Feature Article

Rosacea and perioral dermatitis

Jo-Ann See, Alvin Chia



Early diagnosis and management of rosacea will reduce morbidity and lessen disease progression in affected patients. Perioral dermatitis is often confused with rosacea and is also discussed here.

Key Points

  • Rosacea is a chronic condition with occasional flares; active and maintenance therapy may be needed.
  • Identification of the rosacea subtype is useful to guide therapy, which must be tailored to the individual.
  • It is important to educate patients and involve them in managing their condition.
  • Referral to a dermatologist may be needed for resistant cases of rosacea, if skin thickening is an issue, or if isotretinoin is required. Referral to an ophthalmologist may be needed for patients with ocular symptoms.
  • Perioral dermatitis has a chronic, fluctuating course that may last months or even years but severity varies between individuals.
  • Treatment of perioral dermatitis, with oral or topical antibiotics, is important as this condition can persist if left untreated.