The development of pimples around the mouth among adult women can be diagnosed as acne, but they are actually perioral dermatitis. If you have not heard about perioral dermatitis, it is an acne-like outbreak in the skin characterized as red-colored bumps on the mouth and chin. The skin can be scaly, red and itchy which is similar to pimples.
Perioral dermatitis typically starts as pimples on the area surrounding the mouth. In severe cases, the bumps develop around the eyes and nose as well. This skin condition has a distinctive circular pattern that surrounds the mouth while leaving behind a thin perimeter of skin around the lips. Unlike with acne, the pores are not clogged with this dermatitis.
Children and women are usually affected
Always bear in mind that perioral dermatitis typically affects adult women. It is also possible but unusual for men to end up with the condition though. This form of dermatitis usually affects women in between 20-40 years old and considered chronic, lasting for months to years.
Perioral dermatitis can also develop in children. Unlike with adults where only women are affected, both girls and boys can acquire the disease.
Use of makeup and steroids
The application of topical steroids to the face is considered as a risk factor for the development of perioral dermatitis. Topical steroids that can trigger the issue include both over-the-counter products such as hydrocortisone and even the prescription steroid creams.
Using heavy moisturizing creams or foundation makeup on a daily basis can also trigger perioral dermatitis. The application of moisturizers and other types of makeup is one reason why this condition exclusively occurs in women most of the time.
Treatment using oral antibiotics
The most effective treatment for perioral dermatitis involves the use of oral antibiotics. The commonly used antibiotics include erythromycin, doxycycline and minocycline. In most cases, the rash typically improves after 2-3 weeks but a month or more of taking antibiotics is required to completely eliminate it. The topical antibiotics such as metronidazole cream can also be used but not as effective as the oral variants.
The use of any topical steroid creams should be stopped. The application of any type of steroid on the face can cause the rash to reappear rapidly.
Does the diet play a role?
Just like with rosacea, consumption of spicy or hot foods can worsen perioral dermatitis. This is due to the fact that foods which dilate the blood vessels and increase inflammation in the skin can make the red-colored, swollen pimples worse.
Foods that are capable of triggering an outbreak include citrus fruits, sour cream, vinegar, yogurt, cinnamon, spices and hot sauce. Oftentimes, it is also recommended that the individual keeps a food diary. If a certain food worsens the perioral dermatitis, it should be noted down so that it can be avoided in the future.