Perioral Dermatitis

Perioral Dermatitis: What It Is and How to Treat It

If you have an odd rash on your face that looks like acne but doesn’t go away no matter what you do, or simply goes away then returns later, you may actually have a dermatological condition called perioral dermatitis. Learn more about this skin condition and discover how you and your dermatologist can help treat your symptoms.

What Perioral Dermatitis Is

Perioral dermatitis is a skin condition that causes small red bumps, often scaly, to appear on the face. At times, the bumps can become fluid-filled and eventually burst. The most common areas for these bumps to appear are around the mouth and on the chin, but the condition can sometimes spread to around the nose and near the eyes. The condition is often red and rash-like and can cause itching, tightness, and irritation in the areas affected. Perioral dermatitis may temporarily clear up on its own then come back in the same areas as before. The skin condition is not contagious, and although perioral dermatitis may look like a severe acne outbreak, the condition is not acne-related.

Whom Perioral Dermatitis Affects

Perioral dermatitis can afflict anyone but is most prevalent in women and children. There are no known causes for the skin condition, although it’s believed the use of topical steroids, certain toothpastes, and creams or cosmetics containing irritating ingredients can make the condition appear or worsen. Perioral dermatitis is also believed to be connected to the use of oral contraceptives and rosacea. In children, drooling can be linked to the skin disease.

How to Treat Perioral Dermatitis

See your dermatologist about your persistent facial rash to receive a diagnosis for your skin condition. Usually, a visual exam is all a dermatologist needs to determine that you have perioral dermatitis. There are many ways your dermatologist will assist you in controlling your perioral dermatitis condition.

Change in Skin Care

Your dermatologist will want you to detail the types of skin care products you use, from the soap you clean your face with to any lotions or cosmetics you use. A common approach to treating perioral dermatitis is to have patients stop using all the items they put on their face and replace cosmetics, lotions, and soaps with hypoallergenic or all-natural ingredients. Sometimes, fluoride toothpaste is to blame for perioral dermatitis. Switch to a natural, non-fluoride toothpaste to see if your perioral dermatitis condition improves. Your dermatologist will monitor your skin’s improvement and adjust the products you can use according to how well your condition changes.

Prescription Treatments

In severe or ongoing cases of perioral dermatitis, your dermatologist may prescribe an antibiotic to help relieve your symptoms. Your dermatologist will also recommend stopping use any steroid topical cream (such as hydrocortisone), which can make your symptoms worse. If you are on a prescription steroid regimen by your general doctor, let your dermatologist know. In many cases, simply changing your skin care routine can help clear up symptoms. Once you have experienced perioral dermatitis, you can expect flare-ups of the condition from time to time. Let your dermatologist know if your perioral dermatitis clears up and then comes back, especially if the condition is worsening each time it returns. It’s wise to keep a journal to log your skin’s improvement while treating your perioral dermatitis condition. This way, if your symptoms return, you can look at your logged entries to see if the introduction of a new skin care product, toothpaste, or medication can be to blame for your facial rash. Perioral dermatitis is a treatable skin condition. Your dermatologist will work with you to find relief from your symptoms. Call us at Asheboro Dermatology & Skin Surgery Center to discuss your skin care needs today.

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