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: When perioral dermatitis affects the chin and the skin next to the nose, it often looks like acne at first appearance.

But you can tell that it is not acne by noticing there are no comedones (blackheads or whiteheads).

In the last few months I have had 8 new patients contact me regarding perioral dermatitis.

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: It can be challenging to differentiate perioral dermatitis from eczema/AD at first glance.

Eczema will often appear elsewhere on the face or the body and not be confined to the region around the mouth or eyes.

: Allergic reactions around the mouth or lips, like from lip balms or lipstick, will also typically affect the vermilion border (the edge between your lips and the regular skin of your face).

In the case of perioral dermatitis, this vermilion border is spared and there will be a thin clear zone along the edge of the lips with no redness or papules.

Often topical steroids will be prescribed to treat the eczema but this can cause a severe aggravation of the eruptions if it truly is perioral dermatitis.

: At the initial stages of rosacea, flushing occurs and erythema can occur without papules or pustules (though these appear at later stages).

Perioral dermatitis eruptions appear on the delicate areas of the face where drying substances (like benzoyl peroxide found in acne medications) make the skin too dry.

It is believed that in individuals with constitutionally dry skin, the overuse of moisturizers causes the surface of the skin (the horny layer) to be constantly artificially hydrated, thus affecting this layer’s ability to inhibit the growth of bacteria.

Persons with oily skin who do not properly cleanse with water and soap (or other cleanser) are also susceptible.

Daily use of heavy sunscreens also tend to trigger this type of rash.

But not all rashes near the mouth or on the face are caused by allergic contact dermatitis.

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