The skin on the face is more sensitive than most areas on the body and facial rashes may occur easily, especially in infants. The skin appears red and flushed and minute red spots may be present. It may also be swollen, itching or have a “burning” sensation. Peri-oral dermatitis is a rash which involves the general area of the face but does not occur on the area immediately adjacent to the lips. The original condition may be made worse by a reaction to the fluorinated corticosteroid creams being applied to the face.
The skin may appear inflamed or aged. Sometimes the blood vessels and superficial haemorrhages are visible through the more transparent skin. “Lick eczema” may occur in infants or young children. A moist, fissured area surrounding the mouth may be due to lip-licking, thumb sucking or dribbling. This may become a true peri-oral dermatitis after the use of corticosteroids. Common causes of facial rashes include a reaction to various face creams and make-up. Men may react to shaving creams or after – shave lotions or abrasion by razor blades.
Advice for the Patient
1. The patient should be advised to avoid using soap. Normal alkaline soaps will remove the skin’s natural acid protection against infection.
2. To help avoid recurrences of the rash the patient needs to be advised to avoid the substance causing the reaction. This is especially important immediately after healing when the skin is sensitive.
3. The use of emollient creams will keep the skin in good condition and may help to prevent recurrences.
Products to Help (Soap Alternatives, Anti-pruritics)
Pinetarsol Bar and Pinetarsol Gel are soap alternatives which can be used to cleanse the skin when ordinary soaps are contraindicated. Both Pinetarsol Bar and Pinetarsol Gel contain pine tar to relieve the itch and reduce inflammation.