Who's At Risk
Perioral dermatitis commonly occurs in children (and in adults), and it is especially common in children with darker skin.
Signs and Symptoms
Small (1–2 mm), firm, pink-to-flesh-colored bumps and tiny, raised, liquid-filled lesions (pustules), with or without scaling skin, that appear around the mouth and sometimes around the nose and eyes.
- With your child's doctor's permission, stop using any medications (especially medium-to-high-potency topical corticosteroids) that may be triggering the problem.
- Change to another type of cosmetic, toothpaste, or mouthwash product, since these may also trigger the condition.
When to Seek Medical Care
See your child's doctor or a dermatologist for evaluation of any unidentified, long-lasting rash around your child's mouth.
Treatments Your Physician May Prescribe
The doctor may prescribe:
- Metronidazole cream (a topical antibiotic) applied up to 2 times daily, gradually decreasing use as the condition improves.
- Oral tetracycline for children older than 9, gradually decreasing use as the condition improves.
- Oral erythromycin for children less than 9 years old, gradually decreasing use as the condition improves.
- Topical antibiotics may help mild outbreaks.
Bolognia, Jean L., ed. Dermatology
, pp.227, 239, 253-256. New York: Mosby, 2003.
Freedberg, Irwin M., ed. Fitzpatrick's Dermatology in General Medicine
ed. pp.697-698. New York: McGraw-Hill, 2003.