but it might be worth a try. I also think antibiotics are worth a try, as much as doctors don’t like to prescribe them. You WILL get better from this!

      • I don’t put anything on my face now except cetaphil light lotion because my face is so incredibly dry and flakey I can barely open my mouth! I dont get bumps just red and rashy. Would you mind going into more detail about the products you are using…facewash, shampoo, toothpaste… I tried an all natural paste and it actually made things worse weird. Any info would be great!

    • Oh no! Cetaphil is terrible!! It has the three most common skin irritants I try to stay away from- sodium laureth (and lauryl) sulfate, propylene glycol, and several parabens. Ditch that! My very best advice is to switch to Dr. Bronner’s Baby soap for your face wash and pure jojoba ester for moisturizer. Jojoba is low on the comedogenic rating so it shouldn’t be too bad for clogging pores. And do greek yogurt masks, that was the one “natural at home” treatment where I felt it actually calmed the redness and helped my skin. Try these three things for at least two weeks? I am wishing the best for you!!!!!!!!

  5. Thank you so much for the great advice and I’m really happy that your POD has subsided; I hope that you face equal success with your other health issues!
    In my POD case, I used the topical creams Noritate and Protopic on my skin and digested Oracea (a type of doxycycline)- although tetracycline works just as well- and my POD has vanished almost completely for 3 months!

  6. I might have discovered this blog a bit late, but I’m glad I found it!
    So, I have a mild case of POD and have had it for almost the last couple of years. It started out as a pimple/blister that just wouldn’t go away for months on my chin and slowly it began turning into one white head here and there, and now BAM: Red bumps all over my chin/jawline that have recently begun to crawl up my cheeks (not too bad yet). It hasn’t affected around my eyes, thank goodness, but on my forehead there is a small ring or circle of the same bumps smack-dab in the middle that I am assuming are part of the POD. I think my first flare up was back in the 7th grade (5 years ago!) when I was 14. I went to the derma and she gave me Benzoyl Peroxide, Differin Gel, and Doxycycline (Sp?) pills to take. It cleared up, but I went off it because the Benzoyl dried up and burnt my skin like crazy! So for 8th, 9th, and 10th grade I was pretty cleared up. Never used makeup or facial cleansers before 2011, pretty much nothing but water touched my face. It was always sensitive and a bit dry, but I figured it was just because I’m “white”, I have a pale/pinkish skin tone and I never used sunscreen. So whatever, I carried on in life. Then around the end of 2010, beginning of 2011 I started flaring up. It wasn’t too serious, but after a few months the red bumps just didn’t go away. I hadn’t been using any new products (I’ve always used Head&Shoulders shampoo, and Dove body wash) up until my 18th birthday Dec.2010 when my mom decided to take me to Sephora to get me all dolled up and start a makeup routine. So, I’m thinking this is where my sensitivity to all those ingredients (SLS, parabens and what not) began.
    This year: I finally decided to go see a dermatologist around June. Her name is Dr.Loretta, and, though I had never heard of her in my life, she is apparently a famous dermatologist who has all these miracle products. She told me about her products, that “she makes herself”, and put me on them. She did this “in the hopes that it will just work”, and since she didn’t know what I had yet (I shoulda known better then to go along with it all). Along with her crap, she prescribed Desonide Lotion (a type of steroid cream I think). All of it worked well for a while, but then it stared coming back and getting WORSE! So I definitely stopped using her products and the Desonide about a month ago. For a few weeks I kept using the face wash (because it had salycilic acid and it did clean my face well) and then started wiping my face with Witch Hazel. For a while my face was less irritated and fresher, but again it didn’t last long. So for about a week I washed my face with nothing but water. Not much change. So I did some internet searching and decided to get rid of all the products (shampoos, toothpaste, makeup) that have SLS and all that bad stuff, and also I decided to try Cetaphil Gentle Cleansing Bar for my face.I just bought it about 2 days ago, and *sigh* big mistake. My face didn’t feel so tight the first few times I washed with it, and the bumps started not being so red. BUT, today I washed with it twice (once in the morning and in the afternoon), and my face feels EXTREMELY TIGHT, DRY, IRRITATED, ITCHY, and I have whiteheads all over my chin, which hadn’t even happened before! So..I’m going to wash tonight with just luke-warm and then cold water, and hopefully the irritation will subside in a few days. Now that I’ve found this blog, I’m going to pretty much just try what you’ve been using (minus the Jojoba oil, I want to try California Baby Candula Cream instead) and see how it goes. I’ve read a lot on the GSE, mostly positive reviews, and the Rosewater. My skin isn’t so bad that I can’t go out, but it’s painful now (which it’s never been) and I don’t want it to get any worse. Thank you for posting this blog, and sorry if my comment was super long! I’m just glad to know that there IS a way to relieve ourselves from POD! ;-)

  7. I did an experiment on myself using sugar/olive oil dressings and it was pretty amazing. I’m not kidding. Like crazy amazing to see how this thing healed. My horrible rash burn healed in five days basically. I think it was totally gone in about 9 days. I had the thing for over a year and was starting to get really depressed about it. Anyway, there’s more detail in this post at my blog if you want to see the pictures. Now that I am healed of the bad burn, I’m seeing if the sugar and oil will keep my flare ups at bay and that will take longer to figure out, but I used it on the 18th of Sept on a few little bumps which started peeling a day or 2 later and are barely visable now. I also noticed that the sugar and oil really help with itching…and if I’m not itching, my hands stay off my face and who wants to touch sugar and oil right?

    http://dawnmarie4.wordpress.com/2012/09/07/a-little-bit-of-sugar/

  8. I appreciate your input every little bit helps. Ive found that since water has flouride in it, I find myself boiling my water for few minutes then letting it cool down till its warm. Then with ame
    clean white cloth that has not been washed with perfumed laundry detergents, I wash and rinse

    • I wash and rinse with cooled down boiled water because of the flouride in it. it made a difference. Also black, green and some herbal teas are loaded with flouride so b careful if you have POD. Shocking to say the least .

      • The clean white cloth that I wash my face with is washed in a perfume free detergent. Clean white pillow cases and sheets too. Certain foods worsen my POD like colas, sphagetti with sauce, grapes, black, green tea which is loaded with flouride! …..I came to find out that flouride is just about in every thing we eat. I also learned that its not required to have flouride listed as an ingredient….that is why POD IS SO HARD TO GET RID OF. Just about everything we eat, drink and put on our face may have traces of flouride in.

    • Flouride is a mineral and is nor even remotely affected by boiling. In fact, you are actually concentrating it as you are boiling off some of the water.

  9. Can you please take my last name off my first post? Embarrassing! Thank you :) (You can just delete it all together after reading if you’d like!)

    • Hi Nicole, I didn’t know how to change your name so I just didn’t approve your first comment. I feel like all the medicated creams for my face given to me by derms have been failures, both for acne and POD. Now I know its probably because of the parabens, propylene glycol, and other preservatives/skin irritants they include. Yes, my POD seemed to go away as a direct result of not wearing make-up and using commercial products on my face. I JUST used gentle natural soap and jojoba ester cream (now I use hemp oil because I read its less comedogenic). I don’t think the rosewater spray does anything, it just feels good and smells nice. I used plain greek yogurt masks for a while too and that seemed to cool down the redness and make the rash shrink, but not go away. I think it took two weeks for things to really start getting better. Now when I get a rash (usually caused by trying out new make-up and skin care products), I go back to this simple regimen for a few days and it goes away. I also recommend trying the oral antibiotic Doryx for two weeks while also avoiding skin irritants. It took me six months to get rid of the rash and I know how depressing it can be. Good luck!

  10. About 5 years ago I could only use water on my face because of POD, lots of trial and error and still getting flare ups. Will get more details later but here are products that I use without irritation for at least the last 3 years.

    Dr. Bronner’s Tea Tree Castile 18-in-1 Soap—> diluted.
    Suki skin skin care Balancing Day lotion (others- too heavy even for winter).
    Suki pure facial moisture balancing (at night at eyes and POD area)
    Suki Transformative cleansing clay for mask and spots
    Signature Minerals- foundation/concealer, blush, eyeshadow (Bare Minerals are a major irritant for me and possibly initial trigger 5 years ago).
    Body and Lip moisturizers- Aunt Patty’s Organic Coconut Oil, Jojoba or Almond Oil.
    Trying DeVita but cant report on it yet and researching Osmosis
    ***Avoid all sunscreens with a big hat – mineral based only if necessary.

    • THanks for the tips! I also avoid sunscreen because I don’t like all the additives, but I got some from an aesthetician awhile back that seems to be ok. She also recommended the Vanicream brand for sensitive skin.

  11. This is a great thread – thank you. I suffered with mild POD for a few years without knowing it. I lead a very healthy, natural lifestyle, inside and outside of my body. The first week in December I noticed some bumps and swelling on one side of my chin. There is not enough room on the internet to list all of the remedies I tried, but a lot of them are listed by previous posters. I even fasted for a week! My instincts told me there was a trigger, but I couldn’t for the life of me figure it out. For 3 months I believed it was a new liquid soap I bought on December 2nd. I didn’t get it seen by a doctor because I’d been through this before, and knew the weeks and weeks of creams don’t work. The last time I was seen for this skin condition, it was misdiagnosed as rosacea. Back then, after aforementioned weeks of topicals, I developed a urinary tract infection, took oral antibiotics for a week, and my undiagnosed POD went away. About two weeks ago, I finally figured out it is POD. What a relief to have a name for this demon, but what a challenge, too. Right after I made an appointment with my GP, suddenly something occurred to me: The last time I was at the dentist for my 6 month cleaning and checkup, I had a dental varnish treatment. This is a highly concentrated fluoride treatment which is left on the teeth to slowly dissolve. I called the dental office to see what the date of my visit was…November 30th! Has anyone else experienced this? Also, I have a feeling this has an auto-immune related link. I have hypothyroidism and IBS. Anyone else?

    I HATE antibiotics, but decided to try it. My face is almost clear. I stopped drinking fluoridated water. By the way, boiling water does not remove the fluoride. You have to drink reverse osmosis water or buy an activated alumina defluoridation filter. I also stopped using fluoridated toothpaste and anything with SLS, which is really hard to do. SLS is illegal in Canada. This whole process has been laid out like a crime investigation, and perhaps for good reason. Watch this short film:

    http://topdocumentaryfilms.com/the-fluoride-deception/

    Also, here is an interesting article linking fluoride to POD: http://www.fluoridealert.org/studies/mellette-1983/

    I’ve got more to add to this, but sadly am out of time. I hope everyone is feeling better, and again, I would love to hear if we share my mentioned experience(s). xoxoxo

  12. Thankyou for all of your posts I’m a very desperate lady who is covered in perioral dermatitis!!!!!

  13. I just starting using osmia products and wow what a difference it made to my skin. She is a dermatologist who suffered from PD herself and formulated these products to help. It is a little pricey but so worth it i got the starter kit for $130 comes with black clay soap, serum, and moisturizer

  14. What kind of face wash do you use?

  15. Ohhh, thanks for your blog! Finally, a comprehensive – and realistic – account of PD all in one place. I’ve been researching on line forums like crazy trying to find anything at all to truly cure my horrible, visible, embarrassing PD! I’ve taken bits and pieces of auggestions here and there. Everything I’ve tried so far either helped a bit (but didn’t really help!) OR made it worse. Some of the online comments I found that touted apple cider vinegar or calendula cream, or hydrogen peroxide as ‘miracle’ remedies were downright frustrating. I’ve gotten NO miracle from any of them!
    Thanks for the info. re- the metrodinazole (metro cream) with all its non-active, toxic ingredients. I wondered if it contained something sinister – I used it for 6 weeks
    and it made my PD worse!!! I knew after using it for 2 weeks that it was causing more harm than good. BUT I kept right on using it, convincing myself that I needed to give it more time to work since it is prescribed as a standard (and effective! – say what?!) treatment for PD. One of the pharmacy inserts said it could take upto 9 weeks to see the full benefit. Thankfully, I finally broke my stubborn sense of hope and went
    back to my doctor after using it for 6 weeks. By that time the PD was so severe above one of my eye lids with redness below my eye as well, that I could barely open my eye! The burning was also constant, my eye was a total mess!
    I had been using Protopic ointment along with the metrocream and both were making my eye worse. On the other affected areas of my face (below my nose, and beside my nose and mouth) the metrocream was leaving things red, burning, and very dry – while the Protopic was doing nothing at all. I was so disappointed because I had had such great results with Protopic when my hands were covered in itchy eczema a couple of years ago. After trying everything else, Protopic is the only thing that helped – and still helps my hands remain rash free. Oh why couldn’t I find such an amazing cure for PD!
    I do not believe my PD to be make up, cleanser, or medication related at all. I rarely used make up, and certainly not right before the PD appeared. I started taking an SSRI medication (for anxiety) but the PD appeared before I took this med and didn’t make it worse after. What made my PD worse was the cortisone-antibiotic cream originally prescribed, followed by the metrocream. Then I tried ACV, calendula ointment, and hydrogen peroxide. All helped a tiny bit for the first few days but then the PD stayed the same around my mouth and nose, got way worse on my one eye and has now started to spread to my other eye.
    Anyway, my doctor took one look at my eye this week and immediately referred me to a dermatologist whom I can see in a few more days, phew, relief is coming! – gotta keep believing! As an axiety sufferer at the best of times, this PD has made my social anxiery disorder worse! Who wants to make eye contact with anyone with such a hideous rash to show the world!
    I have never had PD before, only eczema on my hands mostly, and completely MILD acne around ‘that time of month’. When this PD started just before Christmas, beside my mouth, I dismissed it as being a cold sore and put Lysine and Tea tree on it which always helped the cold sore breakouts I’ve gotten every few years or so. Well, I quickly realized this was no cold sore when my standard cold sore treatments made things worse and the PD spread to beside my nose. Then I tried Penaten zinc ointment which makes a thick white mess but helped the first day – and then worsened the PD after that. Must be the adfitives in it – I learned a lot about that in your blog – how these non-active ingreds. can wreak havoc.
    I tried the Greek yogurt but it stung terribly and also made the rash worse. I tried taking vitamin supps. including zinc for a couple of months more consistently – all along I have taken vitamins, but not as consistently. I stepped up my consumption of oolong tea which was a recommendation for the severe eczema I had a couple of years ago. My doctor initially seemed to think that the rash on my face IS eczema combined with Rosacea. I’m convinced from my own research that this rash is PD. I believe that the dermalogist will confirm that when I see her in 3 more days. I have been counting down the days til I can see her and get on the path to RELIEF! I have not yet tried oral antibiotics so she may put me on those since NOTHING that I’ve applied topically has given me any real relief.

  16. Just got back from seeing a specialist (dermatologist). She said I definitely have perioral dermatitis – actually perioroficial dermatitis since it spread to my nose and both eyes now as well.
    My dermatologist prescribed an oral antibiotic – minocycline. She said that oral meds are needed since nothing topical really works – certainly true in my case – NOTHING I’ve put on my face helped. The PD has gotten worse, and worse, AND worse. I wore sun glasses all morning INDOORS in a boardroom meeting at work, to cover up my inflamed eyes! The people there musta thought I was blind – I joked to my friend that I should’ve borrowed her pooch to be my seeing eye dog, lol – gotta try and keep the humour amidst all my facial adversity.
    My dermatologist did say to keep using Cerave lotion, a light moisturizer. My family doctor had recommended to use it, and warm water (and nothing else).
    I agree with your blog that the fewer things I put on my face the better!
    Oh, the one thing that I didn’t try that was mentioned in your blog and on a lot of sites is the grapefruit seed extract. At this point, I think I’ll go with the minocycline to see if I can finally get some relief. My dermatologist said it can take upto 4 – 6 mths. to work cause you only take one capsule per day to slowly build up in your system. The pharmacist said it should be quicker than that and I should start noticing some improvement in a few days – yay.
    My dermatologist will follow up with me every 6 weeks to make sure we conquer this thing :)

  17. Thought I would add my two cents :)
    Both my sister and I are prone to POD. My own personal experience started with makeup, a liquid foundation as well as pressed powder to be exact, both Almay which claims to benefit sensitive skin. I noticed a small white head or two that popped up around my laugh lines, but they didn’t feel like typical acne. They burned and itched at the same time. I quit the makeup. Just recently, I’ve been trying to get by with bar soap to simplify my skincare routine, and kablamo. Felt the sting, felt the burn, but this time there were small mountain range-y clusters of inflamed, red skin with many small and large white heads that would break. And a crust would form. Disgusting, yes. Uncomfortable, definitely.
    My sister gave in after a severe flare up and chose to get on antibiotics. I’m against taking such things, so I scoured the internet for a natural solution. Turns out, my sister was now fighting off any flare ups after healing with wonderful COCONUT OIL. The virgin kind. I use Dr. Bronner’s. I am just now getting over one of the largest outbreaks I’ve had to date. The rash had started to spread to my nose, and I could tell it wanted to creep even further up my face given the chance. Bring in ORGANIC APPLE CIDER VINEGAR! With the motha’, the wonderful stringy bits that hang out in the bottom of the bottle. I made a toner with some Bragg’s and water, not too strong but strong enough to fight this beast off. I’m happy to say that after 2 days, using the toner 2x daily (day and night), its looking considerably better. They don’t feel itchy or burn, and anytime I get a hint of irritation I rub it up with coconut oil. Also very important – I have stopped using soap. Altogether. A bit of water splashage on the face, toner, oil. Done.
    I feel for all of you who are also battling POD, it can be frustrating, painful, embarrassing, etc. I really encourage trying out natural treatments. Both virgin coconut oil and apple cider vinegar have natural anti-bacterial properties, and apple cider vinegar is also a great anti-fungal. No doctors or prescriptions needed :)

  18. Thank you so much for your wisdom. I have been researching POD and a more natural approach. My 12 year old daughter was just diagnosed. She was initially misdiagnosed by her pediatrician. The rash progressed and got worse, so I took her to a dermatologist. I should have done this first. She was prescribed an oral antibiotic and metro gel.

    After her diagnosis, I started “Googling” away. I was surprised to find that Cetaphil is bad. Her skin care routine, prior to POD, consisted of Cetaphil face wash, witch hazel, and a Pond’s original cream… all of which were probably making it worse. After my Cetaphil discovery, I began searching for more natural products. I bought her all SLS free products.

    She is now using some very similar remedies as you. Dr. Bronner’s Baby Soap is her face cleanser. It does appear to be very drying for her. I’ve been searching for a natural moisturizer. So, you suggest Hemp oil? We just tried coconut oil and tea tree oil. What do you suggest for the flaking? Do you recommend she continue to use the metro gel, along with the natural products? She uses Nature’s Gate shampoo and conditioner, body wash, and toothpaste. I am searching for a good body lotion too.

    I also discovered that Evening Primose Oil could be beneficial. It has multiple uses, including skin care. Do you have any thoughts on this?

    I’m going to have her try the pure Greek yogurt face mask. She complains of burning, so this should be soothing. How often do you use the yogurt?

    Thanks so much for blogging about POD. I am new to all of this, so your tips are very helpful.

    • I’m glad to hear you’re using the Dr. Bronner’s baby soap, but I do believe it can be drying. I definitely suggest hemp oil over the others because it is the least pore clogging oil there is. I have acne too so that is a big concern for me. Coconut oil is very comedogenic (pore clogging) and tea tree is very intense and could definitely inflame a rash and cause burning, especially if not diluted. I’m not a doctor or anything, but my two-cents is to give this a try: just use the Dr. bronner’s and hemp oil and nothing else for a week along with taking the oral antibiotic doxycycline. Don’t use anything else on the face! Keep using the SLS-free toothpaste and hair products. You could use the yogurt every night if you thought it was helping. Hope your daughter improves soon!!

  19. Correction: Evening Primrose Oil.

  20. Oh, boy! I, too have suffered from PD, off & on, for many years. I’m presently having a big flare. My first flare was when I was in my twenties, I’m now 53. As always, I have no idea what started it. I spend winters in SoCal & my flares seem to occur when we return to Washington state. My dermatologist wonders if it’s perhaps the climate change. I don’t get it every year, though…

    I’m presently on DOXYCYCLINE HYCLATE & METRONIDAZOLE gel (since this past Saturday). Reading previous posts, I think I will lay off the gel & see if things clear up faster. I’m also taking ibuprofen to help with the inflammation. I’ve used Cetaphil cleansing bar for years with no problem, but I think I’ll give Dr. Bronner’s soap a try.

    Each time I get this, I forget how long it takes to show improvement once started n the antibiotics. I wish there were a permanent “cure.”

    • I know we’re all different, but I have experienced major improvements within a week just by using the very limited products I mentioned (a safe soap and pure hemp or jojoba oil for moisturizer and nothing else!) and taking oral doxycycline. Best of luck to you!!

  21. I’ve been suffering from POD, on & off for about 4 years now. I believe it was brought on by trying Retin-A & going off of BCP. I also have PCOS & was on BCP for many years to control it, but my husband & I started trying to have a family 4 years ago. I have had several pregnancies (& losses), and it has always cleared up when pregnant, except this pregnancy it has completely gone out of control & covered my entire face. I have been on Finecea & clindamycin, which have helped clear my skin between pregnancies until now. My OB is against me trying any supplements for my POD due to me being high-risk, but I’m wondering if my body has become so depleted of some mineral or vitamin due to so many pregnancies, my last being a full-term stillbirth earlier this year, for my skin to heal itself. After reading your blog, I switched to all natural products & am trying dr.bronners (tea tree though, the store didn’t carry baby mild) & the rosewater & yogurt masks. It has been a few days & though the constant fiery burning has gone away, my face doesn’t look better yet. I am praying for this to heal.

    • Ashley I am so sorry to hear about your pregnancies, that must be very hard. I pray this one is successful. I also think my pOD was caused by retinol products. Now it seems to reoccur if I use a cortisone product on my face, too. But mine clears up quickly. I guess you wouldn’t want to take oral antibiotics because of your pregnancy, but be careful about the additives in clindamycin irritating your skin. May I suggest you add pure hemp oil or jojoba oil as a moisturizer to combat dehydration of your skin? Tea tree was irritating for my skin and it can also be drying, although I know it’s supposed to deter bacterial and fungal infection. Best of luck to you!

      • Yes, oral antibiotics are out because of pregnancy, and I’m actually allergic to tetracyclines anyway. I did stop the clindamycin when I started the all natural routine. I haven’t had any dryness issues yet, although my skin is normally extremely oily, but I will try the hemp oil. Today my bumps seem to be alot flatter, so I am hoping this is a sign it will heal soon.

  22. I believe I got POD due to prolonged use of a high potency steroid ointment (Clobetasol) that I was prescribed for Lichen Sclerosis (vulva area). It says on the insert it can cause POD if used for a prolonged time because it can get into the bloodstream, even if you don’t put it on the face it gets into the bloodstream systemically. Now this POD is almost as bad as the Lichen S and now I have stopped using the steroid cream but the POD is still bad after not using the steroid cream for over two weeks.

    it seems every time I use soap on my face it gets bad again. so I am about to get a bunch of products you guys have suggested and also see a dermatolgist. has anyone else gotten POD from over use of steroid creams?

  23. Such a relief to find this blog (and others like it). My dermatologist was no help at all. He did not diagnose correctly as POD, and proceeded to prescribe Desonide cream, which -as others have reported- actually made things worse. So far I mainly have a problem around my left eye and only a very mild redness on my right eye. I do have very mild rosacea, which hasn’t been too noticeable for the past couple of years, but I wondered if it could be related. From advice found on another blog, I started cleansing 2x a day with apple cider vinegar around the eye. It seems to be working to keep the redness at a dull roar, but it doesn’t go away completely. Nevertheless, I have to be careful with the vinegar because it can make my eyes sting really bad. Once a day I use the Cetaphil bar soap, which doesn’t contain SLS like the liquid version does, and it seems to be all right, but I will also check out Dr. Bonner’s. I rinse my face with filtered water and then I moisturize with jojoba oil, which I swear by: one drop on wet hands and smoothed on a wet face (let air dry). Then I scrunch up my hair with the leftover oil and water on my hands. It’s good for the hair too! At some point I will probably go to another dermatologist and insist on a prescription for Minocycline just to get rid of it once and for all. But for now this technique minimizes it and I’m not even aware of it unless I look at myself really closely in the mirror.

  24. PLEASE HELP, MY FACE IS IN AGONY, ITCHY, BUMPY MASS OF REDNESS. I HAVE TRIED EVERYTHING SUGGESTED BUT NOTHING IS WORKING. WHAT AM I DOING WRONG? COULD SOMEONE PLEASE POST THEIR TREATMENTS IN DETAIL, IE HOW MANY TIMES DO YOU APPLY ACV, IS IT DILUTED OR STRAIGHT? I CANNOT GET HEMP OIL WHERE I AM. IVE CHANGED TOOTHPASTE, SHAMPOO AND CONDITIONER, I DONT WEAR MAKE UP. I THINK MY MEDICATION IS MAKING THINGS WORSE BUT BECAUSE OF NERVE DAMAGE IN MY SPINE I HAVE NO CHOICE. I cant get CALIFORNIA BABY CREAM HERE, WILL ANY BABY NAPPY RASH CREAM WORK? I HAVE ONLY BEEN ABLE TO FIND ORGANIC COLD PRESSED COCONUT OIL BUTTER, WILL THIS WORK? ANY HELP FROM ANYONE IS SO VERY WELCOME. ITHANK YOU

    • Hi I am just wondering if you found anything that worked for your PD? How long did it take to go away?? I have a really bad case and have not left the house all week and I am desperate for any help.
      Thanks :)

      • Best and quickest- oral antibiotics like doxycycline. Healthiest- stop using all your products until it goes away, research and avoid the most common skin irritating chemicals in make-up and beauty and avoid like the plague. Good luck!

  25. Violet extract helped my breakouts but did not cure it. It would look good for a couple of days but with a lot of dryness. then a few days later a full on flare up/break out again. i read california baby calendula cream worked wonders & for me this was finally my magic. after 7 months battling this demon i think i have it under control. i used the violet extract & the calendula cream twice a day & my skin looks best it has with this condition. i still get some redness but no bumps or peeling. i am looking into getting the herd pharm calendula oil. i figured if the cream works this well the pure oil will work even better.

  26. My doctor told me I had POD but said it was a minor thing and that it should go away. But here we are 6 months later and it still hasn’t gone away! (it has gotten much better though after i changed a few things)
    My doctor told me to use bacitracin to calm it down. I did use the little bacitracin packets he gave me and instead of going to fill my prescription for it, i started using a generic neosporin. That worked for awhile, but then it seemed to make it worse. So i did a little research and went back to using vaseline and that seemed to work better than the neosporin. Then I discovered that my toothpaste had a huge impact on causing it. I had read that Crest 3D White toothpaste has been known to cause this in many people. I realized I had started using this product back when the POD was really bad. So the first thing i did was cut that and all fluoride out of the picture. (I started brushing my teeth with baking soda and rinsing with hydrogen peroxide). This seems to be helping somewhat as well. I also started washing my hair with baking soda and white vinegar (which i highly recommend not just for POD reasons!) and trying to keep chemicals off my face. I still wear eye makeup, but only a little bit of eyeshadow, eyeliner, and mascara. Strangely enough, i quit caffeine a few days ago and that seems to be helping somewhat too.
    Some days my POD is bad, some days its barely noticeable. but im trying everything I can to make it go away!

  27. I am suffering from many of the same issues with my skin (and, coincidentally IC). I was wondering what people do for sun protection, something I’m struggling with since I seem to be reacting to almost everything. I have been using Jane Iredale’s mineral foundation for my face, which does offer some protection, but I’m a fair redhead. Thoughts?

    Thanks in advance.

    • Vanicream is supposed to be good for sensitive skin! My advice is stay away from chemical blocks and go for physical blocks in your cream (ie the kind that makes your skin white). And also avoid any cream with sodium hydroxide, parabens, propylene glycol, and other potentially irritating additives. I use mineral powder with some SPF but I always wear giant sunhats and sunglasses when I’m out in the sun because I just don’t want to risk irritating my skin.

  28. I just found this site and I wanted to share my own experience! I first came down with the POD rash 12 years ago. I was a working mother and this rash was relentless and painful. I went to my primary doctor, and he gave me a steroid cream. Oh goodness…I wish I had never tried that. The first few days it looked like it was working and then BOOM, it flared up worse than ever.
    I was miserable and in pain and it was affecting me in every way. I hated going to work and people seeing my face and not wanting to get near me for fear I was contageous. I worked in a dog kennel and I looked like I had mange!
    After finally doing my own researches and looking up rashes on the internet I diagnosed myself with POD and went back to my doctor. I told him that steroid cream makes POD much worse and just look at my face!
    He then prescribed me tetracycline which I took for a few months. My face cleared up and it has been 12 years with no relapse (looking back it is probably because a few years later I was diagnosed with late stage chronic Lyme disease and I was on antibiotics for 4 years to get my symptoms under control. I stopped abx about 2 years ago)
    We eat organic, non-gmo and do not drink floridated water or use it in our toothpaste. I don’t wear makeup of any kind and our shampoo is organic and free of harmful chemicals.
    So I was surprised when, 2 months ago, I got a couple of familiar bumps near the corner of my mouth.. itchy, burning, painful, crusty, red and would not go away. I blew it off for a bit trying to convince myself that it wasn’t what I hoped it wasn’t. But it is.
    I immediately started trying the natural cures I found online. I used teatree oil, neem oil, coconut oil, ACV… all of it. The only thing I didn’t try was washing my face with diluted borax powder. Just not sure about that one. It was only getting much worse!
    I called last week for an appointment with my dermatologist and they could not get me in for at least 6 weeks. Talk about frustration!
    But three days ago I went to Natural Grocers and bought some L-Glutamine powder to take (mixed in water and is tasteless) and also on an impulse I bought a bar of Grandpa’s Thylox Acne soap with Sulfer to use twice a day.
    I can’t say which of these two has helped me… probably both. (for sure the L-Glut has helped me with my GI issues though) But today is the third day and the rash is almost completely gone. A little flaky but a lot less red, the blister bumps have receeded and are no longer crusty, no more itching or burning.
    I have an appointment with a new primary doctor today (I made it on Thursday when my face was burning and crusty and ugly) and I’m not sure she is going to believe I have POD now that this has cleared up almost completely. I was hoping to find out that there is an ointment that will help that doesn’t have all the harmful stuff in it, but I suppose there isn’t. I am going to ask for an antibiotic prescription but I don’t plan on using it unless I find out this is a fluke and it comes back.
    The only thing I can think of that has caused this to flare again is the autoimmune issues caused by the Lyme disease.
    But I wanted to let everyone know there was something else to try out there! I spent about $20 bucks for the soap and the bottle of L-Glutamine :)

    • Hi Dawn,
      Lyme’s eh? I think a lot of things that happen to our skin is due to what is going on in our bodies. That is our way of our body telling us something is out of balance or depleted. I, like many others, tend to try to self diagnose because the answers and medication we are prescribed usually help temporarily or worsen our symptoms. I am wondering how you got diagnosed with Lyme’s and what your symptoms were. I have POD and extreme exhaustion. I had my first baby last year and thought it might be hormonal, due to the breastfeeding ect. My doctor first prescribed Betaderm cream, that helped and then made it worse. They he prescribed Metrocream and that made it worse. My dermatologist has given me Elidel – but it has sulphates and propylene glycol – really bad for your skin. He gave me this because I am still breastfeeding and you don’t want to be taking antibiotics during that time. I would prefer a natural approach as I feel the body created the symptoms and it can heal the symptoms with the proper nurturing. I do think there is a link with skin disorders and Lyme’s so I would love to hear a bit more about your story.

  29. Today I have been diagnosed with POD and was prescribed metronidazole cream 0.75% – my POD doesn’t appear to be as bad as some of you ladies describe, I have small white pistules and bumps just underneath my skin that appear to spread all around my mouth and chin. The chin area turns a deep red colour and throbs occasionally, I can almost feel the pulse…
    I know that this started when I used a Liz Earle product with a hot muslin cloth and although I quickly stopped and returned to dermalogica face wash, my pistules and throbbing feeling appear to be getting slowly worse.
    My GP tells me no one knows the cause of this, it could be stress related and as I am in recovery from surgery on my Kidney, I will accept this explanation for the time being.
    The reason I am writing (although a novice compared to some of your experiences) is to say that like some of you, I simply have to take this into my own hands. This is my twopenneth ( Lancashire dialect)
    1 pint of water with cap full of Organic ACV daily, Warm bath with a cup of Epsom Salts twice a week ( detox purposes)
    Honey, Oatmeal and lemon juice mask 2 x per week
    Will change toothpaste, shampoo and conditioner
    Will only wear a BB Cream or tinted moisturiser if going out ( fingers crossed
    Lavender and Tea tree essential oil mixed with almond oil and sprayed lightly and nightly

    I feel that I have helped contribute to this spreading by touching and playing with my chin, plucking hairs and squeezing….. plan to LAY OFF entirely

    Will let you know if I enjoy any success…

    P.s… has anybody had any allergy tests for this?

  30. I started with POD around my mouth after a facial at my local salon, a couple of days after which my lips were inflamed and started to get really itchy… following a dentist appointment the week after my symptom worsened. As I had always had dry lips I spent the next few months buying and applying EVERY type of lip balm available to no avail. !! After a while my eyes started to get sore and red, a visit to the doctors confirmed POD and a prescription for doxycycline followed, along with the instructions of not use any beauty products/makeup… which I followed, after around 4 weeks the symptoms disappeared and I stupidly stopped taking the medication!!! Guess what, it came back with vengeance (how many times are we told to finish the course DOH!).. What I have found does help however is Aalgo Organic Seaweed treatments. I use the bar of soap (not pleasant smelling) along with Elizabeth Arden 8 hour unscented moisturising cream and it has really helped me.
    Last week I visited my dermatologist (which was the biggest waste of time ever!!) the POD wasn’t too bad at the time and he said well-done “you have cured yourself “(WHAT!!) and prescribed Eidale cream (useless!!) which I used and the POD is now as bad as ever. I have just asked the Doc for a repeat prescription of Doxycyline and I live in eternal hope that after this next course of antibiotics and along with the soap etc., that my POD will get better…

  31. I am so glad I found your blog! I have never had POD before in my life until three months ago when spots appeared around my nose and mouth. At first I thought it was acne but it wouldn’t go away. I have always been pretty careful with how much makeup I used, but when these spots appeared I was putting everything on it to clear it up and hide it which i think just made it worse! I saw a nurse and she recommended hydrocortosone cream which also made it worse. I went to my GP and she gave me a prescription for an antibiotic cream, but I was a bit sceptical about using it. I have been searching the internet for advice, and luckily stumbled upon yours. With a bit of courage I stopped using everything, changed my shampoos and toothpaste to natural ingredients, started taking zinc and primorose oil, going to yoga to keep stress levels down and am now using tamanu oil (reccommended by one of the comments) and finally it looks like I have it under control!!! Argh fingers crossed it continues to heal, but thank you once again and to everyone who has left their comments, its so helpful!!

  32. I have had PD for about 5 months now. Due to liver damage from an autoimmune disorder I am unable to take antibiotics, and so I was wondering what I could do about this horrible condition. I went to a local health food store and asked the clerk what she would recommend (what can I say, I was desperate!). She gave me an $8 bottle of Nature’s Aid. It is an all natural lotion that contains Aloe Vera, Vitamin E Oil, Witch Hazel, Rosemary, and Tea Tree Oil. I have been using it for 3 days, and my rash is almost gone. It instantly soothes the itching and burning and can be used as often as needed. I found it very helpful and hope you will too. Just google Nature’s aid and it will come up.

    • Hi Eve! I am currently awaiting this product from Amazon. Can you tell me your whole skin care regimen with this product? For example, do you wash your face first and with what soap, etc. At which step do you use this product and do you use a specific moisturizer?

  33. Maracuja Oil (passion fruit seed oil) works immediately to clear it up. I imagine if I used it everyday I would never have an out break but it clears up pretty much over night and b/c its oily I don’t want to use it everyday (if it gets in my hair it makes my hair look greasy). I have suffered from POD since 2005 or 2004. Before me discovering maracuja oil I had to take minocycline and it was the only thing to clear it up but I can’t take antibiotics forever and besides i think this works faster. Back in 2005 I remodeled my bathroom, riping out the 1950s tile and I’m thinking i may have breathed in dust and contaminated my body with toxins, maybe that caused it, I just don’t know. I thought I’d try EDTA for detoxing my liver and see if that would help. Until then I’m going to stick by the maracuja oil.

    • What was your whole skin care regimen using this oil? Thanks for your help!

      • When dealing with a flare, I used the least amount of products possible, because once I have the rash it seems like all fragrances and many additives in products made me itch and burn more. So the regimen would just be remove make-up with hemp oil, rinse my face with Dr. Bronners, and apply more oil for dryness. That’s it. The make-up I used only when I had to, and it was bare minerals (not necessarily a good choice!!). Whatever you do, find a concealer that doesn’t have parabens and propylene glycol.

  34. This blog is a blessing! I have been battling a rash since May, and I couldn’t get rid of it. I started researching and read this blog. Just last week, I bought plain Greek yogurt and Sulfate free shampoo and conditioner. I have been putting the yogurt on twice a day, and my rash (that I believe, has to be POD) is clearing up nicely! Thanks so much for sharing your experience with POD.

  35. Thank you for this helpful blog! I have been suffering from POD for the last 2 months. It’s a pretty mild case (But still so annoying!), so the doctor gave me metrogel for the day, and oxistat cream for the night. It has been almost 3 weeks since starting treatment. While it hasn’t gotten worse, it is not getting better too. The doc said it would take about 6 weeks to see improvement (does that makes sense??) and if it doesn’t, I need oral antibiotics.

    So in my quest to try to avoid oral antibiotics, I ran into this blog searching for some natural remedies.
    I bought Bronner’s soap, and grapefruit seed extract liquid (NutriBiotic).
    I was wondering- is this stuff supposed to burn (the GSE)? I put it on the rash without even diluting it and felt nothing- does it mean it’s not working? how long did it take you to see improvement with this?

    By the way I don’t use anything on my face other than the soap, the prescription cremes, and the GSE.

    Thanks!

    • Hi! Well you might try taking out the rx’d creams because if they’re like mine, they contain horrible things for sensitive (read:POD inflamed!) skin, like sodium hydroxide, parabens, and propylene glycol. I mean to make another entry about this ASAP, but recently I discovered my POD is unequivocally caused by PROPYLENE GLYCOL.

      • Thanks for replying so fast!!!

        The Oxistat cream does have this ingredient.. I’m reluctant to quit the prescription cremes though as I’m scared it could get worse…Don’t know what to do- I have to stop it before it spreads (so far only chin affected).

        I’m not sure I understood from your story- did you end up using oral antibiotics too or just the natural stuff before you were completely cured?

        And, did grapefruit seed extract burn?

      • You have to dilute GSE and in my experience, anything that burns is BAD bad bad for POD as much as we may want to think its somehow cleansing it.

        I’ve stopped my POD both with antibiotics and by stopping use of products that caused it, typically products with many ingredients (in retrospect, they probably contained propylene glycol but at the time I just noticed there were lots of chemicals and I didn’t know which ones were the culprit). I strongly advise stopping use of anything with propylene glycol as it is a known irritant (google it) and I know it directly caused my POD.

  36. I suffered for 6 months & I finally found my cure. Violet extract & California Baby Calendula cream. In the morning when I shower I wash my face with castor oil mixed with sunflower oil. When I get out of the shower I rub violet extract all around my mouth & under my nose. I then moisturize my entire face with the Calendula cream. It took about 2 months of repeating these steps morning & night but I finally have perfectly clear skin again. In those two month I saw an instant change but I could see bumps trying to come back out here & there. Persistence prevailed! i just keep up this routine now in fear it will come back but I am convinced I cured it. A big bottle of Violet extract on amazon was about $30 (the biggest bottle they sell, you can get smaller ones for $10) & a jar of California Baby Calendula cream from Target for $11. I have also kept out all products with SLS & parabens. & i changed all my makeup to bare minerals too (which is a great idea even if you don’t have allergies, best makeup EVER!) Seriously though, try the violet extract with calendula cream. I don’t know what it is in it but Perioral Dermatitis hates it!

  37. I have suffered with POD since May 2013. At first I didn’t know what it was, sadly my doctor and dermatologist didn’t know either. After many failed prescriptions, I took matters into my own hands. I did much research on line and found that I cured my POD organically. I only buy face and body products that are SLS, parabin, and fluoride free. I also use Himalaya’s Neem &Turmeric Face Wash morning and night. A concoction of 10-15 drops of lavender oil, 10-15 drops of tea tree oil, and 1 tablespoon of grapeseed oil to use 1-3 times daily. Orally I take Biotin, AKN by Nature’s Way, and Oregano oil capsules. For some reason, this has alleviated much of the POD. My best to u all….

  38. Update: I have been taking Minocycline for 4 months now and my PD is 85% cured :) I had a severe case of PD – to the point where once it spread to my eyelids and under my eyes, my eyes were swollen completely shut, and were watery and oozing. It was just like having pink eye or something! – except that thankfully, PD s not contagious. Also, when it was really bad under my nose, it was creeping into my nostrils as well, and my nose was burning, like having a cold that just wouldn’t go away.
    I tried so many different home remedies and prescription creams but nothing has worked EXCEPT the oral antibiotic. It took a couple of weeks before I noticed any clearing at all, but it has been steadily getting better, and better, and better over these past few months.
    I am not sure how long I will be on this antibiotic – my dermatologist said that the goal is to get it 100% better, and she’s been seeing me every 6 weeks for follow-up. Right now, I still have 2 small, red stubborn spots – one under each eye, 3 faint spots beside my mouth (which is where the PD first started), and some lingering redness (but no rash!) below my nose and on the eyelid that was most severely affected. I am wondering if the spots are scars from the PD?
    The only product I use on my face is Cerave lotion and face wash, and just recently tied some organic,(low list of ingredients) make-up – with no ill effects. I am interested in trying the mineral brands that others mentioned. And I certainly find that the fewer ingredients I use the better.
    While the oral minocycline has been a ‘miracle cure’ it has not been without side affects, including dizziness (at first – better now but not completely gone), stomach nausea (better since I switched I to taking it at night, and swallowing the capsule with less than a full cup of water), and on and off yeast infections – yick – which I’ve been able to control with garlic cloves and over the counter (Canasten) cream. The worse side effect I have experienced from the antibiotic (though I got it before I had PD – from using ANY kind of sunscreen!) is skin discolouration – brown patches on my face which look like freckles except some of the patches are larger, that’s why I started trying organic make-up to hide them! I’m pretty sure that the antibiotic has made this worse and it’s distressing not having an even-coloured complexion – almost as embarrassing as the PD, but not as hideous!
    Wondering what others’ experience with antibiotic side effects has been? (my dermatologist said that I could try switching to doxycycline for less annoying side effects, but I was too scared to switch because the minocycline is working so well!). Also wondering how long people took the medication for, and what happened when you stopped taking it? – I’m so worried that the PD would immediately re-appear!
    I still have no idea what caused it ( I rarely used make-up, soap, or anything on my face), and my dermatologist said that often the cause is unknown. My family doctor’s sense is that it was caused by seasonal allergies in my case since it got worse and worse and worse from early til late Spring – though like I said before, it actually first started in January and I had never had PD (or any skin problems except excema) before that.

    • I do not think cerave is safe for sensitive or POD skin despite their claims because of the ingredients. You really have to start reading labels if you want to be in control of your POD. Cerave contains a ton preservatives including parabens. You need to go as simple and natural as possible- five ingredients or less is a good rule of thumb! That’s the only way to find out if your POD is triggered by chemicals and sensitivity, as opposed to something going inside your body like hormone changes or a food allergy. You should have complete remission within one or two weeks by taking out ALL potentially irritating chemicals from your hair/face routine. Also I can recommend Doxycycline, that cleared up my POD the first time. Hope you get total remission!

    • To better answer your Qs my POD gets better within days when I stop using products that cause it and/or take doxy. But I try to avoid taking ABs for PD since I end up having to go on different ones for sinus troubles.

  39. I’ve had POD for three weeks now and currently on Minocycline for a week and a half and using Elidel cream for six days. For me, it’s the itchiness that is driving me crazy. I’ve had to stop using all cortizone creams. I’ve read that POD may be caused by overuse of steriod cream. Although when I first got the rash (not knowing what is was), Hydroval was really effective to keep the rash and itchiness at bay. My friend recommended that I use Avene Thermal Spring Water spray. It claims that it is good for ezcema and atopic dermatitis. Not sure if its good for POD. I’m so skeptical of using any new products. I don’t know how I got POD as I haven’t changed any face products with the exception that I did try the Neutrogena Natural cleanser for two days. My dermatologist advised me to throw it out. I live in Canada so alot of the products you mention are not available here. I really need to find something that will get rid of the itchiness and continue using the Elidel to help with the redness and the rash. I am hoping that over time the oral antibotics will also be effective. It’s really put a toll on me. I don’t leave the house unless I have to go to work or buy groceries.

    • I also seemed to develop POD out of nowhere, although now i believe I may have sensitized my skin by using retin-a. Somehow your skin became sensitized and reacted to something you’re using. I’ve since learned that the additive propylene glycol triggers the rash for me. It’s like night and day- exposure to PG and rash pops up! Stop using the product and it goes away. It’s crucial to research the major skin irritants currently on shelves even in “sensitive” and “natural” products. My product suggestions don’t help the rash- simply not using irritating chemicals is what I believe cured me. The products I listed (dr bronners soap and any brand of hemp oil) are just the best substitutes for face wash and moisturizer I could find that also were affordable. Good luck!!

  40. It’s so great to find this blog. I’ve suffered with PD for just over a year now and have tried loads of things. I initially had a rash beside my mouth and was prescribed cortisone (I also suffer from eczema) and while it initially cured the rash, it then came back… worse….and now I have PD. I was misdiagnosed several times also and then prescribed a 0.5-1.0% hydrocortisone cream…which initially improved it, but then had no improving effect. I have recently stopped using the cream and am just washing my face with water and a pinetarsol wash…which is great for the itchiness. After finding this blog I will go off my fluoride toothpaste (I also suffer from sensitive teeth) to see what happens. I have used organic products both in my hair/face/ body for years….no parabens, sodium laurel sulphates etc. I eat organically and am healthy and fit. I’ve also been off wheat for years, but am starting to wonder if I’m also gluten intolerant. Will give this a go. I use Dr. Haushka make up products without any negative effects. Sometimes I think they help. I will also try some of the above treatments and keep you all posted!

  41. Curing the itchiness?!
    I’ve had PD for about 5 months now :( it has finally improved and is only present in my nose folds and kind of inside my nostrils. Sometimes I still get one or two bumps on my lower eye lid. I’ve been basically house ridden since it started, except going to school Monday-Wednesday (thank god I only enrolled in only 3 physical classes and 2 online). The “doing nothing, putting nothing on my face” is the only cure that has worked. Calendula cream seemed to work when it was full blown PD, but now it breaks me out with bumps and causes a runny/stuffy nose, not something you really want running down on your PD. It’s so much better now and I’m almost thankful that I have it contained to just my nose. But the issue now, is the days when it seems to be doing good, with light soft flaking that easily flakes off, with no raw burning skin underneath the dead skin, it always seems like “okay cool, last layer of peeling and normal skin underneath, right”. It never does lose that red shine, like a burn. I put a little lotion in the nose area before bed, but never stop wanting to scratch. I contain myself, but by the time I wake up, it’s crusty, dried up, flaky PD again. I’ve tried not going to bed with any products on and it made it worse in the morning. I just want the itch to go away. I had my septum pierced twice when I was younger and have scar tissue right on my septum that is always itchy, so basically keeping my fingers out of my nose is hard. I just can’t seem to get over this last bit of PD, and I want my life back. Everyone’s cure is different, so it’s hard to know if it’s a cure, or the PD flare just going away. I mean if I had been eating a pb&j sandwich and noticed an improvement, i would assume it was a cure. So for other readers, I realized that MY cure was doing literally nothing. The only thing I want to suggest is drinking plenty of water (something I never did before PD) I hope everyone that has or had PD, doesn’t go through the mental anguish that I did. The stress and obsession over it can cripple you, and I wouldn’t be surprised if it affects the PD negatively. Tell your close friends and family what you’re battling, it feels good to tell people, hahah until they start suggesting things to help it, not realizing that ANYone with PD is a PD expert by the end of week two. Anyways, cheer up if you’re at your low point, things could always be worse.

    • If your itchiness is caused by dryness pure hemp oil might help you. I chose that one because its the least pore-clogging of all the oils. Whenever I see the first POD dots coming, I stop everything in my routine except hemp oil for moisture and maybe some mild organic soap (I use dr bronners). That’s usually enough to make it to away. Then I just have to figure out what new thing I’m using on my face caused the reaction! I hope the best for you in dealing with this awful condition!

  42. I’ve had PD for about 3 months now. It started shortly after I started my new job at a chemical plant as a process technician. Personally, I am convinced that my PD was caused by me wiping the sweat off of my lower face with my (dirty) sleeves or back of my (dirty) leather work gloves. Up until my new job I’ve avoided the sun and sweating, so I definitely think there is a connection. I’ve never used make-up or concealer of any kind. I only use eyeliner and mascara.
    My first move was to stop wiping my face at work and just let the sweat run, until I could dab it dry with a clean paper towel. Secondly, I started to wash my face with water only. These two steps helped out a lot. My rash is usually pretty light. But I’m too vain to accept even a light rash, so I visited a dermatologist today and was prescribed minocycline. I’m curious to see what happens next.
    My biggest problem lately is the itchiness of the rash. Now that the weather is cooling down, my rash is itchier than ever and I have a hard time keeping my hands off of my face. I will try to see if I can find the pure hemp oil you suggest to treat the itch.

    • Hi Sam! If your itch is caused by dryness alone hemp oil could help. But if it’s just from the presence of the rash it probably won’t. I have just found that I desperately need a moisturizer no matter what but that my POD seems to come back even when I try really natural products (if they have a lot of ingredients). Hemp oil is the best because it is the least pore clogging of natural oils and soothes my skin. Good luck!!

      • Yes and I really mean to make a post just about adult onset acne, the hormonal kind which in our case is caused by PCOS because I believe I’ve gotten a pretty good handle on mine. But first, if you have a current PD rash, try using just bronners soap and hemp oil, and nothing else on your skin. This probably won’t help fight acne but hemp oil is the least clogging of natural oils so it won’t worsen it either. Out of 5, hemp was 0, jojoba was 3 and olive and coconut were 5 on the comedogenic scale. Once your POD has cleared completely, glycolic peels are great for acne as is microdermabrasion and the Tanda zap. Those are the three things I use (plus the pill) to work on my acne. I started with a series of facials that included glycolic peels and microdermabrasion (yay groupon!) and found they really helped. So then I invested in a home microdermabrasion kit and I’ve been trying glycolic peels as well. The Tanda zap is a battery operated device you can buy online that can make big cysts go away, but it doesn’t always work. Still, I like feeling I have some control! Thayers witch hazel toner and the other products (aloe Vera for moisture) are good to try after your pod is cleared so you can see if it causes flares. I’ve found that glycolic peels aggravate my PD if it’s already there, but don’t do anything if it’s not.

  43. I think I’ve read your post about a million times. It gives me hope!!! I am 22 years old and have been dealing with POD for close to 3 years. In the last year, it has peaked. I have had eczema since I was a baby, so when I had my first flare up I assumed it was eczema and used desonide and cortisone. We all know what a big mistake that is. Soooo after tons of research, I went totally “green” with my products. No SLS is anything. Not even my fluoride free toothpaste has any sulfates. I only use coconut oil and shea butter on my face. Occasionally calamine lotion because it itches sooooo bad! I take zinc, fish oil, and vitamin D. I tried no gluten, no dairy, clean eating, and more water. None of this stuff helped. The shea butter and coconut oil help at times, but it still freaks out! I don’t know what else to do. I do not want to do antibiotics… I’m doing a lot of my pre- student teaching hours right now and sometimes I end up hiding in a bathroom in some elementary school just crying. It isn’t just how awful it looks, but it hurts and itches beyond belief. I wake up with blood on my pillow some mornings, and other nights it itches sooo badly that I can’t even sleep. Sometimes I can’t even put water on it. It almost feels like my skin just devours my mineral powder and the red blotches come through. Tomorrow I’m going to go pick up ACV, tea tree oil, and grapefruit seed extract. I’m at my wit’s end, and feel as though I’m losing a battle and I feel lost and defeated. I will continue to comb through your blog for inspiration and to not feel so alone. Thanks so much!

  44. Have recently been diagnosed with PD. Mine came up two weeks ago, out of the blue, and I think I know what product I used that triggered. Now, from everything I have read, the hard part is getting rid of it. I have been using Josie Maran Argan Oil on my face. I do not think it is getting worse, but it is definitely not getting better. Have you been able to find any research at all regarding PD and argan oil?

    • Hmm I thought I responded already, sorry! I’ll write again. I use hemp oil because it ranks 0 on the pore clogging scale, and jojoba was like a 2. Argan is higher up on the list too so you really shouldn’t use it on the face if you don’t want clogged pores. As far as helping PD though, I don’t think it would make a difference. The important thing is to try the simplest most natural ingredients possible for a week or two to see if the allergy is coming from chemical sensitization from products. Source for comedogenic oils (it’s a great reference site!)

      http://www.beneficialbotanicals.com/facts-figures/comedogenic-rating.html

  45. My story is much like the others here . . . had a few flare ups as an adult, am trying to fix it without antibiotics and am trying everything to find magic combination for my skin – so I won’t go into detail. Recently started using African Black Soap – my brand is Shea Moisture but there are others. I like that and it does not seem to irritate but now need to find a moisturizer. Want to try hemp oil – can it be any variety or does it have to be specially formulated for skincare?

    • Mine isn’t specifically for skin, it can be used for cooking too. I keep the bigger bottle it comes in refrigerated and keep smaller containers of it in my bathroom. I read that it can spoil without refrigeration but I haven’t had any problems yet keeping it in a glass bottle for over a month! :) a little goes a long way too.

  46. I too suffered from PD and after seven years I read about a chemical called Phenoxyethanol which is on the list of top ten skin irritants. It is found in most beauty prodcuts, make ups, sun screens and those alike. Once I stopped using products with this chemical, my PD went away like magic.

    • Thanks you so much for this!! For me I know a major trigger was propylene glycol, but I will also be keeping an eye out for phenoxyethanol! My app for harmful chemicals (Chemical Maze- highly recommend) gives it a red frowny face and says it can cause mild irritation on sensitive skin.

  47. I swore when I was younger that when God was divvying up afflictions, women totally got the short end of the stick. I got PD first when I was 20 towards the end of my pregnancy and after. I was prescribed clindamycin and told to put nothing else on my face. It took FOREVER to clear up and now I wonder if the medicine even cleared it up or just my body recovering. I am 29 now and just broke out with PD again. WTF! I was diagnosed with an ectopic pregnancy a little over a month ago and treated with methotrexate (some type of chemo injection to stop cell growth, terminating the pregnancy before it becomes life threatening) Apparently this shot strips your body of folic acid. I started prenatals to replenish my system plus we are going to try for baby number 2 again soon. I am so grateful to read this as I am totally freaking out. First the pregnancy now this PD again and i put on like 20 stress pounds in what seems like 2 seconds and feel absolutely defeated. I am going to the store to try and find the mild soap and hemp oil. I live in podunk Colorado, so should i be trying a health food store? Also, should i mix grapefruit oil and hemp together? And when do you use the rosewater spray? Sorry to be so needy, but I am desperate to get rid of this quickly. Thank you!!

    • Hi Sarah! Yeah all the issues I’ve been dealing with for the last three years affect women much more than men! And the additional disadvantage to that statistic is that these conditions haven’t been taken as seriously historically by the medical community. Anyhow, hemp oil and soap without sulfates etc are a good start. Rose water doesn’t so anything except smell good and feel good on burning skin, so that would go before the hemp oil. You could try putting the drops of GSE in your rosewater since you need to dilute it anyway. If the grapefruit seed extract doesn’t seem to be helping just try using hemp oil and as little soap as possible and see if it begins to calm down. I can usually tell in a day or two if something is making it worse or if it’s fading a bit. Best of luck, Danielle

  48. Hello, I am the mother of a daughter who just turned 12 and she was just diagnosed with Pod. She was using a steriod while we were on a wait list to get an appointment with childrens dermatologist. It did help but we were told to stop using it and it has flared up with a vengance. her face is itchy and sore. I am new to all of this and I am researching all I can. She is in the 6th grade and kids can be so mean in middle school. Any pointers would be so very helpful. I am just trying to fugure out what products to by for her. toothpaste, shampoo ect,

  49. Well I am happy to report, at this moment anyway, the active breakout seems to be almost gone. However, unfortunately my skin tends to scar easily and looks red and awful in the area where the PD breakout was. Has anyone experienced this after a PD breakout and found anything to help minimize the aftermath? I got some hemp oil so maybe that will help but I just wondered if there was anything else out there. Needless to say, I don’t really want permanent discoloration where I had the breakout.

    • So you might try Mederma scar therapy. I’ve heard a few people rave about it helping with pd outbreaks, but I’m assuming it was after care. I tried it on my current outbreak that i just can’t seem to shake, and i wanted to scratch my face off. Just make sure you check the ingredients; i got the gel kind cuz it had way less junk in it. What was your regimen to get your pd to go away and how long did it take??? My current outbreak is stubborn and I’ll try anything…

      • i SWEAR by California Baby Calendula cream (sold at target $12) & Violet extract by Herb Pharm. not only did both cure my POD but it took the redness out almost immediately. I still religiously do this routine every day. wash my face with castor oil & sunflower oil mixed together. rub some violet extract into my skin around my mouth & chin & then apply calendula cream to my entire face.

      • Mederma Gel worked for my perioral dermatitis. Initially, the gel briefly caused additional redness and itchiness. But I continued to massage the gel into the outbreaks a few times a day until the bumps dried up and flaked off within a matter of days. In order for the Mederma to work, it has to be rubbed into the skin. Tapping it in with my fingertips worked well for the most raw and painful areas.

  50. I am going to try california baby for sure – read it over and over. It was next on my list anyway. I totally understand your desperation Sarah and seriously would have put battery acid on my face if that would have taken care of the problem. I started with ACV, which really burned and the bumps got all puffed up then dried out. Once they dried out I covered it with diaper cream with zinc oxide. Weird I know and I only did this at home of course . . . but it actually really soothed it and took the redness away. This helped get it mostly under control but it did not want to go away completely so I bogarted my husband’s excema cream that had some sulphur compound in it and that helped get it to the next level of healing. I stopped the ACV at that point because it was making it too red. I switched out ACV with a super strong brew of green tea which I dabbed on the area pretty much all day for an entire weekend. I found that idea on a different website. This actually helped but it was still sort of hanging on so at that point I tried benzoyl peroxide (persa gel) on it before bed and it is almost gone now. That is very drying so I rub on a thin layer and let it dry in then put some hemp oil on top to keep itching down. Also started taking a probiotic and only using African Black soap or water to cleanse. I am using only Kiss My Face Sensitive Skin Moisturizer with Olive and Aloe during the day and hemp oil at night. I switched out all my lip balms for ones with only oils and no chemicals. Switched my shampoo to sls free and switched to no fluoride toothpaste. Whew – I have done a lot! I guess sadly I have no idea what worked – maybe it was everything combined. I think the one constant I have read is to clean up the products you use and throw everything at it until something works. Very frustrating!! I think since I first realized what I was dealing with until now has probably been 4-6 weeks. Hang in there.

    • I am also wondering about lip balms? (since the PD first started beside my mouth!) – Are there any specific lip sticks / lip balms without offending ingredients/ or long list of chemicals that you ladies can recommend?

      • since then i have only been using Badger & Burt’s Bees. but since my lips have been getting dry now with the colder weather coming in i have been grabbing regular chapstick & so far so good!

      • I’ve used badger baby sunscreen without problems. Good stuff! Watch out for peppermint oil in Burt’s bees Chapstick if you are currently flaring because it can irritate. Otherwise you’re probably safe using it. Or try a non minty flavor.

      • HI Margaret, I found the best lip balm without any chemicals is the “The Coconut House” lip balm in the coconut flavor, it has coconut oil and hempseed oil in it and I have found it to be the only lip balm that doesn’t flare up my POD. I found it on Amazon.

  51. I bought EOS available at Target and other stores and I also ordered a 4 pack of Shea Touch soothing coconut from Amazon which only has 5 or 6 ingredients. I keep lip balm all over the place. I have noticed for a while that any lip balm with spf and all lipsticks cause a reaction for me so I cut that out a while ago. I figured, while I was switching everything else I might as well clean up my lip balm as well.

  52. Margaret Sanchez

    I’m a 53 year old women who only recently developed pod. I do believe the ingredients in certain products are culprits. However for me stress seems to be the catalyst to outbreaks. What I find that has works wonders and cleared outbreaks quickly is neosporin or comparable triple action antibiotic creams applied directly on pod. In 3 dad it cleared. No makeup or other products. Being 53 I need to put something on. So now it’s only extra virgin coconut oil. Works for me. Hope it helps anyone else.

  53. My son has POD we started him on a regiment just like yours. We use Osmia Black Soap (wash with spring water), I think its comparable to your Dr Bronners. Then use hemp oil for dryness. I’ll let, you know how it goes. I was also told to try raw honey/manuka masks twice a wk. We are doing the whole SLS, fluoride free (even in foods), drink just spring water, paraben free products & a good diet low in sugar w probiotics. From doing hours of reading I have learned any ointment with petroleum/petrolatum is not good as well. Also noticed like you said Aloe Vera can be a little harsh when its flared better to do after it subsides some. Keeping my fingers crossed:)

    • Good luck and I hope you won’t have to resort to antibiotics, but know that oral antibiotics like doxycycline work on POD. The topical creams contain irritating ingredients than cause POD in some people so stay away from those! In my experience, if what you’re doing I working, the rash will not get worse and will start to improve in a week. If it’s not working, it may get worse within a matter of days. Hope he clears up soon.

  54. Johny Appleseed

    I use cetaphil a lotion found at Walgreens it helps me a lot!:)

  55. I know this is like a year after, but I hope I can get a response. I recently went natural with beauty products and started using dr bonners castile soap on my face but shortly after is when the pod began. After switching back to my cetaphil, it’s been tamed, but not gone. What is the issue? How is it the opposite for me? I’m so sad because my skin was pretty great beforehand and now it’s awful due TO switching natural.

    • We all tend to use a LOT of products on our faces, and we’re exposed to a lot of irritants aside from what we put directly on our faces that can cause reactions (i realized my big POD trigger was the preservative propylene glycol by smoking fake cigarettes in a theatrical production). If you’re sure you weren’t being exposed to ANY other products with potential skin irritants (including, as people have mentioned, dental products, hair products, and body products) then I guess you could assume you’re sensitive to something in Dr. Bronner’s. I would suggest googling the individual ingredients in his soaps (it’s a short list) with the words “skin irritants” to find out if anyone else has the same problem. You can get dermatitis from using too much soap (drying( and you’re also supposed to dilute Dr.Bronner’s quite a bit, not use it right out of the bottle. Peppermint and lavender and some of the other natural oils and fragrances could still be irritating too which is why i suggested only using the baby kind for POD skin. Sorry I couldn’t be of more help.

      • Hi thank you for providing this post and chance for dialogue. I realized I was pregnant, re-introduced grains and gluten back into my diet and bought a ton of new makeup products all at once, so who the heck know what started it. I have tried my hardest to cut the gluten back out, but cheat sometimes. Also recently binged on kid’s Halloween candy. Sugar seems to flare it up. I hope you are able to answer my remaining question. Can you provide the precise recipe for the Bronner’s dilution you use? It is so harsh on my face, especially with the weather getting colder. I am going to buy the hemp seed oil and just try the two products to see if I get relief. Thank you so much for helping and I hope it’s not too late for a response.

      • I don’t use a precise dilution. I just combine a few tablespoons of soap (eyeball it) and fill the rest of my soap dispenser with water (maybe around 8oz?). Everyone is different, but I realized my PD really comes from an allergic reaction to Propylene Glycol, a chemical additive used in TONS of make-up, body, and hair-care products.

  56. Thank you so much! Was so helpful. Your great :)

  57. First, thanks to everyone for sharing their story and what worked/didn’t work for their POD. Here is what has worked for me with my latest outbreak: washing with Dr. Bronner’s Unscented Baby Mild soap, 15mg Zinc supplements 2x/day, oil of oregano on the affected area, and jojoba oil to moisturize. I believe the oil of oregano was the main ingredient in the cure this time; it is amazing! Oil of oregano is powerful and can sting a bit if you don’t dilute it with another essential oil, but well worth the minor discomfort. I also switched to Kiss My Face triple action toothpaste (free of fluoride, SLS, etc.) and started using Argan oil as a hair conditioner (my shampoo was already paraben and SLS free). I still have a little redness left, but all the bumps are gone and it looks like I’m only a few days about from being completely healed.

  58. Thank you for the blog and all the information that worked for you. My dermatologist told me to keep using Cereve face wash and moisturizer. My face is so dry that it’s beginning to burn and be flaky. She just told me to then switch and use some Aquaphor over my face. Anyone else try that? I will definitely try the greek yogurt mask, Dr. Bronner’s soap and hemp oil. I’m on Doxycycline now for a week so we’ll see with that.
    Can you share specifically what shampoo you use and what body lotion you use? What about laundry detergent? I’m assuming all these things are affecting me too. Thank you!

  59. Sister in POD here. I’m on same wave length as the author but after a couple years, still not looking good for healing. The I moved to Alaska, oh yikes, now I have it under both eyes. I think I look like I’m on meth. haha. maybe people will think I am sketchy and won’t mess with me ;)
    Very hard to go out in public but I just do. Swallow my pride and get vulnerable and do it, even when I feel so weird and ugly :( Okay okay so back to the positive!! A couple things that I think help me a lot are really pure skin care products from Evan Healy. I also started taking high quality cod liver oil which contains vitamin D, DHA and EPA. Nordic Naturals is the brand. I also drink 4ox of great quality aloe juice with 1tsp turmeric each day. If it were not for these things I think my face would FALL OFF! I too avoid fluoride in toothpaste and food and use greek yogurt mask, sometimes mixed with excellent quality honey. I am studying to be a midwife and I often wonder if this skin curse somehow makes me more approachable or perhaps less threatening in some way…who knows. Working on trying to feel beautiful anyway, but it sure is hard.

  60. Hi! I am 21 years old and recently told I had this condition. I am on an antibiotic pill and a generic Differin cream. However, before I was put on those two things a few weeks ago, I completely switched my makeup. I, like you, was using Bare Minerals, and was shocked to find out that the makeup brand is horrible for people with skin like ours. I switched to Faerie Organics makeup, very very similar to Bare Minerals, and LOVE it. I have noticed an improvement in my skin. I just wanted to share with you all, because it has really improved my skin and is very relieving! You can only buy online, but it is not very expensive! I love their starter kit, and they even mail you a free sample kit with multiple color foundations so you can test which one fits your skin tone (and if you like the product before buying it). Strongly recommend!

  61. I was on and off erythromycin for my POD my entire pregnancy and it was safe to take (I am also allergic to penicillin). It’s really the only thing that has ever worked for me. The only problem is that since i’ve come off them again 2 weeks ago I have a huge flare up on my chin, ugh! So what now? More antibiotics? I was also given an antibiotic gel that was expensive and did nothing to help, so at the moment I have no alternatives to clearing this up other than oral antibiotics. When will this ever end? :(

  62. I have POD about 1.5 years now and I’m pregnant. anybody tried using argan oil or physiogel AI cream to combat the dryness?

  63. I have POD about 1.5 years now and I’m pregnant. anybody tried using argan oil or physiogel AI cream to combat the dryness?

  64. Just an update on my sons POD. The Osmia Black Clay Soap worked great! We use that everyday with raw Shea butter as needed for scaling, dryness. Please try OsmiaOrganics.com they now have a POD starter sample kit for $15.00. Good luck :)

  65. I have what looks like POD around the skin of both eyes. It started after I foolishly applied a chemical sunscreen under my eyes and all over my face, and then applied a barrier sunscreen on top of that, around my eyes. It started with one or two bumps that itched, then hurt like crazy when I scratched them. It spread from there, I went to an on-call dermatologist who prescribed 2.5% Hydrocortisone ointment. Helped a little until I read I shouldn’t be using it around the eyes and weaned myself off. It got a little worse, and then I applied the barrier sunscreen again and holy cow! did it get bad. Very red, itchy, burning and one eye swollen like I’d been punched. I am at high risk for skin cancer and can not go in the sun without sun protection. Please tell me what kind of sunscreen I can safely use without aggrivating this. The brand that seemed to cause it is Neutrogena. I won’t use that again.

    • Have you heard of Badger Balm? I use the baby-sensitive kind of sunscreen. There are two kinds of sunscreen- the kind that makes the physical barrier with minerals and the kind that makes a chemical barrier using nano particles. The latter sounds really great but there have been some studies showing risks of absorption and also for people with sensitive skin, those chemicals are scary. So you want the “physical block.” I’ve been told vanicreme is a good brand for people with sensitive but I have yet to use them. You can find them online. Here is the badger website http://www.badgerbalm.com/s-29-about-badger-organic-sunscreen.aspx, and they are also carried by CVS and natural stores like whole foods. Good luck!

  66. This is going to be a long post but I feel that I owe you a huge thank you-THANK YOU for creating this blog and sharing all of your knowledge in the area of PD (since we all know “there is no known cause or cure” said by every derm out there!) Symptoms for me started in November and weren’t as big of a deal as I thought..then. Last year around the same time I got my first case of eczema on my body. Well, naive me decided to use my steroid cream on my face! I figured eczema type rash on my body or face..what’s the difference!? Huge, huge mistake! As we all know, it made my PD magically disappear but would return if I didn’t use the cream..and even worse! Vicious cycle this PD is. I started to research PD and came across your site (praise God!) Your story motivated me so much that I decided to ditch the steroid cream and fight this monster the natural way. Well, after weeks of suffering-waking up and obsessing over my new patches and spending all of my money on products I decided to go to the derm. I know fighting it the natural way takes time but it was taking over my entire face at this point. Did I mention it got so bad that I would wake up with my eyes swollen shut? I told the derm that I diagnosed myself and she laughed. I told her all of the research I had done which she told me “you don’t need to worry about that” referring to staying away from SLS, propylene glycol, phenoxyethanol and petrolatum based products. This is the first time I walked into a “doctors” office and felt I knew more than they did. I only went for the doxycycline which she did prescribe for me. She also gave me samples of promiseb (which I was skeptical about until I looked up all of the ingredients in my chemical app-all thanks to you) Promiseb is actually not bad for your skin! It has worked wonders as well. She said that my face was incredibly inflamed so this would help with that. Luckily, I was suffering with this the worst during my winter break so I was able to go weeks without any makeup, which helped. I currently have been taking my antibiotic pill for 15 days and applying the promiseb and have seen huge results. She told me I would see improvements in two weeks but most likely one month-she didn’t want to disappoint me. Well I saw improvements day 4 and at two weeks it’s almost completely gone. My rash is gone but it’s the redness it left behind that is slowly but surely fading each day. I have gotten rid of every hair product, body, face product, deodorant, perfume and any cleaning products that had the above ingredients listed in them and bought all new products. I have been using Tom’s flouride free toothpaste forever now and double checked it the other week realizing it had SLS in it!
    No! Tom’s does sell SLS and fluoride free toothpaste so I quickly bought and tossed my other one! I have become quite obsessed might I add-I am considering taking my own hand soap to work and school because I know what they provide for us is awful for anyone and esp people like us! Most people think I’m crazy and I did at first too, but just like you I feel empowered with all of this knowledge and feel the healthiest I’ve been in a long time. I look up every single ingredient for anything I buy now. I bought 100percent pure makeup and face wash/serum and I highly recommend this company. Their products are all natural and chemical free and their makeup is made by fruit pigments. It actually looks beautiful on your skin too! I have been their number one fan and have actually converted several people to buying their products as well. I have enlightened so many people about PD and the harsh chemicals in basically..everything and 90% of people actually believe me and are changing their lifestyle. So many people tell me that I should create a blog and tell my story with pictures of my face’s progress weekly but I told them I only know what I know-from you. So again, you have helped me tremendously and you are amazing for responding and taking the time to talk to all of these women. :)
    Oh wait! I almost forgot! I have come to the realization (or assumption) that PD is directly related to autoimmune diseases. Anyone that I know who has had it has had some AI disorder, most with issues with their thyroid. I wish someone would really research this and stop just saying “no cause, no cure” because I know that there is! This affects more women than people know and half of the world doesn’t even know what PD is! Anyways, thanks for reading my very long post! I just had so much to say! Thanks again! :)

    • wow thank you so much for sharing your story!! I’m glad the doxy helped you, it’s been the quickest way to help for me, too, when I’ve gotten a bad flare. And I am going to look into that cream. All the best to yoU!!

  67. Hi! I have been struggling with PD for over 5 years now. I believe that my case was brought on by stress as I was planning a wedding, finishing up grad school, and working full time as a teacher with a terrible class! Haha! After being prescribed antibiotics (only to have it return), I’ve learned to live with it and it’s become normal to me that I have these bumps and redness. I turned to make-up to make myself look and feel more beautiful.

    Well, over the holidays I had a bad flare-up. I had been eating a huge amount of sugar and tried a new moisturizer (CeraVe PM Lotion). The PD was awful and the worst it had been in years. I made an appointment with a dermatologist, but couldn’t get in for 2 weeks. So, over the two week break from school, I stopped using all products on my face except CeraVe cleanser only (which I know is bad). I even stopped using make-up, which I am addicted to :o). I cut out as much sugar as possible. Additionally, I completely stopped touching my face and scratching those pimple like bumps. My face was cleared!!! So, at my dermatologist appointment there was actually nothing for her to see. She gave me some samples of Vanicream cleansing bar and lotions. She also gave me a prescription for a topical steroid that I refuse to put on my face.

    I started using the cleanser and lotion immediately. Since my skin was clear, I went back to applying foundation everywhere except my chin and around my mouth. Within two days of using the Vanicream, the bumps and redness was back! This was so incredibly disappointing. I noticed that the Vanicream lotion, cleansing bar, and CeraVe moisturizer all shared cetearyl alcohol as an ingredient. I stopped using the Vanicream/cleanser on Tuesday of last week. But, continued using the foundation (MAC Moisture Minearalize Foundation) on all areas except my chin and mouth area. I switched back to the CeraVe cleanser. The bumps cleared up again. This makes me think that it wasn’t the foundation, but the Vanicream.

    However, today (a week after stopping Vanicream), the bumps are back. I don’t know what it causing it. I’m just fed up and want to just go back to covering this crap up full force with make-up. I just cannot go to work looking like I do without make-up.

    I am going to try the Dr. Bonner’s Baby Soap and Hemp Oil as a moisturizer. I just started taking a Primrose Oil supplement today and I have Zinc as well. I came across the Osmia Organics website during my research and really want to try her cleanser/moisturizer that she recommends for PD sufferers, but it’s so very expensive.

    Anyway, just thought I’d share my experience with Perioral Dermatitis. This thing just never completely goes away :o( Luckily, I have a husband who tells me I’m beautiful and I try my best not to think about what my face looks like. But, it is hard. I know what you all are going through!

  68. I, too, would like to thank everyone for sharing stories of battles with PD! It’s relieving to know I’m not alone. I’m a 30 year old high school teacher, and I noticed these little red bumps on one side of my chin somewhere between Thanksgiving and Christmas. I thought, “Weird!” and went about my business, using the same lotions and products I’d always used – Aveeno Ultra Calming face wash and daily moisturizer. It did not go away, but gradually spread along my jawline, to the other side of my chin, and up around my nose. I do think this is stress and hormone related. I googled and researched and decided that I have PD – no, I didn’t even go to the doctor or dermatologist, as tempting as it has been.
    Thanks to the many posts here, I have since switched to JASON Seafresh toothpaste, SLS free shampoo and conditioner, and am still trying to weed out any nasty chemical-laden products from my life. I have even cut down considerably on my red wine and am trying to eat a healthier diet. No makeup has been hard, but definitely helps with the healing. My mother thinks I’m obsessing about this and being too hard on myself – I’ve decided not to tell her that I have taken to drinking Apple Cider Vinegar and loading up on supplements that are supposed to be helpful for this condition. I take Evening Primrose Oil, Zinc, and Acidophilus supplements every night, and drink a ton of water. I think a combination of all of these things are making a slow, but HUGE improvement. I started washing my face with Shea Moisture African black soap, which was helping the bumps and redness, but leaving my already-dry-winter skin stripped of moisture and bumpy everywhere else.
    So…I bought some organic grapeseed oil and began using it to cleanse and moisturize my face. I know we are supposed to avoid oils and such when PD is flaring, but I thought, what could it possibly hurt? What an improvement I have seen in just two days! My once flawless, crazy skin had become a nightmare of PD, and an all-out dried up, bumpy mess even where I don’t have PD, but as soon as I started to give it a break and use only the grapeseed oil, it immediately began to calm down. The bumps are disappearing, my skin is smoother, and the redness is gradually fading. There are some websites out there about the oil cleansing method for those interested – check them out. “Katie Wellness Mama” has a great site. I don’t know if any of this is helpful, but I hope someone else finds it useful :) Hang in there, take deep breaths, and be patient – it will get better, but not right away. Thanks again to everyone!

    • I have been on and off antibiotics for my peri oral dermatitis for months on end. It works really well but eventually it flares up again. But wait! I read this page and decided to try to get non soap/sulphate products for my face. I stumbled on MooGoo products and bought their Acne Cleansing Cream thinking it was a cleanser. It’s actually a moisturizer i later realized. So I just used it anyway not expecting much. But it’s been the holy grail of creams for me. It’s actually keeping my peri oral dermatitis in check without antibiotics and its not even expensive :)) I just had to let you know about this cream in case you haven’t tried it. It’s so, so good. Maybe it’s the topical resveratrol or something. There’s a bunch of stuff in there that is all natural and non irritating. I don’t know why it works only that it really does for me :)

  69. I too am dealing with this horrible PD. I still don’t know what the trigger was for me, but my guess is it’s either the long-term use of clindamycin gel for acne, which has propylene glycol and other nasties, which I’ve probably developed an allergy to, or my other guess is my long-term use of certified organic cotton balls (which is bleached with hydrogen peroxide) for makeup removal. I’m allergic to benzoyl peroxide. I’ve recently put some eye makeup on, which by the way is all natural, I use Alima Pure, and after taking it off with some coconut oil and using an organic cotton ball, the red rash reappeared around my eyes! So, it has to be either, the cotton ball, coconut oil, or the makeup. All natural remedies have not worked for me, I’ve tried just about everthing, apple cider vinegar, honey, clay masks, yogurt, neem oil…and they’ve helped a little with the itching and my skin has become less sensitive, but it’s still pretty bad. I’m now taking doxycycline, which I really don’t want to, but I’ll do whatever it takes to get rid of it, I’ve had it for months. Also, I’m using erythromycin gel topically, azelaic acid and a retinoid for acne, which I’m hoping will also help with the PD. I was able to get all my meds custom made for me at a pharmacy without the horrible inactive ingredients such a propylene glycol, parabens, etc. I highly recommend doing that!

    • Hi Juliette, I can totally relate! – NONE of the natural remedies helped my POD either, and a few made it worse (especially AcV, yogurt, hydrogen peroxide, calendula cream, and penaten zinc baby cream). The Prescription cream, metrocream worsened it the most!
      I just completed an 8 mth. course of antibiotics (minocycline) which DID work but with side effects. The worst side effect was a brown skin rash (melasma)! – I had it a liitle before but it got wayyyy worse with the antibiotics.
      I ended up going to another dermatologist and she gave me tretinoin (Stevia A). The reason I’m telling you this is you were wondering if a tretinoid for acne would help POD.
      YES, tretinoin helped. I was mixing it with Obagi system creams for my melasma, and not only did it clear that problem, it also faded my POD spots even more :) I used the tretinoin for 3 mths. as prescribed.
      Not sure how long it will take being OFF every treatment before the POD returns (I hope never!). The only things I still use on my face are the Obagi system sunscreen and face moisturizer. No idea what is in them, but so far the POD is not coming back. Occasionally there’s still a bit of redness above my eyes but my regular eczema cream (Protopic ointment – by prescription) keeps it at bay and it is not turning into full blown POD so far, phew.
      Good luck with your treatments, best to you, and everyone here.

    • I found neem and ACV to be super irritating and aggravating to my rash. You might try taking out the retinoid, as I believe that may have triggered my very first outbreak of PD (i was using tretinoin for acne). It is extremely sensitizing to skin. Thank you so much for the info about cotton balls and the compounding pharmacy, that’s a great idea!

  70. Hello, after 4-5 months of PD, mine is finally on the wane, and I wanted to share what worked or didn’t in my particular case. I believe that it was brought on by a combination of cold weather, make-up, diet, and an irritating toothpaste. Hormones too, because I was weaning my son from breastfeeding.

    What I have learned is to treat the bumps like highly allergic open wounds. Or poison ivy, which you don’t want to touch. My skin was screaming “Stop it! Leave me alone!” This I learned the hard way, after coconut oil, manuca oil, argan oil, lavender oil, apple cider vinegar, salt water, lemon juice, yogurt, erythromicin cream, and other treatments that I desperately tried just exacerbated the situation. The oils (all of which were top-of-the-line organic and cold-pressed) had the worst effect, although they made the rest of my face glow. I guess when I have healed, I have a whole arsenal of expensive oils to slather on.

    Other things that make it worse: going gluten-free (though if you really have a sensitivity, I’m sure it would be beneficial), any kind of sugary food, any kind of junk food, and dairy. Please stay away from the temptation to use concealer or foundation make-up, no matter how “natural”! Every time I had a meeting and succumbed to using a concealer, even if just for an hour, Boom–my face exploded. Adding to that the use of some kind of cleanser to wash away the make-up, and I created doubly irritated the skin. I resorted to mineral powder when I absolutely had to look good, and at least it did not cause all-out-nuclear reactions :) If you have to put anything on your face, bottled mineral water is best.

    Things that made no difference: biotin supplements, calcium/vitamin D, ACE’s, zinc, iron, Carlson’s fish oil, hot yoga–the rest of my skin was positively glowing, but it didn’t help the PD. By the end of all the water drinking and supplement experimentation, I had milky cheekbones which further highlighted a range of active volcanoes in my naso-labial folds.

    Things that helped: probiotics, red meat, Spectrogel cleanser (you can find it on Amazon). Obviously, meat is not an option if you are vegan or vegetarian, but I believe my diet was lacking in either minerals or enzymes that red meat can provide. I very, very rarely eat red meat (like once a year), so when I had a steak, and the next day the PD improved noticeably, it made sense that there might be a deficiency. Someone with more nutritional knowledge might be able to guess which vitamin/mineral specifically would help. The Spectrogel was the only cleanser I found that did not irritate my skin. Some people have claimed that they leave it on all day long, or even overnight, but I tried this and had an eruption. In fact, I would go without any cleanser altogether, but needed to wash off mineral powder occasionally. Finally: Doxycycline. It took about a week to see that the prescription was working, but I hope that I won’t need to use it again. (BTW don’t think that you can go back to the make-up once started on the the doxcycline. Big mistake!)

    I hope this helps someone! Thank you, I.P

    • It sounds to me like you might be sensitized or allergic to an ingredient or two in the make-up you’re using. Once you have cleared the PD you should be able to wear make-up again without problems, as long as it doesn’t contain irritating ingredients. I’m glad you’ve found help and I totally agree with the “treat the PD like highly allergic open wounds!”

  71. 8 months of antibiotics?!! Wow that’s a long time. I would not be on them for more than 2 months, they’re already screwing up my system. I actually tried minocycline before doxycycline for one day only and I had horrible side effects (stomach pain, dizziness). Minocycline is more lipophilic than doxy so it may cause dizziness and vertigo and both may cause all types of rashes :( If it weren’t for the POD, I would not be on antibiotics for acne, you have other amazing options like retinoids and azelaic acid. I highly recommend tazorac, I’ve used it a couple of years ago and it got rid of all the acne, but I do regret using clindamycin for so long and I also regret that I stopped using tazorac! Not only does it (or any other retinoid) help with acne but also fine lines which is a plus, but the downside is sun sensitivity. I was always into everything organic and natural, however now I’m even more worried about everything I put on my skin that I try to find products that are certified organic or as close to it as possible (has only a few ingredients that you can actually pronounce). Toothpaste was my biggest concern considering that it is used in the perioral area, so that’s the first thing I had to change. The closest thing to organic that I could find was Uncle Harry’s tooth powder and surprisingly it works well. I want to try their face wash and shampoo, but I’m currently putting nothing on my skin and only washing it with water. The only moisturizer I use is pure organic glycerin. And the only other thing that comes near my face is shampoo; I’m using this certified organic body wash which works as a shampoo/conditioner (Nourish body wash – unscented). It makes my hair extremely shiny and healthy looking, but it’s not for every hair type and takes a little getting used to. The first day the hair is a little on the dry side, but by the 2nd day it is softer. I wash it about every 3-4 days. I even considered going back to the basics and washing my hair with raw eggs like my grandmother used to do because she had amazing hair, but it’s a little too rustic for me! One of the treatments for POD is actually ‘zero therapy’ which basically means putting nothing on your face and that it will probably heal on its own with time…but you need patience for that.

  72. I have to thank you for this site. I have also suffered with this for several months. It started as a small area near my mouth. My doc said it was herpes and gave me a topical and oral anti-viral for treatment. No improvement. Went back to my dermatologist and said it was dermatitis (not specific) and gave me a steroid cream. This made the area smaller but I continued to have new bumps. I stopped using it and the area went crazy! I now had it from below my nose to the bottom of my jawline. It was awful…bumpy, blistery, red, flaky, itchy and painful all in one. I made another appointment, but it took 4 days to get in.
    I found this site!! I started using Dr. Bronners baby soap followed by hemp oil on my entire face. I used calendula cream (first aid) on the PD area at night which helped with the flaky dry skin. Within 2 days it was improving… no new bumps and the scaly scabby skin was coming off. What an incredible relief! The area was still red, but flatter. I went to my appointment and he confirmed that it was PD. I was given a prescription for doxycycline and metro gel. I am going to try to continue the natural treatment and use the doxy only if I feel it’s not improving. I am really scared to put the gel on my face.
    After 5 days using only the natural treatment, the scaly skin is gone, very minimal bumps (I have had 3 new small bumps), and the red area has faded to pink(still noticeable, but SO much better). I am using fluoride free toothpaste and have always used natural shampoo and conditioner. I have not changed my diet. I am using mineral powder on the area to cover the red/pink area. AMAZING and thank you!!!

    • ugh so sorry you had those misdiagnoses! terrible. But I’m glad you’re healing!! Stay away from the metro gel, but try the doxy if the natural route doesn’t completely clear you up after a month, that’s my two cents. Good luck!

  73. Thanks so much for your blog. Its so easy to feel like I’m the only person going through this face rash.
    My doctor said this dermatitis was stress- related and I generally dont wear make up or use fancy creams. Ive been using only cetaphil lately and while it does sooth my mouth, it still looks terrible. I was wondering what advice would you have for this particular condition?

    • Oh gosh cetaphil has the worst ingredients. Stop the cetaphil and try washing with only water, or removing make-up with oil and a warm washcloth, or use dr. Bronners baby soap. Good luck! And look into cetaphil, there are plenty of websites and blogs about how nothing in it is actually good for skin.

  74. Im so glad I came across this blog. I recently started to get POD. I didnt want to deal with it the conventional way so I researched a bit and vsme across this site. I tried using productd without sulfates (shampoo conditioner and face wash)..and switched my toothpaste. Within a few days im already noticing a huge difference. So happy!! I use Spectro for my face and Live Clean shampoo

  75. Just to echo what others have said on here, I cleared up my POD completely (see note) by using sulfate-free shampoos & soaps, fluoride-free toothpaste and – most importantly – avoiding *parabens* like the plague, which isn’t as hard as it sounds but just takes some careful ingredients list reading much to the chagrin of beauty counter sales assistants. Otherwise, it’s been life as normal including wearing make-up and no particular dietary changes (although I’m reasonably clean living anyway). It took about 6 months for it to disappear completely but it did the job. Interestingly, when I accidentally used a pre-POD concealer for a week recently, the POD came back with a vengeance in that area. Guess what – when I checked the ingredients of the concealer, it contained parabens. Seems pretty conclusive to me!
    Who knows what causes it in the first place – I suspect stress (external or internal) has a lot to do with making you more susceptible to a trigger event but hopefully a couple of small changes can help you recover and get your face back (mine was so bad I looked like a glue-sniffer for a while!).
    *A note: occasionally I do still get a mild and quickly-fixed flare-up if I’ve been overindulging a little too much… it seems wine-induced inflammation is a low-grade aggravator.

  76. Hi! I am having my first experience with PD (the past month). I need advice and help. Everything I have tried is backfiring and not working. I opened a blog and have photos- any type of advice would be appreciated!! http://perioraldermatitissufferer.wordpress.com

  77. Have you ever considered creating an ebook or guest authoring on other blogs?

    I have a blog centered on the same ideas you discuss and would really
    like to have you share some stories/information. I know my subscribers would enjoy your
    work. If you are even remotely interested, feel free to send
    me an email.

    • Thanks so much! I’m shy and a bit of a perfectionist, I have to push myself to push “publish” when I write these posts!! I have so many other things I want to share with chronic illness sufferers but I don’t deem them “good enough” yet haha. Thank you so much for contacting me and I AM interested in checking out your blog. I am also interested in creating an Ebook too, to help people as much as I could, especially those in my “stage of life” in their 20′s and 30′s who became chronically ill right when they were preparing to begin life’s big journeys-before marriage and finding their careers etc.

  78. Thank you so much for your post. I had some very mild rashes around my mouth in the past, and they would usually come and go, without any treatment. But now I have this very very annoying POD :( I am now trying zero therapy method, I stopped using everything, I clean my face with newborn wipes, and refresh it with thermal water spray, but it’s still itchy, and red, and irritated :( I will study the lists of harmful ingredients, and sort through all the stuff I ever used on my face. I’ll miss my makeup though… This is so annoying, but your post had this reassuring effect on me. :) Thank you

    • I would actually drop the newborn wipes unless they have less than five ingredients and you know exactly what each means. I’ve seen baby wipes that contain all kinds of horrible preservatives, fragrances, chemicals and additives that are not natural. Make sure nothing you’re using has parabens, sodium hydroxide, disodium EDTA, propylene glycol etc, and even be careful of phenoxyethanol. All can be skin irritants. Good luck and don’t give up! Also consider asking your doctor for oral antibiotics as those have worked for many. And take probiotics while on the ABs! :-)

  79. I have had POD half my life.Initially I thought it was skin problem owing to changes in weather but later on it sort of blackened that area and everyone started staring at me.Someone told me to start using Raw Milk as a Face Mask everyday and lol! In 6 months It vanished and I grew to liking myself again.Now again it has reared it’s ugly head after 3 years and now again I have started the Milk remedy.

    • That’s great! I’ve heard lots of wonderful things about raw milk. People might be interested in how you apply it to your face and how long you leave it on for, if you wouldn’t mind sharing. Thanks and best of luck!

  80. It’s so good to hear that there is more than one of me out there! This can be a horrible thing when at it’s worst. I developed it in 2012 and suffered hoping it would clear up and being misdiagnosed by my GP for months. I finally found a great dermatologist who confirmed my self-diagnisis from research I had done on the internet. I wanted to share my experience for the “newbies” out there (yes, it’s a club now!) who may be having treatment and are worried what will happen when it is finished. When my POD was at it’s worst it was all over my chin and nose, going into my nostrils, and under my eyes. I felt horrid. Finally I was put onto a course of doxycyclin which completely cleared it up. Around 6 months later I noticed the tell tale signs returning, however it was MUCH better than my first outbreak. Because I knew what to look for, I got onto it quickly and had another course of doxy. Now I’m not keen to continue taking antibiotcs forever, so I’m now searching for alternative treatments. The main reason I posted this is because I had the same fear that POD would take over my life (and my face) again, but t didn’t. I still have it and try to put as little as possible on my face which helps, but it is under control. Never fear, we all hear you!!

    • Yes I also have found doxycycline to help when all else fails. What makes me upset is that my Derm put me on the topical gel first, which didn’t help at all. They wanted me to try it for six weeks before putting me on oral antibiotics which work like a charm! I later learned my POD is always flared by the chemical additive/preservative propylene glycol (this is a well-known skin irritant) and yet, it’s one of the main ingredients in that stupid gel they give us for POD! So the medicine they gave me for POD actually causes POD. Insane. Now I am totally able to manage it- I stay away from all hair and skin care products with commonly known irritants and seem to do ok. When the POD has randomly started creeping back since then, I first stop all my products except hemp oil for moisture and mild cleanser (NO CETAPHIL IT’S EVIL), for a week or two. This has worked every time except once, when I was in a show and had to wear TONS of make-up every night. When I did go back on doxycycline, that cleared it up. Thanks for telling us your story!

  81. I just want to say thank you so much for this blog post. The best I have read on the subject yet. I went to a traditional dermatologist this week after suffering from what I thought was hormonal acne for about a month now. Nope. PD. He wanted to put me on antibiotics and prescribed metrogel. I went home and did some research and decided no to both of these. Instead, I went to a chinese medicine clinic for herbs and acupuncture. I figure the herbs are doing the job of the antibiotics (without the side effects). I am honestly so thankful that I found your post right away. I immediately threw out all my cosmetics and creams (I thought I was all natural but there were some pretty bad ingredients in them), switched my toothpaste and shampoo, and started only using the dr. bronners baby soap and hemp oil. Within 2 days of doing this my face is at least 75% better. And it was BAD. Even my nose was a complete flare up. Since starting the dr. bronners and hemp oil, only one new blemish, my dry scaly skin is starting to heal, and the red marks are starting to fade. I went out for the first time today in a month not feeling awful about my face.I only hope that this is the answer for the long term and not just a fluke after two days. Thank you SO MUCH.

    • Good luck! For me the secret has been avoiding propylene glycol especially, but other additives too. You really do have to read all the labels on everything because even “organic, vegan, all-natural” brands sometimes have parabens, sulfates and other known irritating substances. Good job staying away from the metrogel!! I would suggest considering an oral antibiotic like doxycycline if you find that you’re not completely cleared up after TCM treatment and avoiding skin irritants, Just dont forget to also take probiotics.

  82. After 2 years, I have finally discovered that my Perioral Dermatitis was caused by my use of Lucas Papaw Ointment. I never considered that this product was causing dermatitis because I assumed it was natural. Research has shown that excessive use of Mineral Oils and Petroleum (both ingredients in Lucas Papaw Ointment) can cause Dermatitis. Use of this ointment on Dermatitis also accelerates bacteria growth, thus the spreading of infection. I was able to kill off the bacteria with antibiotics. However, I still had redness from the allergic reaction to Papaw. Two weeks after I stopped using Papaw, my Perioral Dermatitis has significantly cleared. There are many other Paw Paw Ointment brands out there that are actually natural, such as Brauer and Natralus so you can still use Paw Paw for your skin and lips.

  83. Hi danimariesc!
    Have you had any side effects from oral antibiotics?
    Plus, was it a long time ago when you’ve stopped taking it? Have you had any relapses?
    Thanks!
    Alex

    • Hello Alec, I tolerate the Doxycyline really well. The side effects I had was no acne or pimples! :) But you should always take probiotics during and after antibiotic treatment to avoid candida/yeast infection. This will also prevent some of the GI tract upset that can occur in people on ABs. Eating yogurt, kefir, kombucha, raw sauerkraut will also help as they contain probiotics. Just try to space the probiotic foods and supplements two hours away from AB dose.

      I have had two relapses of POD- both related to propylene glycol exposure and other chemicals. I was in a show where my character smoked and we used vapor e-cigarettes, and almost all formulas contain propylene glycol. Thats how i discovered that I have a specific trigger. Who knows why I suddenly became sensitive to this ingredient, but I now have this allergy. The second time was also related to showbiz, when I was using old stage make-up thinking I was all healed up, but sure enough, the bumps came back.

  84. Dab Raw Cold Milk on your face and let it dry for 15-20 minutes.Then wash it off with normal water.Doing it regularly for a month will show you results.

  85. I have suffered with this for months now.The doctor first said it was contact dermatitis, now she thinks it is pd. I don’t get the bumps, just this horrible rash around my mouth, and under my nose. Which is very embarrassing at work. First I was On metrogel wow burn city, then now it’s this creme and I have to use it for 16 weeks, what the hell? Then she said well then we will do antibiotics. Like i don’t want to go like this all summer and stay out of the sun hello???? The itch and burning is the worst. what causes this torturous itch, and why do moisturizers make it burn? she just said thats the symptoms and not the why I want to know the why the itch drives me insane

  86. Thanks for sharing your story!

    I, too, suffered from perioral dermatitis recently and posted my story on my blog as well as progress pictures. Feel free to take a gander :)

  87. I was diagnosed with POD about a month ago, last summer I spent a LOT of my time at the beCh and had tried a new sunscreen for my face…BIG mistake as the next day my face was very red and irritated. Over the next few days the angry bumps started. I waited a year for treatment as I got pregnant and didnt wantto take any meds. I started seeing a dermatologist anf was prescribed Orracea, Elidel and a sulfa ointment for my face. Took over a month but my face is totally back to normal. I go back Monday for a follow up apptand am anxious to hear whats next. Dr told me that I may be on Orracea for two to three months. Good luck to everybody, this was horrible for my self esteem as my face has never even had acne…..so relieved to be able to look people in the eyes again when i am talking to them!!!

  88. Has anyone tried using the oral supplements olive leaf extract or oil of oregano extract as a substitute for oral antibiotics? I’m beginning to try that, along with other suggestions here (no SLS products, mild cleanser or cleansing with raw honey, no makeup for now, mineral make-up later (tho I don’t use much anyway).
    I thought I had cold sores after a horrible cold (though this chin area on one side has been always seemed irritated, breaking out for a few years–I’m 43. I’ve just covered with make-up). So I used Lysine ointment (and Lysine supplements) and my raw bumps/peeling on one side of my chin, and around my nose cleared up completely (within days).
    But now, just a few days later, the chin bumps and redness are back. Maybe I had fever blisters, and my aggressive home treatment (garlic, ACV, etc) before using the Lysine on them caused a flare of a mild PD that I didn’t realize I’d had?
    Don’t like being on antibiotics, so curious if anyone else has tried “natural antibiotics” like the Olive Leaf or Oregano.

    • Hi Renee, oil of oregano and grapefruit seed extract worked for me. Along with eating clean I am completely cleared up.

  89. Reading through the comments I realise I only had/have a light case of POD but having never had skin problems before it alarmed me to be getting bumps and scaly skin around my nose that made me look like I had a permanent cold. After a wrong diagnosis where the doctor told me to wash the area regularly with anti dandruff shampoo (!!!) the doctor told me it was POD and put me on doxycycline (which I had taken before against malaria when travelling several times, with no ill effects) and I came out in a rash all over my face which was of course worse than the POD! (It depends which brand of doxy you use, apparently, as all formulas are slightly different). Of course I took myself off the doxy and was then floundering a bit in the search for a cure… but to cut a long story short, I think the two things that have helped me most are switching to natural, organic facial products (organic soap and cleanser, rosehip oil, tamanu oil) and – perhaps more importantly – drinking apple cider vinegar before breakfast (or dinner, or both if I remember). The POD has now cleared up and I look nearly normal again. Apple cider vinegar (or anything fermented) is meant to help digestion, so maybe POD has something to do with digestion being off-balance? I didn’t have any other symptoms of bad digestion though! Anyway, hope that my experience can help someone else!

  90. I just want to say, I’ve suffered from PD for years and only just learned a couple weeks ago what it was on my own after always being told this and that and prescribed things that aggravated it by doctors.

    It’s always been a vicious cycle of using a cream which makes it worse and then trying to add moisture to my face with various products and the problem continues to get worse.

    I found this article and had hope.

    I love Dr. Bronners already but have only used it for my body. I went and bought the baby mild, a pure jojoba oil, and the rose water, as well as paraben and sulfate free shampoos. 3 days of these and my PD disappeared. (I should state for the record that I have disturbingly fast healing powers, so I’m sure that was a major factor in my speedy healing once the nasty chemicals were removed from my skin care). But I know for a fact my face has never felt as rejuvenated as it does each time I use these products.

    I can’t express my endless thanks to you for all your advice! And to everyone else out there suffering, hang in there. After years of despair, my skin isn’t painful and broken. You’ll find your cure too, I know it. :)

  91. Just wanted to share my story since I finally have an answer for myself. I was diagnosed over 7 years ago. Have had the dermatitis come and go, but it usually comes back during the winter when my skin gets really dry. I did a candida treatment – low carb diet, grapefruit seed extract, oregano and that helped a little, but still couldn’t get my dermatitis to fully heal. Finally went to the dermatologist and they could do a swab test since I hadn’t been on any antibiotics. Found out I have a bacteria called Proteus Mirabilis. I’ve been on so many antibiotics for my dermatitis, and they helped a little but none of them cured me because most antibiotics don’t kill this type of bacteria. They never did a swab before because I was always on antibiotics as a first course of action. Hate to go on more antibiotics, but I’m hoping this will cure me for good. I don’t know why the other antibiotics helped in the past – perhaps because of the inflammation reduction. anyways, good luck to everyone else. i know how much it sucks.

  92. Hey, thank you so much for this post and I know its a couple years old but I’ve just read all the comments ans they have been so helpful already. My PD started last year when I became allergic to the pill and around the time I started using Moogoo which use for my acne. My problem is when try using other products my acne flares up. Can anyone one suggest products that help both acne and PD?

    • My unofficial recommendation is treat PD first by eliminating all products except an oil (I recommend hemp because it is not pore clogging and I would break out if I used olive or coconut oil). Use the oil to clean and moisturize. If your PD doesn’t clear up from that (as well as removing sulfate and propylene glycol containing products from hair and toothpaste) ask to be treated with oral antibiotics. When PD has cleared, try a salicylic acid nightly for acne, and glycolic acid masks. make sure those products and all products you reintroduce are as “natural” as possible and don’t contain the most common skin irritants, especially propylene glycol, sulfates, parabens, etc. Good luck!

  93. I am sure this info is in here but looking for suggestions on a store-bought sunscreen that won’t flare up my PD. Was totally free of it until I started to use sunscreen since I am at the pool with my kids quite a bit. Then, PD re-appears around my mouth! Could make some, but don’t really want to deal with a jar of homemade stuff at the pool. Suggestions??

  94. So happy to have found this post (mine looks just like yours..!). After having been prescribed 3 different topical creams by my GP, the fourt being a stronger steroid cream (waaaaaah, why didn’t i know this would be the worst!!) which made it go away and then appear again but twice as bad :(. Just as i was going back this afternoon for a referral to a dermatologist i have decided (after reading your post and all the comments) that i’m not gonna bother and follow the suggestions written here. Now if you’ll excuse me, i have some make-up to remove..!

    • Oh no!! They must not have even known you had POD because you are NEVER supposed to prescribe cortisone steroids for POD skin, because it does exactly what you say- gets better than makes it worse when you stop. Good luck! It is so sad for the patients how badly the derms mess up in this condition!! Just make sure you avoid parabens and propylene glycol for starters.

  95. I am hopeful that my facial rashes due to PD will disappear in no time. I’ve spent the last hour writing down all your suggestions and with paper in hand plan to search my home first (frugal at heart) and then to the store for what I can’t find or make at home. I refuse to go visit a dermatologist yet again and will take this into my own hands after many years (25 ugh!) of dealing with this annoying mess! I’m too stubborn and I’ve decided I WILL beat this thing! Thanks for all your wisdom and research ladies!

  96. 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!!

  97. This blog has helped me so much with my PD journey. Initially I tried to go makeup free, took probiotics, dropped all fluoride and SLS, applied Greek yogurt masks and it continued to get worse. Tried too many things to list

    Dr. put me on topical Metrogel which was a disaster. After a month of this with the rash exploding across my face I insisted on oral AB (minocycline). At the same time I went on the Candida diet which was also great for weight loss.

    After a couple of days into my ABs I tried one more natural remedy that I would say was the closest to my “miracle” solution. I added turmeric to my mask (so Greek yogurt (full fat), turmeric and manuka honey). The bumps disappeared overnight. Of course the redness stayed, but quickly began to fade. I stayed on the oral AB for 4 months (I never take anything but was terrified to go off). 2 months later I haven’t had another flare up although I have some permanent pinkness left over.

    Still only wash my face with a totally natural face wash and I’m thinking of trying a Norwex cloth. Has anyone tried this? I’m terrified of triggering another flare up :(

  98. I had this i used zovirac cream that I use for my cold soreout of desperation because nothing else works and it makes it completely go away in about 3 days

  99. Hi after I had my son in the middle of July, I came out in yet another bout of the dreaded PD. as I am breastfeeding there are limited things I can use. I was at my wits end, I felt low anyway as just had a baby and felt I couldn’t leave the house. However, 2 weeks ago I self prescribed Zineryt solution. It does dry your face out but bear with it, 2 weeks later I am 99% cured.

  100. Thankyou for all of your posts I’m a very desperate lady who is covered in perioral dermatitis!!!!!

  101. Couple of great ladies started a group called Perioral Dermititis on Facebook, come join us :)

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