What is perioral dermatitis and how is it treated?

Updated: Jul 29, 2019
  • Author: Julianne H Kuflik, MD; Chief Editor: Dirk M Elston, MD  more...
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Answer

Perioral dermatitis, also a disorder of unclear etiology, is mainly observed in the young, white, female population as papulopustules with erythematous base. The eruption is predominantly perioral in location, characteristically sparing the vermilion border of the lip, but it may also include the perinasal and periorbital areas. A variant known as periocular dermatitis affects the skin around the eyes. The eruption is thought to be a variant of rosacea, as biopsies show changes similar to those of rosacea.

Causative agents are theorized to be prior use of topical corticosteroids, but neither duration of use nor steroid strength have been shown to be clearly related. Demodex mites, [21] moisturizers, fluorinatced compounds, and contact irritants or allergens have also been implicated as causes of eruption.

Therapy typically includes cessation of topical steroids or other offending agents and topical anti-inflammatory treatments such as topical metronidazole, topical pimecrolimus cream, azelaic acid, as well as oral anti-inflammatory dose antibiotics such as doxycycline. For more information, see Perioral Dermatitis.

Lymphoma has been reported as a cause of acneiform eruptions. [22]


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