Which topical therapies are effective for the treatment of perioral dermatitis (POD)?

Updated: Nov 13, 2020
  • Author: Hans J Kammler, MD, PhD; Chief Editor: William D James, MD  more...
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In mild cases, as well as in most children and pregnant women, individualized topical therapy is generally recommended. Antimicrobial agents (eg, metronidazole [7, 18, 19, 20] and erythromycin) are administered in a nongreasy base (eg, gel, lotion, cream). Pimecrolimus cream significantly reduced the Perioral Dermatitis Severity Index [21] (PODSI) compared with vehicle in a randomized, double-blind study in adults. [22] Pimecrolimus cream seems to be most effective in steroid-induced perioral dermatitis. [23] A retrospective medical record review from 2020 reported that topical calcineurin inhibitors are effective and well tolerated for treating periorificial dermatitis in pediatric patients. [24] Topical antiacne medications such as adapalene [25] and azelaic acid [26, 27] have been used in open studies. Ointments should be avoided.

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