Dry Flaky Skin Around Nose & Corners of Mouth

Certain conditions, such as perioral dermatitis, psoriasis or eczema, can cause flaky and dry skin around your nose or on the corners of your mouth. In fact, peeling, cracked and reddish skin on the face may be the body's response to exposure to winter weather or frequent use of harsh detergents or soaps. If the dry, flaky skin around your nose and corners of your mouth is not the result of basic, dry and unmoisturized skin, you may need to see your health care provider to determine the cause.

A young persons nose. (Image: RusN/iStock/Getty Images)


If your face feels tight and itchy, you may notice that the skin, around your nose and corners of the mouth, is also dry or flaky. A simple solution to dry facial skin is exfoliation, followed by the application of a gentle and lightweight moisturizer. If the flaky and scaly patches on the face do not disappear after using an exfoliant and a moisturizer, you need to determine whether the cause of the dry skin is due to an underlying medical condition, a skin sensitivity or an exposure to harsh chemicals.

Soap and Water

Several factors can cause dry skin. Cold weather or dry climates can pull the moisture out of your skin, according to the American Academy of Dermatology. Taking very hot baths can also draw moisture out of your skin, as the hot water quickly dries and evaporates the moisture out of your skin. Certain soaps, especially harsh soaps, can dry out your skin. You can avoid dry skin due to these causes by applying a moisturizer to your face, switching to a milder soap or using less hot water when bathing.

Skin Conditions

Certain medical conditions, such as perioral dermatitis and contact dermatitis, can affect the skin around your nose, mouth and eyes, according to DermNet NZ. This type of dermatitis primarily affects adult women as men rarely develop this condition. The exact cause is not quite understood but is believed to be related to poor hygiene, certain facial creams and topical creams and ointments. You may need antibiotics to clear perioral dermatitis if your skin doesn't respond well to discontinuing the use of facial creams and topical creams or ointments.


If your body isn't receiving enough iron or biotin, you may suffer from dry, flaky skin. Although biotin deficiency is rare, the result is dry, flaky skin and cracked skin around the corners of your mouth, according to the University of Maryland Medical Center. An iron deficiency mimics the symptoms of a biotin deficiency in that you may develop cracked skin around the corners of your mouth and experience other similar symptoms such as dry skin, swollen tongue, burning sensation in your mouth and brittle fingernails.


Depending upon the cause of your dry skin, if changing a few habits such as hot baths or a milder soap hasn't helped, you may lack iron or biotin in your diet. Ask your health care provider to perform testing to help determine the exact cause. She may order a blood or urine test to see if you lack biotin or iron. She may also take a sample of the dry skin by flaking some of the skin onto a smear slide and examining the skin under a microscope.

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