Perioral dermatitis is a scaly, bumpy rash that occurs around the mouth, nose, and sometimes on the eyelids. In some families it is related to acne rosacea. Cortisone creams and ointments make it worse; although, at first they may seem to make it less red. Use of these creams and ointments must be stopped for the skin to clear. If you have been using a cortisone cream, your rash will get worse for 7 to 10 days after stopping the cream. Then it will get better. Some moisturizers or makeup also make this type of dermatitis worse. You should also stop using them. Your doctor can give you a list of moisturizers you can use.
- Wash your face with a mild, unscented soap such as Dove® Unscented Soap or Cetaphil®.
- Use non-fluoride toothpastes such as Peak® or Sensodyne®. When you have not had a rash for one month, you may resume using your fluoride toothpaste.
- Do not use cosmetics on the rash. You may use them elsewhere on your face.
- Use only unscented moisturizers on your face. Your health-care provider will suggest one.
- Your health-care provider will prescribe one of these antibiotics:
- Tetracycline: Take this antibiotic on an empty stomach l hour before meals. This may cause heartburn or itchy, vaginal discharge, and make you more likely to sunburn. If you have any of these symptoms, stop taking the medicine and call the Dermatology Clinic. Drink plenty of water with this medicine. Limit your time in the sun. Sunscreen with a SPF (sun protection factor) of 15 is advised.
- Minocin: Take this medicine as prescribed by your health-care provider. You may take this with or without food. Side effects include dizziness, headache, feeling sluggish or tired, or an upset stomach. Very rarely, it may cause vaginal discharge. A very rare side effect is skin or mucous membrane may change color. If these occur, stop taking the medicine for several days until the symptoms are gone. Then start taking it again in the prescribed dosage. If these symptoms occur again, stop taking the medicine and call your health-care provider.
- Erythromycin: Take this medicine as prescribed by your doctor. Side effects may include cramping, diarrhea, or upset stomach (nausea). It is sometimes helpful to take this with meals to help relieve some of the stomach upset.
- Do not use anything else on your rash unless you talk with your doctor.
It often takes 4 to 6 weeks for this problem to clear with treatment. You must stay on your treatment for the full time as outlined by your doctor. If you stop treatment too early, the dermatitis is more likely to recur. Some persons may notice that it recurs even with proper treatment. For this reason, make sure you follow your doctor's instructions.
UW Dermatology Department
1 S. Park St 7th Floor
Madison, WI 53715
Clinic: 608 287-2450
American Family Children’s Hospital
Pediatric Dermatology Specialty Clinic
1675 Highland Ave.
Madison, WI 53792
Clinic: 608 263-6420
The information provided should not be used during any medical emergency or for the diagnosis or treatment of any medical condition. A licensed physician should be consulted for diagnosis and treatment of any and all medical conditions. Call 911 for all medical emergencies. Any duplication or distribution of the information contained herein is strictly prohibited.
Last Updated: 06/23/2009
Copyright © 05/01/2009 University of Wisconsin Hospitals and Clinics Authority. All rights reserved. Produced by the Department of Nursing. HF#6472
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