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Perioral Dermatitis

What is Perioral Dermatitis?

The word “Perioral” means “around the mouth,” and thus perioral dermatitis refers to a skin inflammation that affects the skin around the mouth and your face. Perioral dermatitis mostly affects women between the ages of twenty and forty-five but can affect people of all ages and gender. It is also commonly seen in children. It is a skin condition that looks similar to rosacea and acne, but the main difference is that with perioral dermatitis the skin underneath the bumps appears very red and itchy.


When a person has perioral dermatitis, it will usually appear as a rash around your lips that can be bumpy or scaly. In addition to it being around your mouth, it can also occur in the folds of your nose, on your forehead, on your chin, and under your eyes. Although you may have a burning sensation this is not common. The bumps that a person gets with perioral dermatitis cause the skin that is next to or under them to be pink or red. These bumps can even appear yellow in some cases. Your skin can also become flaky, dry and feel stretched or tight around your mouth. How severe this rash is can vary from minor spots that are hardly noticeable to a lumpy rash around your mouth. This rash is not critical and is not usually associated with any underlying medical condition or cause. It is an unsightly rash.

Causes of Perioral Dermatitis

According to dermatologists, there are many causes for a person to develop perioral dermatitis with the primary cause being the use of topical steroid creams. Other causes can include:

  • Exposure to the wind and sun for a long period of time
  • Using toothpaste that has the ingredient of sodium lauryl sulfate better known as fluoride toothpaste
  • Applying petroleum jelly
  • Bacterial or yeast infection
  • Using a combination of different skin creams may cause perioral dermatitis
  • Taking oral contraceptives
  • Using sunscreen
  • Some cosmetics and makeup cleaners
  • Hormonal factors
  • Not washing your face enough
  • Steroid inhalers and nasal steroids


Although many dermatologists feel that using topical steroid creams cause perioral dermatitis they still suggest using these types of creams in low doses to help counteract the high dosages of the topical steroid creams. Other treatments that are used for perioral dermatitis can include:

  • Refraining from wearing makeup until it clears us.
  • Using toothpaste that has fewer chemicals.
  • Using moisturizers or facial cleaners that have zinc and can help to fight off any presence of a fungal infection.
  • Taking antibiotics but need to be cautious if the woman is pregnant and has perioral dermatitis
  • Using mild soap to cleanse your face but you need to do it gently and not scrub your face vigorously
  • Medications to treat the bacteria and yeast infections.
  • Using a gel or liquid sunscreen when outdoors
  • Wash your face with plain warm water when you have the rash and after it has cleared up, use a gentle liquid cleanser.

No matter which treatment you use, perioral dermatitis is a recurring skin inflammation condition and those who have had one outbreak will have more over their lifetime. It is a severe skin condition to treat and is one that can last for several months. According to the American Osteopathic College of Dermatology (AOCD) weeks after treating perioral dermatitis, the condition can become worse before showing signs of improvement. There are some cases in which perioral dermatitis has become chronic.

Pictures of Perioral Dermatitis

Collection of some of the photos, images and pictures of the medical illness Perioral Dermatitis…

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Perioral Dermatitis
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