Perioral Dermatitis

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Perioral Dermatitis

What is perioral dermatitis?

Perioral dermatitis is an acne-like eruption that typically develops around the mouth, sometimes spreading to the nose and near the eyes. The rash usually presents as red bumps and is often accompanied by areas of red, scaly, dry patches. The rash can itch or be associated with a burning sensation. Perioral dermatitis is more common among women than children or men.

What causes perioral dermatitis?

The exact cause of perioral dermatitis is unknown, although research suggests that using topical steroids on the skin may be one of the main triggers of the eruption. Use of nasal sprays containing corticosteroids may also cause perioral dermatitis. Other instigating factors include skin infections, saliva, and fluorinated toothpaste, birth control pills and ingredients in cosmetics and skin creams.

How dermatologists diagnose perioral dermatitis

A physical examination and visual inspection of the facial skin are usually all that’s required for your dermatologist to diagnose perioral dermatitis.

How dermatologists treat perioral dermatitis

Your dermatologist will first direct you to stop using any topical steroid creams, including non-prescription medications containing hydrocortisone, as well as facial creams. Removing other common triggers from your daily routine will also be discussed. While this may initially cause the perioral dermatitis to flare, most people see improvement within days to a few weeks. It is important not to continue the topical steroid while treating this condition as it will worsen the perioral dermatitis and make the condition much more difficult to manage. Your treatment may also include a prescription for oral antibiotics and a topical skin care regimen including prescription medications and antibacterial soaps to clean the skin.

If you have skin lesions that are concerning for perioral dermatitis, click here to schedule an appointment with our board-certified dermatologists or walk into Walk-in Dermatology at your convenience for your evaluation.