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    Perioral dermatitis

    Perioral dermatitis is a skin disorder in whichtiny red bumps form around the mouth.


    The exact cause of perioral dermatitis is unknown. It may occur after using face creams containing steroids for another condition.

    Young women are most likely to get this condition.


    Symptoms include:

    • Burning feeling around the mouth
    • Bumpsaround the mouth, may be filled with fluid or pus
    • A similar rash may appear around the eyes, nose, or forehead and may be mistaken for acne

    Itching is not a common symptom.

    Exams and Tests

    Your doctor or nurse can usually diagnose this condition by looking at your skin. Sometimes, tests are done to see if bacteria is causing an infection.


    Steroid skin creams should NOT be used to treat this condition.

    Treatment may includeskin medicines such as:

    • Metronidazole
    • Erythromycin
    • Benzoyl peroxide
    • Tacrolimus
    • Clindamycin
    • Pimecrolimus
    • Sodium sulfacetamide with sulfur

    If the condition is severe, your doctor may prescribe antibiotics taken by mouth. Antibiotics used to treat this condition include tetracycline, doxycycline, minocycline, or erythromycin.

    Outlook (Prognosis)

    Perioral dermatitis is difficult to treat effectively. It often requires several months of treatment.

    Bumps usuallyreturn, particularly if you putskin creams containing steroids on your face.

    When to Contact a Medical Professional

    Call your health care provider if you notice persistent red bumps around your mouth.


    Avoid using skin creams containing steroids on your face, unless specifically directed by your dermatologist.


    • Dermatitis, perioral


      • Dermatitis, perioral


      Self Care

        Tests for Perioral dermatitis

          Review Date: 11/22/2011

          Reviewed By: Kevin Berman, MD, PhD, Atlanta Center for Dermatologic Disease, Atlanta, GA. Review provided by VeriMed Healthcare Network. Also reviewed by David Zieve, MD, MHA, Medical Director, A.D.A.M., Inc.

          The information provided herein should not be used during any medical emergency or for the diagnosis or treatment of any medical condition. A licensed medical professional should be consulted for diagnosis and treatment of any and all medical conditions. Links to other sites are provided for information only -- they do not constitute endorsements of those other sites. © 1997- A.D.A.M., Inc. Any duplication or distribution of the information contained herein is strictly prohibited.

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