What Is Perioral Dermatitis Caused By? :: Foreverfit.tv

Skin Health 3 – What Is Perioral Dermatitis Caused By

Skin Health 3 – What Is Perioral Dermatitis Caused By

what is perioral dermatitis caused by

I am a year down the path to fixing my skin. It has been an interesting journey. I have tried everything, read everything and asked opinions of those I trust, yet I still haven’t quite nailed it!

It is much better, however it’s still not right and I know it will flair up with any wrong step.


Finding the cause of perioral dermatitis

If you have read my previous posts you would know that I didn’t want to fix this with antibiotics as this would only make it worse in a few years time. So it was essential for me to fix this problem at the root.

Something was wrong with my digestive health and I really needed to heal from the inside out if I was going to get rid of it for good. Here are my previous posts on the subject.

Skin health 1 – What is Perioral Dermatitis

Skin Health 2 – What is Perioral Dermatitis

One of the products I am taking (which has had a huge impact on my health and skin) is the best quality blue ice fermented cod liver/butter oil blend. I take this daily. It has huge healing properties and seems to bring down inflammation over night when I take it. Then I also can’t recommend this product enough – Primal Defense Ultra Probiotics by Garden of life. This turned around my skin health also.

I also started oil cleansing my face, using castor oil, you can read up on this here –  Oil cleansing for face

Then the next thing I did was look into the GAPS protocol, candida diet and paleo autoimmune protocol which are all about healing autoimmune and psychological disorders through diet.  I studied up on these protocols, they each have valued points and I have tried them all over the last year but then started to find my own autoimmune approach that was a combination of them all.



Healing Diet

The one that seemed to be what I was already doing naturally and working was the GAPS, lead by Dr Natasha McBride.  I was already eating an incredibly healing diet, but something was missing so I had to make a few tweeks to it as I was showing signs of a lack of iron and zinc, yet consuming plenty of it.  I had my thyroid hormone checked recently and this wasn’t looking too flash either. For some reason my body wasn’t absorbing any of the nutrients I was consuming and I was exhausted.

What my body was telling me is that it can’t absorb the nutrients because of inflammation, so I needed to eat a very strict healing diet for 2-5 days to allow it to heal and then slowly reintroduce certain low inflammation  foods one at a time. Foods needed to be cooked well so as not to inflame my digestive system. These foods were based around broths, meats and veges.

Any time I get a flair up I go back to a few days of doing this then reintroduce new foods one at a time. The length of time that I can keep the perioral dermatitis away now is lengthening. However it is still ready to spark up if I was to let it, and when it does spark up, not only does my face flair up, my whole body gets exhausted. So even though I am fixing my skin, I know this is fixing something deeper by doing this. A flare up could be caused by a stressful day or a stressing food and sometimes I just had no idea which created the problem.


What exactly is perioral dermatitis?

You see perioral dermatitis is a linked to candida. Similar to thrush, athletes foot, eczema, dandruff etc. Some people put up with these things and just take drugs and creams. I wasn’t going to as I have in the past and all it did was make it worse the next time.

So this problem was stemming from my small intestine. PD feeds on sugars, carbs and junk food basically. Eating too much fruit, starchy carbs and sugar is problematic. These foods if not absorbed properly can ferment in the small intestine, turning into sugar and feeding the bacteria. That then causes toxins to be released and your whole body to begin to slow down. This is why when you have any sort of digestive issue you feel so rubbish and tired all the time.

When I ate more well cooked vegetables and easily digestible carbohydrates, they were absorbed instantly, leaving no food for candida to thrive on. As soon as I do this, I notice there is no redness around my nose and chin in the afternoons which usually turn up.

Remember this is an ongoing process and it may take a year or more to restore my digestive system. Research suggests that one dose of antibiotics can take 2 years for your gut health to come back to normal, so who knows how long mine will take. This doesn’t mean to say I want you all to go out and do this, this is what I needed to be doing to fix my perioral dermatitis and heal my digestive system.

Perioral Dermatitis is a candida overgrowth. So my goal is to get rid of the overgrowth which is throughout my digestive system, in particular the small intestine. This will then clear up the perioral dermatitis. I am getting there…

It has definitely healed and I don’t have the huge flair ups like I used to, nor is it on my chin any more, it is just around the edges of my nose but any wrong move and it will unleash. So I have to be incredibly careful.


What is perioral dermatitis caused by?

At some stage I have gotten some sort of gut infection. I don’t remember a time, but I do remember that for two winters I got chest infections with a cold/flu and had to  go on antibiotics to clear it. I used to never get the flu in Dunedin, then when I moved to Tauranga I got whacked for two winters. You can get a gut infection from all sorts of things from the wrong foods, stress, drugs, alcohol, exposure to chemicals and so much more. So I may have had it a while and then at some point I have inflamed it by putting my body under more stress.

Everyone has candida and bad bacteria inside them, the goal is to not let these guys dominate your body. If you do, it leads to being susceptible to catching colds, flus, virus’ and autoimmune conditions. This is why paying attention to digestive health is so important. Pay attention to the colds and flus and understand your body. Perfect health is hard to come by, all we can do is pay attention and listen to our bodies and seek health and well being by making smart intelligent decisions that are right for you.


Why am I sharing this story with you?

I am sharing this story as I know there are a lot of people who suffer from similar issues, from acne, to dermatitis or other autoimmune issues. So hopefully my story can help you. I research things to death, so hopefully I have saved you some time and you can find this info useful :)


P.S Want to know more about my perioral Dermatitis journey, read my next post How Long Does It Take To Heal Perioral Dermatitis

Inside the online gym we have got a whole series of articles dedicated to skin health and DIY beauty regimes. Learn how you can learn to love your skin more and build beauty from the inside out by getting your nutrition and digestive health right. Learn more about the online gym here 



Skin and beauty health

  • mbr3171

    I also have perioral dermatitis. I ended up at a functional medicine dr after my primary care, allergist, and dermatologist failed to offer anything but creams. One of the creams triggered a contact dermatitis allergic reaction. So the functional Dr. has been amazing. She tested my blood for allergies (ige and igg). I took all foods out that were an issue. It’s a very long list: eggs, dairy, nuts, some vegetables, and some fruits. I started improving overnight and then realized that after breakfast things went downhill. Coffee is a huge trigger for me. I also found a few more foods not on the tests that make my Eczema flair and my face become redder. It happens within 30 minutes of eating for me. I look a thousand tons better on the elimination diet alone. I also found out recently that I have SIBO, I don’t have candida. This may be the underlying cause of the peri oral dermatitis. My functional Dr is treating me with antibiotics, probiotics, and the low fodmap diet. I highly recommend seeing a functional Doctor. My Dr. does not accept insurance but some do. It has been the only thing that has worked for me and worth every penny. Good luck to anyone struggling with this, I know it is so frustrating to be dealing with.

  • Annette

    I had this really bad as well and I stopped using fluoride toothpaste and applied greek yogurt as a mask daily for two weeks and it is 90% gone! So relieved!

  • Brenda Jones

    Hi Nicola, I use a cream by mama nature (proskin eczema) and it has cleared it up. I stopped using this about six months ago and it flaired up again. Used this mama nature cream and it went away again so will definitely keep using it daily. Have you also thought about acupuncture?

  • nicole

    Hello, I have suffered from this about once per year for the last 6 years. .it goes around my eyes, mouth, nose and ears…I associate this 100%percent with yeast…I typically get itchy all over down below when I have this as well…my doctor has prescribed me doxycycline, diflucan (anti fungal) and metronidazole gel for my face…however, I swear by Apple Cider vinegar…I apply it slightly diluted several times a day (it stinks ) …I also put an organic calendula gel or calendula diaper rash cream on it…the first time I had it, it was severe and lasted weeks…the last time it had been about 4 days..

  • Georgie

    Thank you so much for sharing this. I have suffered from a rash around my chin, nose and mouth, on and off, for 7 years and it has affected my confidence in a huge way.
    I went to a doctor 6 years ago who diagnosed it as something else but not all the symptoms added up and I was never convinced by what they had said, this actually was the final experience with strengthened my pull away from western medicine for good.
    I only today have discovered that I in fact have Perioral Dermatitis. I knew that it whatever this rash was, it was connected to my digestive systems somehow so was researching that when I came across your website. As I read your experience I am in tears as I have finally found an answer that makes sense. Thank you thank you thank you. I feel a huge weight has lifted and I am able to find a way through.

    • Nicola

      I am glad I have been able to share some light for you Georgie. Good luck on your journey and I will be sure keep sharing posts to help you along the way :)

  • Julie

    I really appreciate this article, your struggle, and advice. I also have POD and find it extremely hard to heal. I do not want to spend months taking oral antibiotics due to the associated health risks. However, I am also a doctor which makes me very hesitant to accept statements as fact without solid evidence. I would love to see your sources for attributing POD to candida. I admire your dedication to changing your diet and healing which I think is a fabulous plan of action. I just do not think information should be stated as fact when it is not yet proven.

  • Lydia

    Hi Nicola, I know it’s been awhile since this was posted but a doctor has recently diagnosed me with peri oral dermatitis (after many chemists telling me it was something different) and I completed a course of antibiotics in the hopes it would help
    .. I was desperate!!! … The ironic thing is I’m now thinking that My perioral dermatitis has come about from previous courses of antibiotics which has left my gut health in disarray!! I’m now focusing on getting my gut healed but was wondering where you were at with your skin and if anything has really worked for you within the last couple of years since this post? I’m already on the blue ice fermented cod liver oil & probiotics and have looked into GAPS. Anything highly recommended? Thanks heaps! Lydia

  • Kayla

    Hi I just found out that I have this condition. Did it cause you to pack on excess weight at all to ?

  • Lauren

    Hey, I have to agree that I think there is a correlation with digestive issues. I’ve had stomach issues that made me and 3 doctors think my gallbladder was starting to fail. I did the HIDA scan and an EGD and all came back clean. I have no idea as to why I have had stomach issues but a friend suggested I try cutting back on gluten and that has helped a ton. I was first diagnosed with PD last spring and was given antibiotics which did the trick and I thought all was good. However, in November it came back with a vengeance and has not gone away and now I have bumps all over my forehead along with a terribly nasty chin. I do think dairy is a huge trigger for me. I am having a hard time with knowing what to eat, especially when cooking for a husband who would cry if I made him go gluten free/dairy free with me ha. Anyone have food suggestions? Desperate for help.

  • Sonya

    You might find the book “The Hidden Plague” by Tara Grant very useful. She follows a primal diet but takes it further and teaches how to discover the foods you might be reacting to even on a primal diet. She suffered from a skin condition called Hidradenitis suppurativa? which is more common than people would know, because nobody wants to talk about it. There is a guest post from her on Marks Daily Apple and a success story. Well worth the read!! Fighting with my own PD here and hoping to get this beat!

  • meximelted

    Candida is a yeast not a bacteria .

  • Mark Burgett

    It’s actually not a bacterial overgrowth, but a yeast overgrowth. A simple over-the-counter topical anti-fungal, like those used for athlete’s foot or jock itch, will clear it up within a day or two whenever you have an outbreak. The reason why it occurs around your mouth, especially below it, and not anywhere else, is because starchy and sugary molecules of food drop there while you’re eating, which is what the yeast feed off, and allows them to reproduce and colonize your skin. Your body tries to kill them off, which is why your skin becomes red, rashy, and flakey, but your body isn’t strong enough to fight them off completely, so the condition persists indefinitely.

    Naturally, if you remove the food sources that collect there (breads/flours, fruits/sugars), they starve, die off, and your skin clears up. Or you can just kill them off with a topical antifungal cream.

    • Rachel

      Sorry, a simple anti fungal does not work… I’ve tried it all and so has this woman probably. I don’t eat like an ape either…with crumbs and juices all over me. .and what about the ladies who get the flare up by their eyes,.hmm?It’s not as simple as you seem to think; obviously you’ve never had perioral dermititis, especially for the length of time this lady, as well as I, have had it.

  • Janine

    This article was a blessing in disguise.. Just diagnosed with PD,never really had skin issues and couldn’t understand why it has happened. I have hasimotto disease and I believe candida overgrowth.. Asked several doctors about the candida and know one has taking me seriously. I asked dermatologist if the PD can be result of candida and she said she doesn’t know. To read PD is connected to candida,helps me to not feel so crazy anymore. What is the first step in changing my diet? Thank you so much for this article.

    • Hi Janine, im glad you found this useful. I plan to do a detailed article soon as to what the steps are. But the key is to remove gluten and dairy and eat real nutrient dense whole foods. Lots of bone broths and vegetables to help replenish and restore the body. Watch out for a full post on this soon.

      • Denise Smerecky

        Where can I find your full post on restoring the body?


  • Katelyn

    Thanks so much for your article. I have always believed that my skin problems on my face were related to a digestive issue and your article has helped to confirm my beliefs. I have recently visited a Dermatologist and have been diagnosed with Perioral Dermatitis and Rosacea. I have been reluctant to take antibiotics as I knew that while this may make the skin problems dissolve for now, they would soon be back as I wasn’t treating the cause of the issue, just the symptoms. I will be purchasing the cod liver oil recommended and be working even harder to fix my digestive problems now!
    Thanks again, Katelyn

  • KEmega

    Hi Nicola,

    Do you think I should take a multi-vitamin (RAWONE garden of life), or probiotics?

  • KEmega

    I love you! You’ve helped me, I mean, I am facing the exact same thing. As an African American young woman, naively, I didn’t think I would have this type of issue. And yes, with PD, it does not matter what race your are! Thank you darling:) Keep researching and writing….I believe you and I agree.

    • LadyK

      Hi. I’m a African American too and I thought I would never experience PD. I have had it for about 8 months and I’m sooo frustrated.

  • izzy

    Wow thank you! I am just 17 years old and it sucks. You feel so ugly all the time, and teenage years are not a fun time too have it. Ive been very worried when it comes too alcohol, like drinking it because its a part of growing up and all of that. I actually have eczema and very itchy scalp at the moment. I am just very happy that you said that we all have candida, i am you can completely turn your body too normal. One question if i get my digestive system too a good place, will i be able too eat sugar? not like everyday but like in the weekends or something?

  • michelle

    Can this effect your buttocks and female area?

    • Bari

      Hi! That could be trush/ yeast infection- which if you have Candida overgrowth- you are %100 prone to yeast infections and thrush! so itchy!.. Keep clean, keep dry- let yourself air out a bit- Dont use chemical soaps- natural soap if anything, and take a good Flora Vaginal probiotic..!!.. Also cranberry juice- but straight up- not the added sugar kind

  • norah

    Hi Nicola, fantastic post, thank you for all the valuable information. it will help me address my own PD.

  • Kat

    Any thoughts on perioral dermatitis in a 3.5 year old? She’s never taken antibiotics. Has taken fermented fish oil from age 1 and we follow a mostly low sugar- GF- veggie protein diet. (Even prior to my pregnancy with her) she was breast fed until a little past 3. Could it be a wrong diagnosis? I really doubt she has digestion issues… Poops normal 1-2x a day. Healthy and happy lol. I’m so confused!

  • Katie07

    I have this too and I have to say this was the most useful info I have found so far and I have been searching for the cause for a few years… thanks!

    • Hi Katie, thats great to hear. You have to heal the gut, to heal the skin. So it starts with getting the right food and then restoring that healthy gut flora. :)

  • Julie

    Like Holly, your picture from a previous post looks exactly like what I have. But I was diagnosed with something completely different and misprescribed a topical steroid. I used it for a couple months and when I stopped it came back worse than before. I’ve never had skincare issues up until about 8 months ago, immediately after I had a long round of augmentin to cure a nasty sinus infection. I ended up getting candida in my ears, nose, mouth, and other areas. I took some diflucan and all but the rash around my nose and along my nasolabial folds. I have a question: have you ever tried topical miconazole nitrate cream?

    Thanks for the advice. Two days ago my sister told me to cut all sugars and simple carbs out of my diet. I scoffed. Now I’ll apologize to her and follow her advice. Thank you for sharing your story!

    • Nicola

      Hi Julie, I may have been given something like that a long time ago from my doctor along with antibiotics. Both never worked long term, they may of healed it up initially but it came back angrier than ever!! Anything like that is like putting a bandaid over a bigger issues. You have to get to the root of the cause and not just cover it up. Skin health is directly linked to gut health. So without fixing digestive system you cannot fix your skin, no matter what you put on it. You may bring down the inflammation with the cream, but it is just putting some petrol on the flame for another day. :)
      Your sisters advice is great and check out the rest of my site on foods and recipes. This will help you make the transition off sugar and simple carbs. Hope that helps. Get in touch if you have any other questions. :)

    • Julie

      This is Julie from the post from 3 years ago. I wanted to share my success story. I tried everything and after almost 2 years struggling with this Issue I had an epiphany. I went out into my garden and my last resort was to cut off a piece of aloe from my aloe plant. I took the cutting and dabbed it directly on the affected area around my nose and nasal labial folds. (I used it right from the cut end and didn’t open up the cutting). I did this for 2 weeks and it was dramatically reduced. I used it for a few months until I saw no reoccurrence. Now 3 years later, I’m completely free of any issues. It worked so well I almost don’t believe it. Good luck to all.

  • Holly

    Hi Nicola I love your website its very informative. What interests me is your battle with perioral dermatitis. I didn’t know the name of it, but I have had this for years. I always thought it was a reaction to skincare products, sunscreen, make up, perfume etc. I can only use natural products and oils. It flares up every now and again and all that works is to treat it with antibiotics or so I thought. I didn’t realise it has something to do with my health. Your picture of you with the rash on your skin in exactly the same places I get it! Very interested in what you did to get rid of it and more of what it means. Many thanks. Holly


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