Ask a Skin Doctor: Perioral Dermatitis

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Dear Doctor

What is this skin condition on my chin and around my nose?

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Dear Patient

This skin condition is known as Perioral Dermatitis.

Causes of Perioral Dermatitis

Perioral dermatitis is associated with the application of steroids to the face.


Other factors linked to perioral dermatitis include using foundation, moisturizers and night creams since once study showed that it increased the risk 13 fold.

Treatment of Perioral Dermatitis

The treatment of perioral dermatitis includes:

1. Stopping the application of steroids to the face.

If you have been applying strong steroids like clobetasol to the face for a long time, your skin may have become addicted to the steroids. This cutaneous corticosteroid addiction which can cause severe flareups can be prevented by applying a mild steroid like 1 or 2.5% Hydrocortisone cream to wean the skin from the steroids. Pimecrolimus 0.1% is another medication which can be used for steroid weaning.


2. Topical antibiotics 

Antibiotics like Metronidazole gel are applied on the skin to treat perioral dermatitis.


3. Oral antibiotics

Antibiotics like Minocycline and Doxycylcine are also used to treat these red rashes which develop around the mouth. However they must be used for periods ranging from 6 to 12 weeks.


4. Avoiding makeup

Avoid using makeup and all other skin care products on your face since they can contain potential triggers. Mimimize your routine and simply wash your face with plain water.

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