Perioral Dermatitis

outfit- skate partk 2


It has been so long since I posted and I apologize for that. Mostly it’s because my mom reads my blog and I can’t deal with her frantic calls & emails about taking down my selfies. She offered to pay me a thousand dollars to remove every selfie I’ve ever taken on my blog. THAT’S how passionately anti-selfie she is. But I can’t be bought. Seriously there should be a parental-block on WordPress blogs. PARENTS JUST DON’T UNDERSTAND. The best 3 years of my life were the 3 years in which she didn’t know I had a blog. Who ruined that for me, my cousin? Thanks Kathryn. I need to go into the witness protection program.

Needless to say, my first post back is going to be THE MOST unglamorous topic of all time, but I write about real shit on this blog — like debt, parental suffocation, our founding fathers, and acid reflux. JUST A REAL GIRL OVER HERE guys.

Today’s topic is horrible skin conditions that ruin your life.

This is serious.

So for the last SEVEN months of my life – since May of this year – I have been dealing with what I thought was terrible skin. I.e. a breakout. I.e. acne.

My whole life, I have never had skin issues, let alone persistent breakouts. My skin is dry. I have rosacea (My cheeks were always so so so so so flushed as a kid and every time I worked out). It certainly doesn’t look like a glowing super model’s in its natural make-up free state, but I’ve never had BAD skin. I’ve never had more than like 2 blemishes at a time and then they go away and things are back to normal until the next single blemish — nothing grouped, pervasive, and persistent that straight up DOESN’T heal or go away.

You can CLEARLY see my rosacea-ed cheeks in this childhood pic –


But in May of this year, I got a weird like….raised bump red / pink scaly thing near the side of my mouth and it just. wouldn’t. go. away. I would do a really good job with make-up and covering it up, and was just like “well this is fucking annoying” but figured it had to fix itself at SOME point. Then in July / August, it got really bad and started to spread to the other side of my mouth and all over my chin. I thought it was hormonal, I thought it was dietary, I was UTTERLY and COMPLETELY aghast / mystified at what was going on. I couldn’t figure it out.

I have been using prescription Tretinoin (a form of retinol) for 3 years and it does WONDERS for clearing up skin, and I applied it religiously as always but NOTHING would change.

I tried apple cider vinegar.

I treated it like acne, and usually the idea of going to a dermatologist to me is a luxury because it’s “cosmetic” and god damn insurance companies never cover it – they cover dermatological visits if you have skin cancer (OBVIOUSLY), but not if you have bad skin – so I kept thinking, I just need to keep working on it and I will figure it out – it has to clear up eventually.

So, treating it like “bad skin”, I applied benzyl peroxide. I applied salycyclic acid.

I gently exfoliated.

I tried all kinds of natural remedies in an attempt to both be natural AND spend way less than I would on an out-of-pocket dermatologist visit.

I got into coconut oil (a jar of which lasts forever).

I tried making my own at-home gentle natural scrubs – using sugar crystals, baking soda, vitamin E oil from vitamin E capsules, and coconut oil.

I used my Clarisonic, sparingly so as not to aggravate it, but enough to attempt to turn over the dead skin cells and deep clean pores- since I thought I was dealing with quintessential acne/bad skin.

I mixed lemon juice and apple cider vinegar and dipped a cotton ball in the mixture and wiped it on the affected area.

I was seriously depressed and hated meeting new people because my skin looked so horrific and it didn’t feel like me.

When Cheralee and I FIRST were going to meet for coffee in July, I almost cancelled because I was so embarrassed about how bad my skin looked. I sent her a facebook message after she said she wanted to photograph me saying “you may have to fight me to the death on this, I’ve broken out and am in NO shape to be fancy photographed, trust me.” I just looked up that message — it was July 9th, and this is December 16th. Not one thing changed – and in fact it only got worse but I kept thinking this too shall pass, things will readjust, your skin will clear up, trial and error, be patient, etc. And it had STARTED in May.

Around mid-August I felt that I needed to see a Dermatologist. In my gut, I thought, “something isn’t right. I need to treat this medically / clinically, this isn’t normal.” I would look in the mirror, and there was an aspect to the breakout that REALLY seemed ‘different’ from normal breakouts – like the bumpy breakout would lead into a pink, discolored, patch of skin. It looked like an inflamed rash, it didn’t LOOK like your normal acne, and it evolved over time and grew a life of its own, but I thought it was from me constantly picking and thought it was just some weird annoying form of acne aggravated by me touching it. BTW I hate that word and am always so embarrassed saying it and admitting it but there’s no other way to say it. I pick at things and never leave them alone and so whenever I would say out loud to my friends that I thought it was time to see a Dermatologist, they would say STOP PICKING, IT’S LIKE THIS ‘CAUSE YOU PICK, LEAVE IT ALONE.

I still felt in my gut like I should see a medical professional (after 4 months), but every time someone else would say “just stop picking it will go away!”, I felt momentarily comforted, like “yeah you’re right, you’re right, I pick too much, it HAS to go away at some point” which was in line with the stress that I couldn’t afford to see a Dermatologist because I know how these things work. The visits, let alone treatment, are just never covered by insurance unless you are getting moles checked, or have a skin disease like psoriasis or contract poison ivy or something like that and I knew that if I went, it would be a minimum of $175 out of pocket and lord knows what else, and I kept telling myself it was just bad skin that I had to cover up and deal with because that’s life. ‘Use concealor, it’s cheaper than paying for a dermatologist out of pocket who is probably going to tell you you need laser treatments,’ I would say to my inner voice that was quietly objecting.

This was taken over Labor Day weekend – you can partly see the issue on the right side of my mouth (your left looking at the photo), and the difference between that and the edited version beneath it.


IMG_3493 - Version 2

Do you see???

Wellllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllll this past weekend, it was SO BAD on Sunday morning that it literally looked like my face had been eaten like Poppo the homeless man in Miami whos face gotten eaten off by the dude on bath salts. I wish I was brave enough to show you pictures, but I just can’t, the pictures are literally horrifying.

Except I just changed my mind and am going to post them, because it’s just so shocking and unbelievable how bad it got, you literally won’t believe it and they are so embarrassing and ugly but I am not so vain/narcissistic to not show what it was really like and potentially help someone. This negates my selfies right? Honestly I just really don’t care, no judgement. Life happens, we’re humans.

photo (1)






CAN you believe that.


I was SOBBING and Alex asked me if I had ever done any internet research on what it was. I told him, no, because there was nothing to really research and I wouldn’t even know what search terms to use and it would just yield a stressful and overwhelming amount of information. I said, there are so many skin conditions out there, and if I were to google “red bumps/skin around mouth/chin” what am I going to find — stuff about acne, or rosacea, or eczema, or it’s just going to tell me I might be allergic to something I’m using or have a dietary sensitivity or a bunch of useless crap. I ACTUALLY was trying to be a GOOD ‘patient’ by not trying some fruitless search on the internet because that’s what I usually do and then I end up thinking I have 7 types of cancer, and am allergic to oxygen, water, earth, wind and fire.

I sobbed quietly to myself and Alex went in the other room. 5 minutes later I heard him say


He came back in with his laptop, and diagnosed me with Perioral Dermatitis.

As soon as he started showing me the google images, I was STUNNED and stopped crying. I was completely floored. He was right. It was UNQUESTIONABLY clear from the pictures that I had perioral dermatitis.

I was super upset that I couldn’t see a dermatologist THAT DAY since it was Sunday, but we spent about an hour reading about it together.

A few things that instantly made me feel better to read:

  • It’s extremely common
  • It happens in women age 20 to 40 and is thought to be related to birth control
  • It’s not serious, not dangerous (not contagious, in case you were wondering), and just all-around very common

Although comforted and calmed, I was also slightly horrified as I read about it that I’d never heard ONE word about it in life, work, pop culture, school, and/or the vague medical reading I occasionally do. Nothing.

It also made me sad to read the characteristics – like that everyone mistakes it for acne and thus compLETELY mistreats it and makes it far, far, worse.

Ingredients like salycyclic acid and benzyl peroxid and retinol – commonly used to treat acne, make perioral dermatitis 10 x worse, as do creams and lotions and oils. I felt sick to my stomach realizing that literally EVERYTHING I had tried for months, from applying aquaphor at night to soothe it, and trentinoin to attempt to turn the skin over, had been making it far worse.

Also, it was super uncomfortable and itched constantly.

I read that treatment involves several things but most importantly and effectively ANTIBIOTICS. Go figure.

The bright light in my dark tunnel of tears yesterday was realizing after reading about it, that it would DEFINITELY be covered by health insurance because it was clearly a medical issue. It’s a rash, that you can’t prevent or fix without prescription antibiotics, and that is uncomfortable and terrifying to look at it and will never go away if you don’t treat it with doctor-only medicine. I knew even before I called that insurance would cover it medically and I wouldn’t be out $300. (And yes, I am SURE that with the dedication and the right combination of elixors like grapefruit seed oil and sage extract and tea tree oil you can cure this naturally, but it would take way way longer and be way less effective – I did a TON of research on it. I am super into natural stuff, but with certain clinical issues you just can’t compete with modern, Western medicine).

Also fascinating: the fluroide in toothpaste is supposed to be a major exacerbating factor. I particularly found this to be interesting because many times over the last 7 months, I would put toothpaste around the affected skin because of the age old wive’s tale that it dries out blemish/problem areas. Like it’s not even like I read that factoid and thought “hm, weird, doesn’t apply here;” I read it and was like, well THAT makes sense because my toothpaste has had contact with the affected skin a lot since the problem started.

So I bought a fluoride-free tooth paste, and sulfate-free shampoo and conditioner since the sulfate in that stuff is also supposed to affect the skin. The dermatologist himself said nothing about fluoride or sulfates but I don’t see any reason why, while this is healing, I wouldn’t stay away from those 2 things.

So anyways, I called the derm first thing this morning (Monday) and they were able to fit me in as an emergency appointment because a severe inflamed outbreak of perioral dermatitis, by their medical codes, is an emergency. It had been horrifically painful yesterday too (and still is), though it eventually calmed down. Sure enough, my insurance covered it, and all I had to pay was a $35 co-pay for a specialist. When they took me in, the nurse asked why I was there and I said “I self-diagnosed and think I have perioral dermatitis” and without a S-E-C-O-N-D’s pause she said, “you do.” Period. And that was that. Then the doctor came in and of course confirmed and gave me 3 prescriptions.

I have to take doxycycline for 1 full month (yeast infections / severe acid reflux here we come! literally fucking kill me), and then apply two separate medicated gels – one in the morning and one at night.

What I read on the internet yesterday, and what the doctor confirmed is that you can’t cure this “forever” and that it always comes back, but for some reason I’m not stressing that part because all I care about is fixing and healing it NOW. I can manage future things and there’s no guarantee that it WILL come back again and again (look at me being a non-catastrophizer!), so all I care about is right now. It takes time (blah blah blah), but with the antibiotics and gels, and hopefully with using fluoride free toothpaste, by mid/late January my skin will look like itself again.

I have never in my life experienced anything like this, and though it is common and my overall outlook is fine, I am still in general shock that things like this continually happen to me. I am the only person I know that continually suffers from random, unwelcome afflictions that always take LONG periods of time to “heal,” and even then don’t ever “fully heal forever,” and cost money to fix. From my gastrointestinal issues that really were quite frightening for a number of years (all kinds of bleeding, tests, and procedures), to fibromyalgia, to hamstring tendinitis, to fucking PERIORAL DERMATITIS, I am just always that one person that gets the random weird thing that can’t just be CURED and that “fixing” is a long complicated ‘forever’ process of trial and error and lifestyle factors. According to the INTERNET/Dermatologist, this is “common,” and that’s nice and all, but I’VE NEVER MET OR HEARD OF A SINGLE FUCKING PERSON IN MY LIFE that has had this.

HOWEVER, I wrote this post in case you, or someone you know, EVER experiences something like this. So that it doesn’t take them 7 months to figure it out.

I am extremely happy to have gotten to the bottom of the problem, and HOPEFULLY to heal over the next month or so and get back to looking like this!


short 2

The primary lesson I re-learned (that I re learn constantly) is to trust your gut. In my gut, I knew 4 months ago that this was beyond MY personal control. In AUGUST my gut told me, from within my own body, that this thing – whatever it was – was clearly beyond my ability to fix and that I really should see a dermatologist and that picking alone wasn’t the culprit – that it had morphed into something that was strange, and refused to respond to any kind of treatment, and multiple times I said “I need to go see someone this just isn’t right.”  But I didn’t listen to my gut, I listened to other people, which affirmed my other non-gut ‘trying-to-be-practical-about-money’ voice that had been thinking “no, no, keep holding out, you don’t need to see a fancy dermatologist, just leave it alone.” WRONG. Listen to your gut. If I had, I would have gone in August and been diagnosed with perioral dermatitis and treated. Mostly I am glad that Alex is a brilliant internet researcher and was able to help me figure this out even before the doctor.

So……if you ever experience a “breakout” around your chin that simply doesn’t go away and feels/looks/seems like something slightly different than usual acne, you may have perioral dermatitis, and listen to your gut. I’m just a normal, 27 year old girl, who likes fashion and lives a normal life, and for seemingly no reason I got this, so theoretically anyone could at any time and I would really hope it might take someone less time than 7 months to figure out and deal with. Having bad-looking, bad-feeling, uncomfortable skin on your face is upsetting. No one WANTS to look like an ogre, and your skin – particularly and ESPECIALLY your facial skin – is the single most external, outward-facing (no pun intended) part of us – other than hair. I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again. GOOD skin is irrelevant with bad hair. But good hair with bad skin is second worse. I don’t know if that just made sense but somehow the logic is supposed to show that hair supersedes skin because it doesn’t matter how good your skin is if your hair is bad; but I think I just changed my mind and decided that bad skin with good hair is still worse. Yep, skin is the most important. Skin, then hair. K bye.

Literally can’t believe I have this. WTF.

P.S. This is my first selfie ever. I think I’ve gotten worse Like my selfie game peaked with the first selfie ever, and then has just progressively gone to shit.



Filed under Bad Shit You Should Know About, Life and things

27 responses to “Perioral Dermatitis

  1. Nancy Sosa

    Three years ago I suddenly had similar problems but all around my eyes. Doctors at first thought it was related to food sensitivities but I’ve been checked by allergists and they disagree. Still don’t know why it happens but from time to time, I still have outbreaks. Usually a prescription lotion helps but I’d sure like to know what triggers it in the first place. Good luck and good for you for sharing.

    • Ahhh thank you for sharing Nancy!! I saw in the research & google image searching I did yesterday that having this around the eyes was very common too! Can’t believe it – what a strange skin condition, but it’s comforting to hear from other people that have had it. Luck to us both : )

  2. Winter

    Hey there, as someone who also gets random weird infections/problems/weird issues, I completely feel you on this one. After pretty much giving up on a normal life I recently did the ‘anti candida diet’ (no sugar, no grains, no dairy aka alot of sadness). Google it, a natural doc suggested this to my friend when he got a foot rash that wouldn’t go away and it did wonders for him.. I am in week 2 and already feel much better. Especially after the month dose of drugs you will be on, I recommend it.

    • THANK YOU FOR THIS – haha the “aka a lot of sadness” made me laugh out loud and am still currently laughing out loud. literally hilarious. I know the feeling. Yep you know I have been thinking about the sugar especially, because I know with intense antibiotics it always kills the good bacteria too aka lots of yeast infections which is also a lot of sadness and the yeast thrives on sugar etc etc so I’ve been thinking it would probably do me some good to stay away from sugar while I do this heavy duty course of kill-everything antibiotics. Blegh. I’m super impressed that you made it 2 weeks SO HARD!!! Thanks for the inspiration.

  3. isnt it crazy when you can self-diagnose over the internet and actually BE CORRECT? this is a horrible and disgusting thing to admit on the internet but in college i actually got a disease from a JACUZZI (hot tub folliculitis – picture your skin problem ALL OVER YOUR BODY instead of just your face) and the thought of a google search originally terrified me so i didnt do it, but literally typing it in made the answer crystal clear and i knew what i had before mu butt even hit the derm’s chair. so weird. anyway – i hope you are feeling better already!

  4. You’re not the only person who had it – I too suffered from it for a full year before finally manning up and seeing a derm. Doxycycline can be a bitch, especially with reflux, but believe me when I tell you that your skin will be even better after a month. Mine hasn’t reared its ugly head again *knocks on wood*, and here’s to your PD calming the fuck down as quickly as mine did. XOXOXOOXOXOXOXOXO

    • Also, avoiding sugar + dairy does WONDERS for this. The anti-candida diet that Winter mentioned is definitely something to look into. I followed Kimberly Snyder’s Beauty Detox while on the drugs and I think it helped clear my face up even faster. Parsley is a particularly potent food to start eating tons of. Not just a garnish anymore, folks.

  5. Mary

    Sooo, there are 5 girls in my family, six if you include my mom. WE ALL HAVE PERIORAL DERMATITIS! We all have had break outs of it at some point. Some more frequent than others, some more severe than others! I am the youngest so more fortunately for me as soon as I got it I knew what it was. I know my older sisters suffered with it for a long time before one of them was finally diagnosed and then quickly spread the word and shared her medication. I have experienced it many times…. and when I was reading your post I was just waiting for you to say how bad it fucking itches. Oh and I should just mention that ALL THE WOMEN in my family PICKERS! We pick at zits, sometimes each others zits, we pick at food… we pick. So from one picker to another it is insanely hard not to pick at something that ITCHES SO BAD! OMG! I would also like to mention earlier this year my mom had a break out of it by her eyes and didn’t know what it was and it wouldn’t go away. Anyway. It blows and there is no “quick fix” but you are not alone. Good luck and thank you for sharing! As someone who gets it- it was nice to read this post and LAUGH!
    XO Mary

  6. What up, I am twenty five years old and have rheumatoid arthritis: a life-long autoimmune disease that attacks my joints, to compliment the hyporthyroidism I was diagnosed with in like grade eight (though that one is hereditary, so wasn’t a shocker). I’ll be on a combo of three daily medications for the rest of my living days. But whatever, you just do what you gotta do and keep living your life. I wish more people would talk about what ails them so that people who are diagnosed with random pop-up disease wouldn’t feel so ashamed. Once you figure it out and can get the meds, it’s really not a big deal. Neither of my illnesses manifest visibly on my face though, so I totally get the stress and depression. Hope it clears up quickly!

  7. Old Dog Some New Tricks

    Take lots of acidophilus tablets to keep the yeast away. They really work. And drink lots and lots of water. Heal quickly!!!

  8. 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!!

  9. Hyperbalist, I could have written your post word-for-word myself. I’m nearly 9 months into a p.d. outbreak. Brought on after 2 mos. of using Tretinoin. Prescribed by an osteopath to help my ‘adult acne’ (misdiagnosis # I’ve stopped counting). I also tested slightly positive for gluten sensitivity and have been on a ‘natural’ crusade ever since…

    I have a l-o-n-g history of antibiotic use for adolescent-turned-adult acne, which I believe has wreaked serious havoc on my gut/system, so I didn’t want to go that route. I am now 4 mos. into a ‘natural’ regimen. A dear chiropractic friend suggested I do hair analysis to identify my mineral/toxin levels. Hair analysis goes super deep, to the source, of imbalance. I highly recommend checking this out: She is also guiding me through super potent (healthy) nutritional regimen to re-balance what are serious IMbalances of numerous minerals and to correct many nutritional deficiencies I have. No sugar, no gluten, no processed. Tons of vegetables, healthy fats, raw dairy.

    This is the long way ’round, but I’m hoping it’s the long-term ‘cure’. My pd is still hanging on, but finally beginning to recede and is much less inflamed. I have an upcoming hair re-test (after 4 mos on diet), and have also been using Nerium for 1 month which has resulted in further calming of the angriest areas of my face. I think attacking at all angles is the way to go, but if you don’t get at the deeper issues in your system, the source of the problem may always persist.

  10. Kelly

    I found this blog entry from obsessively googling “perioral dermatitis treatment Washington, D.C.”. Help! I am 4 months in of a hellish, scaly, bumpy nasolabial fold and it is spreading. Will you please tell me which dermatologist you consulted? I will travel anywhere in the DMV for help, and I mean like even Danville, VA I am so desperate.

    Nice blog by the way.

  11. Alexa

    OMG Girl i totally get you! Mine started about May. My mom (Bless her heart) told me to put some Hydro-cortisone on it. So i did for 2 weeks straight. It wasn’t going away so i Googled it (obvioulsy) and Yup i had Perioral Dermatitis.And realized that any type of Steroid Cream makes it WORSE. I immediately stopped and it went nutS! UGH! Anyway i tried anything and everything to get rid of it. Finally, what truly helped and it’s almost gone is ANTI- FUNGAL cream and VAGISIL aaaaaagh!! I know! But hey whatever works right?! At this point i would rub Elephant poo if it promised to LEAVE! So i wash my face with Spectro Jel and and place the Vagisil and Anti-Fungal on-top. Super Glamorous i know.BUT by the next day it was way better. Now it’s only a light pink color (barely noticeable) without any bumps! I hope this helps, because i know how frustrating this shit is. I abhor it!

    Okay lot’s of Love!
    Alex :)

  12. Jessica Thomas

    I just got diagnosed with it too and am on Oracea :( Did it ever go away?

  13. Jody

    Just curious how your perioral dermatitis is? I’m 40 and have had it yearly since I started my period. I do think I’m finally on to something. Definitely no flouride, sulfates and all that.
    My rash would come and go yearly until I had my daughter 3 years ago. I now fight it on a regular basis. I know it has to be systemic in nature I purchased PURE aloe vera juice. I have tried many that claim to be pure but Lakewood brand is what I have been using. After three full days of drinking a small glass of it 2 times a day my chin face rash is almost gone.
    Today I purchased good quality fish oil and evening primrose to begin and I’m hoping for them to help balance my hormones.
    Good luck.

  14. LISA


  15. Talya

    I feel your pain/crazy laughter/tears of frustration. My skin was lovely and within 4/5 days bam! And I thought, I’m natural in many ways, but eff this, I’m going to the dermatologist! What do you know, perioral dermatitis.. Sigh. Take probiotics with your anti biopics – but a few hours a part. I can’t the doctors don’t prescribe it. It naturally restores the good bacteria thus fighting thrush etc etc. how’s your skin doing now?

  16. hilla143

    Homegirl, I get you. Mine happened after spring break, in the days leading up to graduation/gettingmarried/moving. I’ve just had another flare up this week but this time it’s all over my eyes. I am a monster and it hurts so baddddd.! I feel exactly like you “Why have I never met another human with this condition?”

  17. Tamara

    I am a 42 yo sufferer of this TERRIBLE face condition. I am here to tell u all, I feel your pain!! I have suffered on and off for 2 years. I am having the WORSE CASE EVER right now. I am in sales and must try to look my best, not like a troll. I, like many of you, have spent hours googling and seeing dermatologists. KNOW THIS: Cinnamon, SLS (Sodium Lauryl Sulfate)-found in pretty much everything that suds, toothpaste, shampoo, body wash, etc., Mint are the TOP of the list for things that cause this reaction. I just had a huge reaction to cinnamon before I knew it was on the list! Kill me now if I can’t chew gum w mint, ever have another gingerbread or pumpkin latte…. I seriously feel deprived:( but like you all, I would cut off a finger if I could get rid of this shit!!!! Had it this round for 3 months!! WTF!!!?? I am starting antibiotics again but I took them for 2 months with no change. I do know that as one person suggested, POD is usually made of bacteria and yeast….I’m gonna give the antifungal a go and report back. It’s gotten so bad my kids keep asking me what’s wrong w my face!? You know that’s bad! I LOVE SUGAR! I know I need to get my gut in check but I’m afraid without sugar, cimmamon, mint, etc. I might use crack!!!

  18. Stephanie

    Have you had any further success? I was diagnosed with perioral dermatitis recently and have been struggling with it since September 2 of this year. It has come and gone in intensity but never fully left. I have yet to try antibiotics because I know my weak stomach can’t handle them. I have a hunch that mine is an allergy to a few specific things. I am currentlyon day three of avoiding these things. I still have a patch to the left of my mouth but no new spots. I am literally praying that I am correct. Praying 24/7 for a solution actually! That I get an answer, that this isn’t some long term disease. It is the most humbling experience I have had physically. I have had to get through so many situations with this on my face. I volunteer in my little girls kindergarten classroom and I swear when it’s bad I worry that the kids will think I’m gross:( it’s horrific. Between this hollistic allergist, food logging, and my sensitive person I am hoping that I can get this under control… Any help you have pass itmy way

  19. kimberlywalker

    I’ve had bouts with PD since high school. I’m now 31. I also have sarcoid and I’ve had about 2,342 derm appointments. I started a holistic approach about five years ago it worked wonders. However, after a colonic, some toxins were released into my body and my face broke out. ARG! I stupidly used cortizone cream as my moisturizer for two weeks to get the inflammation down, which flared my PD like crazy. The muzzle rash was in full effect. I’ve only ever used Protopic to get rid of it before which took several weeks. I refused to use any of those disgusting creams, nor the traditional route of antibiotics. Here’s what I did that actually dried up and healed the PD in just a week:

    – NO soap. Only wash your face with warm water.

    – NO sulfates of any kind, especially SLS.

    – NO toothpaste with fluoride. I use Nature’s Gate.

    – No moisturizer or oils on your face. No petroleum jelly, nothing!

    – Take 100mg of zinc everyday during the reaction.

    – Since I knew I need a gel with anti-bacterial, anti-fungal and anti-viral powers, I employed collodial silver, which is activated silver in deionized water. I purchased the Sovereign Silver first aid gel AND the immune support drops. You MUST get them both. Add a generous amount of the drops to your first aid gel (as the drops are super potent but they need a gel base. the first aid gel also works wonders.) Smear a layer all over the rash and let it sit on your face wet. It started drying up immediately, but I saw some serious results on the third day. Today is my fourth day and it’s almost gone! Collodial silver is a natural antibiotic and I also take three teaspoons of it each day. I apply the gel mixture 3 – 4 times a day.

    – Just before applying the gel, I also use Dickerson’s Witch Hazel to tone and refresh the skin. This works as well.

    Lastly, stay away from gluten and spicy foods. I have a gluten allergy, so this was easy for me. They aggravate it greatly.

    Good luck, everyone! I wanted to share because PD can be so emotionally draining and none of us should have to suffer through it. I hope this helps someone!

    Thank you for sharing your stories. They DO help!

    ~ Kim

  20. caitlinthebox

    I’ve been dealing with this for about 6 months, although I didn’t know what I had at first. It just keeps getting worse and worse no matter what I do, and it’s so freaking frustrating. I’ve cut out gluten, limited dairy, sugar, and spicy foods, and have been taking probiotics and ACV internally and on the rash, diluted, and NOTHING is helping. I’m going crazy and it makes me feel like total crap about myself and I never even want to go out in public.

  21. Kim

    Oh, Alina! I feel you, you are not alone. I, too, have had several skin conditions (all on my face, of course) that numerous dermatologists misdiagnosed and mistreated– the most recent being periocular dermatitis. It started after i tried on sunglasses one day- after much research, i believe it was triggered by thimerosal, a preservative used in eyeglass frames and other products. I was lucky the first time– it cleared up quickly & easily. It came back 4 months ago, so severe that i didnt want to leave the house– Imagine those nasty, itchy, swollen, and sometimes pus-y bumps all over your eyelids, in the corners of your eyes, and eventually all over your nose. The 1st dermatologist dx’d it as eczema and prescribed topical steriod after topical steroid, each one making it worse– this is one way you can tell if you have dermatitis and not eczema, as topical steriods make eczema worse (WAYYYY worse!). i went vegan 2 yrs ago after suffering from molluscum contagium for several yrs (misdiagnosed as acne, i was on antiobiotics for TWO YRS until a new derm correctly dx’d it as molluscum, which is viral and thus immune to antibiotics and incredibly difficult to get rid of). I also cut out sugar, gluten, and soy (on top of being vegan- it was torture!), but that made no difference in my skin conditions. After 4 months, I eventually self-diagnosing periocular dermatitis (to which my derm said, “sure, it could be dermatitis”– thanks, dude, for not suggesting that and pursuing eczema tx to my detriment), my periocular dermatitis is under control, thanks to doxycycline and topical metronidazole– i highly recommend this topical tx. i have very sensitive skin, but have had no negative reaction to this cream while seeing good results quickly after using it 2x/day. I use Earth Science ADE Cleanser on my face & highly recommend it– it never irritates or dries out my skin, nor does it exacerbate any of my conditions. I use NutriBiotic Skin Cleanser on my body (soap free with grape seed extract) and it is WONDERFUL. I have tried hundreds of face & skin cleansers and these 2 are the BEST! Wishing you and all my fellow dermatitis-fighting ladies all the best!!

  22. jamie

    I have come across this site many times while researching PD. I am so fed up with it. I am 35 and have been getting it since I was 19 I believe. Same thing everytime, I get put on antibiotics, it clears up within a month, goes away for about 4 or 5 months only to come back. I get it a couple times a year. The past couple years I have tried to clear it up on my own with no success. I just hate being put on antibiotics everytime when I know there hasto be a way to cure it naturally. THERE HAS TO! I have tried everything, ACV, violet extract, diaper creams, canduela cream, honey masks, Aztec clay mask, you name it, I tried it but the only thing that helps is the horrid antibiotics. I have been dealing with this round of dermatitis for 2 weeks now and tried the ACV again and putting a mixture of diaper cream and canedula cream on it at night. I have been doubling my probiotics, taking zinc everyday and nothing, it is only getting worse. I have some leftover antibiotics sitting around from last year, so I gave in this morning, started taking them and called my dermatologist to make an appt. to get more. I just want it gone. I am at work and I tried to cover it with makeup and it looks horrible. I am a receptionist and sit at a front desk so I can’t go to work without makeup. So I try my best to cover it up. It burns and is tight and I can’t stop thinking about everybody looking at me.
    I have been using fluoride free toothpaste, NONE of my products have SLS in them, I also cut out gluten, which has helped my arthritis or whatever I have, the doctors don’t know, but hasn’t helped my skin. There has to be something else. I wish I could just figure out what it is! I am going to the derm next week and also have an appt. for an allergist to get a test done to see if I am eating something I am allergic to. I have to figure this out. I hope it isn’t dairy! Because I couldn’t live without cheese! LOL Anyways, I know how you feel. I feel hopeless and even when my face is clear, I always worry the rash is just on the horizon waiting to pop out and I only have a couple months or so to enjoy normal healthy skin.
    There has to be a better way than antibiotics. I am hoping the dermatologists get together one day and just make some miracle pill or cream for us to take so it NEVER comes back! I can dream I guess.

  23. Ginger

    Hi Everyone!
    I have suffered from this since I was 18…I’m now 37.
    It will go dormant for a period of time them come back out of the blue. It has problem been 8 years since I had it bad enough to notice then I got pregnant with my second daughter….and have mercy!!! I got the worst breakout of my life. The burn!!!!’ The deep burn and itching were maddening! I probably spent $1,000 during that pregnacg trying to call it down. Because I was pregnant I had to take a natural route. So I have literally tried every single natural remedy ever.
    Here are the natural remedies that have calmed
    Violet extract from Herb Farm
    Manuka honey masks
    Possibly evening primrose oil
    Low sugar diet-however I was unable
    To do this long term. I mean seriously I need
    To have some sort of life.

    I’ve tried probiotics and yogurt masks. They really didn’t seem to help much.

    After tracking this for several months I truly believe mine is hormonal. I get a breakout when I ovulate and when I start my period. I think everyone has a different underlying cause or combinations of causes. Kind of like in math you can get to the number 100 in various ways but the answer is still 100.

    In my 20s I did antibiotics quite often for this. And I broke down and tried oracea last year. It helped a little but definitely not a long term solution. What blows my mind is how little doctors know about this! I’ve had several doctors prescribe be steroid cream and when I refused to take the prescription they would get a bit if an attitude. How can they not realize steroid cream makes it worse?!? They are dermatologists! Should they know these things?!?

    Anyway-this would be a great research topic for anyone in medical school. There’s just not a lot of research out there. The funny thing is I read that doctors didn’t really see POD until the 60s.

    I’ve had luck with a soap called sulfa lo. I rotate between that and cera ve. I have a wonderful esthetician. She has recently recommended the b5 masque by skinceuticals. I have been using it with finacea on top. As with everything else…it helps a little. I guess with my last pregnancy my hormones went completely crazy and just can’t straighten out. I think topical a only calm it at this point.
    It’s completely depression when I wake up and it’s spread!
    Good luck to all of you and thank you for sharing!

  24. Ginger

    I just noticed my 500 spelling errors above! Love autocorrect!
    Anyway-I wanted to mention I have also eliminated sls, fluoride, and cinnamon for going on 3 years. As with with everything else…it helped very little.
    I took a week off work and stayed home to avoid wearing make-up…guess what?!? That didn’t make a difference.
    So I truly believe it’s systemic.

    Ok I’ll stop now! :) I could ramble on about POD for days!

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