Looking for Perioral Dermatitis home remedies? I’m sharing mine plus how I healed naturally.

I was just about to give up and get on antibiotics when miraculously I healed at a rapid pace. And for the record, I had a pretty severe case of perioral dermatitis (you can see pictures below).

I cannot pinpoint any one thing, but there are many things that stand out as to why I healed.

While I believe that numbers 1-10 below were CRITICAL, I also believe that it was number 11 which truly ended up being the key factor.

AGG Note: This post was updated in 2023, so see the bottom for more even more thoughts.

Boils Down to a Leaky Gut + SIBO

For the record, healing Perioral Dermatitis – inflammation of the skin – ultimately requires healing the gut. This much inflammation to the skin barrier ultimately correlates with gut inflammation.

It’s never what we want to believe, but always the thing we must see. And honestly, until you do, there are no amounts of skincare products, topical antibiotics or topical steroid creams that will eradicate the problem forever.

Below you’ll find the things worked for me.

And if I can even give one person hope that something might work for them, then my job here is done.

What is Perioral Dermatitis?

Perioral Dermatitis Home Remedies {How I Healed My Perioral Dermatitis Naturally} agutsygirl.com #perioraldermatitis

Let’s say you stumbled upon this article — Perioral Dermatitis Home Remedies.

You believe you have some sort of dermatitis, but you’re unsure if it’s Perioral Dermatitis (PD) and also not even sure what Perioral Dermatitis is.

The Cleveland Clinic defines it as,

Perioral (periorificial) dermatitis is a red rash that circles your mouth. Your skin can be scaly, dry and flaky with swollen, inflamed bumps called papules. It is one of many types of dermatitis. Perioral dermatitis can look like acne and is often mistaken for it.

Some people report that perioral dermatitis itches or burns. Sometimes it spreads up to the nose and eyes and, very rarely, the genitals.

In the word perioral, “peri” means “around” and “oral” means “mouth.” The word literally means “around the mouth.” In the word periorificial, “orifical” means orifice or “an opening.” “Around an opening” is the meaning of periorificial. The two words refer to the same condition.

For me personally, it looked like patches of dry skin covered with a rash-like acne. There were a lot of red bumps, blotchy red skin and an overall facial rash found on various parts of the face. These places (for me) primarily included: around my nose and circling my mouth.

Below you’ll find the things worked for me. And if I can even give one person hope that something might work for them, then my job here is done.

PD Triggers

So what causes PD, and what are some triggers?

Perioral Dermatitis Home Remedies {How I Healed My Perioral Dermatitis Naturally} agutsygirl.com #perioraldermatitis symptoms

Here are 14 symptoms of perioral dermatitis, possible causes + triggers:

  1. Stress
  2. Fluoride toothpaste
  3. Oral contraceptives
  4. Sunscreen
  5. bacterial infections or fungal infections
  6. Use of topical steroids (creams)
  7. many facial creams, cleansers, makeups, etc.
  8. sodium lauryl sulfate (SLS)
  9. sugar
  10. processed foods
  11. alcohol
  12. chocolate
  13. coffee
  14. hormonal imbalances and hormonal changes

All of these can contribute to perioral dermatitis. Many of them you might not have even considered, and in fact, most of them I never considered.

Okay, so now that you have at least a little context around PD, let me share some of my personal perioral dermatitis home remedies.

Perioral Dermatitis Home Remedies {How I Healed Naturally}

Click HERE to save this article on Perioral Dermatitis Home Remedies for later.

Perioral Dermatitis Home Remedies {How I Healed My Perioral Dermatitis Naturally} agutsygirl.com #perioraldermatitis #acne home remedy


I fully believe my healing was jump started when I went back (intensely) on GAPS

I’m not on GAPS right now, but I believe it was critical then.

As I mentioned in the beginning, this post has been updated as of 2022, so I can look back on this one and know why GAPS helped give that initial boost.

The reason is because, in the beginning of the GAPS Diet, it’s truly just a massive elimination diet.

You can go back to 2014 to see what I was eating on GAPS Day 1 HERE.


Moringa is an amazing herb that I learned about while at the local Farmers’ Market one summer.

It has been used for many things, and while I initially started using it for digestion, I believe it (maybe indirectly) had positive impacts on the skin condition.

In fact, this idea has been confirmed, too:

Due to its antibacterial properties, moringa is helpful in preventing acne breakouts on your skin. It also helps in removing blemishes, dark spots, pimples and blackheads. To achieve clear skin, you can apply a paste of moringa leaves on the spots of your face. (source)

Hempseed and Hemp oil

Hemp is powerful, internally and externally.

In the beginning, I was using coconut oil on my face, until the condition seemed to be getting worse.

I stopped that, and I started using hemp oil. I would topically apply about 1/2 of a dime-sized amount to the affected areas nightly before bedtime.

Additionally, I began consuming a lot of hemp internally – the seed and oil. We eat it several times a week now in various ways. “Hemp is loaded with all 20 amino acids (including the 9 essential),” and I believe its dense nutrition helped.

Check out one of my favorite hempseed recipes ever. And my Lemon-Garlic Basil Spaghetti Squash with Hemp is also incredible!

Omega 3

I boosted my daily omega-3 intake because it helps with a normal inflammatory response.

I needed to reduce inflammation as much as much as possible. (I also did this by eating wild fish more in general.)

Inflammation affects us to a greater extent than almost anything else.

So, it’s common for this to be mentioned,

Eat healthy Omega-3’s and/or take an Omega-3 supplement.

And that is because Omega-3’s are known to counter chronic inflammation. And in this case, as you’ll see, thought the entire body.

More Omega guthealingsupplements.com #omega3

Taking only 2 soft-gels of More Omega per day will help you to significantly improve your intake of healthy omega 3 fats which can have a widespread and lasting impact on your overall health and wellbeing.

If you’re interested in listening to a short podcast episode I recorded on inflammation, omega-3s and DHA vs EPA, check this out.


I returned to the consistent use of probiotics.

The ultimate goal of a probiotic is to introduce good bacteria into the digestive system.

If PD was caused by “bad” bacteria, then a probiotic can help.


There are a ton of lifestyle changes to consider for healing PD naturally.

When the PD was at its worst, I was starving for sleep, and in a million ways it manifested into so many unwanted things.

Healing meant an intentional focus on 8+ hours a night. Some nights I could grab more, and some a little less, but the amount of sleep I got massively increased.

Read also: Sleep and Gut Healing.

Sleep and Gut Healing agutsygirl.com #journal #guthealth #sleeptracking #sleep

Nipple Butter

You think it sounds crazy, but I swear by this stuff. Using just a little made a huge difference.

Perhaps it’s due to these ingredients:

Olea Europaea (Olive) Fruit Oil*, Beeswax*, Theobroma Cacao (Cocoa) Seed Butter*, Butyrospermum Parkii (Shea) Butter*, Mangifera Indica (Mango) Seed Butter*, Calendula Officinalis (Calendula) Flower Extract* *Organic

One thing to remember when healing PD is that you must avoid any harsh chemicals on the affected skin.

Just because skincare products can be part of your natural remedies solution, doesn’t mean they are all appropriate.

Make sure you know what’s in the products you’re using.


I was constantly sprinkling this on everything (still do to this day!)

L-glutamine helps repair the intestinal lining.

Oftentimes, skin issues and skin ailments are the result of permeable intestines since things are not supposed to seep through the lining, get through and cause immune reactions.

L-glutamine can be an effective treatment for gut-skin issues.

Face Wash

I never used traditional face wash while I was flaring.

I kept it as minimal as possible.

Keep in mind also, though, that I’m pretty minimalistic when it comes to the amount of makeup I wear. In fact, because I hardly wear makeup most days (especially when skin problems are at their worst), warm water is all I might use.

Believe me, less is so often more. (More on this below.)


This ONE thing can make a huge difference (click HERE to read about it).

It did for me!

I stopped using all traditional toothpaste as well, and never buy toothpaste with SLS and/or fluoride. It’s “Earthy,” but I enjoy it -> Earthpaste.

Here are other natural toothpaste brands that do not contain SLS or fluoride:

  1. Oral Care Club toothpaste (Use code: AGUTSYGIRL15 to save 15%)
  2. Wellnesse Toothpaste

Listen to the podcast episode on the gut-oral health connection HERE.


I have all but healed my Perioral Dermatitis, but it took months.

There was no quick-fix-overnight scheme.

It’s not easy to determine the exact cause of perioral dermatitis, and in fact, I’m not sure I ever did.

However, I stayed consistent, and I did items 1-10 on a consistent basis.


Perioral Dermatitis Update from using Earth Mama Angel Baby Nipple Butter via www.agutsygirl.com

First Healed

SKH + Food Babe, Vani www.sarahkayhoffman.com


2023 Perioral Dermatitis Updates

It has now been 9+ years since any sign of perioral dermatitis, even a mild case of it, has entered my life.

It has not been a matter of “good luck,” either. Instead, keeping PD away is intentional through the various things I have done to keep my gut and skin in top-notch shape.

So I want to share more of these things PLUS expand on some of the above to help you even more.

I followed A Gutsy Girl’s Bible: a 21-day approach to healing the gut first and foremost.

After I healed, I wrote this book in order to share all the things I did. In the book, there are several pages that talk about skin, skincare, and ingredients to avoid.

In it, you’ll also find 100+ recipe Creations for your healing journey. Grab your copy on Amazon HERE.

Or, have this book at your fingertips instantly by downloading the PDF now.

Skincare products

Because of my research, the book, and using all methods from above, I completely switched my skincare routine and products 100% in 2017. And it has been absolutely incredible + incredibly healing.

At first, I used Beautycounter 100% of the time.

Today, I have branched out even more to other skin care products I adore and endorse fully.

The top 2 brands I use on a daily basis:

  1. Beautycounter. Yes, I still use, love, and adore the brand. I probably always will. First purchase? You’ll save when you click and order HERE.
  2. Mad Hippie. They have a gentle cleanser, a cream cleanser, that I’m obsessed with!
10 products to use for a natural makeup look after perioral dermatitis agutsygirl.com #guthealth #beautycounter #nontoxicmakeup #acne #dermatitis

Essential Oils

Everyone wants to just drown their “health problems” in essential oils. Don’t just haphazardly apply any essential oil to your face.

However, there is one essential oil I love for acne and PD: tea tree oil due to its anti-inflammatory properties.

BUT, and this is a big old but….make sure it’s fractionated with an oil.

For example Tea Tree Touch:

The perfect balance of Tea Tree essential oil and Fractionated Coconut Oil has been combined in doTERRA Tea Tree Touch, making it ideal to use on gentle and sensitive skin.

The last thing you want to do is cause any further skin irritation. If you do not dilute the essential oil with some sort of oil, the affected area will get worse.

Apple Cider Vinegar

Now this one is sort of a two-pronged approach.

While many dermatologists might caution against putting apple cider vinegar (ACV) directly on the skin (because they say it can dry the skin too much, cause more further issues), many also have success with it as reported HERE.

But there is another reason + way to approach ACV for healing PD. And that would be to take it internally. No, do NOT take a shot of ACV. It will burn and it’s awful. I know because it happened to me back in my high school days 🙂

There are many ideas for how to consume it HERE.

Anyways, the reason it can work is because sometimes (as listed out above) is due to bad bacteria aka a bacterial overgrowth in the wrong places. And many times, that is due to insufficient stomach acid. Apple cider vinegar helps naturally increase stomach acid.

Avoid Dairy Products

Dairy is a common trigger and culprit for acne.

If you’ve never tried eliminating dairy for any period of time, perhaps give it a full 21 days and see what happens. (I teach you this in the book, A Gutsy Girl’s Bible, too.)

Dairy is in everything, so be sure you know what it’s disguised as.

HERE is a list of 100+ dairy sources and alternate names.

Powerful Antioxidants

While you’re eliminating certain things, also be sure to add in others that can help – things like antioxidants.

Eat more colorful foods, fresh fruits, dark chocolate, and aim to get at least 2-3 servings of a cruciferous vegetable in your diet every day.

The goal is to reduce overall system inflammation, and this is one way to go about it.

Less is More

I said it above, and I’ll say it again – less is more.

And I’m talking about beauty products, topical treatments, etc.

Do not use heavy moisturizers when trying to heal PD. Be very cautious with anything and everything you use.

Zinc Supplement

Harvard states, 

Zinc is used to treat inflamed skin conditions like burns, eczema, bedsores, and diaper rash. The compound forms a protective barrier on the skin’s surface, repelling away moisture and allowing the skin to heal. It may also aid enzymes to break down damaged collagen tissue so that new tissue can be formed.

Here are some zinc supplements for consideration:

  1. Integrative Therapeutics – Zinc-Carnosine (You can get this one – and many other brands – for cheaper through my Fullscript dispensary HERE. And once you sign up, I’ll increase your standard savings even more.)
  2. Thorne Research – Pic-Mins – Trace Mineral Complex with 7 Essential Trace Minerals
  3. Doctor’s Best PepZin GI, Zinc-L-Carnosine Complex

Oral Antibiotics

And last, but certainly not least – I would be doing you a major disservice if I didn’t share with you the fact that you might need oral antibiotics.

Hear me out because severe cases might call for them.

No, this one is NOT natural, but if you have done all the natural things and given it a go for a period of time, this might be what you need.

How do I know it?

Well, the PD for me was almost gone. But then the SIBO diagnosis lead me down a road which ultimately saw me to a round of antibiotics to clear the bacterial overgrowth.

Once I took the antibiotics (Rifaximin + Neomycin), the PD cleared fully.

Your Perioral Dermatitis treatment plan needs natural products, consistency with natural healing methods, and then maybe even an antibiotic.

Do whatever YOU need to do!

Final Notes on Perioral Dermatitis

Perioral Dermatitis massively affects young women, and this inflammatory rash is extremely hard to get rid of.

You might need weeks of treatment, if not months.

But hang in there because your skin can and will approve if you give it the love and attention it deserves and needs.

Those are things I have done for how I healed my Perioral Dermatitis naturally – Perioral Dermatitis Home Remedies. Questions? How about you?

If you liked this article on Perioral Dermatitis Home Remedies, you might also enjoy:

  1. Chronic Skin Issues and the Gut Connection (Episode 31 with Jennifer Fugo)
  2. 15 Internal and External Skin Health Tips
  3. 6 Reasons Dry Skin Leads to Breakouts

If you like learning about skin and are interested in going on safer skincare journey, I have a FREE 12-day safer skincare exploration series HERE.


How I Healed My Perioral Dermatitis Naturally agutsygirl.com #perioraldermatitis #skin

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  1. So glad you were able to heal it naturally! Have you ever thought of honey and/or oil cleansing your skin versus using dr. Bronners. I find that any surfactant based product will strip the skin and dry/dehydrate you to some degree. I have had serious success with a range of skin types and conditions (I am an aesthetician) with oil (light ones like Jojoba or grapeseed) and raw or manuka honey cleansing. You might add that into the mix. Good luck!

  2. Great read! I’m doing about half of those things now… I guess I need to kick it up a notch. What brand nipple butter / BOttom balm and probiotics do you use?
    also, have you seen it correlate with your cYcle? Like there is a connection?

    1. Hi Alicia – thanks for stopping by! The Nipple Butter I use is “Earth Mama Angel Baby.” I love it! I currently use Prescript-Assist for my probiotic. And no, I haven’t seen a correlation with the PD + my cycle because I’ve had several cycles since I cleared it. Hope that helps!

  3. I have a prescription in hand but do not want to start it! I’ve tried sooooo many home remedies but have not heard of most of yours. I will give it a shot! Has your continued to stay away? And did you ever try anti fungal creams? Thank you!!!

  4. Sarah, I also have Perioral Dermatitis. When I eat sugar, wheat or dairy My face breaks out. My skin stays pretty clear if I stay away from these 3. I’m hoping to heal my gut so I can splurge once in awhile. Did you ever find that eating wheat, sugar or dairy your POD was worse? If so, did it all change once you healed your gut?

    1. Hi, Roxxi! Yes, sugar and dairy made it worse, but I’ve been wheat and gluten free for several years now (peruse my blog and you will see!) When I was really intentional about healing my gut and eliminating the inflammatory things, it went away. Good luck!

  5. THANK YOU so much for this blog post. I recently got a rash on my face that has lasted for 2+ weeks. I had no idea what it was or what caused it. After reading this post, I realize that I, too, have PD! I just started a candida cleanse and I also have leaky gut, so I think I’m long overdue to start a healing process.

  6. A few years ago, I had perioral dermatitis (undiagnosed, but I know now that’s what it was). After having it for about a year, I had a facial and they gave me a sample of a thick cleansing cream to try. After using the cream for only a few weeks, the perioral dermatitis cleared completely. The cream is from a line of biocosmetics made from herbs from the Alps called Dr. Spiller. I’ve been searching online and hope to find this cream again because it was a miracle worker.

  7. Am I right that you didn’t use any antiobiotics? I have PD and I am struggling to find treatments. Any advice is greatly appreciated

  8. Hi Sarah,
    Thank you for sharing your success story, inspires me to keep on leaky gut program for healing.
    Did your skin go through stages of good days (comfortable, less noticeable) and bad (red, bumpy, inflamed) as your gut healed before it went away completely?

  9. Hi Sarah….I am so excited I found your page. First I HAD been PD free for almost 2 years and then had a recent flare up in a spot that I had never had it before….just in the fold on the left side of my nose. It’s a persistent little bugger and more dry than anything else which is making it difficult to heal. I have been applying hemp seed oil for a few days now and consuming it as well. I put it on and 5 minutes later it’s as if I never did….like my skin just soaks it up. So I just ordered a product recommended by my health coach who is a master herbalist called Gypsy Cream and it’s got the hemp oil, shea butter, and beez wax which is just supposed to be phenomenal for dry skin. I am almost 43 and noticing that my skin takes a longer time to turn over and heal. I will continue to apply the basic oil as an overall moisturizer and then apply this stuff to the extra dry areas. Sleep is a big issue for me as I tend to have disturbed sleep.

    I have heard so many different versions of how this thing starts and I guess it’s supposed to be fungal. I have made some significant dietary changes but my body has a severe aversion to bone broth. So I’m using the L-glutamine, probiotics, I’m taking fish oil but am going to get the cod liver oil tomorrow. I have also read that people with chronic skin inflammation are missing an enzyme that converts ALA to GLA and that it’s a GLA deficiency which is what the hemp is good for

    The biggest thing for me is that I happen to notice it flare up during EXTREME periods of stress
    *during my separation and divorce
    *during the start up of a new business
    *while training for a marathon
    *and most recently just a lot of work stuff

    I had completely laid off of running for a few months and then several weeks ago did a few shorter runs and it all started up again. So I’m really seeing a connection with stress, adrenals, and of course the gut. But this thing hangs on for dear life.

    Anyway, thanks for the blog. I have been meaning to switch to cod liver oil for a while now. Do you have a specific brand that you use? And does it need to be fermented.

  10. Thanks for all the recommendations. Totally feel like I have my PD under control without the unsuccessful use of antibiotics. Makes me mad at my dermatologist. Love hemp oil now!!! What seemed to really make it better was taking fluoride out.

  11. Sarah, I have been struggling with Perioral Dermatitis since November of 2016. At first, I thought it was acne and started using various creams and scrubs only to have it get worse. Then I tried expensive therapy thinking that maybe I needed to work at controlling my stress levels. I even cut out dairy and even birth control thinking that was it. When I finally figured out it was PD it was January of 2017. My derm started me on antibiotics and a set of creams. I have been on them ever since – but they haven’t really helped. So I changed my shampoo, I cut out fluoride, I stopped using fancy cleansers and just used Cetaphil products. I read a million blogs on how people “cured” their PD. NONE of it helped. In fact, depending on the day, it got worse. Sometimes my face would physically hurt. I was embarrassed to go out, to wear makeup (which made it worse), and I was sick of all the bumps. It was emotionally taxing me – I cried a lot. Then two weeks ago my friend stumbled on your blog. After digging around I noticed the common theme was stomach issues. I’ve had H-pylori and my tummy has been a mess ever since. A light clicked for me. I had nothing to lose, so I tried your recommendations. I’ve been doing your exact suggestions religiously for the last two weeks and my PD is pretty much GONE. I have maybe two to three itty-bitty bumps here and there, but for the most part, my face has returned to normal. The burning, the rash, the bumps – gone. It was completely gastrointestinal. I feel like telling all the derms out there to start recommending their PD patients to gastroenterologists instead of treating it how they do. Your blog helped me get my face back in order, stopped my anxiety, and most of all – it stopped the tears. Every morning when I look in the mirror I think of how grateful I am for finding this. Thank you so much for sharing your journey and your advice. I never thought my PD would go away. You saved me – thank you.

    1. Hi, Emily! I read your comment as soon as it came through. It’s taken me awhile to process it. Why? Because initially, I had tears in my eyes. I never sought out to write a blog that would do ANYTHING but help people…..from the gut, to skin, to infertility, to life. Your words made me know that all the time, energy, and heart-pouring that goes into this slice of the Internet is worth it. Thank you, Emily. And all my very best to you and your healing. Xox

    2. Hi, i have the same problem as you. Since 2 years now. It started with a sharp pain in the stomach,than endet with bloating, gas,pain in the abdomen,constipation.
      I have seen so many Doktors,they found nothing.
      I started my self healing my gut, and at the beginning my face cleared up but since some month it started again.
      I try to stay away from Weat, dairy,etc.
      I take curcuma, drink Oregano tea 1.5l a day, ginger tea,eat healthy, no,make up. Proibiotics, nothing seems to Help.
      Could it be that I might have H pylori?
      How did you cleared your PD ?
      My Pd is located around the nose.

    3. I’m so happy you healed your PD! May I ask what specifically you did in her protocol to clear it? I’m struggling with getting rid of mine! I feel hopeless!

  12. Hi Sarah!

    I am going through similar steps right now healing my perioral naturally. One question for you, as it took months to heal naturally, did sometimes your dermatitis look worst/spread/got more inflamed? Mine looks so much better some days, but then others I get a new “dot,” meaning, my perioral wants to spread. But I keep keep it under control with oils, and I tell myself that my body is purging all the junk out of my gut, so it my skin is taking a beating? Was this your experince too, or did you have no new bumps?

  13. Hi Sarah!
    I was just wondering how long you stayed on a strict GAPS diet before you decided it was okay to introduce other food? I am on it now and seeing improvements quickly. Thank you!

    1. Hi Maddy! When I was first healing my gut in 2009, I stayed on GAPS for far too long. I don’t even know how long, but I do know it was too long. When I went on it to help with the PD, it was less than 30 days. I improved super quickly, but for me, it came down more to this –> http://bit.ly/skhocpd than anything. Hope that helps.

  14. Hey Girl! Loving thus blog and your POD post. Here I am, almost 6 month post partum and the rash has been with me for probably 2 months now. I was prescribed metrogel. Just like everyone else, cleared up and it’s back with a vengeance. I’m on a limited TED because I’m breastfeeding my 2nd FPIES boy. So, I’m gut healing any way. I’m going to try everything you’ve recommended above. I’m a little confused about the steps of facial care. Do I wash my face with beauty counter before I put on the hemp oil? Maybe I am tired and reading it wrong! I also ordered a norwex cloth to see if that helps. I’m impatient but it seems like apple cider vinegar and coconut oil are making this worse:(

    1. Hi! Thank you for stopping by. So, nothing about the post really is meant to be in order or exact steps….rather just different things I did and swear by to this day. If I were you, I would use a gentle cleanser, one from Beautycounter. I have been finding the Charcoal Cleansing Bar **super** effective lately – https://www.beautycounter.com/sarahhoffman?goto=charcoal-cleansing-bar.html If your PD is really bad right now, don’t put anything else on your face. Just leave it alone. You might be able to get by with a little hemp oil, but don’t use straight coconut oil. And then focus on the rest of the diet and lifestyle things 🙂 xox

  15. Hi Sarah! So I’ve been fighting PD for a year now but just started experimenting with almost 500mg of CBD oil directly to my face. Is this similar to what you used? I’m hopping it really works so I can come off of my elidel cream (prescription steroid cream).

  16. Hi I’ve been struggling with PD for 2 years and nothing the derm has prescribed has helped. i am ready to heal using your methods! After healing PD using GAPS diet, what type of diet would you recommend? I have a huge sweet tooth so staying away from sweets for the rest of my life is depressing to me lol is it okay to indulge occasionally after all healed up?

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