Thursday, 10 July 2014

Perioral Dermatitis part 2

treating perioral dermatitis naturally
After a week of trying natural remedies let me tell you what I tried and the results I found. [read part1 here]

For three days (Fri, Sat, Sun) I tried an application of three different creams - none of which are natural: Clearasil, cold sore cream and antibacterial cream.

The reasons I tried Clearasil is because benzyl peroxide is meant to be useful for treating PD.

The reason I tried an anti-bacterial cream is because I read that often PD can result from not cleaning your skin regularly (or using harsh cleansers).  PD can also occur after an acne/pimple breakout.  Both suggest to me an element of bacteria as a potential cause.

The reason I tried an anti-fungal cream is because I read that PD can often result from an overgrowth of candida in the body which is fungal.

I applied each cream in different areas so I could note each result.  The acne cream was put on the outer part of my nose (to the right of the top pic), the anti-bacterial was applied to the Philtrum, and the cold sore cream the area in between the two.

The results of each:
1 - The acne cream seemed to help the rash not spread but didn't make the rash go away.
2 - The cold sore cream did very little, if anything the skin felt more irritated and itchy.
3 - New blisters appeared on the area where the anti-bacterial cream was applied.

All up the skin was irritated and itchy and started to look more angry and was spreading into the nostril. I'd say non of those creams were beneficial for treating perioral dermatitis.  After 3 days I stopped applying the creams altogether.  Stopping the creams left me with extremely itchy red skin, in fact I'm pretty sure the rash was looking worse.
Late at night out of sheer irritation I went outside and cut a piece of aloe Vera leaf and applied natural aloe to the area.  The relief was practically instant, although it left my skin dry and flaky.

I'd been taking evening primrose oil since Saturday morning and wasn't really sure it was doing much since the creams seemed to exacerbate the rash.  On the fourth day I ditched the dreams and began the natural remedies.

The results of the natural remedies: 
1 - I stopped drinking caffeine since the rash can be stress related, my caffeine intake would have been increasing my stress levels.  Left me with a vague foggy brain and a dull head ache for days however I think this made a big difference.
2 - Evening primrose tablets - two per day.  I really have no idea what or if the tablets are doing anything because it's hard to measure an internal result.  All I know is evening primrose is good for soothing PMS symptoms, is natural and good for the skin.
3 - Washing my face regularly with a sulfate free cleanser [Facial & Body Wash].  I found the skin really cooled down and the rash eased after I cleansed my face.  As mentioned above since bacteria plays a part in the condition regular cleansing helps keep the skin clean and fresh.  Also perioral dermatitis can often appear after a bout of acne or a bad break out and regular cleansing helps keep those nasty break outs at bay.
4 - Moisturising with a natural moisturiser [Rich Cream Moisturiser] free of harsh chemicals and additives. I used this moisturiser for a cold cream application as well and found it soothed the skin and the rash for the rest of the night.
5 - Aloe Vera gel fresh from my garden applied to the area helped stop the itch and keep it at bay for a good while.  It also seemed to help heal the rash.  It did leave the skin dry and peeling yet I found I could remove the dry flaky skin and the rash was still looking better.
6 - After a couple of days I stopped applying the aloe vera and used Sothing Salve instead, mainly because I have it on hand and it's easier to apply.  Also didn't leave my skin flaky, while soothing the itch fast.  I applied the salve whenever the rash is itchy for some instant relief.
7 - Natural mineral makeup to hide the rash, with the added zinc being beneficial in helping treat the rash.  It's important to clean your brushes regularly to remove bacteria and make sure the rash doesn't spread.  NOTE: It is important to have as many makeup FREE days as you can and if you wear makeup wash it off at the end of each day.
8 - Not touching my face.  Again it's a bacteria thing touching grotty fingers to face as well as spreading the bacteria across my face.

All up, a week later I'm finding the rash is starting to simmer down.  I have no new blisters and the bumps from the previous blisters have pretty much gone away.  Now I'm left with a dull pink/red rash and I'm hoping through keeping this treatment up the rash will be gone within another week.  Fingers crossed.

The trouble with this rash is it gives a false sense of security.  It's often said that just when sufferers think they've got the rash under control... BAM... it suddenly flairs up again.
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Struggling to rid yourself of the rash?  Try the above tips and see if it makes a difference for you and let us know how you go.
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  1. I thought I had left a comment on your previous post about PD but it mustn't have worked! Since being pregnant with baby #3 I have had perioral dermatitis and it spread to being periocular (around the eyes) dermatitis :( at first I thought it was a zinc deficiency so I applied a natural sunscreen lotion with zinc oxide as one of the main ingredients, and while that didn't make it worse it didn't cure it either. Since then I've tried a number of other natural cider vinegar, vitamin E oil, chamomile tea...nothing seemed to really make much difference. So a few weeks ago I gave up on the natural remedies because I thought it's probably just because of my hormones (I'm guessing this baby is a girl, didn't have a rash with the boys!) and just continued with my usual skincare regime (coconut oil on before shower, use facewasher to gently wash face in shower, coconut oil on as moisturiser after shower) and it's cleared up on part of my face and the rest of the rash seems to be getting better slowly. I'm hoping that once I have this baby (6 more weeks) and my hormones come back to normal the rash will go...fingers crossed!! If not, I will be back to try some of your suggestions :)

    1. Hi Kyra, congrats on your 3rd pregnancy - let me know what you have :) Hormones during pregnancy are definitely a factor (I got PD during my 2nd pregnancy). A zinc deficiency could be a factor since using zinc on the rash helps, though the experts suggest an oral zinc tablet works best. You mentioned you've given up on natural remedies, does this mean you're using prescribed medication? Good to hear you're using natural coconut oil as a moisturiser, the more natural the better for aiding with this rash. Good luck with your battle against this rash. I know how horrible it can be :(

  2. Thanks, I'll let you know about the baby...hoping for a girl this time!! I forgot to mention that when I discovered a zinc deficiency could be the cause of the rash, I made an effort to eat more foods rich in zinc (I don't like taking supplements if I can help it) but it's been months now with this rash so I don't think it was a zinc deficiency.
    Not using prescribed medication either - what I meant was, I've given up on all the natural remedies which claim to clear PD, and I'm not doing anything special about the rash, just the coconut oil - I feel the same way as you, "the more natural, the better"! :)

    1. I'm pretty sure in my case it's not a zinc deficiency either - though it's good for readers to know this could be a possibility for them. I'd read mixed findings about natural remedies like apple cider vinegar and others. Nothing concrete enough for me to try them confidently. Hopefully your hormones settle down after birth and the rash goes away (fingers crossed).