Have you ever suffered from unknown red rashes and dry, flaky skin around your mouth and nose? Then you may have a skin condition called “Perioral Dermatitis”.
What is Perioral Dermatitis?
It’s a very common skin condition that often happens to women but can occur to any gender and age, including children. It’s the situation when the skin’s microbiome is alerted. The microbiome controls the skin’s immunity, protecting the skin from bacteria and viruses, and supports skin barrier health. When you notice the sign of Perioral Dermatitis, it means the microbiome is unbalanced. It is often connected to stress, hormonal imbalance, and skincare products. Moreover, it can occur to someone treating their eczema with steroid creams.
The common causes are …
- Excessive skin washing
- Using more than one topical products
- Applying too many active ingredients such as Vitamin A and Vitamin C.
- Layering too many products
- Using steroids incorrectly
- Using fragranced products
- Wearing masks
How to treat it
Although it’s not a lifelong skin condition, rebuilding the skin microbiome is not easy.
It requires a few lifestyle changes, such as …
- Avoid gluten, dairy and processed foods
- Promote gut health
- Reduce stress levels
- Remove steroids or topical products from your skincare routine
- Avoid applying heavy makeup
Minimising your skincare routine also plays an important role. Preferably reduce the routine to 2 steps: cleanser and moisturiser. Applying a light moisturiser several times throughout the day is better than layering a heavy moisturiser. Don’t use active ingredients such as Vitamin C, Retinol, or AHA/BHA; instead, use gentle ingredients such as Vitamin B.
Dr Maryam Zamani, aesthetic doctor and founder of MZ Skin, explains in the article How To Treat Perioral Dermatitis, According To Pro Dermatologists, ELLE,
“Certain cosmetic products, such as heavy moisturisers, fragranced products and physical sunscreens have been linked to perioral dermatitis,”
“Use a gentle fragrance-free cleanser twice daily and a light oil-free moisturiser, Finish with a non-comedogenic, mineral based SPF”
If the conditions don’t ease for several weeks despite minimising your skincare routine, it is better to ask for help from a dermatologist. It can be treated with topical antimicrobials and anti-inflammatories. Additionally, oral antibiotics are also available if necessary.