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What Is Perioral Dermatitis? Understanding the Skin Condition

Sep 14, 2023 By Madison Evans

If you’ve ever noticed a red, bumpy rash around your nose or mouth, it could be perioral dermatitis. This uncomfortable skin condition can affect both men and women of all ages and is usually characterized by an uneven rash on the face. It can also cause dryness, itching and even burning sensations for those with sensitive skin. Before you start to panic about what might be causing it, let’s take a closer look at what it really is and how to treat it.

What is Perioral Dermatitis?

Perioral Dermatitis is a skin condition that typically affects women who are in their twenties or thirties. Its exact cause is unknown, but it is thought to be related to the use of skincare or cosmetic products.

What are the Symptoms?

The symptoms of Perioral Dermatitis include small red bumps or papules that typically form around the mouth or nose. These bumps can be itchy or painful and may spread to the cheeks, chin, and forehead. Perioral Dermatitis can also cause dryness, scaling, and burning sensations. It's important to seek treatment from a dermatologist if you suspect you have Perioral Dermatitis as it can be easily confused with other skin conditions.

Causes of Perioral Dermatitis:

If you're one of the many people who suffer from perioral dermatitis, you know how frustrating and uncomfortable the condition can be. This rash-like skin condition appears around your mouth and nose and can leave your skin feeling itchy, dry, and downright irritated. Some experts believe it's triggered by topical steroids or harsh skincare products, while others believe it could be related to hormonal imbalances or even stress.

  • Topical steroids, whether intentionally or accidentally applied to the face.
  • Nasal steroids, inhalers containing steroids, and oral steroids are common treatments used in medical practice.
  • Cosmetic creams, makeup, and sunscreens.
  • Toothpaste with fluorine.
  • Neglecting to cleanse the face.
  • Hormonal fluctuations or the use of oral contraceptives can contribute to these changes.

How Is Perioral Dermatitis Diagnosed and Treated?

Perioral dermatitis is a skin condition that can cause redness, bumps, and flakiness around the mouth, nose, and eyes. While the root cause of perioral dermatitis is not entirely clear, certain triggers such as topical steroids, fluoride toothpaste, and hormonal changes are thought to play a role.

Treatment options for perioral dermatitis typically include topical or oral antibiotics, as well as avoiding any potential triggers and making lifestyle adjustments such as keeping the skin moisturized and avoiding harsh products.

Natural Remedies to Help Soothe Irritation from Perioral Dermatitis:

  • One option is to use aloe vera gel, which has anti-inflammatory properties to soothe the affected area.
  • Another choice is coconut oil, which is packed with antioxidants and has antibacterial properties.
  • Chamomile tea can be applied topically to reduce inflammation and calm redness.

Ways to Prevent a Flare-up of Perioral Dermatitis:

Perioral dermatitis can be an uncomfortable skin condition characterized by redness, small bumps, and dryness around the mouth area. Treating it can be frustrating as it often recurs, but there are ways to prevent flare-ups.

  • Avoid using steroid creams, which can actually worsen the condition.
  • Instead, opt for gentle skincare products that are free from fragrances, preservatives, and dyes.
  • Keeping your skin moisturized is also crucial. If you wear makeup, make sure to remove it thoroughly before going to bed.
  • Try to identify potential triggers, such as certain foods or stress, and avoid them as much as possible.

When to See a Doctor for Perioral Dermatitis?

Perioral dermatitis is a common skin condition that can develop around the mouth and nose area. This condition is characterized by small, red bumps that may be itchy or uncomfortable. While some cases of perioral dermatitis may clear up on their own, it is important to know when to seek medical attention. If your symptoms do not improve or worsen over time, it is time to visit a dermatologist for diagnosis and treatment.


As you can see, perioral dermatitis is a skin disorder that anyone can suffer from, especially those with sensitive skin. In order to minimize irritation and flare-ups, it’s essential to keep up with proper and consistent skin hygiene practices. Also, while most cases are resolved with different topical creams or antibiotics prescribed by a doctor, natural remedies may help your skin recover more quickly and feel soothed. If you are concerned about any symptoms of perioral dermatitis, it is important to seek medical advice as soon as possible in order to identify the root of the problem and find an appropriate treatment.

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