This image displays acne-like red bumps around the mouth typical of perioral dermatitis.
This image displays acne-like red bumps around the mouth typical of perioral dermatitis.
Tiny bumps and pus-filled lesions around the mouth are typical of perioral dermatitis.
Tiny bumps and pus-filled lesions around the mouth are typical of perioral dermatitis.
This image displays a child with pus-filled lesions around the mouth typical of perioral dermatitis.
This image displays a child with pus-filled lesions around the mouth typical of perioral dermatitis.
Perioral dermatitis can affect the eyelids as well as the skin around the mouth.
Perioral dermatitis can affect the eyelids as well as the skin around the mouth.

Images of Perioral Dermatitis in Children: Symptoms and Treatment (4)

This image displays acne-like red bumps around the mouth typical of perioral dermatitis.
Tiny bumps and pus-filled lesions around the mouth are typical of perioral dermatitis.
This image displays a child with pus-filled lesions around the mouth typical of perioral dermatitis.
Perioral dermatitis can affect the eyelids as well as the skin around the mouth.

Perioral Dermatitis in Children: Symptoms and Treatment

Perioral dermatitis is an acne-like condition commonly seen around the mouth in children.

  • Children are otherwise well, but they develop small bumps around the mouth and sometimes around the nose and eyes.
  • The rash may be mildly itchy or burn, and it may come and go over time.
  • Using a topical steroid may trigger perioral dermatitis.
  • Fluorinated dental care products and skin products containing petrolatum, paraffin, or isopropyl myristate may trigger the condition.

Who's At Risk?

Perioral dermatitis commonly occurs in children and in adults, and it is especially common in children with darker skin colors.

Signs & Symptoms

Tiny firm papules (solid bumps) and pustules (pus-filled bumps), with or without scaling skin, that appear around the mouth and sometimes around the nose and eyes. In darker skin colors, redness may be harder to see, or it may appear purple or darker brown. In lighter skin colors, the rash may appear pink or red.

Self-Care Guidelines

  • If your child’s medical professional gives permission, stop using any medications (especially medium-to-high-potency topical corticosteroids) that may be causing or exacerbating the problem.
  • Stop using any dental products with fluoride and anti-tartar ingredients.

Treatments

The medical professional may prescribe:

  • Oral tetracycline (Sumycin, Actisite) for children 9 years and older, gradually decreasing use as the condition improves.
  • Metronidazole (MetroCream) cream, a topical antibiotic, applied up to every 12 hours, gradually decreasing use as the condition improves.
  • Topical antibiotics, such as erythromycin solution and topical pimecrolimus (Elidel) cream may help mild outbreaks.
  • Oral erythromycin for children younger than 9 years, gradually decreasing use as the condition improves.

Visit Urgency

See your medical professional or a dermatologist for evaluation of any unidentified, long-lasting rash around your child’s mouth.

References

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.

Paller A, Mancini A. Paller and Mancini: Hurwitz Clinical Pediatric Dermatology. 6th ed. St. Louis, MO: Elsevier; 2022.

Last modified on June 13th, 2024 at 4:43 pm

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