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Perioral Dermatitis

Skin disorder or infection on the face can cause emotional problems.  A person afflicted a skin infection of the face becomes withdrawn.  Fortunately, for those afflicted with Perioral Dermatitis, cure is available.  The infection is usually caused by the use of topical applications containing steroids.

The skin disorder is common along the mouth area, hence it is called perioral dermatitis; periorial pertains to the area around the mouth.  This is common among young women who use topical facial applications containing steroids.  Chronic acne or rosacea is another common cause of perioral dermatitis.

The skin disorder is manifested by clusters of red rashes that affect the nose, the area of the mouth, and around the eyes.  It first appears on around the mouth but does not affect the lips.    The presence of the rashes along the periobital (around the eyes), and glabella (area between the eyebrows) makes the face a red mask of rashes.  The forehead is not spared.  Perioral dermatitis is usually heavy around the mouth area, when the disorder is caused by strongly fluoridated toothpaste and cinnamon oral hygiene products.  

Perioral dermatitis is also a condition akin to acne vulgaris.  In many cases, there is some confusion about rosacea and perioral dermatitis.  They look so alike in appearance and manifestations.  It usually affects women in the late teens and early 50s.  In severe conditions, treatment is similar to treating acne vulgaris.  The most effective treatment for perioral dermatitis is oral antibiotics taken in diminishing doses for three weeks or 3 months.  For faster relief, topical applications with antibacterial properties are prescribed.  

Perioral dermatitis begins with a burning sensation of feeling of tightness around the mouth area.  Sometimes the bumps or pustules are filled with pus.   Just looking at the skin condition, a doctor can immediately identify perioral dermatitis.  In severe cases though, the doctor will require a culture to ascertain the presence of infection causing bacteria.   

Skin infected with perioral dermatitis has to be washed with warm water with no soap Meanwhile all topical corticosteroids application should be stopped immediately.  However, there are instances when the infection is misdiagnosed as eczema; if this is so, the recommended application of topical glucocorticoid preparation can worsen the condition.   

In a worse case scenario, using potent topical steroids to treat perioral dermatitis can cause skin addiction.  When the medication is stopped, the skin erupts with rashes and pustules, and prolonged use can atrophy the facial skin.

Perioral dermatitis can be prevented.  Prolonged use of topical steroids should be avoided.  Unless prescribed and directed by the dermatologist, it can be held at bay.  Other factors contributing to perioral dermatitis are the use of certain cosmetics with petrolatum, and use of non-comedogenic preparations.  Exposure to UV light or heat can worsen the skin disorder.  Hormonal imbalances are oral contraceptives are also suspect.

After treatment, perioral dermatitis recurs.  It may take months before the next appearance and the same treatment will be successfully applied.  In some unfortunate cases, the disorder recurs as rosacea or severe acne.