Perioral Dermatitis – Symptoms, Causes, Treatment, Natural Cure and Pictures

Are you having small rashes and a burning sensation around your mouth? You may be suffering from Perioral Dermatitis, a common skin condition that resembles acne.

What is Perioral Dermatitis?

The word ‘Perioral’ means ‘around the mouth’ while Dermatitis stands for ‘inflammation of the skin’. It is actually an inflammation of the facial skin due to the development of small eruptions around the mouth. It is commonly seen in young women. But it sometimes also affects men. In this condition, you can see papules or tiny red bumps around the lips. There is a burning sensation in the reddened area. The rashes may appear on the cheeks, the skin beside the nose and lips, the chin or the region just below the nose. Rashes may also appear around the forehead and eyes.

Who gets Perioral Dermatitis?

90% of Perioral Dermatitis sufferers are found to be women. Women between 20 to 45 years are susceptible to the condition. 1% of women population is thought to have suffered from the disease sometime or other in their life.

Perioral Dermatitis Symptoms

Perioral Dermatitis comes with a number of symptoms. Most of these are visible to the naked eye. These include

Redness of the Skin

The skin of the affected facial area becomes red or often pink.


The patient seems to have rashes in the affected facial region. These rashes are often lumpy and cause pain. Some people also have painless rashes.


Some patients complain of an itchy feeling or mild burning sensation in the region.

Dry Skin

The skin around the mouth becomes dry. It also looks flaky in some people.


In some people, there is a tense feeling in the affected skin area.


In a few cases, the outer skin of the region comes out like scales.

Perioral Dermatitis Causes

Doctors are not too sure about what exactly causes Perioral Dermatitis. However, dermatologists and medical experts have pinpointed several factors that may cause this ailment. These are

Face Creams

Face ointments and creams containing steroids are believed to be a trigger for this disease.

Cosmetic Products

Some ingredients in cosmetic products are supposed to be harmful for the skin. These are held responsible for Perioral Dermatitis. Steroid in face creams are thought to cause this disease.

UV Rays

UV (ultraviolet) rays are also thought to give rise to this problem.

Fluorinated Toothpaste

Fluorinated toothpaste is also considered a factor behind the sickness.

Changes in hormone

Hormonal changes can also trigger this condition.

Oral Pills

Many experts also consider oral contraceptive pills to be a reason behind this illness.

Perioral Dermatitis Diagnosis

The diagnosis of Perioral Dermatitis depends on the appearance of the skin. Doctors observe the skin carefully. A bacterial test is conducted on the skin to make sure there is no scope for infection. No other medical examination is usually carried out.

Perioral Dermatitis Treatment

The treatment for Perioral Dermatitis is similar to the method applied in curing Acne Vulgaris. The only difference lies in the non-use of topical steroids. Only those skin creams are used that do not contain steroids. These include ointments like erythromycin, metronidazole, tacrolimus and pimecrolimus. These provide fast relief to the skin and are applied regularly for many months to prevent recurrence of the disorder.

If patients are found to use steroidal creams and lotions, they are discontinued.

In very serious cases, oral antibiotics like minocycline, tetracycline and erythromycin are used. These are used for 1 ½ to 3 months to reduce inflammation

Perioral Dermatitis Natural Treatment

The rashes can be controlled and even cured by practicing some natural remedies at home :

  • Wash the affected skin area with warm water. Apply a soap substitute over this.
  • Minimize the use of cosmetics and moisturizers. If possible, you should stop using these creams till your symptoms reduce.
  • Stop using toothpastes that contain anti-tartar ingredients and fluoride until the rashes disappear. To prevent Perioral Dermatitis toothpaste change can work well along with medications.

Perioral Dermatitis in Children

Children are often seen to suffer from Perioral Dermatitis. In children, the disease is caused by a number of factors like cosmetics, drugs and many other physical factors. Doctors normally use anti-inflammatory agents to cure the disease. In severe cases, this is treated by anti-acne medicines.

Perioral Dermatitis Pictures

It is often a problem to understand this disorder. Here are some pictures that will help you know this disease more clearly. Go through them and have a visual realization of the disorder.

pictures of Perioral Dermatitis
Picture 1 : Perioral Dermatitis
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Perioral Dermatitis
Picture 2 : Perioral Dermatitis
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Perioral Dermatitis
Picture 3 : Perioral Dermatitis
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Perioral Dermatitis
Picture 4 : Perioral Dermatitis
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Perioral Dermatitis is not a very serious disease. It does not pose any risk to your life. However, it can be very painful in some cases. In worse cases, the condition may disfigure your face and surgical or laser treatment may be required. Such treatments can be expensive also painful in some cases. It is better to treat the condition in its initial stages before it can complicate your life and leave a scar on your face.


Published on November 16th 2010 by  under Skin, Hair and Nails.
Article was last reviewed on 16th November 2010.

3 responses to “Perioral Dermatitis – Symptoms, Causes, Treatment, Natural Cure and Pictures”

  1. MMMONLINE.ORG - Perioral Dermatitis – An Overview says:

    […] Perioral Dermatitis is detected by undergoing a bacterial test on the skin.It can easily be seen by observing the skin.Treament of the skin condition is close to the method used to cure Acne Vulgaris. Oinment free of steroids are applied, namely erythromycin, metronidazole, tacrolimus and pimecrolimus. If the condition is severe than oral medicine such as minocycline, tetracycline and erythromycin are used for around 1 1/2- 3months. Perioral Dermatitis can also be cured by following a daily routine- washing the affected area with warm water and soap. By reducing or discontinuing the usage of cosmetic products till it heals. It can be further prevented by not using toothpaste containing fluoride and anti-tartar ingredients. […]

  2. rhianne vining says:

    i have recently found out that i have this just by looking online. my mother has lupus and breaks out on her cheeks, she uses a steroid cream. when i first broke out six years ago i used this, it went away. then a couple years later it happened again i went to the doctor and he said it was acne and gave me the steroid cream because i told him it worked and also prescribed tetricycline. i used them both but the antibiotic did not work so i continued with the cream. it has gotten to the point where for a year now i have used the cream daily not knowing until recently how bad it is for you. i have stopped using the cream and am using apple cider vinegar and all natural greek yogurt but it doesnt seem to help im not sure what to do

  3. Deanna says:

    I have been dealing the perioral dermatitis for 9 months now. I have done endless research and tried EVERYthing. It is very frustrating. I have done several “tapers” of steroids, gone SLS free (completely, which is not easy or cheap), greek organic yogurt masks (soothing, but not healing), apple cider vinegar, (stinky, burns and no healing), probiotics, zero sugar in my diet, antibiotics (oral and topical)…..
    If I return to the dermatologist- it will be time for acutane (which I do not want). As a last ditch effort, I tried laser treatment. Had my first one yesterday and my face has not been this smooth in months! I am hopeful this is the end for me. I will do as many laser treatments as needed (in 3 day intervals)
    and NO more steroids. 🙂

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