Perioral Dermatitis


Appearing as red rashes around your mouth, perioral dermatitis is a skin disorder. It may also sometimes occur in the folds of your nose or around the eyes.

A board-certified dermatologist can help diagnose and treat perioral dermatitis and help distinguish it from other types of skin conditions such as rosacea or acne.

What is Perioral Dermatitis?

Perioral dermatitis is diagnosed by its characteristic red rash that forms around the mouth. This skin disorder tends to occur more frequently in women between the ages of 25 and 45, and in children when compared to men.

Common symptoms of perioral dermatitis include:

  • small red papules that are inflamed
  • scaly, red or pink patches of skin around the mouth
  • mild burning or itching of the skin

This skin disorder can also occur around the nose or eyes and is sometimes referred to as periorificial dermatitis.

While the exact reason for perioral dermatitis is currently unknown, certain risk factors can make you more predisposed to developing this skin disorder. These can include:

  • Topical steroid use
  • Fluoride toothpaste
  • Skin irritants
  • Certain cosmetics and skincare products

How is Perioral Dermatitis Diagnosed?

Since symptoms of perioral dermatitis can resemble other commonly occurring skin conditions such as rosacea, it's essential to seek out medical treatment.

According to Cleveland Clinic, perioral dermatitis can be of two types:

  • Perioral dermatitis
    The typical form of this skin condition, which results in specific symptoms of illness
  • Granulomatous perioral dermatitis
    Patients with this irregular version experience yellow-like bumps instead of the characteristic red papules. Children tend to experience this type more frequently.

An appointment with a board-certified dermatologist can help in the accurate diagnosis of your perioral dermatitis. Diagnosis can include evaluating your overall health, including your current symptoms and cosmetic and skincare use.

Your dermatologist may even conduct a skin biopsy to ensure that your rash is caused by perioral dermatitis.

Treatment for Perioral Dermatitis is Safe When Performed by a Board-Certified Dermatologist

For most patients with perioral dermatitis, the first line of treatment is to discontinue the use of steroid creams or any facial moisturizers or sunscreens that may be responsible for the current flare-up.

Your dermatologist may also prescribe:

  • A mild soap or soap-free substitute for cleaning your face.
  • Topical ointments
  • Flouride-free toothpaste

Depending on the severity, oral antibiotics may also be prescribed over the course of several months as a form of treatment for perioral dermatitis and to prevent recurrences from happening.

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Palm Beach Dermatology has been serving patients in and around Palm Beach County for over twenty years, we are a full-service dermatology and dermatological surgery practice with special emphasis on the diagnosis and treatment of skin cancer. All physicians in our group are Board Certified by The American Board of Dermatology and are Fellows of the American Academy of Dermatology. We invite you to visit us at Palm Beach Dermatology to find out why you can trust our skin care team.

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