Oral diseases overwhelmingly affects young women between the ages of 16 and 45 (90% of cases), although men can get a oral disease too. It tends to appear more often in those who have darker skin and those who are prone to eczema (a form of dermatitis). Children may also be affected (ages 7 months to 13 years). The condition is more common in developed countries, including the U.S.
Sometimes mistaken as acne, oral diseases cause small, firm pink bumps that break out around the mouth and may be filled with fluid. The rash may cause an uncomfortable burning feeling around your mouth and scaling skin may be present as well. The disorder also may appear around the eyes, nose and forehead, and can come and go over a period of time.
What Causes It?
While the exact cause of oral skin diseases is not known, it is thought to be a variant of rosacea, another rash-causing skin disorder. Unlike the chronic (long-term) nature of rosacea, oral diseases usually respond well to treatment and can be completely cured. Be patient though; it may take a month or two to see marked improvement. Oral diseases are not contagious but may recur in some people. Another round of treatment usually works to clear the rash again.
Doctors recognize several triggers that may activate it, including the use of topical corticosteroid creams, cosmetic products, oral contraceptives, fluoride, anti-tartar ingredients and other dental products.
If you suspect that you have a oral disease, there are some actions you can take to prevent or minimize a breakout with a few simple changes:
- With your doctor’s permission, stop using medications, especially topical or oral corticosteroids, including hydrocortisone or prednisone. A different type of treatment that does not trigger the condition may be prescribed instead.
- Switch out brands of cosmetics, toothpaste or mouthwash products, since these may act as triggers.
- Use a hypoallergenic or non-soap cleanser when washing your face.
If your rash does not respond to self-care after about four to six weeks, make an appointment to see a Riverchase dermatologist, who can diagnose and a treat oral disease at one of our conveniently located Southwest Florida locations. If you notice symptoms in your child, it is important to see a doctor for evaluation of this and any unidentified, long-lasting skin rash.
A Riverchase dermatologist can probably diagnose the rash simply by examining your skin, although sometimes a skin culture may be required to rule out infection. If another type of condition is suspected, your dermatologist may remove some of the skin’s affected cells to study under a microscope or may order a blood test or biopsy to rule out other skin disorders.
Some treatments that often work for rosacea can also be effective for healing your oral disease. These include topical medication creams or oral antibiotics.