Perioral dermatitis is very well treated with Chinese herbs. But still – I’m always surprised that it’s one of the most common conditions that I treat in my practice.
Before I began studying holistic dermatology, I don’t think I had ever even heard of perioral dermatitis. Everyone is familiar with more common skin conditions like acne, eczema, psoriasis and rosacea – and of course, I treat all of them on a regular basis. But not nearly as many people suffer from perioral dermatitis, yet many of those who do seek out holistic medicine. I often wonder why that is.
Here’s what I’ve come up with so far:
- Gender – The vast majority of people with this condition are women. It just so happens that women see holistic practitioners far more often than men do. This could definitely be part of the picture.
- Age – 90% of perioral dermatitis cases occur in women between the ages of 20 and 45. Many people in this generation grew up in holistic households or are educated about and open to alternative methods of healing.
- Location – People can ignore and neglect a lot of rashes on their bodies for long periods of time. But when it’s on the face (right around the mouth, no less) and is irritated by make-up and anti-inflammatory creams — that is major motivation to get it seen to as quickly as possible.
- Success – Whereas many things (from steroids to natural creams) make perioral dermatitis worse, Chinese herbs (taken internally) work quite quickly to make it better. It happens to be a condition that is extremely well-treated with herbal medicine. That said, I strongly recommend that my patients avoid herbs in topical creams and ointments. Just about anything topical can irritate the condition – from toothpaste to sunscreen, from make-up to creams and lotions. Don’t let anything touch the skin (even it is homeopathic, herbal or all-natural) other than the mildest cream or pure facial oil.
So how do I feel about having so many perioral dermatitis cases? I love it! It’s extremely rewarding to successfully treat skin conditions and this happens to be one where people are the most grateful and appreciative.
More info on perioral dermatitis can be found here: