Perioral dermatitis: Diagnosis, proposed etiologies, and management

Tamara Searle, Faisal R. Ali, Firas Al-Niaimi*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

7 Citations (Scopus)


Background and Aims: Perioral dermatitis is a common cutaneous condition characterized by acneiform facial eruptions often with an eczematous appearance. A granulomatous subtype exists in addition to the classic variant. While topical corticosteroids have been largely implicated in this condition, its etiology is not completely understood. Methods: Using the keywords “corticosteroids,” “dermatology,” “fusobacteria,” “perioral dermatitis,” and “periorificial dermatitis,” we searched the databases PubMed, MEDLINE, and EMBASE to find the relevant literature. Only articles in English were chosen. The level of evidence was evaluated and selected according to the highest level working our way downwards using the Oxford Centre of Evidence-Based Medicine 2011 guidance. Results: This systematic review found the strongest evidence to support topical corticosteroid misuse as the principal causative factor in the pathogenesis of perioral dermatitis. Conclusion: In terms of treatment, further research is required to robustly investigate promising treatment options including tetracyclines, topical metronidazole, topical azelaic acid, adapalene gel, and oral isotretinoin.

Original languageEnglish
JournalJournal of Cosmetic Dermatology
Issue number12
Pages (from-to)3839-3848
Number of pages10
Publication statusPublished - Dec 2021


  • corticosteroids
  • demodex
  • fusobacteria
  • maskne
  • perioral dermatitis


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