What is Perioral Dermatitis – Understanding the Causes, Symptoms and Treatment Options

Perioral Dermatitis is a common skin problem that primarily affects young women ages 25-40. Children between the ages of 7 months to 13 years may also be affected. In addition to redness, symptoms can include small red bumps or pus filled bumps, and peeling. The areas most affected are usually between the nose, to the sides of the lips. The areas around the nose, eyes, cheeks and chin can also be affected. Occasionally mild itching or burning is also present. It can look like pimple clusters or acne.

Some factors discussed as possible culprits of perioral dermatitis include Sodium Lauryl Sulfate, (SLS) and Ammonium Lauryl Sulfate (ALS). Sodium Lauryl Sulfate is an ingredient in soaps, shampoos, bubble baths, dish detergents and is what creates the lather and suds. Oral contraceptives may also be a factor. Perioral Dermatitis can also be flared up by alcohol, spicy foods and caffeine; anything that dilates the blood vessels. Other suggested causes include sunlight, cosmetic products and ingredients in certain foundations women use. Some doctors believe that it is possibly rooted in rosacea or dermatitis.

Useful prevention and treatment tips include discontinuing the use of all lotions, cosmetics, and sunscreens until you check out ingredients. Be aware that the sun can cause sensitivity and irritation. Wash with warm water alone to avoid irritation with ingredients in soap until you research this further.

Perioral Dermatitis is a difficult to treat and often requires several months of treatment. Recurrences are common, especially if topical steroids are applied to the face. Oral antibiotics are effective and tetracycline is commonly used. Photodynamic therapy (PDT) has been reported to be helpful for Perioral Dermatitis although it is has not been proven. Remember that treatment for each person varies based on the severity of the disease. It can take a month or two to see improvement.

Eating dark green vegetables such as kale, broccoli, asparagus, and spinach can help the condition by increasing capillary strength and boosting the immune system. These foods, and others contain high levels of vitamins A and C, bioflavonoids, and beta-carotene as well. Omega-3 and omega-6 fatty acid deficiencies can worsen Perioral Dermatitis. Omega-3 fatty acids can be found in flaxseed oil, cod liver oil, salmon, mackerel, and herring. Omega-6 fatty acid is found in evening primrose oil, sunflower oil and sesame oil.

What is Perioral Dermatitis – Understanding the Causes, Symptoms and Treatment Options by Dee Cohen

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