Perioral Dermatitis: Dos and Don’ts

Perioral Dermatitis: Dos and Don’ts

Posted by Alison Butijer on

Perioral Dermatitis is a common inflammatory rash because of an impaired skin barrier that occurs around the mouth and nose. Periorificial dermatitis occurs around the eyes.

The skin barrier can become impaired due to numerous factors including:

  • Over cleansing and over exfoliating
  • Harsh ingredients that strip the skin of its natural oils
  • Environmental factors
  • Man Made Fragrance in products
  • Genetics

When your skin barrier is compromised it is susceptible for skin conditions like perioral dermatitis to form. It is a way our skin signals that there is an imbalance that is occurring, and it needs repairing.

AMPERNA® Perioral Dermatitis Dos Donts

So how can you repair your skin barrier and prevent perioral dermatitis from forming again?

This is a two-stage process. First is a heal and repair stage. Second is a gentle and simple skincare mindset with avoiding your suspected triggers.

Below is a general list of Do’s and Don’ts that help with nourishing your skin whilst keeping perioral dermatitis at bay.

*NOTE: Everyone’s skin is different, and each individual skin needs and reactions will be different. Please consult with your doctor or skin expert if your PD persists. You can also contact Kiri (AMPERNA® founder and owner) who suffered perioral dermatitis herself at to book in a skin coaching session.

Stage 1 Heal and Repair

Dos (during the flared stage)

  • Stop using all current products. We recommend cleaning your skin with cool water only (no cleanser) and apply our Soothing Duo. You can reapply these products throughout the day as needed.
  • Keep the inflamed area clean, do not rub, scratch, pick or scrub the skin.
  • Wear an SPF during the day. Our [HYDRAPROTECT] physical lotion contains zinc oxide, vitamin B5 and hyaluronic acid, so it is nourishing and hydrating on the skin.
  • Avoid being in direct sunlight, wear protective clothing like a hat and/ an umbrella if you need to be outdoors.
  • Refrain from wearing makeup.

AMPERNA® Perioral Dermatitis Dos Donts

Dos (once inflammation has calmed)

Use gentle, non-irritating, and fragrance-free skincare products ongoing. Our Ultra Gentle Soothing Cleanser [BALANCE] is perfect to add into your routine alongside the Soothing Duo. 


  • Make sure you steer clear of products that contain strong chemicals, fragrances, or potential irritants.
  • Avoid using topical steroids. Long-term or frequent use of topical steroids can lead to the rebound effect, where symptoms worsen after discontinuation.
  • Avoid excessive moisture and humidity. Excessive sweat or moisture on the affected area can exacerbate perioral dermatitis, so try to keep the area dry.
  • Don't use physical exfoliants. The particles in physical exfoliants scratch the surface of the skin which can accelerate damage to your skin’s barrier.

AMPERNA® Perioral Dermatitis Dos Donts

Stage 2 Maintenance and Trigger Control

Once you have calmed your flared skin and you maintain a gentle skincare routine using our Soothing Duo, Cleanser and SPF, the next stage is about avoiding your triggers.

As mentioned above everyone’s triggers will be different. It is up to you to pinpoint what it or if it is a combination of things that cause your skin barrier to become impaired.

Below is a list of culprits you should consider when looking into what may trigger your perioral dermatitis.

Foods and Beverages that may trigger PD

  • Alcohol (especially wine)
  • Coffee
  • Dairy
  • Sugar
  • Soy (can affect your hormones)
  • Gluten/Yeast
  • High histamine foods such as dried fruits, tomatoes, citrus fruit, shellfish
  • Fermented foods
  • Cinnamon
  • Chocolate
  • Kiwi fruit, pineapple
  • Whey-based Protein Powders
  • Spicy food (inflammatory)
  • Menthol and mint
  • Unfiltered/hard tap water
  • Processed meats (nitrates, flavour enhancers and high fat content)
  • Collagen supplements

AMPERNA® Perioral Dermatitis Dos Donts

Halogens to avoid

  • Fluorides in some toothpastes and oral care products
  • Chlorides in swimming pool water and some mouthwashes
  • Bromides found in some cough syrups, asthma medication and sleeping pills
  • Iodides in salt, seafood, B12 vitamins, processed foods

At-home triggers

  • Not regularly cleaning or changing bedsheets/pillows
  • Perfumes in candles, air fresheners and laundry detergents
  • SLS & fragranced home cleaning products
  • Central heating or blow heaters
  • Essential oil burners or diffusers
  • Intensive use of hot water/steam on face
  • Exposure to allergens (e.g. dust)
  • Waxing or harsh facial hair removal

Possible Trigger Products:

  • Topical Steroids
  • Toothpaste with SLS
  • Hair or Body wash with SLS
  • Skin Peels
  • Alpha hydroxy and beta hydroxy acids
  • Salicylic Acid
  • Glycolic Acid
  • Topical Vitamin C
  • Essential Oils
  • Perfumes and scented Products
  • Vitamin b12 Supplements
  • Some types of SPF
  • Retinoids (including Tretinoin and Adapalene)

AMPERNA® Perioral Dermatitis Dos Donts

Root causes

  • Over-use of cosmetics
  • Long term use of topical steroids
  • Demodex mite overgrowth. Demodex mites live on everyone’s hair follicles and oil glands on your face neck and chest. They are harmless, but an overgrowth can cause infections that irritate your skin.
  • Poor gut health
  • Historic antibiotic use
  • Low Immune System
  • Bacterial overgrowth
  • Fungal overgrowth
  • Poor nutrition
  • Hormonal changes (including menopause and pregnancy)
  • Allergies (contact/topical/food)
  • Long term stress and anxiety
  • Sensitivity to harsh chemicals
  • Over-use of harsh soaps, astringents, abrasives

Other things to consider

  • Frequent sun damage
  • Lymphatic drainage
  • Breath work/belly breathing - pumps the lymphatic system, helps with stress levels and anxiety
  • Body brushing - helps fluid flow, clears dead skin cells, and helps skin work efficiently at removal of toxins
  • Check for internal and external parasites
  • Switch to filtered water
  • Drink stewed ginger drink - which is anti-bacterial, ant fungal, anti-Inflammatory
  • Eat a variety of pre and probiotic foods
  • Improve your quality of sleep
  • Avoid any foods and alcohol you think causes irritation and inflammation!

Topical products to try

  • Gentle fragrance-free and flare-safe SPF
  • Azelaic Acid
  • Topical Zinc
  • Anti-microbial products
  • Switch to SLS/Menthol free toothpaste (e.g. Hydroxyapatite toothpaste)
  • Vitamin E Oil
  • Calendula Cream
  • Manuka Honey
  • Ozonated Olive Oil balm

Supplements that could help

  • Quality Probiotics
  • Evening primrose oil
  • Niacinamide Supplement B3
  • Zinc Supplement
  • Vitamin C Supplement
  • Calcium and magnesium
  • Fibre Supplement (e.g. Psyllium husk)
  • Omega supplements

Clinical treatments that could help

  • Red Light Therapy
  • Inflammatory markers blood test
  • SIBO test
  • Patch allergy testing/ blood allergy testing
  • Food sensitivity comprehensive test
  • Get stool test e.g. Health path

Medications for treating Perioral Dermatitis?

The AMPERNA® philosophy is to take a holistic approach to skincare. Caring for your overall health is first and foremost the best step in setting the foundation in achieving healthy skin. 

We have helped thousands of people heal and prevent their perioral dermatitis from reappearing by using AMPERNA® products and the above stage 1 and stage 2 methods. Please do your research before taking any medications prescribed or recommended to help your PD.

Again, we are always here to help you on your skin journey.


Blog article author

Written By Alison Butijer

Alison Butijer has a background in Visual Merchandising but in 2020 started on her own health & wellness journey, helping other people on theirs too. Alison is passionate about holistic living, encouraging others to create healthy lifestyle habits & feeling confident in their own skin. Everything that AMPERNA® embodies.

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