Medical Q&As

Perioral dermatitis - explain?

Can you give me any information on the cause and treatment of perioral dermatitis?

Perioral dermatitis means inflammation of the skin around the mouth. The skin looks red and sometimes the skin texture may be bumpy and have an acne-like appearance. Very often the skin that borders the lips is spared of inflammation. Perioral dermatitis mostly affects young women and the condition can persist for many months or even years. The condition can also recur even if it has been treated successfully. The cause of the condition is unknown but some dermatologists believe that it may be a form of rosacea. Various moisturisers, toothpastes and makeup have all been implicated as possible causes of the condition. Applying strong steroid creams to the face may also trigger the condition. Oral antibiotics are the most common treatment for the condition and such treatment usually needs to be administered for a couple of months. Short-term prescriptions for mild steroid creams are sometimes recommended to relieve the skin inflammation while waiting for the antibiotic to have the desired effect. Antibiotic creams can also be helpful especially if the condition is mild.