What is Perioral Dermatitis?
Perioral dermatitis is a rash that usually is around the mouth. It can be scaly, dry, itchy and bumpy. Small papules about 1 to 2 mm in diameter will form. They may or may not be filled with pus. It can spread up to the nose. It happens more in woman, ages 20 to 45, with it being rare in men and children. Ninety percent of all cases are reported by young woman, often those who are menstruating. It can flare up and then go away, only to return months or even years later. Many skin diseases resemble perioral dermatitis, including rosacea, acne vulgaris, allergic contact dermatitis, seborrheic dermatitis, and irritant contact dermatitis.
Perioral dermatitis Symptoms
Symptoms of perioral dermatitis include redness on the skin, which can also appear to be pink. Some will have peeling skin, which gives the skin a scaly appearance. Many have reported having very taut skin, with the skin around the mouth being dry. A mild burning or itching sensation may take place. There are often rashes when the perioral dermatitis flares up that are painful and lumpy. The rashes could also be pain free.
Perioral Dermatitis Causes
The exact cause of perioral dermatitis is not known, however, it can be caused by extended use of topical steroid creams, as well as inhaled prescription steroid sprays that are used in the nose and the mouth. Moisturisers and heavy face creams can be another culprit, as can fluoride toothpastes, rosacea, and skin irritations. Bacterial or fungal infections can also trigger perioral dermatitis, as well as using sunscreen and taking oral contraceptives. Cosmetics that have a heavy base of petrolatum or a paraffin base may make the condition worse. Some even suggest that the diet plays in a role in perioral dermatitis.
A doctor will be able to diagnose perioral dermatitis. There is not any testing that is required. However, a culture of the skin may be taken just to double check for any skin infections. A small piece of the skin will be taken, and sent to a laboratory for further examination.
Perioral Dermatitis Treatment
To treat perioral dermatitis, one should stop using any steroid medications that are applied topically on the face. Heavy creams and moisturisers should not be used. Your doctor might prescribe oral antibiotics, such as metronidazole, for as long as 6 to 12 weeks. Immunosuppressive creams can be prescribed, as can topical anti-acne medications. For more severe cases, doxycycline or other oral antibiotics can be given
Perioral Dermatitis Prevention
There are a few steps that one can take to prevent perioral dermatitis. One should avoid all steroid creams on the face unless directed to use by their doctor. Always let any new doctor you see know that you have perioral dermatitis. Do not use heavy creams on the face. Should you feel the need to moisturise the skin, ask your dermatologist which creams are suitable for perioral dermatitis. Protect the skin from UV rays with a sunscreen and limit the time that your sun is exposed to the sun daily. Wind, heat and UV rays can aggravate the skin, causing a perioral dermatitis flare up, so avoid these elements at all costs. Also, use toothpaste that does not contain fluoride.
Some home remedies that we have heard from some have had success with in treating perioral dermatitis include using honey masks on the face. Apply honey to a clean face, let set for 10 minutes and then rinse well. It is antibacterial properties will cleanse the skin, and it is safe and gentle enough to be used daily. Coconut oil can also be used on the rash. Coconut oil has antibacterial properties as well, and will also help to moisturize any dry skin around the rash.