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December 19, 2010 7:16 PM   Subscribe

I'm looking for remedies for perioral dermatitis

I am looking for some help with some perioral dermatitis that I've had for about 4 months.

My GP gave me a topical corticosteroid called Elocom, which he asked me to use for 4 weeks. 4 weeks is now up and it has made it worse. He has recommended to stop using the Elocom all together and do nothing.

It's the holidays and I look fairly monstrous which is difficult to deal with. I have put away all creams and makeup, and I use natural toothpaste. Other than that can anyone suggest some natural or home remedies to try?

posted by gillianr to Health & Fitness (16 answers total) 1 user marked this as a favorite
I have this too. My doctor told me the cream he gave me can take up to six weeks to start working and "often looks worse before it looks better".

He also said that the next step if that doesn't work is antibiotics, taken by mouth. So maybe see the doctor again?

I tried lots of home remedies before seeing the doc, and none of them worked, so I won't recommend them to you.
posted by lollusc at 7:23 PM on December 19, 2010

PS: The cream my doctor gave me is a topical antibacterial thing, not a cortico-steriod (although I don't really know much about either, so maybe they are more similar than I think.) Maybe you should see a different doctor?
posted by lollusc at 7:25 PM on December 19, 2010

Dude, doxycycline. And get a new doctor, you should be seeing a dermatologist about this anyway.
posted by awesomebrad at 7:34 PM on December 19, 2010

Best answer: Some "natural" toothpastes contain SLS (sodium lauryl sulfate). Perioral dermatitis and acne is a classic sign of an SLS-sensitivity reaction caused by toothpaste.

Have you verified that your toothpaste is SLS-free? When I buy Tom's of Maine, I have to search for the SLS-free variety.

If your toothpaste is not SLS-free (SLS-ful?), wash your toothbrush well, and use baking soda for a few days until you can track down an SLS-free brand.
posted by ErikaB at 8:13 PM on December 19, 2010

Response by poster: I didn't realize my Tom's had SLS, thanks for the tip
posted by gillianr at 8:16 PM on December 19, 2010

I like this toothpaste Vita Myr.
Hannah Kroeger told me to put a "potato on it"(for an eye inflammation) in 1984, her remedy worked well for me and will do no harm, shred a raw potato and make a poultice /facial pack relax for twenty minutes.
posted by hortense at 10:44 PM on December 19, 2010

My dermatologist prescribed Oracea for this, and it worked.

Oracea is a name-brand doxycycline that is crazy expensive, though the manufacturer offered a year-long discount card to get the price down to $25 per fill. I usually am perfectly happy with generics, so I questioned my derm pretty seriously about whether I needed the fancy name brand and he insisted it was much better than the no-name, for what that's worth.

I can't say whether the generic would have worked just as well, but I have no complaints about the Oracea.
posted by celilo at 1:17 AM on December 20, 2010

2nding look for SLS in your toothpaste--that's what caused my perioral dermatitis. Read labels for *everything*.
posted by 6:1 at 4:20 AM on December 20, 2010

What are your symptoms? I get cracks and inflammation at the corner of my mouth that clears up really quickly with mupirocin (bactroban) ointment. It's for gram-positive bacteria like staph. The steroid creams never worked at all. Go see a dermatologist even if you have to pay out of pocket. You'll be glad you did.
posted by yarly at 4:24 AM on December 20, 2010

Have you ruled out food allergies or sensitivities? When I had this it turned out to be a skin sensitivity to acid, specifically in tomatoes and pomegranates.
posted by chesty_a_arthur at 6:17 AM on December 20, 2010

This toothpaste might help.
posted by analog at 6:42 AM on December 20, 2010

Best answer: Steroids are terrible for perioral dermatitis - I've had bouts of it triggered by topical steroid cream use. Metrogel has worked well for me in the past - it takes a few weeks to see results. For immediate relief, I use Florasone . Avoiding SLS in toothpaste helps for me, also.
posted by tanuki.gao at 7:32 AM on December 20, 2010

Response by poster: @yarly red, cracked, bumpy burning skin all over the left side of my mouth / chin about the size of a tangerine, and red bumpy patches in my smile line. I would call it pretty severe since it's been getting worse for months now. From far away it looks like acne, but both me and my GP saw dermatitis. I would love to go see a derm, but I can't seem to get an appointment at a private clinic this week, and getting a referral and then an appointment on the public side will take at least 3 months.

@chesty I am gluten, dairy and nightshades intolerant, but my diet, which mostly stays away from those, hasn't changed all that much in the past few months.
posted by gillianr at 1:31 PM on December 20, 2010

posted by yarly at 4:42 PM on December 20, 2010

Response by poster: Got some Metrogel and Doxy tonight, I'll see how it goes. Thanks all.
posted by gillianr at 6:54 PM on December 20, 2010

Cortisone creams: What they don't cure, they make WORSE.
posted by Goofyy at 10:11 PM on December 20, 2010

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