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June 1964

Perioral Dermatitis

Author Affiliations


Arch Dermatol. 1964;89(6):803-805. doi:10.1001/archderm.1964.01590300031010

The entity we are designating "perioral dermatitis" is not common, but one to three cases are seen in our private practice every year. Women, mostly in the younger age group, are most often affected. It is polymorphous so far as individual lesions are concerned, being composed of discrete papules, papulovesicles, and vesicopustules, or more diffuse erythema and scaling. However, its distribution about the mouth is remarkably constant. Mild to moderate itching and burning are present. We feel we are discussing the same dermatitis delineated by Frumess and Lewis under the name "light-sensitive seborrheid." On the basis of a rather high incidence (43%) of seborrhea capitis among our small series of patients, we could entertain the possibility of this eruption being a "seborrheid," but in none of our patients were we able to obtain any history of sensitivity to sunlight or to any other rays in the ultraviolet spectrum. We do not feel perioral dermatitis is related to the erythrose peribuccale pigmentaire of Brocq 2 either, since the latter condition is essentially macular in character, and shows more or less permanent pigmentary changes that are lacking in the former. Nor were the changes of rosacea in the characteristic sites found in our patients.

Unfortunately, we were unable to tie in the outbreaks in our patients with any other possible etiologic agents. The condition is resistant to therapy more often than not, and medication remains symptomatic and empirical.

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