Rosacea Lookalike: Perioral Dermatitis

Posted: 09/12/2016

makeup perioral dermatitisAmong the skin conditions sometimes mistaken for rosacea is perioral dermatitis, a red, bumpy rash that may form on the skin around the mouth and the lower portion of the face. Anyone can have perioral dermatitis, but it is seen most frequently in young women and children. 

Perioral dermatitis can look very similar to the bumps and pimples of subtype 2 rosacea. The rash may cause a burning sensation, which is a common symptom of rosacea. However, perioral dermatitis is closer to an allergic reaction than a chronic inflammatory condition. According to medical authorities, it may be caused by use of cosmetics, topical steroid creams, nasal steroid sprays, fluorinated toothpaste, sunscreen or other products. While rosacea’s causes are unknown and the disorder often involves many triggers, perioral dermatitis usually has a more clear cause. 

If you think you might have perioral dermatitis, visit your dermatologist for a diagnosis and a treatment plan appropriate to your individual case. Play close attention to your skin care and personal hygiene routine and try to identify what might be causing the rash. Sometimes perioral dermatitis will simply go away if you can identify and stop using the substance that caused it.

Photo courtesy of Richard Foster.

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The National Rosacea Society is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization whose mission is to improve the lives of people with rosacea by raising awareness, providing public health information and supporting medical research on this widespread but little-known disorder. The information the Society provides should not be considered medical advice, nor is it intended to replace

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