Perioral Dermatitis and Protecting Your Skin from the Sun

Anyone who lives with perioral dermatitis will know just how much of an annoyance the condition can be. However, if you've only recently been diagnosed with this type of recurring skin rash, you'll need to learn to live with it. And when diagnosed with this skin condition, perhaps one of the first things you'll think about is how you're supposed to protect your irritated skin from the sun.

Bumps and Blisters

One of the hallmarks of perioral dermatitis is small bumps and blisters, predominantly around your nostrils and mouth. The skin in these areas can be red and inflamed. Although the condition should not disrupt your general quality of life, it can be a major inconvenience when it flares up. So how can you protect skin that might not respond well to having an external agent (like sunscreen) applied to it?

Accommodating Your Condition

Although you might not find a sunscreen designed specifically for those with perioral dermatitis, you can find several different types of sunscreen that can accommodate your condition without aggravating it. What should you be looking for?

Sensitive Skin

Essentially, anything designed for sensitive skin will be appropriate, but there's a little more to it than that. You should opt for a broad-spectrum sunscreen that protects against both UVA and UVB light, although this applies to most sunscreens. A sensitive sunscreen lacks additives that have the potential to irritate your skin, such as fragrance. 

Physical Barrier

It should also be a physical barrier sunscreen, as opposed to a chemical sunscreen, which is absorbed into your skin, potentially causing further irritation. Physical barrier sunscreens reflect the rays of the sun, and the active ingredients are generally zinc oxide and titanium oxide. If you have trouble locating a sunscreen that meets your criteria, consider a Cancer Council sunscreen, which is available in a range of sensitive formulations. 

Other Forms of Protection

On days when your perioral dermatitis flares up and your skin becomes too sensitive for even a sensitive sunscreen, you might be tempted to abstain from sunscreen altogether. In order to minimise risk, you should avoid the sun during its peak hours in your area. You should also wear a wide-brimmed hat and cover up your bare skin as much as possible. In short, you must still have some form of sun protection, regardless of your perioral dermatitis. 

Perioral dermatitis can add some complications to life, but the complication of protecting your skin from the sun can quickly be overcome.