Merck Manual

Please confirm that you are not located inside the Russian Federation

honeypot link

Perioral Dermatitis

By

Jonette E. Keri

, MD, PhD, University of Miami, Miller School of Medicine

Last full review/revision Jul 2020| Content last modified Jul 2020
CLICK HERE FOR THE PROFESSONAL VERSION
Topic Resources

Perioral dermatitis is a red, bumpy rash around the mouth and on the chin that resembles acne, rosacea, or both.

Although the exact cause of perioral dermatitis is unknown, exposure to corticosteroids that are applied to the skin, use of water or toothpaste that has fluoride in it, or both have been proposed as possible causes.

The disorder mainly affects children and women of childbearing age. The rash typically starts in the folds of skin on the sides of the nose (nasolabial folds) and spreads around the mouth (the perioral area). The rash can also spread around the eyes and to the forehead.

Diagnosis of Perioral Dermatitis

Treatment of Perioral Dermatitis

  • Avoidance of toothpaste with fluoride and corticosteroids that are applied to the skin

  • Antibiotics

People with perioral dermatitis should stop using toothpaste with fluoride and corticosteroids that are applied to the skin. Some oily cosmetics, especially moisturizers, tend to worsen the disorder and should also be stopped.

Doctors give antibiotic creams or gels or tetracyclines or other antibiotics taken by mouth. Antibiotics can be stopped once the rash goes away. If these antibiotics do not clear up the rash and the disorder is particularly severe, isotretinoin, an acne drug, may help.

Pimecrolimus (a drug that suppresses the immune system) cream can be used for people over 2 years of age.

Drugs Mentioned In This Article

Generic Name Select Brand Names
SOTRET
ELIDEL
NOTE: This is the Consumer Version. DOCTORS: CLICK HERE FOR THE PROFESSONAL VERSION
CLICK HERE FOR THE PROFESSONAL VERSION
OTHER TOPICS IN THIS CHAPTER
Others also read
Test your knowledge
Ichthyosis
Ichthyosis is a form of severe dry skin that causes it to scale (build up excessive dry skin cells) and flake. Ichthyosis ranges in severity from mild to disfiguring, and may be either inherited or acquired. During which of the following time periods does inherited ichthyosis usually first manifest?
Download the Manuals App iOS ANDROID
Download the Manuals App iOS ANDROID
Download the Manuals App iOS ANDROID

Also of Interest

Download the Manuals App iOS ANDROID
Download the Manuals App iOS ANDROID
Download the Manuals App iOS ANDROID
TOP