5 Best Essential Oils for Perioral Dermatitis and How to Use Them

Do you have a facial rash around the mouth that’s small red pus-filled bumps that appear scaly or bumpy?

If you do, then don’t worry as it’s probably perioral dermatitis.

Perioral dermatitis is a very common inflammatory facial skin disorder and is often chronic [1].

It can even sometimes spread up around the nose and eyes, avoiding the skin adjacent to the lips.

This kind of skin disorder is very common in women and rarely diagnosed in children and men [2].

However, there are some variants including lupus-like and granulomatous perioral dermatitis, where the granulomatous form occurs in childhood and prepubescent boys [2].

Perioral dermatitis involves the eruption of papules and pustules that may recur over weeks to months, occasionally with fine scales [2].

Perioral dermatitis can leave marks on your face which might not be the prettiest sight, but don’t worry as there are some excellent essential oils for solving this problem naturally at home!

In this article you’ll get to know more about:

  • Common causes and symptoms of perioral dermatitis
  • Best essential oil Remedies for perioral dermatitis

RELATED: 10 Home Remedies for Dry Skin (& How to Use Them)

Causes and Symptoms of Perioral Dermatitis

The exact reasons for developing perioral dermatitis are not specific.

However, some factors may increase your chances of getting perioral dermatitis:

  • Prolonged use of topical products, especially corticosteroids
  • Corticosteroid inhalers
  • Nasal sprays
  • Various skin irritants
  • Physical and hormonal factors

Symptoms: Each type of dermatitis may look a little bit different than the other and tends to occur in different parts of the body [3].

The most common types of dermatitis include:

  • Atopic Dermatitis (Eczema)

This condition is more common in children that makes their skin red and itchy.

It is long lasting and tends to flare periodically, accompanied by asthma or hay fever.

It mainly occurs inside the elbows, behind the knees and the front of the neck [3].

  • Contact Dermatitis

This kind of rash occurs on areas of the body that comes in contact with substances that can irritate( such as soaps, cosmetics, jewelry, and plants) the skin or cause an allergic reaction.

The rashes produced as a result may burn, sting or itch or even blisters may develop [3].

  • Seborrheic Dermatitis

This kind of skin disease mainly affects the scalp, causing scaly patches, red skin, and dandruff.

Besides the scalp, it also affects the oily areas of the body such as the face, nose, eyebrows, ears, and chest.

This kind of skin condition can be long-term with periods of remission and flare-ups [3].

Best Essential Oils for Perioral Dermatitis

Essential oils are the basic materials for aromatherapy [4].

Some of the best essential oil is made from the fragrant essences in special plant parts such as the leaves, bark, or peel [4].

The essential oil once obtained, is used for treating numerous health problems, one of the many health benefits that essential oil provides, includes treating perioral dermatitis.

Here are the best five essential oils for treating perioral dermatitis:

1. Lavender Oil

Lavender oil is one of the must-have oil at all times due to its versatile uses since ancient times.

Lavender oil also belongs to the category of one of the gentlest oils.

It is very soothing to the skin and contains a pleasant smell.

It’s also proven to be very effective in treating perioral dermatitis [5].

A study conducted in 2015, evaluated the effects of essential oil on oxidative stress, immunity, and skin condition in atopic dermatitis (AD) induced mice [5].

The study conducted used 45 mice with the AD and randomly assigned the essential oil to the mice per group [5].

The result proved that the combination of essential oils such as lavender, thyme, and blending oil were all effective in reducing AD symptoms [5].

Hence, by using lavender essential oil on the infected area of the skin could reduce the signs and symptoms of perioral dermatitis.

RELATED: 11 Health Benefits of Lavender Oil That You Should Know

2. Tea Tree Oil

Tea tree oil is also an increasingly popular oil known for its use in cosmetic products.

It has amazing potential antiseptic properties that make it highly effective in treating against a variety of bacteria, fungi, viruses, and mites [6].

Once the tea tree oil is extracted from the tea tree via steam distillation, it possesses a sharp camphoraceous odor followed by a menthol-like cooling sensation [6].

Tea tree oil is proven to be highly beneficial mainly for dermatitis [6].

A study conducted in 1999, showed that usage of this oil had a positive reaction in a high number of the patients.

Although the concentration of this oil used for topical products is very low, i.e., 5-10%, it is found to be highly effective to reduce contact dermatitis [6].

You can add 5-6 drops of tea tree essential oil to a carrier oil such as olive oil, or coconut oil and use it as an antiseptic.

RELATED: 12 Incredible Health Benefits of Tea Tree Oil (Backed by Evidence)

3. Frankincense Oil

Frankincense oil is perhaps the most researched aromatic oils.

Frankincense oil comes from the frankincense resin through steam distillation, derived from Boswellia sacra trees.

The aromatic resin is a key ingredient in sacred religious rituals right from the Biblical times.

It is known as the ‘king of oils’ due to its anti-inflammatory, antioxidant, analgesic, antibacterial, antiseptic, expectorant, anxiolytic,  anti-neurotic effects and anti-cancer compounds [7].

The main component of frankincense oils is mono and diterpenes as well as ethyl acetate, octyl acetate, and methyl anisole [8].

The highest biological activity among terpenes is characteristic of 11-keto-ß-acetyl-beta-boswellic acid, acetyl-11-keto-ß-boswellic acid, and acetyl-α-boswellic acid [8].

These compounds are known to help treat perioral dermatitis when diluted with a preferred carrier oil.

RELATED: 12 Health Benefits of Frankincense Oil + How to Use It

4. Sandalwood Oil

Since many skin conditions and diseases are caused by inflammation, infection, and hyperplasia, safe and effective topical treatment options should be used for long-term benefits [9].

Hence, Sandalwood oil, also known as East Indian sandalwood oil, is used in the treatment of perioral dermatitis.

It is an essential oil distilled from the Santalum album tree and has biological activity as an anti-inflammatory, anti-microbial, and anti-proliferative agent [9].

Sandalwood essential oil has shown promising results in the treatment of treatment of acne, psoriasis, eczema, common warts, molluscum contagiosum, along with the positive effects on patients with perioral dermatitis based on clinical trials. [9].

α-santalol, a main constituent of SEO, acts as a chemopreventive agent and provides most of their anti-inflammatory, and anti-microbial property [10].

5. Oregano Oil

Oregano mainly means “delight of the mountains,” and is a native plant to higher altitudes.

Ancient Greece was the first to discover oregano and used its leaves to treat bacterial infections on skin or wounds.

The extraction procedure of oregano essential oil is through steam distillation.

Some of the active components of essential oregano oil are carvacrol, thymol, cymene, caryophyllene, pinene, bisabolene, linalool, borneol, geranyl acetate, linalyl acetate, and terpinene [11].

Among the active components, the main compounds include carvacrol and thymol, responsible for the antimicrobial, characteristic odor, and antioxidant activity [11].

However, their content varies according to the species, harvesting season, and geographical sources [11].

Oregano essential oil is also known to improve the health of animals, particularly the health of the intestine, generally attributed to its antimicrobial and anti-inflammatory [12].

The antimicrobial property and antioxidant property of oregano help to treat perioral dermatitis.

Carvacrol and thymol act as antibacterial agents making the cell membrane permeable due to its impregnation in the hydrophobic domains, making this effect higher against gram-positive bacteria [12].

You can even mix five drops of oregano oil into a tablespoon of carrier oil, like olive oil to get the best benefit out of this oil.

How to Use Essential Oils for Perioral Dermatitis?

Here you have a potent essential oil recipe for treating perioral dermatitis quickly.

What You’ll Need:

  • 1-2 drops of Tea Tree Oil
  • 1-2 drops of Frankincense oil
  • 1-2 drops of Lavender Oil
  • One tablespoon of Coconut Oil

Recommended Directions:

  • Combine all the oils and create a solution.
  • Apply and massage the oil blend on the affected area twice daily.
  • Repeat the treatment regularly for best and quick results.

RELATED: Coconut Oil for Rosacea: Amazing Benefits & Uses


Perioral Dermatitis is harmless. However, these small skin diseases spoil the flawless beauty of your skin.

Using medicine to treat perioral dermatitis is costly. Perioral dermatitis may also tend to reappear if not taken proper precautions, and using medications may not remove them permanently.

Hence using essential oils as home remedies for perioral dermatitis are a safe and hassle-free option.

The essential oils discussed above can certainly reduce the reappearance of the skin problems if not eliminate them.

So don’t wait any longer as your skin deserves the utmost care!

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