Perioral dermatitis

Perioral dermatitis is a relatively frequent inflammatory skin disease that takes hold in the areas around the mouth, the nasolabial fold and the chin, in a form of redness and discrete flaking, and it can affect the area around the eyes and nostrils. This disease is most common with women who are between 20 and 50 years old, and it can also appear with children.

What are the causes of the perioral dermatitis?

The causes of the disease are not yet fully explained. With some patients the changes in the skin appear after a longer use of corticosteroid ointments for banal skin infections. Excessive use of cosmetic moisturizing creams which lead to the occlusion of the corneous surface layer of the skin can be the cause of perioral dermatitis. Changes in the skin can be provoked by the hypersensitivity to the components in fluoridated tooth pastes, soaps, handkerchiefs. Exposure of the skin to the sun worsens the existing disease, as does the use of oral contraceptives.

What are the basic characteristics of the disease?

Appearance of tiny red pimples or small skin colored knots, 1 – 3 mm in diameter, most frequently localized in the area around the mouth, the chin, the lower lip, with a characteristic narrow free edge around the lips themselves, which is sparred. The skin on the affected parts of the face can be red with discrete whitish flaking. Changes can also spread to the lower eyelids, area of the forehead and the root of the nose. An itching sensation can be present.

How is perioral dermatitis treated?

If the disease is caused by the long-term use of corticosteroid ointments, after ending their use there is a transient deterioration. The disease is treated by a local application of different antibiotics and antiseptics and very often a therapy with antibiotics in capsules must be applied for a few weeks. The disease is successfully treated by the stated therapy, without any leftover scars.

Spec. Dr. Sladjana Cvejic, dermatologist
Dermatological clinic DERMATIM, Belgrade