What causes rash around mouth? The skin found around and inside the mouth is usually thinner than the rest of the body skin. This skin also lacks the natural moisturizing ability because there are no sebaceous glands on it. Furthermore it lacks the skin pigment, melanin, which provides protection against ultraviolet (UV) light. Due to all these, it has been found that a rash can occur around the mouth from physical injury, dryness and intense sunlight. There are certain types of rash around the mouth that only affects the skin and never involves the lips itself.
The term perioral dermatitis literally means inflammation of the skin (dermatitis) around the mouth (perioral). Although there are many skin conditions that can affect this area and cause skin inflammation, the term perioral dermatitis usually refers to a specific skin disorder. It refers to a chronic condition where there is pronounced redness in the affected area that resembles rosacea.
The exact cause of perioral dermatitis is not known but the condition has been associated with long term use of steroid creams. This may not be the cause of perioral dermatitis but rather the trigger of the condition. Perioral dermatitis affects about 1 in 100 people in the United States. The condition is often seen among women between the ages of 20 to 45 years old. Men and children are very rarely affected.
Symptoms of rash around mouth
A rash rough the mouth can be in form of red bumps around the mouth. The bumps may be scaly in appearance. The bumps can also appear in the area under the eyes, on the forehead, and on the chin. These small bumps can contain pus or fluids and may resemble acne.
You may also experience symptoms such as burning or itching, especially as the rash worsens.
- Intense itching
- Redness accompanied by dry, blistering
- Sometimes peeling and cracking on the corners of mouth will occur
- Bleeding if severe
These are usually the common symptoms but an infection would cause other symptoms such as severe pain, heat (burning), fever and pus.
Rash around Mouth Causes
The skin around the mouth is much thinner and delicate than most places on the body. It also lacks the natural moisturizing ability adequately. Rashes can occur around the mouth due to physical injury, dryness and intense sunlight.
There are many things that cause a rash around your mouth. Ranging from physical injury, to dryness to intense sunlight, you can develop a rash which may sometimes appear with redness. Sometimes this rash may extend on to the lip surface but there are certain types of rash around the mouth that only affects the skin and never involves the lips itself.
Causes of rashes around the mouth
The following are causes of rash around mouth of most adults:
- Contact dermatitis
Contact dermatitis is a skin condition that causes inflammation that occurs when some substances makes contact with the skin. They appears as itchy red bumps around mouth that are sometimes painful and samples of these contact dermatitis are certain makeup products, poison ivy, or some skin care products.
This is also a skin condition that causes both irritation and inflammation around your mouth and can also cause a rash to appear on your feet, face, knees, and hands. The rash is characterized by itching, redness, and swelling, and will appear thick and flaky. There are several factors that trigger up appearances of rash around mouth such as extreme temperatures, stress, and certain chemicals that may be found in the soaps you use, etc.
This skin condition around the mouth is triggered by allergic reaction due to food we eat or medication. Another trigger of hives is stress. If the rash is on your lips, it is called angioedema, which is like hives.
- Perioral dermatitis
These skin problems around the mouth usually affect women in most occasions and it is causes a group of small red bumps to appear around your mouth. The rash can also spread to your upper lip, chin, and cheeks, making the areas of the skin very flaky and dry. This medical condition happens to people with oily faces and can be caused by using certain lotions and creams containing strong chemicals.
- Chemical Burns
It can occur when a strong chemical touches your skin. Chemicals that can cause burns are usually strong acids or strong bases. A chemical burn may cause redness, pain, or blisters on the skin. These chemicals may be from the products we use.
- Canker Sores
They usually appear on the tongue or cheeks, on the inside lips, at the base of the gums, or on the soft palate. You may have just one sore, or there may be several in a cluster. Canker sores can be painful. But they usually heal on their own and do not need medical treatment.
Redness around Mouth
Redness around mouth and lips can be caused by a number of things. This condition can cause you a lot of discomfort as the appearance of the mouth is not always pleasing. According to Health Hype, contact dermatitis is an inflammatory skin condition that occurs after exposure to irritants or allergens in the environment. The irritants or allergens trigger an allergic reaction leading to damage of skin around the mouth. This can be visible with redness that is associated with a rash around mouth.
Common irritants that can cause redness around lips include cleaning soaps and detergents, lip piercing jewelry, cosmetic products and chemicals that cause burning in skin.
Allergic contact cheilitis of the lips
This is a form of contact dermatitis that mostly affects the lips. It is commonly caused by fragrance and preservatives in lipsticks and dental care products including toothpastes, mouthwash, dental floss and toothpicks, etc.
Metals contained in dental restorations, orthodontic devices, lip cosmetic cases, habitual sucking of metal objects, etc. can cause rash around mouth.
Also, certain foods and medications we use can cause an appearance of redness around mouth due to irritation caused by them to people who are sensitive.
Seborrhea affects common areas like the scalp, underarms, under breasts, in groin, on legs. Though uncommon it can also affect the lips too. People with oily skin are also liable to perioral dermatitis. Doctors don’t know the exact cause of seborrhea. However the following are factors thought to be the reasons for its occurrence.
- Certain medical or skin conditions like acne, Parkinson’s disease, rosacea, psoriasis
- Cold and dry weather
- Human yeast
- Stress or depression
Dryness and redness around mouth
Dry and burning red skin around the lips can be horrible especially it causes itching. Certain conditions can lead to dry lip skin to the degree that they begin to form cracks. The conditions may be internal or triggered by external environmental factors such as cold temperature.
One of the skin conditions responsible for dryness and redness around lips include perioral dermatitis. Lip lickers dermatitis is also associated with dryness around the areas nearer the lips. Other factors that contribute to drying out of lips are strong cold winds, cosmetic facial or lip products with allergens, preservatives and dehydrating ingredients.
Rash around Mouth Toddler
Most of the time if your child has good overall health and doesn’t exhibit any symptoms other than the rash, it is fine to observe his rash for several days before contacting the doctor. In many cases, the rash will simply disappear over time without any need for treatment. Rash around toddlers’ mouth are usually mild and can be treated and prevented by simple measures.
Common Causes of Rash around Toddlers’ Mouth
You should visit the doctor if your child’s rash is joined by other symptoms such as vomiting, breathing difficulties, high fever or a reduction in overall health accompanied by behavioral changes. Otherwise, your child can get a rash around mouth from the following reasons.
- Drool Rash
This is when your toddler experiences irritation and redness on his face due to excessive drool and it most commonly occurs on the face. Most babies will have drool rash at some point or another and the most common time for this to happen is while teething. It is caused by the constant moisture affecting sensitive skin when it is rubbed on soft surfaces (such as pillows or shoulders) due to the friction and irritation.
In some cases drool rash will become infected leading to infant impetigo which is a contagious bacterial infection indicated by honey or yellow colored crusting on the rash’s surface and possible blistering.
- Oral Thrush
Oral thrush is one of the most common causes of a rash around a toddler’s mouth and this is especially true in infants under six months of age. Oral thrush occurs when the yeast Candida albicans overgrows. This yeast naturally occurs within the digestive tract and mouth but the immune system usually controls its growth. As infants don’t have a fully developed immune system yet, oral thrush is more common in them. The risk of oral thrush can increase after taking certain antibiotics or if your child has lung disease or asthma.
In most cases the symptoms of oral thrush in a baby include cracked skin on the corners of the mouth. He might also have thick, white patches which resemble cottage cheese on his tongue, inside cheeks, and lips. When you attempt to scrape off the white patches, you will notice red tissue which bleeds easily. The white patches can’t be wiped away and can increase in number. Some babies with oral thrush won’t experience any discomfort while others will be sore and choose not to eat.
- Hand Foot and Mouth Disease
Hand, foot and mouth disease causes sore rash around mouth as well as on the feet and hands. It will also occasionally affect the legs and buttocks. Although the sores can be painful, the illness won’t usually last for more than a week. It most commonly occurs in children and especially during the fall and summer.
Hand, foot and mouth disease is the effect of the enterovirus which can easily spread via sneezing or coughing. It can also spread via infected stools and because of these factors it will frequently affect a community. In most cases it will have an incubation period of between three and six days which is the amount of time it takes for a person to display symptoms of hand, foot and mouth disease.
Impetigo is an infection of the skin that will initially appear as red, itchy sores resembling blisters but eventually become honey-colored crusts. It is most common in young children who scratch existing sores or rashes. Impetigo is treated with antibiotics.
- Cold Sores
Cold sores appear as purple or red sores on the lips or their outer edges. These are the result of sharing utensils with or kissing infected adults.
Chickenpox is usually rare in infants as they are still protected by their mothers’ antibodies. The symptoms of this condition include blisters or sores around the mouth as well as other areas of the body.
- Strep Throat
Strep throat is indicated by a red or sore throat and white patches on the throat or tonsils in addition to a rash on other areas of the body. Rash around mouth can cause discomforts due to the sensitivity of skin around the lip including the lip border or vermilion.
Rash on upper Lip
There are several conditions that may cause a rash around mouth. We have talked about all these conditions in this context. However, you may develop a rash just on the upper lip and not on the lower lip. In this case, for the conditions above, some are involved and others are not. For example, for perioral dermatitis is a common skin rash around the mouth. Perioral means ‘around the mouth’ and dermatitis refers to inflammation of the skin. Therefore, this condition cannot affect only the upper lips.
Therefore, for the upper lips, we are all encouraged to put all sorts of creams and other stuff on our faces to make us look younger, fresher and more appealing. Unfortunately, in some cases the skin rebels and you can end up looking worse than you did before. A vicious cycle can also develop in people who use steroid creams to treat another condition, such as eczema. Also, injury, dryness, and allergy can be the cause of rash on upper lips. These triggers can also affect the lower lip as well.
Redness around Corners of Mouth
As the weather turns cold, chapped and dry lips appear exposure to the dry air, cold and wind. After a few days of especially chapped lips, you may notice redness in the corners of your mouth. Like chapped lips, this redness may burn, crack or bleed.
Environmental conditions, such as wind, dry air and too much sun exposure, can cause chapped lips, which leave redness around corners of your mouth. Licking your lips can also worsen then problem. A deficiency in iron or riboflavin can also cause your lips to chap and the edges of your mouth to redden. Redness in around the mouth may also be a side effect of a new medication, especially an oral retinoid medication you may be taking for acne or another skin condition.
Rash around mouth Treatment
If you know what is actually causing the rash to develop on your lips, treatment can be as easy as eliminating what leads to that rash. Some of the treatment options for symptomatic lip rashes include.
- Use of corticosteroid
Before applying corticosteroid creams or injection, you need to consult a physician first. Depending on severity of the symptoms, your physician will examine your lips and look into the symptoms to determine how to administer this treatment.
- Pain relievers
Pain relievers are necessary when accompanying symptoms become severe like after sun poisoning or have cold sores.
These medicines are used in cases of rashes where an allergic reaction is involved. Treatment is prioritized in accordance with symptoms. Use of antihistamines is considered a measure for adverse reactions.
How to prevent recurrent rash around mouth
Here are some of the specific means to get rid of rashes on your lips that come and go.
- Use a chemical-free lip balm
Some people with lip licking habit can benefit from lip balm, once they have found a way out of lip licking. Keep in mind that if you land on the wrong lip balm, you may end up regretting. However, if you want to be safer, go for oil-based lip balm. Dermatologists also recommend the non-flavored lip products.
When you are going out, use a wide-brim cap or ask your healthcare provider for a lip balm sunscreen cream to apply on the lips.
- Avoid cold or extremely hot conditions
Another simple but best preventive measure is to aim at protecting your lips by avoiding the cold out there if you have to be outdoors. Secondly, during hot sunny conditions, use a deep moisturizer to lock in moisture around lips.
- Keep off lip dryness aggravators
When the symptoms become severe especially with formation of thick patches, cracking and painful feeling, avoid:
- Smoke and smoking itself
- Direct sun heat on your face
- Applying lip cosmetic. For instance lip gloss, lipstick, mascara, etc.
- Licking your lips or lip biting
- Scratching and picking your lips
- If there is bleeding or weeping from the lip and corner of mouth, please see your health care provider.
- Keep off triggers
You can successfully achieve this if you learn to analyze most products you have been using recently, including changes you have made to the list of cosmetics. This will enable you eliminate the more likely triggers one by one with time. If you get stuck on the way or confuse, and are unable to figure out, consult a dermatologist for more helpful tips on avoidance of unfavorable triggers.
Natural treatment remedies for rash around mouth
Natural methods in most circumstances are meant for mild symptom-relieving. Remedies can also be an alternative treatment but do not work for certain individuals. The following are some of the common methods used to deal with redness around the lips. For some procedures to work, the causes must be clearly established. This basically calls for one to see a physician before trying them out.
- Petroleum jelly
Applying a scent-free, alcohol-free and non-flavored petroleum jelly (e.g. Vaseline) is the easiest way to prevent and treat dryness and redness from lip licker’s dermatitis. This ensures that moisture remains locked in skin hence preventing your lips from dehydration. Individuals suffering from lip licker’s dermatitis can use this remedy to deal with dryness around the lips.
- Cool washing the affected area
Washing should be gentle and be done with running water. For best results individuals are advised to avoid chlorinated or water treated with chemicals.
- Tea tree oil
As another natural remedy, tea tree oil helps in fighting infections especially bacterial infection strains such as staph that cause rash around mouth. The use of this remedy will not treat conditions like contact dermatitis but is good because it helps avoid the symptoms from becoming worse.
- Rash around mouth: http://www.healthhype.com/rash-around-mouth-lips-causes-pictures-treatment.html
- Causes and treatment for a rash around mouth: https://healdove.com/disease-illness/Rash-Around-Mouth
- Rash around toddler’s mouth: http://www.newkidscenter.com/Rash-Around-Toddlers-Mouth.html
- Upper lips problems: http://forums.webmd.com/3/skin-problems-and-treatments-exchange/forum/4562
- Redness in the corners of the mouth: http://www.livestrong.com/article/319525-redness-in-the-corners-of-the-mouth-after-chapped-lips/
- Perioral dermatitis: https://patient.info/health/perioral-dermatitis-leaflet