Perioral dermatitis is a skin condition that causes bumps and redness around the mouth, though in rare cases it can also appear on other areas, such as the eyes and noses.
Perioral dermatitis is more common in women between fifteen and forty-five years old. The rash typically looks flaky or scaly, and symptoms vary from person to person.
One individual might experience a few unnoticeable bumps, while others may have several hard to miss ones. Bumps can appear skin-colored, red or pink, but are not the same as acne.
Perioral dermatitis may be itchy, but generally doesn’t hurt. Some patients will feel a mild burning sensation or tightness in the affected skin.
5 Common Causes of Perioral Dermatitis
The following are the most common causes of perioral dermatitis.
Perioral dermatitis and rosacea are both skin disorders that cause lesions, itching, and redness. It is very common for them to occur together even though they are unrelated.
The symptoms many individuals experience include stinging, burning, red or flushed skin, pustules, an enlarged nose, and visible blood vessels.
Rosacea is an inflammatory skin disorder that affects the scalp, face, skin, and other parts of the body. Around twenty-five percent of individual’s with perioral dermatitis also have rosacea.
Dermatologists believe this is more common in specific skin types like fair skin. If an individual has both inflammatory skin disorders, it is crucial to seek treatment to manage each condition’s symptoms.
2. Bacterial or Fungal Infections
Bacterial and fungal infections are common throughout the world. They occur in humans when bacteria or fungi invade an area of the body and the immune system can’t handle it.
Fungi live in plants, air, water, and soil. Harmful fungi that invade the body are hard to kill and can re-infect the individual who’s trying to get better. If the patient has existing perioral dermatitis, the area is likely already itching, red, and possibly peeling or cracked.
Bacterial or fungal infections will only exacerbate dermatitis and make it worse. A specific species of fungi such as Candida are cultured from lesions and can provoke perioral dermatitis.
3. Constant Drooling
It is common in children because it is associated with thumb sucking, lip chewing, lip licking, and excessive drooling.
Changes might be barely noticeable or vary from mild pink patches to a fiery red color. Juices from food, peppermint or cinnamon flavorings from toothpaste, and even gum can contribute to skin irritation around the mouth.
Changes in weather and certain medications can cause the skin to become dry and chapped. Constant drooling, especially when asleep, is another cause. Drooling removes secreted oils around the mouth that usually keep it moisturized.
Specific medications both oral and topical can lead to dry skin and tempt individuals to lick the sides of their mouth.
Evidence suggests certain ingredients in sun protection creams cause dermatitis. Thus, individuals should avoid these products if they suspect any one of them is causing their skin irritation, whether it turns out to be perioral dermatitis or not.
Heavy sun protection creams that contain paraffin or petroleum can worsen a patient’s perioral dermatitis. However, when an individual has perioral dermatitis, it’s still important for them to protect their face with broad spectrum sun protection.
While it’s difficult to find products that won’t agitate the rash, there are sensitive formulas on the market.
Individuals should avoid chemical sunscreens as they often contain ingredients that cause hormonal imbalance, which will result in a perioral dermatitis flare-up. Stick with suns protection products specially formulated for sensitive skin.
5. Cosmetic Ingredients
It’s vital for individuals to be careful with the beauty products they choose, especially if they have perioral dermatitis.
When a dermatitis outbreak occurs, patients will likely have itchy and tender red papules around their mouth. It can also feel as if their skin is burning and may appear flaky and dry.
Skin affected by conditions such as perioral dermatitis is particularly sensitive and more vulnerable to harmful cosmetic ingredients. Skin care creams and ointments containing isopropyl myristate are known to irritate symptoms of perioral dermatitis.
Studies found applying foundation after a moisturizer increased an individual’s risk of perioral dermatitis. Alternatively, use products that only use all-natural and organic ingredients and avoid harsh chemicals that will irritate the skin.