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Defeat Perioral Dermatitis: Holistic and Topical Strategies for Clear, Healthy Skin

Perioral also known as Periorificial dermatitis (POD) is a common yet frustrating skin condition that can affect your confidence and comfort.

Periorificial Dermatitis

At SANA Skin Clinic, we believe in a holistic approach that combines internal health support with effective topical treatments to manage and alleviate POD symptoms. This guide will provide you with everything you need to know about POD, including its symptoms, triggers, and our unique treatment strategies.

Understanding Perioral Dermatitis

What is POD?

Periorificial dermatitis is a facial skin condition characterized by red, inflamed bumps around the mouth, nose, and eyes. It can also affect the genitals. This rash often appears similar to acne or rosacea but has distinct features that set it apart.

Symptoms of POD

  • Red, bumpy rash around the mouth, nose, and eyes

  • Burning or itchy sensation

  • Scaling and peeling skin

Common Triggers

Understanding the triggers of POD is crucial for effective management:

  • Topical Steroids: History or current use can trigger POD.

  • Skincare Products: Products with sulfates or harsh chemicals.

  • Environmental Factors: Exposure to pollutants, chemicals, and harsh weather conditions.

  • Hormonal Changes: Especially in women.

  • Immune System: Impaired function and altered skin pH or microbiome.

  • Diet and Lifestyle: Poor diet, nutritional deficiencies, stress, and low stomach acid.

  • Impaired Gut Health: An imbalance in gut health can significantly impact periorificial dermatitis (PD). Dysbiosis, or an imbalance in gut bacteria, can lead to inflammation and trigger skin conditions like PD. Poor gut health impairs nutrient absorption, exacerbating skin issues. Common gut health problems linked to PD include bacterial overgrowth, low stomach acid, and leaky gut syndrome. Addressing these concerns through diet, probiotics, and treatments can play a crucial role in managing and preventing PD flare-ups.

Medicated Pathways for PD and Their Side Effects

Medicated treatments for periorificial dermatitis (PD) often include topical and oral antibiotics. While these medications can be effective in reducing inflammation and bacterial overgrowth, they are not without potential side effects. Common side effects include gastrointestinal issues (remember poor gut health is actually a trigger), increased photosensitivity, and potential antibiotic resistance with prolonged use.

Topical steroids, though often prescribed, can actually worsen PD over time and lead to dependency and thinning of the skin. It's crucial to weigh these risks against the benefits and consider holistic alternatives where possible.

Sustainable Approaches to POD

At SANA Skin Clinic, we emphasize treating POD from, yes the outside but also the inside out, ensuring a holistic approach that addresses the root causes of the condition. Working with Professional Skin Therapist and a Skin Specialized Naturopath will look at all aspects.

For example:

Dietary Adjustments

A balanced, anti-inflammatory diet can significantly impact skin health:

  • Omega-3 Fatty Acids: Found in flaxseeds, walnuts, and fatty fish, these reduce inflammation.

  • Antioxidants: Colorful fruits and vegetables support skin health by combating oxidative stress.

Gut Health

Gut health is closely linked to POD:

  • Probiotics: Found in fermented foods like yogurt, kefir, sauerkraut, and kimchi, they promote a healthy gut microbiome.

  • Microbiome Testing: Identifies bacterial or fungal overgrowth contributing to POD.

Potential Lab Testing or Skin Swabs

SANA Skin Clinic may recommend lab testing or skin swabs to identify bacterial or fungal overgrowth and imbalances in the skin microbiome. This ensures a personalized and targeted treatment plan.

Nutritional Supplements and Herbal Remedies

Essential nutrients and herbs for managing POD include:

  • Vitamin A: Supports skin and gut lining health.

  • Zinc: Crucial for wound healing and immune support.

  • Essential Fatty Acids (EFAs): Reduce redness and improve skin barrier function.

  • Turmeric, Calendula, Chamomile, and Licorice Root: Anti-inflammatory properties that help soothe POD symptoms.

Important Note: Seek professional guidance for correct supplement types and dosages. All internal suggestions and testing are done by our degree-qualified, skin-specialized naturopath to ensure personalized advice and optimal results.

Stress Management

Managing stress is vital for controlling POD:

  • Techniques: Deep breathing, meditation, and yoga.

  • Additional Suggestions:

  • Regular Exercise: Activities like walking, swimming, or cycling reduce stress and improve overall health.

  • Adequate Sleep: Ensuring 7-9 hours of quality sleep helps the body repair and manage stress.

  • Mindfulness Practices: Techniques like mindfulness meditation or journaling manage anxiety and promote well-being.

Suitable Skincare

We complement our internal treatments with Dermaviduals products. These custom-compounded skincare products are free from fragrances, preservatives, emulsifiers, colors, mineral oils, and silicones—known irritants that can exacerbate skin conditions. Being a custom compoundable Dermatological Skincare line, we are able to fully compound to your skin's needs. Having said this, we often (depending on individual factors) start with, what we call zero-therapy, which means we advice our clients to use absolutely nothing on their skin for a set period of time, whilst we perform regular in-clinic treatments.

In-Clinic Treatments

We offer bespoke facials and LED therapy to further support your skin's health and manage POD:

  • Bespoke Facials: Tailored to your specific skin needs, using gentle, effective products to soothe and heal.

  • LED Therapy: Uses light-emitting diodes to reduce inflammation, promote healing, and rejuvenate the skin. This non-invasive treatment is particularly effective for managing POD symptoms.


Periorificial dermatitis can be challenging, but a holistic approach combining dietary adjustments, gut health optimization, stress management, and specialized topical treatments can be highly effective.

At SANA Skin Clinic, we offer personalized care through our degree-qualified, skin-specialized naturopath and use custom-compounded products.

Our in-clinic treatments, including bespoke facials and LED therapy, further support your skin’s health.

By addressing the root causes of POD and providing comprehensive care, we help you manage symptoms effectively and achieve healthier, clearer skin.

For more information or personalized consultation, reach out to us—we're here to help.

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