Perioral Dermatitis: Treatment, Causes and Symptoms

Perioral dermatitis (also known as perioral rosacea, oral dermatitis, face steroid dermatitis) is a rare chronic dermatological disease occurring in approximately 1% of the population, mainly in girls and women aged 19-45 and very rarely in children and men.

Perioral Dermatitis: Treatment, Causes and Symptoms

In case of perioral dermatitis around mouth and on the chin appear small papules and pimples, skin reddens, irritation appears and papules spread over a larger area. It causes considerable aesthetic, physical and psychological discomfort of a person. That’s why people suffering from this problem are interested: is perioral dermatitis contagious? The answer is no: dermatitis as a disease is not contagious, it cannot be transferred through kisses or otherwise.

Perioral Dermatitis Symptoms

Perioral dermatitis begins with a barely perceptible redness of the skin of the face, that increases after eating hot or spicy food. Over time, the redness becomes persistent and is accompanied by the appearance of small nodules and pustules on the face resembling acne. The size of rashes ranges from 0.5 to 3 mm in diameter, and their color changes depending on the stage of pointing from bluish-red or red-brown color during the early stages to pale brown in the regression stage.

Rashes on the face are usually located symmetrically, sometimes they group, but never merge. The favourites rash localizations are on the chin, in the nasolabial folds, on adjacent areas of the cheeks, on the skin at the lower and upper lip. In most cases, the skin area directly around the lips is not affected by oral dermatitis, or affected significantly lesser than areas remote from the mouth. In some cases perioral dermatitis affects the skin of the nasal bridge and around the eyes, and particularly frequently in the temples area. Quite often patients suffer from diffuse lesions of the whole face.

With inadequate or late perioral dermatitis treatment or in the absence thereof, the skin on the area affected by dermatitis coarsens, thickens, and suffers the appearance of nodules. Over time, clearly distinguishable dark spots appear instead of rash and nodules.

In most cases perioral dermatitis is painless, but some patients may complain of burning or itching in the area of rashes during the exacerbation of the disease. Oral dermatitis presents no danger to human health and life, but is able to cause the patient a lot of trouble because of the cosmetic defects. Resistance of this disease to treatment often causes depressions and irritability.

So, if such symptoms appear:

  • in the area of the chin and mouth appears pain, itching, burning, redness, skin tightness, small red pimples;
  • pimples can have “heads” full of clear liquid and eventually become boils;
  • pimples form colonies or clusters;
  • the skin of the inflamed areas begins to be covered with thin transparent scales which then fall away.

it’s likely that this skin inflammation is caused by perioral dermatitis. But to clarify the diagnosis, be sure to consult a dermatologist, as acne and irritation on the face may have other reason, such as:

  • atopic dermatitis;
  • allergic contact dermatitis;
  • seborrheic dermatitis;
  • ordinary acne, rosacea, steroid acne.

To define the microflora of the lesion and to determine the pathogen bacterial swab test is made.

Perioral Dermatitis Pictures

Perioral Dermatitis Pictures

Perioral Dermatitis Photos

Pictures of Perioral Dermatitis

Perioral Dermatitis Causes

Causes of perioral dermatitis to date are not known. Meanwhile, it is proved that the main factor contributing to the occurrence of this disease is increased skin sensitization to certain medicines (especially hormonal corticosteroid ointments), to detergents and cosmetics. In some cases, rash may be caused or enhanced by one or more of the following factors:

  • descrease of humoral and cellular immunity;
  • change of climate and environmental conditions;
  • excessive exposure to ultraviolet radiation;
  • increased sensitivity to bacterial allergens;
  • long-term or even short-term use of topical corticosteroids in the form of creams and ointments;
  • predisposition to allergic reactions, allergic rhinitis, bronchial asthma;
  • sensitive facial skin;
  • excessive use of various face cosmetic products;
  • hormonal imbalance resulting from gynecological disorders and changes in hormonal status;
  • use of dentures and toothpastes containing fluoride;
  • gastrointestinal tract disfunctions;
  • nervous system disfunctions;
  • endocrine system disfunctions;
  • centers of chronic infection in the body.

If the dermatitis is caused by cosmetics, carefully study the composition of creams, lotions and other products you use. Here is a non-exhaustive list of ingredients that often cause perioral dermatitis:

  • Paraffin
  • Sodium lauryl sulfate
  • Cinnamon flavorings
  • Isopropyl myristat
  • Vaseline

Perioral Dermatitis Treatment

The treatment of this skin disease is rather long, the duration of treatment is from 1.5 to 3 months, depending on the severity of perioral dermatitis. Perioral dermatitis treatment is prescribed by a dermatologist and the sooner you consult a specialist, the better the result will be. Even with proper treatment further recurrences of the disease are possible, but in cases of recurrence it is a mild perioral dermatitis that it treated much quicker.

Treatment of oral dermatitis begins with elimination of all causative factors of its occurrence. In particular, doctors recommend that patients abandon the use of all ointments, creams, cosmetics, detergents and topical steroids. Given the fact that fluoride toothpaste for perioral dermatitis is very harmful, you will also need to substitute it with a simple one. If all this is not accompanied by any other medicinal or natural treatment for perioral dermatitis, it is called zero therapy. In this case dermatitis tends to disappear by itself within several months.

At the same time, medication therapy is prescribed with such antibiotics as tetracycline, doxycycline and erythromycin. For oral dermatitis antibiotics are very efficient. An antibiotic gel or cream for perioral dermatitis should be applied twice a day until rashes disappear. Your doctor may also prescribe ingestion of antibiotics. After the start of use of antibiotics your condition may worsen, but after 3 weeks the condition of the skin usually noticeably improves.

Remember: the use of corticosteroids (hormonal ointments and creams) in case of perioral dermatitis is contraindicated.

If the lesions are localized around the eyes, doctors insist that patients should be under constant supervision of an ophthalmologist. In case of this form of dermatitis patients are administered hydrocortisone eye drops, prednisolone, antihistamines and 1% riboflavin phosphate injections.

Additional Health Recommendations

To effectively fight the disease you need to know not only how to treat perioral dermatitis itself, but also how to help your body defeat it.

Persons suffering from perioral dermatitis are recommended to follow sparing diet, limited consumption of overly salty, spicy and sour foods, strong tea and coffee and alcoholic beverages. In addition to diet therapy, vitamin therapy is actively used, including prescription of riboflavin, niacin, vitamins B6, C and A and folic acid.

Normalization of the general condition of the body is also advisable. If there are centers of infection, it is necessary to treat concomitant diseases, as well as to normalize the functioning of the endocrine and nervous system and the gastrointestinal tract.

Gentle skin care is recommended for people suffering from such dermatitis. After washing your face do not wipe it with a towel, but only dab your skin gently. Your doctor may recommend you neutral powders, cooling and moisturizing creams that do not include substances aggravating the symptoms of the disease.

During all the treatment period patients are recommended to spend less time in the sun and in places with high air temperature. If you need to be in sun, your skin should be protected from direct sunlight, since ultraviolet radiation exacerbates symptoms of perioral dermatitis. In summer you should use sunscreen cream with at least 30 SPF (sun protection factor).

Home Remedies for Oral Dermatitis

Traditional treatment of oral dermatitis therapy may be supplemented with the use of home remedies. In particular, at the first sign of disease symptoms it is recommended:

  • to reduce the inflammation with lotions, prepared on the basis of wormwood, chamomile, lime blossom or tickseed decoctions;
  • to daily wipe the affected skin areas with decoctions prepared on the basis of calendula flowers, herbs, celandine, yarrow or St. John’s wort;
  • to prepare a decoction based on plantain leaves, St. John’s wort, chamomile and calendula flowers, sage and elecampane root, and to ingest one glass of decoction every day dividing the daily dose into three equal parts.

Prognosis for perioral dermatitis with timely, correct and effective treatment is always favorable. The number of recurrences after good treatment is usually small.

  1. Janet Osredecki

    Very helpful article. Originally I was diagnosed with seborrheic dermatitis and given a steroidial cream to apply.. but that made it worse than it has ever been.
    Now I know the proper diagnosis is perioral dermatitis so doctor has prescribed apo-doxyycline…
    Good to see there are natural alternatives too… I’m in a remote location so will be seeking out a naturopath when I return to the city.

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