What is Perioral Dermatitis?
Perioral Dermatitis (PO) is a common pimply rash in the triangular vicinity of the nose and mouth. The causes are generally unknown, and can be multiple and ever-changing making it a challenge to treat. PO can appear similar to other skin conditions, and appears like a cross between rosacea, acne and eczema. Though it can affect anyone, it occurs primarily in children and women.
Perioral dermatitis, and its cousin, rosacea, are rashes that are considered to be similar in symptoms and origin. The difference is PO can be flaky, and have watery pustules. Yet in both cases the stratum corneum - the skin’s barrier layer, and the layer of skin you can see and touch - is ‘injured’. The normal balance of the skin’s microbiome is imbalanced triggering an over growth of bacteria.
The triangular area of the skin between the nose, mouth, and the chin are more susceptible to rashes since the stratum corneum is thinner than other areas of the face. It also has a higher pH, and is therefore more prone to injury.
“…I’d come to understand how deeply we’re connected to the earth. But this was the first time I’d fully appreciated how much skin, the biggest organ in our body, mirrors the soil structure and function. Both skin and soil have three major layers and a top protective layer of dead cells…Our skin – our most visible organ – serves as a gauge of our overall health.”
Daphne Miller, MD - Farmacology -
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Less Is More
“…We live in such a complex world, that our skin, our external nervous system, needs not more complexity, but less.…”
~ Evan Healy
During the years I spent in my private skincare practice, I saw perioral dermatitis regularly, but not frequently. It was so similar to rosacea, acne rosacea, and eczema that my methods of bringing balance to the skin with all these conditions were very similar.
Convincing the client to stop over-activating their skin by using treatments such as scrubs, steams, AHA’s BHA’s, steroids, etc., and instead, switch to simpler, gentler methods of cleansing with unscented, or mildly scented cleansing milks, moisturize with lighter oil serums, and restore hydration to overly heated, and dehydrated, skin.
To protect, and to help rebuild the skin’s barrier function, I would reach for our Pomegranate Repair Serum, Rosehip Treatment Facial Serum, or Chilean Wild Rosehip Seed Oil.
But…. the most effective ‘heavy hitter’ in this program was the addition of a HydroSoul. Most often I would choose Rose Geranium, but equally effective were Lavender and Immortelle HydroSoul. Applied in generous, saturating mists both before and after application of the Oil Serums, a HydroSoul will bring an instant soft, clear and hydrated calm – and will help to normalize, to bring into balance, the microbiome and pH balance to the facial skin. As noted above, the areas of the skin that have a higher pH value are those around the mouth, while the areas of the skin with a lower pH value are cheeks, forehead, eyes, neck and even ears.
Perioral Dermatitis Treatment Plan
C L E A N S E
Twice a day, AM and PM, with Simply Basic Cleansing Milk (or our Rose or Blue Lavender) diluted with dribbles of water to create a creamy mixture. Massage gently all over skin, including neck. Remove with warm, not hot or cold, water.
M I S T
Generously Spray after cleansing, press into skin with clean hands. Misting with any of our HydroSouls can be done throughout the day to calm and hydrate. Mist with HydroSouls both before and after applying daytime Oil Serum, Butter, or Daytime Moisture.
M O I S T U R E
Mist with HydroSoul. While treating perioral dermatitis, apply a lentil-sized pump of Pomegranate Repair Serum (or any of the Serums mentioned above) to skin and gently massage into skin. Mist thoroughly after application.
B A R R I E R P R O T E C T I O N
In cold (or hot) weather conditions, apply a thin layer of Whipped Shea Butter with Olive Leaf over the Oil Serum, and hydrate with Rose Geranium, Lavender, or Immortelle HydroSoul.