Perioral Dermatitis

What is Perioral Dermatitis?

Perioral dermatitis is an inflammatory skin condition that most commonly affects the areas around the mouth, chin, lower cheeks and nose.   Multiple small, red, itchy papules similar to acne are characteristic of the clinical presentation.  Perioral dermatitis may last for months to years and even with treatment, may recur several times.  Dermatologists are typically able to make a correct diagnose by simply examining the skin.

What causes Perioral Dermatitis?

Most dermatologists believe that perioral dermatitis is a form of rosacea, however, the exact cause has not been determined.  Other theories suggest that the use of topical steroid creams may not only cause but also exacerbate the condition.  Cosmetics, hormones, stress and excessive sun exposure may aggravate the condition.  Perioral dermatitis typically develops in adult female patients between 30 and 50 years of age.

Perioral Dermatitis Treatment

The mainstay of treatment for perioral dermatitis involves an oral antibiotic, like doxycycline, along with a non-steroidal cream or ointment.  Topical steroid creams are avoided since the condition tends to flare when these creams are stopped.  Most patients improve within two to three months but typically require the use of a topical non-steroidal cream to control flares.  Avoiding known stimuli such as prescription fluorinated corticosteroid creams is essential in preventing recurrences.  We look forward to sharing our expertise with you and helping you to achieve clearer skin.