Periocular dermatitis, like perioral dermatitis or for that matter periorificial dermatitis, is a persistent condition that might not have an obvious cause. That makes them all very difficult to manage and even harder to get rid of completely.
The good news is that a holistic approach can sometimes work wonders!
Once you’ve got a diagnosis from the doctor, it can be hard to know what to do next. You can’t use topical steroids as might be suggested for other skin irritation, because steroid creams have been shown beyond doubt to be one of the major risk factors for triggering an outbreak in the first place.
Doctors can prescribe other non-steroidal anti-inflammatories, acne-inhibitors or antibiotics, and these can be really helpful to some sufferers. It’s a good idea to look at all your options for medicated treatment and make an informed decision with the help of your doctor.
At the same time, you can look at ways to avoid future flares, and to calm down any current irritation, by working out what triggers your outbreaks of periocular dermatitis. We’ve listed possible culprits in our article What Aggravates Periocular Dermatitis? So it’s worth having a close look through the list and seeing if any apply to you. Remember that different people react to different triggers, so what triggers one person’s dermatitis might not be what’s flaring your skin.
A holistic approach to calming down periocular dermatitis:
- Stop using anything on your face, except one or two very mild unscented products! This means abandoning all eye makeup, mascara, foundation, sunscreen, fancy face cream, bars of soap, facial washes, and any OTC treatments you might have been using. Your skin needs time to recover and regenerate, and these sorts of products have ingredients that can aggravate the problem.
- Use a very gentle oil-based cleanser, a gentle soap-free, SLS-free wash (like Balmonds Natural Shampoo & Body Wash), or pure warm water to cleanse your face.
- Don’t scrub or rub at the area around your eyes; pat dry with a soft clean towel and then use an unscented emollient (like Skin Salvation) on the area.
- Protect your face: flares are affected by harsh environments, extremes of weather, sunshine, UV light, wind, cold, heat and dry environments like centrally heated or air-conditioned rooms. Either avoid these things completely, protect your skin with physical barriers like scarves, or use a mild, unscented emollient as a barrier.
- Change your diet: it’s been suggested that there’s a link between periorificial dermatitis and gluten, as well as a link with sugar and processed food. Try changing your diet to cut out these things, and investigate the connection between gut flora and skin health.
- Stress management: try to take your mental health seriously, as anxiety and stress have a direct effect on skin. Whatever strategy works for you is worth pursuing, whether it’s taking up crafting, going for walks in the woods, practicing yoga or mindfulness or reducing your hours at work.
Unfortunately, all types of periorificial dermatitis can take a while to get better; there’s no overnight fix. Don’t be discouraged! It might take three months or more of treating your skin like an extremely sensitive animal, cutting out sugar and alcohol from your diet, and taking up yoga, but your skin should eventually calm down. If recurrences happen, as they’re very likely to, then you know what to do to help it.
Recommended products for skin prone to periocular dermatitis:
Balmonds Skin Salvation
with hemp and beeswax
Balmonds Daily Moisturising Cream
with shea butter and calendula
Balmonds Omega-Rich Cleansing Oil
with rosehip and calendula
If you require medical advice we recommend you always contact your healthcare professional.
If you or someone you are caring for seems very unwell, is getting worse or you think there's something seriously wrong, call for emergency services straight away. For general medical advice, please contact your healthcare professional, this article does not contain or replace medical advice.
Do not delay getting help if you're worried. Trust your instincts.