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Dry Red Skin Around the Mouth

By Nicki Howell ; Updated July 18, 2017

Dry, red skin around the mouth is an uncomfortable problem. Dry skin is often accompanied by itchiness, which leads to further inflammation of the skin. There are a variety of causes for dry, red skin around the mouth. Learning the underlying cause and creating a treatment plan will help you minimize the discomfort and prevent this condition in the future.

Causes

It’s not uncommon for inflammation to accompany dry, red skin around the mouth. Underlying health conditions, such as dermatitis or psoriasis, and over washing the skin may cause this issue. Although less common, internal diseases, such as celiac disease, iron deficiency and thyroid issues can cause mouth skin dryness. Consult your doctor if you have chronic dry, red skin on your face.

Treatment

If you have itchy skin around your mouth, apply a nonprescription corticosteroid cream to your skin. After applying the topical cream, use a wet dressing to cover the area. Oral antihistamines are another over-the-counter option for treating dry, red skin around the mouth.

Dry, red skin that doesn’t respond to nonprescription methods may respond to prescription corticosteroid creams, according to MayoClinic.com. Your dermatologist can prescribe a stronger product. Phototherapy treatments, also available through your dermatologist, may assist if itching isn’t responsive to other treatment methods.

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Allergies

Allergies can cause dryness around the mouth. Cosmetics and other facial products can trigger allergies, according to MayoClinic.com. Choose mild soaps that don’t contain fragrances or dyes to prevent dryness and itching. Food allergies can also cause irritation around the mouth. The best approach to finding out the cause of your dry, red skin is to consult a dermatologist.

Misconceptions

Some people make the mistake of taking hot baths and showers or washing their faces with hot water. This, however, can make red, itchy mouth skin worse. Take cool baths, and add oatmeal and baking soda to the water to soothe skin. Use an unscented, dye-free moisturizer within three minutes of washing your face, recommends the American Academy of Dermatology. This will lock in moisturizer and soothe the skin.

Warnings

Avoid scratching red or itchy skin around your mouth, as this will increase the inflammation and may cause scarring, according to MayoClinic.com. If red, itchy skin is interfering with your sleep or isn’t responding to other treatment methods, contact your doctor. She can examine your condition, diagnose the underlying cause and recommend treatment.

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