Which medications in the drug class Antibiotics, Other are used in the treatment of Perioral Dermatitis?

Updated: Nov 13, 2020
  • Author: Hans J Kammler, MD, PhD; Chief Editor: William D James, MD  more...
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Antibiotics, Other

These drugs may have antibacterial and/or anti-inflammatory effects that are responsible for their effectiveness in perioral dermatitis.

Doxycycline (Oracea, Doryx, Vibramycin)

Doxycycline is the drug of choice in nonpregnant women. It inhibits protein synthesis and thus bacterial growth by binding to 30S and possibly 50S ribosomal subunits of susceptible bacteria. Alternatively, one may use tetracycline in adapted dose.

Minocycline (Dynacin, Minocin, Solodyn)

Minocycline is believed to be the most efficacious tetracycline in dermatoses of sebaceous glands. It is used to treat infections caused by susceptible gram-negative and gram-positive organisms, in addition to infections caused by susceptible Chlamydia, Rickettsia, and Mycoplasma species.


Tetracycline inhibits bacterial protein synthesis by binding with 30S and possibly 50S ribosomal subunits. It has anti-inflammatory activity.

Metronidazole (Flagyl)

Metronidazole is an imidazole ring-based antibiotic active against various anaerobic bacteria and protozoa. In concentrations of 0.75-2%, it is considered to be the drug of choice for topical treatment of perioral dermatitis. Metronidazole is available in a gel, lotion, or cream.

Erythromycin (E.E.S., Erythrocin, Ery-Tab)

Topical erythromycin in concentrations of 2-4% as a gel or cream is an alternative to metronidazole for topical treatment. It inhibits bacterial growth, possibly by blocking dissociation of peptidyl t-RNA from ribosomes, causing RNA-dependent protein synthesis to arrest. It is used to treat staphylococcal and streptococcal infections.

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