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Perioral Dermatitis Help 
with Chinese Herbs

Chinese Herbal Medicine Helps Resolve Skin Conditions

Revitalize Your Health and Transform Your Life

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Perioral Dermatitis (PD) is an increasingly common skin rash that circles the mouth. It might also appear around the eyes and perinasal skin which is known as periorificial dermatitis and may be misdiagnosed as rosacea, acne, or seborrheic dermatitis.  PD can be chronic and reoccurring, may burn, sting or itch and can be frustrating to deal with. The rash is scaly or flakey skin, inflamed raised, papules or pustular fluid-filled bumps around the nose, mouth, and eyes. Perioral dermatitis characteristically spares the skin immediately adjacent to the vermilion border of your lips. The coloration of this skin rash  varies based on your skin color. In ethnic or richly pigmented skin PD can look skin colored, brown or red. In lighter skin types it can appear red, pink or light pink.


In this article, we'll explore the intricacies of PD, its potential triggers, and how Traditional Chinese Dermatology Herbal Medicine offers a holistic approach to clearing the rash. In my experience, most people's skin clears withing 6-12 weeks when they take my customized herbal blends.


Understanding Perioral Dermatitis:

PD, also known as Perioral or Periorbital or Periorificial Dermatitis, tends to manifest in one's 20s-30s with a spontaneous onset. While cis women are more commonly affected, it's on the rise among children of all genders. The condition can fluctuate seasonally or worsen over time if left untreated. Unlike acne and rosacea, PD typically spares other areas of the face.


Identifying Triggers and Aggravators:

The exact cause of PD remains unknown, but certain factors are known to worsen the condition. Topical and inhaled steroids, fluoride toothpaste, as well as various skincare and cosmetic products, are common culprits. Hormonal changes, especially in younger cis women, may also contribute to PD development. Recognizing and avoiding these triggers can help manage symptoms, but they might not prevent future flares. I recommend that people stop wearing make-up, cleanse with water, micellar water or a bland cleanser formulated for sensitive skin. 


Traditional Chinese Medicine for PD:

TCM offers a unique perspective, addressing both acute symptoms and the underlying imbalances that contribute to PD. Herbal treatments focus on settling inflammation, clearing eruptions, clearing heat, and restoring balance in the system. For menstruating people with PD, menstrual dysfunction is often addressed alongside skin issues. The goal is not just symptom management but identifying and treating the root cause for long-term stability.


Individualized Treatment Plans:

Every case of PD is unique, requiring a thorough TCM diagnosis to create a personalized treatment plan. TCM Dermatology, with its focus on the Liver and Spleen qi, aims to rebalance these systems. Liver qi stagnation may cause irritability, stress, and menstrual issues while Spleen qi vacuity cause digestive issues. Stagnant heat in the skin contributes to the discomfort, and skin coloration change. Often, several imbalances coexist.


Holistic Healing with Chinese Herbs:

Unlike relying on topical products, TCM emphasizes internal healing. Custom herbal formulas, tailored to individual needs, contain 8 to 18 herbs. Herbs are taken twice a day, in the form of a tea or as powders in capsules. The formula adjusted every three to four weeks based on the condition's progress. Treatment duration for perioral dermatitis typically lasts 3 to 6 months, depending on the severity.  Some people experience post-inflammatory hyper or hypopigmentation. Chinese herbs are also very helpful at restoring normal pigment quickly.

 I custom tailor treatment for each client and change the herbs as needed as the skin heals. Herbal formulas are unique to each client. Just like no two people are alike, my herbal formulas reflect the unique needs of each client.​ My consultations are entirely virtual via  Zoom serving people within the United States and Canada.


Living with PD:

PD is not just a skin condition; it's a rough cycle for those who experience unrelenting flares. The frustration of trying various over-the-counter products, dermatologist-prescribed cortisone creams, and makeup that may worsen the condition can be overwhelming. TCM offers a different path, focusing on internal balance and long-term stability.


In TCM, the initial step of herbal therapy for Perioral Dermatitis (PD) centers on quelling the inflammatory process and alleviating the discoloration and eruptions. As the condition gradually stabilizes, our approach involves incorporating specific herbs to foster balance and stability within the body's systems and the skin.

Perioral Dermatitis may be a challenging skin condition, but a holistic approach rooted in Traditional Chinese Medicine offers hope for those seeking alternatives to pharmaceuticals. By addressing both symptoms and underlying imbalances, TCM Dermatology provides a personalized roadmap to healing from the inside out. If you or someone you know is struggling with PD, consider exploring the benefits of TCM for a path to lasting skin health.

Curious to learn more about Traditional Chinese Medicine Dermatology? Click here.



Juliette Aiyana, MTCM, LAc.

Juliette Aiyana, is an internationally respected specialist in Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM) and natural holistic health. She is a nationally board-certified and New York State-licensed acupuncturist with a Master's Degree in TCM. She is professional member of the National Eczema Association and trained in identifying skin disease in richly pigmented skin. Practicing since 2001, she specializes in treating chronic, stubborn and mystery diseases, including dermatology, autoimmune disorders, allergies, digestive disorders, chronic fatigue, viral diseases, menstrual and pelvic health, and more. She is dedicated to identifying the root cause of diseases, and empowering people to reclaim agency over their health. Juliette’s health consultations are available virtually via Zoom to people in the US and CA.

Learn more about her here.

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