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Expert Article: Perioral Dermatitis: Nagging Red Rash On The Face

Perioral dermatitis is an inflammatory condition of the facial skin. It is distinctively characterised by small reddish bumps around the mouth, with dry flaky skin. The condition is usually long-lasting, with no clear cause.

Brief Overview Of Perioral Dermatitis

  • This dermatitis occurs around the mouth, sparing the lip borders.
  • The skin is flushed and inflamed.
  • Vesicles and papules are bumps on the skin that contain fluid. They erupt in cyclical patterns.
  • The skin appears flaky, dry, and taut with mild burning.
  • It's known as periorificial dermatitis when it spreads around the eyes and nose.

In most cases, you'll find it in-

  • 90% of the cases are women between the ages of 20 and 45.
  • Children with an underlying disease, such as leukaemia, that compromise immunity.

Causes Of Perioral Dermatitis

To be honest, there are a variety of causes.

  • Use of corticosteroid-infused skin products for a long time
  • Sun exposure and heat
  • Use of cosmetics inadvertently
  • Fluoride, for example, is an allergen in toothpaste
  • Hormonal fluctuations
  • Compromised immunity
  • Emotional stress
  • Licking the lips
  • Bacterial infection

What Exactly Happens In Perioral Dermatitis?

An external irritant causes inflammatory changes in the follicles of the epidermis, or the outermost layer of the skin. The condition begins as acne-like bumps or rosacea-like large sores. If left untreated, it quickly worsens.

Treatment Of Perioral Dermatitis

All necessary treatments must be carried out under the guidance of a dermatologist.

  • Topical corticosteroid creams (unless steroid use is the cause of dermatitis): Its application will effectively reduce the symptoms. However, if you stop using it, there's a good chance it'll come back. As a result, gradually reduce the application over several weeks.
  • Oral Tetracyclines: Symptoms have been shown to be relieved by taking Doxycycline or Minocycline orally.
  • Topical Clindamycin
  • Topical pimecrolimus/topical tacrolimus: It suppresses the immune system and inhibits the inflammatory response.
  • Topical metronidazole
  • Topical Sulfacetamide and Sulfur: This is a popular treatment for rosacea, acne, and seborrheic dermatitis. It can be used as a cleanser, cream, or lotion. It's an anti-inflammatory and mild keratolytic agent (one that breaks down keratin in the skin to help it retain moisture).

Changes In Lifestyle:

  • Balanced diet
  • Hot and spicy foods should be avoided whenever possible.
  • Stay away from extremely hot drinks.
  • Lipsticks and skin-lightening creams should be avoided. Threading and waxing are not recommended in the affected areas.
  • Yoga, exercise, and meditation can help to relieve stress.
  • Make sure you get enough rest.

How Long Does It Take For Perioral Dermatitis To Heal?

It takes some time. Patience is required. It takes about 3 weeks for all the medications to start working. It could take 8 to 12 weeks for the rash to go away.

Why Does Perioral Dermatitis Keep Reappearing?

That's correct! And you're not the only one who feels this way. Perioral dermatitis has a high rate of recurrence. However, lifestyle changes can help to keep it at bay.

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