Perioral dermatitis: a review of the condition with special attention to treatment options.

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American journal of clinical dermatology


Perioral dermatitis is a common acneiform facial eruption found in both adults and children. Its variants are periorificial and granulomatous periorificial dermatitis. The etiology of perioral dermatitis remains unknown; however, topical corticosteroid use on the face commonly precedes the manifestation of this condition. There are an overwhelming number of treatment options for perioral dermatitis, and the options in children are slightly different from those in adults for both systemic medications and topical treatment. This article provides a literature review of the various applicable treatments available based on the level and quality of the evidence by the US Preventive Service Task Force. Oral tetracycline reveals the best valid evidence. However, if the patient is less than 8 years old, then this oral therapy may not be suitable. Topical metronidazole, erythromycin, and pimecrolimus also represent effective treatment choices with good evidence. Topical corticosteroid use is common in these cases and the question of whether it is a good treatment or a cause remains unanswered. Corticosteroid cream can improve the clinical picture, but there is a risk of rebound when treatment is stopped. We propose a treatment algorithm to assist dermatologists, pediatric dermatologists, and general practitioners encountering this condition.

Medical Subject Headings

Administration, Oral; Administration, Topical; Algorithms; Anti-Infective Agents; Anti-Inflammatory Agents, Non-Steroidal; Dermatitis, Perioral; Dermatologic Agents; Diagnosis, Differential; Glucocorticoids; Humans; Photochemotherapy

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