Perioral dermatitis is a rash that typically appears around the mouth, although it also may surface around the eyes, nose or forehead. Composed of small, red, bubbly bumps, the rash’s exact cause is unknown, according to the American Academy of Dermatology. Overuse of strong corticosteroid creams on the face or a reaction to ingredients found in toothpastes or facial products may be implicated. The itchy and uncomfortable nature of the rash leaves the afflicted searching for quick solutions.
Discontinue Aggravating Products
Although the prescription corticosteroid cream you may have tried seemed to help temporarily, it is worsening the problem and should be discontinued. Although the rash may flare up in the short term in what is called a “rebound reaction,” the only way to end the vicious cycle is to discontinue use. Corticosteroid creams like hydrocortisone suppress the immune system in your skin, increasing susceptibility to infection. In addition, these creams thin and weaken your skin’s integrity. Fluoride, sodium lauryl sulfate, tartar-control ingredients and cinnamon flavoring in your toothpaste may be aggravating your condition. Switch to a brand that is natural and free of these ingredients. Until your rash clears, discontinue harsh facial cleansers, lotions and make-up--even lip gloss. Ingredients to watch out for include petrolatum, paraffin, isopropyl myristate and sodium lauryl sulfate.
According The University of Maryland Medical Center, the standard treatment for perioral dermatitis is prescription antibiotics. Oral doxycycline, tetracycline or minocycline are preferred. Perioral dermatitis can be stubborn to respond and often requires extended use of the antibiotic over several month. A topical medication, such as metronidazole, erythromycin, benzoyl peroxide, tacrolimus, clindamycin, or pimecrolimus, may help temporarily with the symptoms. A very mild, over the counter corticosteroid cream may be recommend while you are weaning off your prescription-strength product.
Perioral dermatitis usually responds to antibiotic therapy. In stubborn cases you may opt to use natural medicines to achieve speedier results. Essential oils such as tea tree and lavender have anti-bacterial properties. Mixing several drops with a carrier oil like grapeseed and applying sparingly to the rash may quicken healing. Internally, vitamins A, E, C, and zinc improve skin integrity. Although the rash may itch, resist the temptation to touch your face. Wash your pillow cases and face towels frequently in hot water. If you are out in the sun, protect your skin with a hypoallergenic, mineral-based sunscreen.