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Is Perioral Dermatitis Causing the Breakouts and Rashes Around My Mouth?

Perioral Dermatitis (also called periorifical dermatitis) is a common skin rash mainly affecting younger women. It is most commonly seen between the ages of 19 and 40. It can also be found in men, children, and the elderly, though with less frequency. With this condition, the skin near the mouth is the area most often affected, with a possible spread to the nose, cheeks, and the skin around the eyes.

“Many dermatologists consider perioral dermatitis as a type of rosacea,” says Dr. Miriam Hanson, dermatologist and skin care specialist in Austin, Texas. The rash causes reddening and small, pus-filled bumps and mild skin peeling. Other symptoms may include dryness, itching, and rashes that resemble acne. Some people experience burning or stinging at the affected areas, but the rash may also be asymptomatic.

What Causes Perioral Dermatitis?

Perioral dermatitis may have many causes, often developing after the use of a steroid cream on the affected area. Other causes may include nasal steroids, steroid inhalers, oral steroids, cosmetic creams, makeup, fluoridated toothpaste, hormonal changes, or simple failure to wash the face. “While the exact reason may be difficult to determine, perioral dermatitis has a tendency to recur in those who have had it before,” notes Emily Johnston, certified physician assistant at Sanova Dermatology.

What are the Best Treatments?

The most effective treatments for perioral dermatitis are usually a combination of self-care steps and topical agents for soothing the affected area. “If the offending agent is removed, the rash can often resolve on its own,” says Dr. Hanson. For persistent cases, topical prescription creams and/or oral antibiotics may be recommended.

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For more information on perioral dermatitis, its potential causes and treatments, or to have your skin evaluated by one of our skilled dermatologists, please contact us today.