Perioral Dermatitis: Treatment, Causes and Symptoms



Important Things to Know About Perioral Dermatitis

Periorificial dermatitis is a common problem that affects facial skin and is characterized by groups of tender or itchy small red papules. It is named as such because the papules occur around the nostrils, eyes, mouth and, in some cases, the genitals. The more restrictive term—perioral dermatitis—is used when the eruption is confined to the lower half of the face, specifically around the mouth, and may be used also to describe rashes affecting the eyelids.

Perioral Dermatitis Pictures




Perioral Dermatitis Causes

Although the causes of perioral dermatitis are not known as of yet, it is found out that the main factor contributing to the occurrence of such a condition is an increase of skin sensitization to certain medicines (especially hormonal corticosteroid ointments), cosmetics and detergents. Sometimes, rash may be enhanced or caused by the following:

  • change of environmental and atmospheric conditions
  • drop in cellular and humoral immunity
  • increase in the sensitivity to bacterial allergens
  • centers of chronic infection in the body
  • too much exposure to ultraviolet radiation
  • predisposition to bronchial asthma, allergic rhinitis or any allergic reactions
  • use of topical corticosteroids in the form of ointments and creams
  • sensitive facial skin
  • hormonal imbalance resulting from changes in hormonal status and gynecological disorders
  • excessive use of various cosmetics
  • dysfunction of the gastrointestinal tract
  • use of toothpastes and dentures that contain fluoride
  • dysfunction of the endocrine system
  • dysfunction of the nervous system

When you experience this condition sue to cosmetics, you should carefully study the ingredients of the makeup you use. Here are some ingredients that would often cause perioral dermatitis:

  • vaseline
  • sodium lauryl sulfate
  • paraffin
  • Isopropyl Myristat
  • cinnamon flavorings

Perioral Dermatitis Treatment

Depending on the severity of perioral dermatitis, treating this skin disease can take quite a while, usually from 45 to 90 days. Treatment will be prescribed by a dermatologist, and the earlier you consult him/her, the better the result will be. However, take note that even with proper treatment, the disease can recur, though it would be just mild recurrences that can be treated quicker.

When treating this condition, you should start by eliminating all causative factors of its occurrence. Generally, physicians would recommend that you should stop using all creams, ointments, detergents, cosmetics, fluoride toothpaste and topical steroids. If this way of treatment is not accompanied by any natural or medicinal remedies, then this is called “zero therapy”, where the condition tends to disappear by itself within several months.

On the other hand, medication therapy is prescribed with antibiotics, such as doxycycline, tetracycline and erythromycin, especially for oral dermatitis. Usually, an antibiotic cream or gel will be applied twice a day until the rash disappears, but ingestible antibiotics are also sometimes taken. Keep in mind that the use of corticosteroids—hormonal creams or ointments—for treating perioral dermatitis is contraindicated.

If the lesions are localized around your eyes, you will mostly be advised by your dermatologists to be under constant supervision of an ophthalmologist. And in this case, you will typically be administered with hydrocortisone eye drops, antihistamines, prednisolone and riboflavin phosphate injections.

Additional Health Recommendations

Knowing how to fight perioral dermatitis is half of the battle. It is also needed to know how to help the body to defend itself if it is to effectively fight it.

It is recommended to perioral dermatitis sufferers to watch what they consume. They are warned not to eat food that is especially salty, sour, or spicy and to avoid very strong teas, coffee, and beverages containing alcohol. Vitamin therapy is also included alongside a specific diet. Prescriptions usually given out include riboflavin, niacin, vitamins B6, C, and A, and folic acid.

Besides watching what is put into the body, such as food and vitamins, keep in mind the general condition of the body. Areas of high infection should be treated as well, and the endocrine, nervous system, and the gastrointestinal tract should be looked after. Only one aspect should not be focused on as the whole is more important than any singular thing.

When those who are dealing with perioral dermatitis clean their skin, they should be wary of being too harsh. After the face is wet, do not rub with a towel, instead, blot the skin dry. Blotting is less irritating than rubbing. Ask a doctor for moisturizers that will not irritate the skin, or a neutral powder if a moisturizer is too slick and makes the skin too oily.

It is also best to avoid overexposure to sunlight, and in some cases, best to avoid being out in the sunshine as much as possible. Lessen the time spent in places with high air temperatures and very dry areas. If it is absolutely necessary to be out in the sun, reduce the contact the skin has with direct sunlight by wearing protective clothing. The ultraviolet radiation aggravates the symptoms of perioral dermatitis and the last thing needed is to make matters worse while trying to make them better. During the summer months, the minimum SPF of any sunscreen used should be 30 or higher.

Home Remedies for Oral Dermatitis

There are things that can be done from the home to help with flare ups and symptoms, as well as receiving regular treatments. At the sign of a flare up or a symptom appearing, it is recommended to try the following options.

  1. Reduce the inflammation with non-irritating lotions. Good bases for these lotions are chamomile, lime blossom, tickseed, or wormwood decoctions, as these are calming for the skin.
  2. Use a decoction made from calendula flowers, herbs, celandine, yarrow, or St. John’s wort to wipe the inflamed area daily.
  3. Mix up a decoction with the basis being plantain leaves, chamomile, calendula and chamomile flowers, sage and elecampane root. Drink one glass of this mixture daily and divide the mixture into three equal parts, for morning, afternoon, and evening.

The best course of treatment is catching perioral dermatitis with good timing and immediately starting an effective treatment. If a good treatment is find, it is not as likely that the perioral dermatitis will come back.