It’s a common everyday practice to slather all sorts of creams and serums on your face to get flawless and younger-looking skin. You have day cream, night cream, under-eye serum, spot treatment gels, and the list goes on.
However, your skin too has a threshold and will eventually rebel against the overuse of products. This can sometimes manifest in the form of a nasty looking rash on your face, medically known as perioral dermatitis.
Perioral dermatitis can cause red bumps to develop around the mouth and sometimes around the eyes, nose, or forehead.
The condition is more common in young women, but it can affect men as well.
- Causes of Perioral Dermatitis
- Symptoms of Perioral Dermatitis
- Preventing Perioral Dermatitis
- Home Remedies to Treat Perioral Dermatitis
- Method 1: Apple Cider Vinegar
- Method 2: Coconut Oil
- Method 3: Grapefruit Seed Extract
- Method 4: Calendula
- Method 5: Zinc Oxide
- Method 6: Probiotic (acidophilus, yogurt)
- Method 7: Aloe Vera
- Method 8: Sugar and Olive Oil
- Method 9: Manuka Honey
Causes of Perioral Dermatitis
Though the exact cause of perioral dermatitis is still unknown, a number of factors can trigger the outbreak. These include:
- Using steroid cream on the face
- Makeup and cleansers applied to the irritated skin, which can make flare-ups worse
- Birth control pills
- Use of fluorinated toothpaste
- Hormonal imbalance
- History of allergies
- Zinc deficiency
Symptoms of Perioral Dermatitis
The symptoms of perioral dermatitis include:
- Minor spots or bumps around the skin of the mouth
- A lumpy rash may appear around the eyes, nose, and forehead
- Itching and burning in the rash
- Flaky or puss-filled bumps
- The affected skin may feel tense
Though the rash is not life-threatening and is not associated with any underlying disease, it can be unsightly and more of a cosmetic concern. Also, perioral dermatitis may come and go for months or years.
Preventing Perioral Dermatitis
You can adopt a number of lifestyle changes to help prevent the flare-ups. Some possible steps are:
- Avoid using harsh face scrubs or scented cleansers. Also, use only warm water to clean your face during flare-ups. Once healed, wash your face with a mild soap only.
- Avoid using steroid creams, including the non-prescription hydrocortisone. If you have been prescribed a topical steroid for any other skin issue, do consult your doctor to let them know about the rash. They can then take another course of action to treat the condition.
- Stop using makeup, cosmetics, and sunscreen.
- Frequently wash your pillowcases and towels in hot water.
- Limit your intake of salty or spicy foods that can irritate the skin around the mouth.
- UV rays, heat, and wind can aggravate the rash. Try to avoid coming in contact with these elements for too long.
Home Remedies to Treat Perioral Dermatitis
As perioral dermatitis is not a severe condition, a number of home remedies can be tried to soothe the irritated skin and treat the rash. Not only are they safe and inexpensive, they are often more effective than antibiotics and steroid creams.
Here are the top 9 home remedies you can try to get rid of perioral dermatitis.
Method 1: Apple Cider Vinegar
Apple cider vinegar is the most effective remedy to get rid of perioral dermatitis. The anti-inflammatory enzymes present in the vinegar work almost miraculously to soothe the burning and pain of the rash.
Note: While apple cider vinegar will cause a sting, it can lead to severe side effects in certain individuals. It is therefore advised to do a patch test first, before applying it on the already irritated skin.
Step 1. Dilute apple cider vinegar with water
- Mix apple cider vinegar with water in the same proportion.
Step 2. Apply diluted vinegar on the affected area
- Use a cotton ball to dab the diluted apple cider vinegar on the affected skin. It may sting a little. However, if the stinging is unbearable, you can dilute the vinegar even more and then apply.
- Let it air dry. You need not wash it off.
Use this remedy 3 times a day, and the rash should be completely gone in 4 to 5 days, depending on the severity of the rash.
Additionally, you can also drink 1 teaspoon of apple cider vinegar mixed in 1 cup of water, twice a day to help heal the skin from within.
Method 2: Coconut Oil
There is nothing more soothing than plain ol’ coconut oil. The oil is loaded with essential fatty acids that can easily penetrate into your skin and heal it quickly. Also, it is anti-bacterial, which not only cures but also prevents the growth of any infection on the skin. To enhance the soothing properties of oil, add few drops of sandalwood essential oil. It leaves a calming effect on the skin, something that is extremely helpful when dealing with a painful rash.
Things you’ll need:
- Extra-virgin coconut oil (anti-bacterial and anti-inflammatory) – 1/2 cup
- Sandalwood essential oil (soothes skin) – 10 to 12 drops
Step 1. Mix sandalwood oil in coconut oil
- Add 10 to 12 drops of sandalwood essential oil to ½ cup of extra-virgin coconut oil.
- Mix them well to form skin-soothing concoction.
Step 2. Use the oil blend as moisturizer
- Apply the oil blend all over the rash or use it as a facial moisturizer. Allow the skin to absorb the oil completely.
- If you don’t have sandalwood oil at hand, using plain coconut oil will work too.
Use the coconut oil blend twice a day to get rid of perioral dermatitis rash in less than a week.
Method 3: Grapefruit Seed Extract
Grapefruit seed extract has also proven to be effective in dealing with perioral dermatitis. The extract has potent anti-fungal, antiseptic, and anti-inflammatory properties that help your skin to recover faster. It is also believed to purify the skin, getting rid of toxins, and clearing out any infection.
As the extract is too powerful, it needs to be diluted before applying on irritated skin. You can mix the grapefruit seed extract with some castor oil. Castor oil too helps deeply moisturize the skin.
You can also use grapefruit seed extract to get rid of impetigo.
Things you’ll need:
- Castor oil (carrier oil) – 1 tablespoon
- Grapefruit seed extract (anti-inflammatory) – 3 to 4 drops
Single-Step Treatment: Mix grapefruit seed extract in castor oil & apply
- Pour 1 tablespoon of castor oil in a bowl.
- Add 3 to 4 drops of grapefruit seed extract.
- Mix the two well and using a cotton ball, apply the blend on the problem areas.
Apply the blend 3 to 4 times a day for 1 week to clear out the rash.
Method 4: Calendula
Calendula essential oil is an effective remedy for a number of skin conditions, especially those that are fungal in nature. The oil also has anti-inflammatory and healing properties that ensure faster recovery in case of perioral dermatitis. The oil can be mixed with some olive oil that also helps nourish and moisturize skin and reduce the itchiness in the rash.
Things you’ll need:
- Calendula essential oil (anti-inflammatory) – 3 to 4 drops
- Olive oil (nourishes skin) – 1 tablespoon
Step 1. Dilute calendula essential oil in carrier oil
- Take 1 tablespoon of olive oil in a container.
- Add 3 to 4 drops of calendula essential oil and blend well.
Step 2. Apply the oil blend over the rash 3 times daily
- Soak a cotton ball in the oil and use it to smear the oil all over the affected area.
- Let the oil stay on the skin for it to work effectively. If the oiliness bothers you too much, simply dab the excess oil with a tissue paper.
Apply the oil blend 3 times a day to see noticeable results in just 2 to 3 days. Continue the treatment for 1 week or until the rash is completely gone.
Method 5: Zinc Oxide
You can use zinc oxide to whip up your own cream to get rid of perioral dermatitis. Zinc oxide forms a protective barrier between your skin and the environmental irritants. The mineral also has soothing properties that help heal irritated skin quickly. If you have a newborn at home, the same cream can also serve to treat a diaper rash. So it’s a win-win.
Things you’ll need:
- Beeswax (forms protective layer on the skin) – 1 tablespoon
- Extra-virgin coconut oil (antibacterial and antifungal) – ½ cup
- Lavender essential oil (anti-inflammatory) – 2 or 3 drops
- Non-nano zinc oxide powder (makes skin waterproof) – 1 teaspoon
Step 1. Melt and blend beeswax and coconut oil in a double boiler
- Arrange a double boiler by placing a heat-safe bowl inside a pan with a little amount of water in it.
- Put 1 tablespoon of beeswax in the bowl.
- Add ½ cup of extra-virgin coconut oil to the bowl.
- Allow the ingredients to melt and blend on low heat, and then remove it from the heat.
Step 2. Mix zinc oxide and lavender essential oil and store
- Add 1 teaspoon of non-nano zinc oxide powder, while whisking the mixture continuously. This will prevent the formation of clumps.
- Add 2 or 3 drops of lavender essential oil.
- Whisk it well and transfer the cream to an airtight container.
Step 3. Apply the zinc oxide cream on the rash
- Apply the prepared cream on clean and dry skin during bedtime.
Repeat the application of the DIY zinc oxide cream every night for 10 days to get rid of perioral dermatitis.
Method 6: Probiotic (acidophilus, yogurt)
Yogurt contains lactobacillus acidophilus bacteria or the good bacteria that help fight off any infection on the skin. Yogurt also has a cooling effect that helps calm down the inflammation and redness of the rash.
Single-Step Treatment: Apply plain yogurt on the rash daily
- Apply plain yogurt on the rash.
- Keep it on for 20 to 30 minutes, and then rinse with cool water.
Apply plain yogurt on the rash 2 times a day for 10 days to treat perioral dermatitis.
Method 7: Aloe Vera
Aloe vera gel leaves a soothing and cooling sensation when applied on the skin. It also has anti-inflammatory properties, making it the best go-to option for treating itching and burning and also reducing redness of a rash. The clear gel derived from the aloe vera leaf also works as a sealant, locking the moisture into the skin. This is particularly beneficial when the rash turns dry and flaky. You can add in essential oils such as lavender oil and tea tree oil that increase the potency of the gel.
Things you’ll need:
- Aloe vera gel – 2 tablespoons
- Lavender essential oil (soothes skin) – 1 to2 drops
- Tea tree essential oil (antiseptic) – 1 to 2 drops
Step 1. Add lavender oil and tea tree oil to aloe vera gel
- Add 1 or 2 drops of tea tree essential oil to 2 tablespoons of aloe vera gel.
- Also, add 1 or 2 drops of lavender essential oil.
- Use a spoon to blend the oils with the aloe vera gel.
Step 2. Apply the blend on the affected skin twice daily
- Using a cotton ball, apply the oil infused aloe vera gel on the inflamed skin.
- Let it dry off completely. You don’t need to rinse it off.
Repeat the application twice a day to get rid of perioral dermatitis in 2 weeks.
Method 8: Sugar and Olive Oil
Yes, you read that right. Sugar also can work as a remedy to heal a rash. It works as an antimicrobial agent, depriving any bacteria of water that may be hindering the recovery of the skin. Sugar also helps the skin regenerate back to normal state. Olive oil, rich in antioxidants, also promotes faster healing by providing essential nutrients.
Things you’ll need:
- Olive oil (antioxidant) – 1 tablespoon
- Icing sugar (inhibits bacterial growth) – 1 tablespoon
Step 1. Mix olive oil and icing sugar
- Take 1 tablespoon of icing sugar in a bowl.
- Add 1 tablespoon of icing sugar.
Step 2. Apply the oil and sugar mix on your face every night
- Apply a thin layer of the mix on the inflamed areas of your face.
- Leave it on overnight.
- Rinse off the paste in the morning with warm water.
Apply the oil and sugar paste every night for 2 weeks to treat perioral dermatitis completely.
Method 9: Manuka Honey
Manuka honey is rich in powerful antioxidants and nutrients that heal and calm inflamed and painful rash of perioral dermatitis. Hydrogen peroxide in the honey helps in faster healing and regeneration of the skin.
Single-Step Treatment: Apply Manuka honey on the rash
- Apply manuka honey on the irritated skin.
- Leave it on for overnight. It may feel uncomfortable to sleep with the honey on, but it’s better than sporting an unsightly rash on your face.
Apply the honey every night for 2 weeks or longer to get rid of perioral dermatitis.
- You can add 1 cup of oatmeal to your bath water and soak in it daily for 15 to 20 minutes. Oats help seal in the moisture of your skin and prevent it from external irritants.
- Applying a paste of turmeric powder and water on the rash can also give you positive results.
- Try natural makeup alternatives or make your own makeup to prevent future flare-ups.