This skin rash around the mouth causes redness and scaling of the skin. These breakouts often include the development of tiny papules (bumps) and pustules that resemble acne. The lips and a narrow margin of skin directly around the mouth are typically unaffected. The rest of the lower face may be covered in this rash and it may spread to the central and upper face as well. The visible symptoms of perioral dermatitis are often accompanied by a burning sensation. Rarely, the irritated skin will itch. This condition may be triggered by allergic or irritant reactions, but the immediate cause is usually not identifiable. The rash is often chronic or recurring, but may resolve on its own.

Potential Treatments

Your dermatologist may recommend a specific skin care regimen along with one or more of the following medications:

  • Antibiotic gels (such as metronidazole)
  • Low dose oral antibiotics such as tetracycline or doxycycline
  • Immunomodulator creams like Elidel

Correct diagnosis is important for proper treatment of this form of dermatitis since steroid creams typically used to treat other rashes can make this rash worse.

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