What to use for Perioral Dermatitis: Skin tags, warts, moles…most people have them, and many have had a skin tag removed. Perioral dermatitis, however, is quite different. This is a non-inflammatory, non-venous eruption that usually occurs most often in elderly, female adults, usually consisting of tiny, red, scaly patches on the mouth.
This is often accompanied by severe itching, sometimes burning, particularly when touched. It’s not dangerous, nor is it in any way a disease, but it can be unsightly and embarrassing for the person affected. Fortunately, there are several things you can do to alleviate this embarrassment.
Nasal steroids, also known as nasal steroids or steroid nasal sprays, are an effective treatment for this condition. They work by reducing inflammation of the nose, which makes the membranes less sensitive to irritants like cigarette smoke, smog, dust, and other pollutants that can irritate the skin. Nasal steroids can be taken in orally or sublingually (under the tongue) in order to reach the affected area.
They come in many different brand names, including Clearasil, Oral Choice, and Proactiv. The manufacturer of Fluoride toothpaste is also popular for its use in combating perioral dermatitis: Fluoride is a fluoridated toothpaste that also contains anti-plaque ingredients to help treat this condition.
Moisturizers and sunscreen
Moisturizers and sunscreen are both effective in preventing outbreaks and keeping the affected area moist and free of irritation. For people who already have this problem, using a humidifier to keep the face dry and minimize moisture loss can be very helpful. This helps prevent the area from becoming too irritated when the offending irritants come into contact with it.
For people whose lives are affected by this condition on a daily basis, sunglasses are important accessories to have. They help protect the nose and mouth from irritants while also providing UV protection, another important factor for those suffering from contact dermatitis.
Gels, and creams containing various salicylic acid ingredients and tea tree oil can provide relief from this disease. Benzoyl peroxide is another effective topical agent for this type of dermatitis, but it must be used carefully because it can cause burning at the skin surface if overused.
Oral antibiotics can also be prescribed to fight off infection that may lead to more serious complications, such as papules, pustules, and nodules. Oral antibiotics are usually taken in tablet form or as a cream to be applied directly to the affected area.
Topical creams such as alpha hydroxy acids can also help control the symptoms and promote healing. These are not available over the counter, so a doctor’s prescription is necessary to buy them. The specific cause of this condition cannot be identified, but there is no guarantee it won’t reoccur.
However, preventing it from occurring in the first place seems to be more successful in the long run. This includes using good skincare habits, avoiding scratching the affected area, avoiding wearing tight clothing, and protecting the skin from harsh weather conditions. Taking all of these steps prevents problems from arising that might lead to further irritation and complications.
What to Avoid?
While the treatments mentioned here are effective at treating mild cases, don’t use them on their own without consulting a doctor or dermatologist first. Some treatments carry the risk of side effects like excessive dryness, cracking, blisters, or swelling, which can worsen the condition. Also, many of these products contain strong ingredients like benzoyl peroxide that can be irritating for some people. These preparations can also lead to bad side effects like dryness, itching, and scabbing, so it’s always best to consult your doctor.
Look for natural ingredients like tea tree oil, zinc, menthol, aloe vera, vitamin E, or calendula. Some of these have antiseptic properties that can help to relieve the redness caused by inflammatory papules and pustules. Others can help reduce the itchiness and irritation.