Perioral Dermatitis

Authored by Dr Laurence Knott, 13 Sep 2016

Patient is a certified member of
The Information Standard

Reviewed by:
Dr Helen Huins, 13 Sep 2016

Perioral dermatitis is a common skin rash. Perioral means 'around the mouth' and dermatitis refers to inflammation of the skin.

Life's unfair, isn't it? We are all encouraged to put all sorts of creams and other stuff on our faces to make us look younger, fresher and more appealing. Unfortunately, in some cases the skin rebels and you can end up looking worse than you did before.

A vicious cycle can also develop in people who use steroid creams to treat another condition, such as eczema. If perioral dermatitis develops, they may use more steroid cream, and this just makes things worse.

Perioral dermatitis mainly affects women aged 15-45 years. It's fairly common and is thought to affect 1 in 100 women. Men don't get away scot-free. The increasing trend for 'cool dudes' to use skincare products has meant that we're starting to see perioral dermatitis in men too.

If you stop using creams and ointments, you may start to see an improvement but it can take a long time to clear up so it's best to see your GP as soon as you think you have the condition. Your doctor will be able to confirm that it is perioral dermatitis rather than one of the conditions that resembles it, and can prescribe treatment to speed up your recovery.

Further reading and references

I developed DE around Feb 2016. Although I've always had mild eczema my whole life.  I would get some spots here and there on my hands, which would usually clear up.  My problems with DE started to...

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