In perioral (around the mouth) dermatitis, bumps can extend onto the cheeks.
In perioral (around the mouth) dermatitis, bumps can extend onto the cheeks.
In perioral dermatitis, small raised bumps can merge together to form larger red, elevated lesions.
In perioral dermatitis, small raised bumps can merge together to form larger red, elevated lesions.
This image displays an affected eye region typical to perioral dermatitis.
This image displays an affected eye region typical to perioral dermatitis.
Pink or red elevations of the skin occur near and around the mouth in perioral dermatitis.
Pink or red elevations of the skin occur near and around the mouth in perioral dermatitis.
This image displays numerous tiny, pus-filled lesions around the mouth and nose.
This image displays numerous tiny, pus-filled lesions around the mouth and nose.
This image displays small pink-brown bumps and pus-filled lesions around the mouth typical of dermatitis.
This image displays small pink-brown bumps and pus-filled lesions around the mouth typical of dermatitis.

Images of Perioral Dermatitis (6)

In perioral (around the mouth) dermatitis, bumps can extend onto the cheeks.
In perioral dermatitis, small raised bumps can merge together to form larger red, elevated lesions.
This image displays an affected eye region typical to perioral dermatitis.
Pink or red elevations of the skin occur near and around the mouth in perioral dermatitis.
This image displays numerous tiny, pus-filled lesions around the mouth and nose.
This image displays small pink-brown bumps and pus-filled lesions around the mouth typical of dermatitis.

Perioral Dermatitis

Perioral (which literally means “around the mouth”) dermatitis is a facial rash that resembles acne but is specifically located on the skin around the lips. It is red and can be bumpy or scaly. There are usually several causes of this condition including:

  • Chronic use of topical steroid creams.
  • Inhaled prescription steroid sprays via the mouth or nose.
  • Overuse of facial creams and/or moisturizers.

Who's At Risk?

Perioral dermatitis is a common skin problem that usually occurs in females, especially teens. Older women can also be affected. Infrequently, men and children can also be affected by perioral dermatitis.

Signs & Symptoms

Small red bumps or tiny pus-filled lesions appear around the mouth, often with a clear area between the lip area and the rash. The bumps may also occur near the eyes and nose. Sometimes there may also be dry or flaky skin in these areas.

Take a picture of your skin condition with Aysa

Symptom checkers like Aysa can help narrow down possible skin conditions by analyzing a skin photo.

Self-Care Guidelines

  • Stop all face creams, lotions, cosmetics, and sunscreens being used.
  • Stop any dental products with fluoride and anti-tartar ingredients until the rash has resolved, and then try a different dental product.
  • Wash with warm water alone until the rash improves, and then use a soap substitute to clean your face.
Advertisement

Treatments

Oral or topical antibiotics for a few weeks may be very effective. Azelaic acid is a topical product that may be prescribed. Sometimes the condition recurs after treatment is stopped, but the same therapy may be repeated as needed.

Visit Urgency

If the self-care measures are not helping after 4–6 weeks, seek medical advice.

Advertisement

References

Bolognia, Jean L., ed. Dermatology, pp.1414. New York: Mosby, 2003.

Freedberg, Irwin M., ed. Fitzpatrick’s Dermatology in General Medicine. 6th ed, pp.697-698. New York: McGraw-Hill, 2003.