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What Is Perioral Dermatitis?

What Is Perioral Dermatitis?

17 October 2014 / Category: News
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If you notice small red bumps around the edges of your mouth you may be experiencing Perioral Dermatitis. In general, this form of dermatitis shows up around the mouth as inflammation with bumpy or scaly skin. Anyone can suddenly encounter a break out of perioral dermatitis, but according to Medscape, 90% of all cases are found in young women between 20 and 45-years of age.

No matter your age or gender, if you are experiencing a rash around your mouth it can be embarrassing, even hampering your confidence and social life. What you need are answers as well as a solution. In this blog we take a closer look at the symptoms of perioral dermatitis, as well as the treatment options available so that you can enjoy clear, comfortable skin once again.

Symptoms of Perioral Dermatitis:

At first you may mistake perioral dermatitis for acne, but within a short time you will likely start to notice the difference. For one, perioral dermatitis doesn’t always go away like pimples, and can also include an uncomfortable burning.

Signs and symptoms include:

  • A burning sensation around your mouth.
  • Red bumps around your mouth, sometimes carrying fluid or pus.
  • A similar rash that spreads to your nose, forehead, or around your eyes.

Diagnosing Perioral Dermatitis

If your condition does not improve on its own relatively quickly, you should visit your local Urgent Care, medical provider, or dermatologist. A doctor will be able to determine if you are suffering from perioral dermatitis by conducting a basic visual exam. In some cases it may be necessary to run other tests as well just to axe out the possibility of a bacterial infection.

Causes Of Perioral Dermatitis

It is not uncommon for the exact cause of perioral dermatitis to remain undetectable, although it is often linked to certain foods you may have an unknown allergy to. Another culprit could be a certain material that comes in contact with your face and irritates the skin, either through direct contact or from hand to face contact. Check the ingredients on any face creams you are currently using, creams containing steroids are also known to cause outbreaks.

Other known triggers include:

  • Fungal infections
  • Bacterial infections
  • Fluorinated toothpaste
  • Oral contraceptives
  • Certain sunscreens
  • Overuse of heavy face creams

Treatments For Perioral Dermatitis

Treatments for this type of facial rash can vary dependent upon severity and the actual cause.

If a steroid cream is a potential reason for your outbreak you want to stop using the cream all together, of course you may need to consult with your doctor first. If diet is more likely the culprit you will need to go through some trial and error to uncover your trigger foods. You should also take into consideration any materials that you come into contact with, either directly to your face, or through contact with your hands. By uncovering the trigger for your perioral dermatitis you can help prevent it from reoccurring.

In order to help treat your rash, the following skin medications are often prescribed:

  • Erythromycin
  • Metronidazole
  • Tacrolimus
  • Pimecrolimus
  • Sodium sulfacetamide with sulfur
  • Benzoyl peroxide
  • Clindamycin

If your condition is very severe, antibiotic pills may also be prescribed to you. Antibiotics associated with perioral dermatitis:

  • Tetracycline
  • Doxycycline
  • Minocycline
  • Erythromycin

How Long Does Perioral Dermatitis Last For?

You may experience a breakout that lasts a few days, or expands into months. Oftentimes, the condition worsens before it gets better, and in some instances, this form of dermatitis can become chronic.

When experiencing an outbreak of perioral dermatitis there are a few things you can do to help speed up recovery, such as switch to a gentle face wash or mild soap. You want to avoid scrubbing or the use of exfoliates, which can further irritate your skin. Even with proper treatment, perioral dermatitis can continue to come and go for years, in which case the best thing to do is try and identify what is causing it.

Tips To Avoid Outbreaks

If you are prone to getting perioral dermatitis there are a few things you can do to help prevent your chances for an outbreak.

  • Limit your use of creams or ointments containing steroids unless directed otherwise by your primary care physician.
  • Give your skin a break from cosmetics, and look into brands that have different, less toxic ingredients more favorable to your skin. You may need to sample several different products before finding one that works.
  • Don’t spend too much time out in the sun. Perioral dermatitis can be further irritated by heat, UV exposure, and wind. Also, some medications prescribed as treatment can increase your skin’s sensitivity to the sun.

Do you think you may have perioral dermatitis? Visit Urgent Medical Center today for fast answers, treatment, and relief.

About the author

Jonathan Kudrowitz Mr. Kudrowitz is a graduate of Nova Southeastern University’s Physician Assistant Program (MMS) and also completed a master’s degree in biomedical science (MS) at Florida Atlantic University. Jon is certified by the National Commission on Certification of Physician Assistants and is a member in good standing of the FAPA and AAPA. He joined UMC in 2009 and shares a commitment to delivering high-quality care with the utmost compassion, respect and attention to his patients.




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