Measures to clear up perioral dermatitis

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Perioral dermatitis is a rash that usually manifests around the mouth, but can also manifest around the nose, eyes or forehead. This type of dermatitis is comprised of small-sized, bubbly, red bumps and the exact cause of the condition is still unknown. Excessive use of potent corticosteroid creams on the face or a reaction to the ingredients present in toothpastes or facial products might be responsible. The itchiness and discomfort caused by the rash can urge many individuals to seek fast solutions.

Many find this type of dermatitis annoying due to its location in the face. This is considered by many as aesthetically unappealing.

Stop using aggravating products

Even though prescription corticosteroid creams have been used to temporarily manage perioral dermatitis, it actually worsens the condition and must be discontinued. Although the rash can flare-up in a short time or “rebound reaction” the only way to stop the cycle is to discontinue use.

Corticosteroid creams such as hydrocortisone suppress the immune system in the skin, thus increasing susceptibility to infection. Always bear in mind that these creams thin out and weaken the integrity of the skin.

Perioral dermatitis
Although the rash can flare-up in a short time or “rebound reaction” the only way to stop the cycle is to discontinue use.

Sodium lauryl, fluoride and tartar-control components as well as cinnamon flavoring in some toothpaste can worsen the condition. It is recommended to switch to a brand that is natural and free from any of these ingredients. Until the skin rash clears up, stop using strong facial cleansers, lotions and makeup. The ingredients to watch out for include paraffin, petrolatum as well as sodium lauryl sulfate and isopropyl myristate.


The usual treatment for perioral dermatitis involves prescription antibiotics such as minocycline, doxycycline or tetracycline. Always bear in mind that perioral dermatitis does not respond quickly and often requires prolonged use for several months.

A topical medication such as erythromycin, metronidazole, clindamycin, benzoyl peroxide or tacrolimus can help temporarily with the symptoms. In some cases, a mild over-the-counter corticosteroid cream can be recommended while the individual is wearing off from the prescription-strength products.

Other treatment options

Perioral dermatitis typically responds to antibiotics. As for stubborn cases, natural medications can be used to achieve faster results. There are essential oils such as lavender and tea tree which possess antibacterial properties. All you have to do is combine several drops with grapeseed oil and apply sparingly over the rash to hasten the healing process.

On the internal approach, vitamins A, C, E and zinc can help improve the integrity of the skin. Even though the rash can itch, the individual should not touch the face. Face towels and pillow cases should be washed frequently in hot water. In case outdoors, the skin should be protected with a hypoallergenic, mineral-based sunscreen.

If the rash continues to worsen or persists, it is best to consult a doctor so that proper treatment can be started.

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