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What Causes Rash Around Mouth (Perioral Dermatitis)

by Fashionlady
Rash Around Mouth

If you have red rash around mouth, check for the indications of Perioral Dermatitis. It is not like the regular rash that develops on face, hence do not be confused. This facial rash forms mostly around an individual’s mouth. Are you terrified of the rash that you presently have on your face?

What Is Perioral Dermatitis?

It is a rash that is reddish in colour and at times gets scaly and itchy too. This might spread around the nose, cheeks and sometimes under your eyes. This happens due to allergic reaction on lips, or rash on lips and redness around mouth. The area which is a little away from the lips is highly affected due to inflammation and forms small bumpy rash. It is like a ring that surrounds the outer border of the lips. Mostly women suffer from the same, more than men and children. It can recur over the years.

But what causes this rash around mouth? An allergic reaction? Or an insect bite? The following points will help you understand the causes of Perioral Dermatitis:

What Causes Perioral Dermatitis?

Medical experts aren’t yet sure of what causes redness around mouth, but there are triggers that indicates this condition. For example:

  1. Using steroid creams, special strong ointments, topical steroids, strong inhalers and nasal steroids
  2. Women using certain makeup products, removers, cleansers etc which contain active ingredients that can cause the condition.
  3. Strong UV rays of the sun
  4. Toothpaste with plenty of fluorinated contents
  5. Germs, yeast and bacteria that house on the surface of the skin and in the hair follicles
  6. When hormonal changes in women
  7. Oral contraceptive pills
  8. Unhygienic maintenance of the face
What Causes Perioral Dermatitis

Source: vineverareviews.com

Treatment For Perioral Dermatitis

You have to be patient for results.

  • Firstly, your face should be washed with warm water when affected with this rash. A non-soapy facewash or a specified liquid face cleanser shoukd be used.
  • To protect your skin further from the harsh UV rays of the sun, your doctor would advise a special sunscreen or liquid or gel for the face.
  • In other cases of Perioral Dermatitis, doctors would advise using Erythromycin or Clindamycin or Metronidazole and Pimecrolimus or even Azelaic acid.
  • For very severe cases, one would be prescribed oral antibiotics which last for minimum six weeks and maximum twelve weeks- doxycycline and tetracycline would be best to use. These are oral anti-bacterial medications.
  • If the patient is an expectant mother, she would be asked to use erythromycin orally.
  • If there are contraindications, there would be low doses of isotretinoin administered to the patient too.

Who is affected the most? Why only women and not men? Here are the answers:

Who Is Most Affected With Rashes Near Mouth

Mostly women from the age group 16-45 are affected by red rings around lips, say medical experts. It is very uncommon in the case of men and children.

Research shows that women who suffer from the following develop Perioral Dermatitis:

  • Epidermal barrier dysfunction or an activation of the innate immune system
  • Altered cutaneous microflora or follicular fusiform bacteria issues

But do not confuse the same with seborrhoeic dermatitis, which affects the face completely. They are two different types of rashes and have to be dealt with separately. So who is most affected by Perioral Dermatitis?

Even when you have hormonal changes, chances are that there could be bilateral or unilateral eruptions on the skin. One needs to get skin biopsy done to diagnose this rash. Dosage of medication would follow next, if the doctor identifies the condition.

However, there are home remedies to help deal with Perioral Dermatitis and redness around the lips too. Let’s take a look at what you can use:

Home Remedies for Rash Around Mouth

In most cases it has been noticed that skin rash around mouth happens when the immune system is low and weak. If you are suffering from this rash, you cannot take anymore chances with your immune system. You need to eat foods that are high in vitamin E. Some of the foods which are rich in this vitamins and can help strengthen the immune system are:

  1. Peanut butter
  2. Sunflower seeds
  3. Wheatgerm oil

The fresher the foods, the better. Processed foods are not to be eaten at all.

Home Remedies for Perioral Dermatitis


Yogurt is probiotic, and should be consumed to keep the immune system strong. However, you can also apply a tablespoon of sour yogurt on the face. This is because the sour yogurt is antibacterial and can help bring down inflammation on the skin. It can also help soothe the skin since the active culture in it fights the infection.

Tea Tree Oil

Thanks to the powerful tea tree oil, which has the power to fight inflammation and bacteria, we would look at this agent to beat the cause of skin rash around mouth.

Aloe Vera

Aloe vera for red lines around mouth is medicinal, antibacterial and antimicrobial too. Aloe evra gel can reduce inflammation and pains on the face and itchiness too. A tablespoon of aloe vera gel should be applied as a mask daily, until the rash disappears.


Coconut Oil

The hydrating and antibacterial properties of coconut oil cannot be undermined. Use a teaspoon of coconut oil to massage the affected areas. Since coconut oil also helps as a moisturizing agent, it will be best to warm the oil and then apply on the skin twice or thrice a day. Wait for ten minutes and allow the oil to get absorbed into the skin. This will help clear itchiness, dryness and redness. Wash off with warm water and do not use any facewash until the rashes disappear.

Apple Cider Vinegar

Apple cider vinegar for many centuries has been used as a beauty agent and a medicinal agent and also for weight loss. It is rich in antioxidants and can naturally tone the skin.

  • Use a cap full of ACV with warm water (1 cup).
  • Mix the two and dip cotton into it.
  • Dab the cotton on the face and clean the area gently.

ACV helps kill the bacteria while cleaning the skin, reduces itchiness and dryness. It helps shrink the pores so that no more dirt enters the skin and hair follicles, and you are safe.

Don’t Forget To Drink Water

You would need to have at least eight to ten glasses of water a day. This helps to flush the toxins out of the body and keep the skin hydrated.

Dont Forget to Drink Water


Here are a few points that tell you what to avoid when you have Perioral Dermatitis.

What To Avoid During Perioral Dermatitis

  1. Processed foods, as they contain chemicals and additives which cause rash
  2. Shampoos that have Sodium Laureth Sulphate (SLS)
  3. Toothpastes that have SLS in it. Check the ingredients and avoid fluorinated pastes too.
  4. Use only mineral based make up only. Avoid any other.
  5. Avoid chemical induced body care products like face cleaners, lip balms, lip glosses, body butters etc.
  6. Don’t use castor oil for beauty needs, which can be a reason why the condition keeps recurring.

These were some of the preventative plans you could take up when you have Perioral Dermatitis. Now let’s take a look at the food and diet plans for the same:

What To Avoid During Perioral Dermatitis

Source: mypanier.com

Perioral Dermatitis Diet Plan

The moment you notice allergic reaction on lips, or rash on lips and redness around mouth, you need to follow a strict diet plan which helps in curing the rash.

  1. Doctors would advise patients to have more of veggies and fruits that are organically harvested, apart from whole foods. But there are cases where healthy foods can be culprits too, such as cinnamon and strawberries, wines and beers and black tea.
  2. Spicy foods and oily foods can make matters worse, and this is why fast foods are to be avoided like the plague when you have this skin condition. Such foods make the blood vessels dilate. This makes the skin swell, erupt, and inflammed. So anything that is too acidic, sour and spicy or oily, should be avoided until your doctor gives you a clean chit!
  3. Eat foods that have plenty of vitamins in them- B12, E and A especially. They help make the skins protective barrier strong, and bring down irritation. Vitamins help in skin cell regeneration too.
  4. Diet wise, check for foods that are low with amines and additives, salicylates and artificial additives- they are reasons why eruptions on the skin happen. They make the bumps and the scaly cells erupt and flake further, causing more pain. Don’t forget to indulge in foods rich in vitamin C.
Perioral Dermatitis Diet Plan

Source: pinterest

We hope this mini guide on how to deal with Perioral Dermatitis comes in handy. Do consult your doctor on the lifestyle and food habits you need to make changes too.

Disclaimer: The information provided here is for reading purposes only. Please check with your doctor for further knowhow on Perioral Dermatitis, and his word would take precedence over what is written here and elsewhere online.

Stay healthy and happy!

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