Perioral dermatitis

Created: 03.08.2023

Updated: 04.01.2024

Approved by: General Practitioner, Dr Binita Parmar

Perioral dermatitis is a rash around the mouth that appears as red skin and small acne-like bumps. It primarily affects women between the ages of 20 and 50 years old, accounting for 90% of cases.

Symptoms

One of the first symptoms of Perioral dermatitis is a red rash appearing around the mouth. This rash may be dry or flaky or scaly. More often than not, there are also inflamed bumps present called papules. While it is most common around the mouth, perioral dermatitis can also spread to the eyelids, around the eyes, and the nose. It can also appear on the scalp, ears, neck, trunk, and genitals. The rash can cause a burning or itching sensation.

Causes

A clear cause for Perioral dermatitis has not yet been identified. However, doctors and experts have seen a connection between Perioral dermatitis and the use of topical steroid creams. It can also be triggered by inhalers or steroid tablets, cosmetics, moisturisers and sunscreens.

Treatment

One of the first steps of Perioral dermatitis treatment is to stop using topical steroids or other creams on the face. These products can aggravate the symptoms making the condition even worse. If you notice symptoms of suspected Perioral dermatitis, it is important to seek medical advice promptly so that appropriate treatment can be prescribed if necessary.

More than often the severity of the condition dictates the perioral dermatitis treatment that is recommended. In addition to stopping the use of steroid creams, a course of oral antibiotics can help clear the rash. Milder cases can also settle with antibiotic or antiseptic creams. Patients suffering from the condition can consider the following self care advice:

  • Avoid using perfumed cleansers and harsh face scrubs
  • Do not use steroid creams, even over the counter hydrocortisone
  • Reduce the usage of makeup, cosmetics, and sunscreens.
  • Avoid picking your spots.

How can Perioral dermatitis be prevented?

It is best to avoid face creams and topical steroids. It is also advised to contact a doctor as soon as the symptoms are noticed.

Once treated, individuals must only use a fragrance-free mild soap or a soap substitute to wash and must avoid using products that were used before the rash.

When to see a Dermatologist?

Contacting a Dermatologist early can help identify the underlying cause of Perioral dermatitis and start appropriate treatment. Normally you should expect the Dermatologists to treat the condition within 12 weeks.

The recurrence of Perioral dermatitis is not uncommon, especially if the treatment is not fully completed. With adequate Perioral dermatitis treatment, patients should have an excellent prognosis, but if left untreated, the disease can linger for months or years. If left untreated, Perioral dermatitis can be burdensome to the patient’s mental health and permanent scarring.

How can an online Dermatologist help treat Perioral dermatitis?

Treatment of Perioral dermatitis with oral or topical antibiotics together with eliminating any underlying causes such as topical steroid use is often sufficient to heal the condition. It is also worth mentioning that perioral dermatitis treatment online is an efficient and suitable alternative to a physical consultation. As part of an online Dermatology consultation, the patient will upload photos of their condition and list information about the symptoms they are experiencing. A Dermatologist will review the photos and information you have provided and respond with a diagnosis and available treatment options.

How to prepare for your Perioral dermatitis appointment?

An appointment with a Dermatologist is the first step towards perioral dermatitis treatment. It is advised that the patient consults with a dermatologist as soon as he/she notices any symptoms for early diagnosis and treatment. The patient should mention any medication, moisturisers and the use of cosmetics such as creams and makeup. The dermatologist may have further follow up questions regarding potential causes to allow initiation of proper treatment.

FAQs about Perioral dermatitis

Is Perioral dermatitis contagious?

Perioral dermatitis is a common form of rash that is not contagious.

Does the sun make Perioral dermatitis worse?

Although there is no concrete evidence, some people have noticed that the condition of their Perioral dermatitis gets worse when exposed to sunlight.

Can Perioral dermatitis be caused by hormones?

While Perioral dermatitis is not caused by hormones, a number of hormonal factors can contribute to the worsening of the condition, especially during pregnancy, during the premenstrual period and/or due to the use of contraceptives.

FAQs about perioral dermatitis

Is perioral dermatitis contagious?

Perioral dermatitis is a common form of rash that is not contagious.

What do you need to eliminate from your diet to improve your condition?

Gluten intolerance or an undiagnosed allergy can be one of the main triggers for perioral dermatitis. Going on a low-carb gluten-free diet can help stop the condition from getting worse. In addition, one should look at avoiding salty and spicy meals while suffering from the condition.

Does the sun make perioral dermatitis worse?

Although there is no concrete evidence, some people have noticed that the condition of their perioral dermatitis gets worse when exposed to sunlight.

Can perioral dermatitis be caused by hormones?

While perioral dermatitis is not caused by hormones, a number of hormonal factors can contribute to the worsening of the condition, especially during pregnancy, during the premenstrual period and/or due to the use of contraceptives.

Doctor
General Practitioner

At Dr.Dropin our experienced GPs provide a wide range of primary care services, similar to those provided by the NHS, either in the clinic or through video consultations.

Dermatologist

At Dr.Dropin, you will receive specialist care from our expert Consultant Dermatologists provided by skindoc. With extensive experience from both public and private hospitals, we can assess and treat most chronic and acute skin disorders – either in the clinic, through video, or via a photo upload service.