Perioral dermatitis is a common skin condition that causes a red rash with small bumps around the mouth.
Like many skin conditions that appear on your face, perioral dermatitis is often mistaken for acne. However, it is not a type of acne and cannot be cured by acne treatments. In fact, these treatments are likely to make the rash worse.
This condition can also lead to dry spots, which are mistaken for eczema. If it is then treated with steroids, it can make the condition worse.
Fortunately, there are other over-the-counter (OTC) options that can safely and effectively treat perioral dermatitis.
Perioral dermatitis is a red rash that forms around the mouth. It causes inflamed bumps that can easily be mistaken for acne.
If the inflammation spreads, it can cause your skin to:
The condition often starts around the mouth and can spread to other parts of your face and body, such as:
- around your nose
- other openings
For some people, a rash is the only symptom of perioral dermatitis. However, additional symptoms may appear, such as:
Perioral dermatitis is sometimes considered a type of rosacea. It is most likely to appear in women between the ages of 19 and 40, but the rash can appear at any age. The rash is not contagious.
Doctors aren’t sure what causes perioral dermatitis. However, there are several possible causes, including:
- steroidal face creams
- oral or inhaled steroids
- Fluoride, like in toothpaste
- Sodium Lauryl Sulphate (SLS), as in shampoo
- excessive use of facial products
- poor reaction to certain face products, including makeup and sunscreen
Sometimes it is clear that perioral dermatitis is caused by the use of a specific product. When this happens, removing it from your routine may be enough to cure the condition.
If the rash is severe, your skin may need more help to heal and recover.
There are several things you can do to treat perioral dermatitis at home.
One of the first steps is to look at your skin care routine.
Remove any recently added products, such as: B. a new facial toner. It could irritate your skin and cause your perioral dermatitis.
If you wear makeup, you can do the same with any cosmetics you’ve recently purchased, especially products that you use around the mouth.
It is also a good idea to use mild products on the face for perioral dermatitis. Look for gentle and fragrance-free soaps or skin care products. Try to avoid anything with harsh chemicals or strong smells until your rash goes away.
If you are using acne creams or cleansers with acne-fighting ingredients like benzoyl peroxide or salicylic acid, it is a good idea to stop using them.
Sometimes even toothpaste containing fluoride can make perioral dermatitis worse. In this case, switching to a fluoride-free toothpaste for a few weeks can help.
Gentle skin care products to consider
It’s a good idea to have gentle skin care products on hand. Cetaphil is a popular brand of gentle facial cleansers and moisturizers available at drug stores, grocery stores, and other major retailers.
Using Cetaphil can help your skin heal from perioral dermatitis. It can also treat redness, dryness, and flaking that the condition is causing. It can also relieve other symptoms such as itching.
Other affordable and easy-to-find products that might help include:
- Pigeon soaps and lotions
- CeraVe moisturizers for the face
- Neutrogena facial cleansers and lotions
- Vanicream moisturizers
Not every lotion is a good idea when treating perioral dermatitis. As mentioned earlier, it is important to treat your skin with gentle products. It’s a good idea to avoid anything with harsh chemicals.
Antifungal treatments like miconazole (Monistat) or clotrimazole (Lotrimin) can be a great way to treat perioral dermatitis. Antifungal creams have anti-inflammatory properties and can reduce redness, stop itching, and help your skin heal.
You have likely used an antifungal cream to treat a rash in the past. You may even have heard that antifungal treatments can help with perioral dermatitis. However, no research has shown this, and not all cases of perioral dermatitis are caused by a fungal infection.
If your perioral dermatitis is caused by bacteria, using an antifungal cream may actually make your condition worse.
Steroid treatments like hydrocortisone creams
Just like antifungal creams, hydrocortisone and other steroid creams seem to be a good option because they are relatively inexpensive and easily available.
Hydrocortisone is a common ingredient in creams used to treat rashes and itching. If you have a tube or bottle of anti-itch lotion at home, it likely contains hydrocortisone.
These creams cannot be used to treat perioral dermatitis. In fact, in some cases, excessive use of these creams can cause your rash. If you stop using hydrocortisone cream, your rash will get worse for a few days. This does not mean that you should use the cream again. Your skin will adjust itself again after a few days and can begin to heal.
Using a steroid cream for perioral dermatitis is never a good idea. This includes steroid creams that have been prescribed for you by a doctor.
If you are currently using a prescription cream and have developed perioral dermatitis, tell the doctor who prescribed the steroid cream. You can stop or adjust your recipe.
You can also try natural remedies for perioral dermatitis. Remember that just like OTC products, natural treatments should be gentle and moisturizing.
While some people claim to have treated perioral dermatitis with agents like apple cider vinegar or tea tree oil, dermatologists do not recommend it. These treatments are natural and fight bacteria, but they can also dehydrate your skin and cause further irritation.
It is a better idea to stick to highly moisturizing and soothing natural remedies. You can apply these remedies directly to your perioral dermatitis rash. Options include:
These treatments have not been clinically studied or proven to treat perioral dermatitis. However, they are known for being very moisturizing and doing well at reducing skin redness. This makes them a much better choice for natural treatment than harsh options like apple cider vinegar.
Before trying natural treatments, speak with a doctor to make sure they are safe for your skin and not interacting with topical medications.
Stop using these treatments immediately if your rash gets worse.
If home remedies don’t fix your perioral dermatitis, make an appointment for a medical exam. A doctor can assess your symptoms and general health and recommend the best treatment for you.
Perioral dermatitis causes a red rash around the mouth. The rash is made up of tiny bumps and can be scaly, itchy, scaly, or swollen.
The exact cause of perioral dermatitis is unknown, but the use of steroid drugs or harsh skin care products is often to blame. Cutting out these products can help get rid of your rash.
You can also use gentle, fragrance-free lotions and cleansers to soothe your skin as it heals. If the condition doesn’t go away on its own, talk to a doctor about other safe treatment options.