Since early February, I've had a rash around my mouth that seems to get better and worse. It started when I woke up one morning and my lips were bright red, swollen, with blisters, and a ring around my mouth. I literally looked like a clown. It subsided in about 2-3 days, and settled into a ring that I still have today. I've had a breakout like that twice, but most of the time, they are red, itchy and swollen. They are constantly dry if I don't put some vaseline on them. I'm 28, female, and usually very healthy.
They tingle a bit when I exercise. Also, I went out of town for a week and they completely healed, but as soon as I got home it came right back. I've thought of everything it could be and changed what I'm doing - laundry detergent, foods, coffee, toothpaste, lip glosses/sticks - I just can't place it. Sometimes I feel a little light headed around dust, but other than that, I have no allergies.
I've been to 2 doctors - the first, a GP, said it was angioedema, and gave me an epipen to use if my tongue swelled up. The second, a derm, said it wasn't angioedema and to only use vaseline, (I was only using aquaphor) and it's no better, maybe even a little worse. There was a little less swelling when I put some benedryl cream on them, but the derm said not to use it. I tried anti-fungal cream, and that didn't work either.
I have a feeling it's something in my apartment - mold? Dust? I'm running out of ideas of what this could be. I have an appt with an allergist in a couple weeks - the first available appointment they had! It's just frustrating to see two professionals that don't even really listen to your symptoms, they just tell you what they think it is and send you along your way - and nothing gets any better.
You are probably experiencing a condition known as dermatitis (an inflammation that usually involves swollen, reddened and itchy skin).
Sometimes, it is called ezcema.
There are different forms of dermatitis,like irritant and allergy contact dermatitis, but, when the itching is very prominent, the affected area is largely swollen and blisters are more common, the diagnosis is more suggestive for an allergic contact dermatitis.
Possible factors for triggering this condition are lip balms, lipstick, toothpaste, mouthwash, bubble gum (ie, rosin, cinnamates), nickel in musical instrument mouthpiece, rubber in snorkeling mouthpiece, cane reed in a clarinet, food (eg, mango skin).
The ring around the mouth is an inflammation, too, and is called perioral dermatitis.
The same triggers for lip dermatitis, may triggered the perioral dermatitis, too.
This condition is harmless, but, the ring will be present for months or years if it isn't treated.
Usually, an antibiotic therapy is prescribed for a period of 12 weeks.
Avoid make up foundation, since it is considered a strong provoking factor for perioral dermatitis.
My son has this and we took him to an iridologist and she said it was a carrageenan allergy, which is a food thickner in icecream, toothpaste, lunchmeat, sauces, dressing and hot dogs and others. It i spainful and embarrassing and not eating these foods is ridiculous. We can't eat out or enjoy parties...I am very upset with the food supply system. GMO's need to be banned in our contry just like every where else along withzen red food dye 40, pesticides and toxic chemicals in our food.
You are welcome!
I feel like I haven't written enough information about how the perioral dermatitis looks.
Usually, it is a rash of small red or pink lumpy spots, with red or pink skin between and around the spots.
They look like pimples, and may cause burning sensation.
It looks like the rash forms almost a 'ring' around the mouth, but sparing a small border of skin next to the lips (that appears in contrast very white).
In milder cases or when the woman is pregnant or trying to concieve, the systemic oral therapy with antibiotic tetracycline, is often switched with locally appllied (topical)antibiotic (erythromycin) in different forms, lotion, creme, gel.
The course of antibiotic therapy is prolonged and often lasts for several months (6-12 weeks) to avoid recurrences.
First few weeks are usually without noticible changes.
It is a general rule that administration of erythromycin during pregnancy is a safe treatment for the fetus.
Also, when applied topically is less systemically available than medicines taken orally, ultimately meaning that the fetus is exposed to less of the medication.
Please, before taking any therapy consult your physician for the right diagnosis and treatment!
After you suggested perioral dermatitis, I did some research and immediately stopped using my toothpaste that has SLS in it, and in days the redness has cleared up. Very strange - I did change to a new bottle of toothpaste around the time the irritation began, but the exact same brand... maybe the formula changed? Anyway, it's improved immensely, but is not completely healed. There's still redness, and I still have a little bit of tingling, but no where near as bad as before.
I've also ordered facial cleansers, sunscreens, and other toiletries that people with the condition use, so I'm looking forward to getting started with those. I've also stopped using listerine, as it has alcohol, which is also very irritating. I'm nervous about discontinuing Proactiv, which I use for my acne, but it's just too drying. Not excited about the acne coming back, but I'm going to try a natural product by Kiss My Face. We'll see.
I have an appointment with an allergist on Friday, and I'll mention our discussion and see if they can prescribe me erythromycin.
Again, thanks for your thoughtful responses - I'm seeing the light at the end of the tunnel!
I'm just curious, what happened after you went to the allergist? Also, congrats on trying for your baby, did you conceive yet? I have this condition too, and I saw that the last response that you had was in May 2009.
Please respond...I have also tried rememdies...Thanks so much!
Red ring around mouth; burning lips; cracked corners of mouth
I had this last year and tried it all, and finally went to the doctor. He said it was a fungus (yuck) and gave me two creams to clear it up. Two drugs and a month later, it had not changed a thing. By trial and error, I finally found that by eliminating my Crest(green mint) with Scope and Whiteners did the trick. Although, it took a good 6-7 days before I could see any improvement in how it felt, and at least another week or so until everything cleared up. I've used Crest for years without problems, so I'm wondering if they did change their formula. It was painful and embarrassing. I had this huge red rash ring around my entire mouth like a clown, burning lips, and painful cracks in the corners of my mouth.
Afterwards I found online that many people had the same exact problem with that toothpaste. Too bad I never found that information first!
Thank you so much for the info. I am having the exact same problem and it is killing my lips. It is hard to eat without the corners of my mouth stretching and bleeding. and it burns to drink anything. I look like a clown and don't even want to leave the house.
I never thought about the toothpaste. I was thinking it was the chantix I am taking to help me quit smoking.
Thank you very much.
Thank you!! I just switched to this toothpaste and started having the same thing. I had this before from fresh mangos (mainly the skin). I so greatly appreciate you and the Internet, saved me months of troubleshooting!
I've been battling a similar issue for a couple years. I saw a doctor, dermatologist and allergist. The allergist told me to stop toothpaste use and he also tested me for chemical allergies (over 30 chemicals were tested!) with no conclusive results. I eliminated all toothpaste and it did the trick. This was over one year ago now. But within the last few months, it's been starting again.
I've tried eliminating and changing my creams, facial cleansers, acne topical medication and listerine. Unfortunately, as soon as I think I've found the culprit, it reappears. It's just terribly annoying. I just don't know what it could be!!
My 11 year son gets the same thing whenever he has something with cinnamon in it. We're very careful to check the labels on everything we buy and anything that is given to him or his sister (just in case she decides to share) and everyone knows that's he's not allowed to have cinnamon. When he does have a breakout we use a lavender and chamomile baby petroleum jelly and usually see an improvement by the next morning.
I'll be seeing yet another dermatologist this Friday who will administer a much more detailed chemical patch test. Most often doctors will do the T.R.U.E test which is only about 30 chemicals. This one Friday will be testing 95 chemicals!
I have now taken every product out that has Sodium lauryl Sulfate(SLS) and all those which are basically the same thing as SLS. I've seen an improvement, but I'm still having breakouts of the rash to a lesser degree every once in a while. It could very well be my make-up. Hopefully we find an answer with this next test!
I have had this same problem for a couple of years and have about gone crazy trying to figure out what causes it. Thank you to those of you who have posted possible solutions. Even though I have only used toothpaste with all natural ingredients for years, I stopped using toothpaste altogether recently, and it has helped a lot. I have also used only natural cosmetics for a long time, and have cut back on those as well. It has helped a lot.
I have my suspicions, though, that it is somehow related to sugar intake. If I have a bad week when I eat too much sugar, the rash invariably gets worse. Along with not using toothpaste, I am also not consuming sugar any more. If the rash has something to do with a yeast infection as I suspect, and as yeast feeds off sugar, it seems to make sense to me that sugar can make it worse.
I have had the same issue for a few years now. I always believed it is an allergic reaction to something I am eating. It possibly could be gluten as I love my bread, and I am better on days that I do not have any bread.
I am wondering if anyone knows or has consulted an Alternative Therapist for a cure. Friends tell me that I should consult one.
I've had this for a few years as well. One year it spread all the way down and under my chin. Nothing has worked for me but Vaseline and sleeping next to a humidifier. Usually it only flares up during the dry months here in Colorado, but this spring it has lasted much longer than usual and I'm worried that it might not go away at all.
I will experiment with diet and not using make-up or toothpaste.
I suffer from the same thing! I am 37 years old, female, live in Colorado. It started a year ago and lasted just a couple of days the first time. I did a ton of research at the time and concluded that the trigger (for me) was a combo of allergens (weeds/grasses) plus being in the sun. However, it has now occured twice since then and this most recent time it has lasted 3 weeks so far. This time I do not think the trigger was sun + allergies. I now suspect it must be something I am eating - maybe not one particular food but a combo. This recent rash appeared as red, inflamed skin along the outer edge of both my top and bottom lip. It itches a bit and stings a bit. It started a few hours after drinking a glass of red wine. Red wine had never bothered me before but perhaps in combination with other foods that are high in histamine it was enough to cause a reaction. That same day I also had eaten several foods that are on the list of foods high in histamines . I believe that this rash is either perioral dermatitis (although the affected area is the edge of my lips which is usually spared in this condition) or atopic dermatitis triggered by a developing food allergy (histamine response). I do not think it was triggered by a contact irritant - I use only all-natural lip balm, use Tom''s of Maine toothpaste with no floride, and I do not wear any makeup. Taking Benadryl at night seems to help, but only for a short time. I plan to keep a food diary and stop all foods high in histamine (see above link - you would be surprised at the common foods on this list - ugh!) for the next several weeks. I also plan to develop a lip balm or ointment that will soothe the inflammation and discomfort (I am an acupuncturist and Chinese herbalist - this project will be on top of my list). I will let you all know what I discover if I can figure out what works!
I am a 63 year old male, and this problem has plagued me for over 7 years, and no medical practitioner has been able to shed any light on it, or will. I will be very interested in any product you can develop and bring to bear. I am very sensitive to Iodine in any form, have eliminated SLS bearing toothpaste products and use only denture cleanser that has baking soda for a disinfectant. Yet the problem flares up periodically. It does seem that antiviral medications, like Acyclovir seem to help for a while, but within a month or so, it begins the cycle again.
Lansinoh cream, Lansinoh cream, Lansinoh cream. It's a miracle worker. You can buy it at any drugstore. It's normally used as a nipple cream for breastfeeding mothers, but it works like a charm. I use it around my mouth when I notice it flaring up and I can tell a significant difference within a few hours.
I am 15 and noticed my lips burning a small amount at first. Then the rash spread around to under my lips and under my nose. It's on my lips too. It's not very red but a little inflamed and it feels like sandpaper almost, but not as scratchy. It started two days ago and hasn't gotten much worse that I've noticed. I don't know what it could be. I haven't really used any new products in the last few weeks, so I don't know what to do. Please help.
Also, today is Sunday so I'm hopefully gonna make it to the doctor this week.
I used an over the counter cortisone cream which helped A LOT. Then I did a test - I had a glass of wine. Poof! The next morning the rash was bad again. For me it is definitively triggered by wine. That isn't the only thing that triggers it but it is definitely one of the triggers. You are 15 so I don't think that is an issue for you. A colleague of mine says her son (6 years old) also gets this kind of rash around his lips when he eats too much sugar. She said acupuncture helps him quickly.
This info has been extremely helpful, I went to a dermatologist for a red rash and slight swelling around my mouth, not painful more irritating and a heat sensation. The only relief seems to be vaseline. The doctor said it was herpes simplex 1, never having had a cold sore in my life and not being exposed to anything plus the symptoms for that were not the same. I never blistered or anything and it is pretty much around the whole mouth - I didn't agree with the diagnosis. He prescribed anti-virals to me but I never took them and the rash is still the same for 5 weeks now. Some days seem a little better than others but it's always there. Think it's time to find a new doctor - thanks so much everyone!
I have a red rash around my mouth and my bottom lip is really swollen. I also have the rash on my hand in only one big circle, very dry and not itchy just very red. My lips peeled every day when the weather was cold but there ok now that it has warmed up. I have not gone to the doctor because as soon as I make an appointment it goes away. I am going to try to just pop in at the doctor when it is here. Would love to find something to take it away. No cream has helped it away so far. Will let you know what my doctor says.
I had this rash around the "corona" of my lips right at the transition line, all the way around my mouth. I got it several years ago and after it attacked my lip line and pretty much destroyed the nice line into a "rolled" edge which is horrible and no longer natural it has subsided. My lips will still tingle if I get out in the sun. I never applied anything to it or did anything about it. I believe I got it from a woman I was seeing just before it happened. I thought perhaps it was herpes and it went around my lips because men shave and it opens the skin up to infection. I have seen it on other males and recognize it. Herpes? yeast infection? some strange STD? I want my old lips with the nice line at the edge back. You can see it on movie stars and political figures too, they have been hit by this.
I have had a similar rash for about 2 months now and my mom has had one for about 9 months. Same red rash extending beyond the lip line, clown-like appearance, dry and chapped peeling skin. My mom and I don't kiss but my husband and I do all the time and he doesn't have it. Seems like it gets really bad at times and then gets a little better, but never goes away. I got rid of every personal care product, laundry product, etc with the known harmful and otherwise carcinogenic ingredients in them years ago. I also tend to eat a pretty healthy diet of lots of fresh fruits and veggies and very little processed foods and sugars. However, I've had some bouts (and subsequent indulgences ) of sugar cravings, and fruits tend to have lots of natural sugars too, but I believe sugar can very well be a causitive factor here and lead to Candida overgrowth. Wine, and so many, many other foods, drinks, antibiotics and more can lead to Candida overgrowth, which I'll explain further on how these can lead to rashes.
As a natural health advocate and licensed practioner of various natural healing methods, in addition to working for a holistic doctor, I have generally understood skin reactions (that are obviously not related to something the skin itself came directly into contact with) to relate to digestion issues and sometimes food allergies. So I eliminated a few foods that I thought may have caused it for two weeks but the rash didn't get a whole lot better. I saw a different holistic doctor and he tested me and found that I am allergic to almost every food right now because I have a leaky gut. (You can google "leaky gut" and see if you have any of those symptoms.) Never thought that could happen to me! But it's very likely because of Candida overgrowth growing through my intestinal walls and/or from several years ago when traditional MDs put me on 13 different prescription drugs that started horribly interacting with each other where they may have done harm to my intestines. So, undigested food particles are leaking through my intestines and getting into the blood where my immune system is heavily attacking them. Rashes can be an outward sign of food allergies. Why it would show up as a rash around the mouth vs elsewhere or all over, I don't understand yet, but I do believe they are related, at least in my case.
The holistic doctor recommended for me to go on a 4-day rotational diet (for at least 3 months) where I can only have any one type of food every 4 days, and cannot have another food in the same family until 2 days after. This is because it takes about 2-4 days average (some more, some less) for a specific food to make its way all the way through the digestive process and out of the body. So until it leaves the body, you can still be reacting to it, even though you may have eaten it 3 or 4 days ago. And so, because of that lengthy period, it's extremely difficult to pinpoint exactly what is causing it because it's still in the system and the body is still reacting to it, which is why we don't always receive an immediate response to the problem food. (The rotational diet is not good for precisely pinpointing what the specific problematic food/s is/are. I think there's other diet regimens to help with that, but this is the best for me since I am reacting to everything.)
Holistic doctor also put me on an anti-fungal (candida)diet, combining it with the 4-day rotational diet which together, severely limit the variety of foods that I am able to eat. It is not easy, but after being 4 days on this regimen, my mouth rash is significantly better, though not gone yet, and I've lost about 10 pounds which has been a nice surprise. (I'm not severely overweight but recently had a baby. I did check back with my doctor to make sure the weight loss wasn't too much too soon, and he said that with my situation it was normal. I'm also dealing with Hashimoto's Thyroiditis.)
He also put me on some natural supplements to help repair my intestines as well as balance the rest of my body.
Anyway, thought I'd share my story. I hope you all can find out how to relieve your rashes soon because I know mine has been intolerable and very embarrassing!
Im 17 years old and I have a white ring around my mouth. Its been there for about a month. Ive trid vasoline,putting ice on it, and I even left it alone. It feels dry and swollen. Does anyone know what it is and how to get rid of it?