38. Perioral Dermatitis

  1. Alan D. Irvine MD, FRCPI, FRCP3,4,
  2. Peter H. Hoeger MD5,6 and
  3. Albert C. Yan MD, FAAP, FAAD7,8
  1. Ki-Young Suh MD1 and
  2. Ilona J. Frieden MD2

Published Online: 24 MAY 2011

DOI: 10.1002/9781444345384.ch38

Harper's Textbook of Pediatric Dermatology, Volume 1, 2, Third Edition

Harper's Textbook of Pediatric Dermatology, Volume 1, 2, Third Edition

How to Cite

Suh, K.-Y. and Frieden, I. J. (2011) Perioral Dermatitis, in Harper's Textbook of Pediatric Dermatology, Volume 1, 2, Third Edition (eds A. D. Irvine, P. H. Hoeger and A. C. Yan), Wiley-Blackwell, Oxford, UK. doi: 10.1002/9781444345384.ch38

Editor Information

  1. 3

    Trinity College, Dublin, Ireland

  2. 4

    Our Lady's Children's Hospital, Dublin, Ireland

  3. 5

    University of Hamburg, Hamburg, Germany

  4. 6

    Catholic Children's Hospital Wilhelmstift, Hamburg, Germany

  5. 7

    University of Pennsylvania School of Medicine, Philadelphia, PA, USA

  6. 8

    The Children's Hospital of Philadelphia, Philadelphia, PA, USA

Author Information

  1. 1

    Division of Dermatology, Department of Medicine, David Geffen School of Medicine at University of California, Los Angeles, CA, USA

  2. 2

    Division of Pediatric Dermatology, San Francisco School of Medicine, University of California, San Francisco, CA, USA

Publication History

  1. Published Online: 24 MAY 2011
  2. Published Print: 3 JUN 2011

ISBN Information

Print ISBN: 9781405176958

Online ISBN: 9781444345384



  • dermatitis;
  • granulomatous;
  • perioral;
  • periorificial


Perioral dermatitis, otherwise known as periorificial dermatitis, is characterized by inflammatory papules clustered mostly around the mouth and also other sites such as periocular and perinasal areas. The eruption commonly presents as small erythematous papules on an eczematous background. A well-described granulomatous variant is referred to as perioral granulomatous dermatitis and features discrete, small, firm, dome-shaped papules without perceptible erythema or scale. Perioral dermatitis is thought to be an idiosyncratic response to a variety of exogenous factors, with topical steroid use being a common but not ubiquitous association. This benign skin disorder may wax and wane for months or years, and on occasion leave pinpoint scars. Treatment is generally effective with topical metronidazole or steroid-sparing anti-inflammatories such as topical calcineurin inhibitors for mild disease or with oral antibiotics of the macrolide or tetracycline family for more severe disease.