Images of Perioral Dermatitis (6)
Perioral dermatitis is an acne-like condition that typically occurs around the mouth, nose, and/or around the eyes (also known as periorbital dermatitis). Some possible causes are the use of topical corticosteroid creams, certain cosmetic products, oral contraceptives, and fluoride and anti-tartar ingredients in dental products. Perioral dermatitis also tends to occur in those prone to eczema.
Who's At Risk?
Perioral dermatitis is usually seen in women ages 18-40, but men can be affected as well. Children may also be affected.
Signs & Symptoms
Tiny papules (solid bumps) or pustules (pus-filled bumps) appear around the mouth, often with a clear area between the lip and the rash. The bumps may also occur near the eyes and nose. There may be dry, flaky skin in these areas. In lighter skin colors, the rash may appear pink or red. In darker skin colors, the redness may be harder to see, or it may appear purple or darker brown. The lesions may burn or itch or have no symptoms at all.
- Stop all face creams, lotions, cosmetics, and sunscreens being used.
- Stop any dental products with fluoride and anti-tartar ingredients.
- Wash with warm water alone until the rash improves, and then use a gentle cleanser such Dove, CeraVe, or Cetaphil to clean your face.
- If you have been applying a steroid-containing product, this will need to be stopped. However, if it has been used for a long time, it may cause the perioral dermatitis to get worse for a period.
- Topical antibiotic gels, creams, solutions, or lotions (eg, metronidazole [Flagyl], clindamycin [Cleocin T], azelaic acid [Azelex, Finacea], pimecrolimus [Elidel], or erythromycin [E.E.S.]).
- Oral antibiotics, such as doxycycline (Oracea, Doryx, Vibramycin).
If the self-care measures are not helping after a couple of weeks or if the condition gets worse, seek medical advice.
Bolognia J, Schaffer JV, Cerroni L. Dermatology. 4th ed. Philadelphia, PA: Elsevier; 2018.
James WD, Elston D, Treat JR, Rosenbach MA. Andrew’s Diseases of the Skin. 13th ed. Philadelphia, PA: Elsevier; 2019.
Kang S, Amagai M, Bruckner AL, et al. Fitzpatrick’s Dermatology. 9th ed. New York, NY: McGraw-Hill Education; 2019.
Last modified on February 28th, 2023 at 4:10 pm