Do You Have Dry Skin Around The Mouth? Here Are Tips To Prevent

Learn the easiest ways to get smooth and flawless skin around your pout.

Medically reviewed by Dr. Sravya Tipirneni, MBBS, MD DVL Dr. Sravya Tipirneni Dr. Sravya TipirneniMBBS, MD DVL facebook_iconlinkedin_iconinsta_icon
Written by , Editor Ramona Sinha Editor Experience: 11 years
Edited by , Associate Editor Eshna Das Associate Editor Experience: 3 years
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Did you know that dry skin around the mouth can be caused by a number of factors? Yes. A variety of conditions can induce dryness around the mouth, including an allergic reaction, dehydration, and an underlying ailment.

This dryness can appear along with symptoms such as itching, redness, and lesions. Fortunately, regular skin care, home remedies, and other alternative treatments can quickly reduce it. Keep reading to learn how to treat the dryness around your mouth so you can feel and look your best.

Causes Of Dryness Around The Mouth

Various factors can cause dry skin around mouth. These include:

1. Perioral Dermatitis

Woman with rashes around her mouth
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Perioral dermatitis causes red, itchy rashes around the mouth along with dryness (1). These rashes appear bumpy and scaly. You may experience an itching or burning sensation around the mouth. It is often caused by excessive use of topical steroids, heavy creams, and moisturizers. This condition is predominant in women compared to men and children. It can turn into a recurring issue if not treated properly.

A recent survey was conducted with 15,177 participants to understand the relevance of perioral dermatitis with facial mask usage. The study found that 491 patients with perioral dermatitis were identified. The percentage increased from 3.65% to 4.69% due to increased mask usage from 2019 to 2020.

protip_icon Trivia
Perioral dermatitis can be mistaken for acne or rosaceai  XA skin condition that causes blushing, redness, visible blood vessels and sometimes tiny pus-filled bumps on the face. . Key signs include tiny pus-filled bumps and peeling skin in the nose’s folds and the face’s lower half.

2. Eczema

Eczema is an autoimmune condition that may cause dry skin. It is also a part of atopic dermatitisi  XA skin condition characterized by itchy inflammation that generally develops in childhood but can occur in adulthood as well. . You may experience severe itching (especially at night), rough and dry patches, and small red fluid-filled bumps that crust when scratched (2).

3. Contact Dermatitis

You are likely to experience skin irritation, itching, and dryness if you come in contact with allergens. The allergic reactions can result from exposure to harsh chemicals in soaps, skin care and makeup products, and even certain toothpastes, ultimately causing the skin to dry. It can cause inflammation and redness around your mouth (3).

4. Changes In Environment And Hydration

Skin peeling and dry skin around mouth
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Exposure to dry, windy, or cold climates can strip the natural moisture from your face, leaving facial skin dry and irritated. This needs to be compensated for with emollients/moisturizers, depending on the climate. In addition, lack of water or other fluids in your body may also cause dehydration, which may reflect on your skin.

5. Saliva Around The Mouth

Saliva can also make the skin dry. If you have the habit of licking your lips or drooling in your sleep, it can cause dryness around the mouth and chapped lips. This is very common in kids. Keep yourself hydrated and apply a non-irritating lip balm several times a day to prevent this.

6. Medications

Certain medications, such as anti-acne creams and lotions, can dry out the skin on your face, especially if you have sensitive skin. Prescription medicines (topical and oral) like tetracyclines and tretinoin are common drugs causing dryness around the mouth (4).

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Excessive exposure to the sun and low sebum levels can also cause dry skin around the mouth.

Your doctor will perform a physical examination and ask for your medical history to diagnose the exact cause of dryness around your mouth. If an underlying skin condition causes it, they will prescribe medicines. If it is nothing major and serious, you just need to care for your skin to reduce dryness around the mouth. In the next section, find out the treatment options.

Treatment Options For Dryness Around The Mouth

Your skin specialist can help you with the available treatment options based on the cause:

1. Perioral Dermatitis

If topical steroids trigger this condition, ask your doctor for alternate medication. The doctor may prescribe emollients, humectants, or antibiotics to help with your flare-ups.

2. Eczema

You can manage the eczema symptoms by using OTC moisturizers, topical anti-inflammatory medications. In severe cases, you may require oral steroids to control the flare-ups.

You may need several weeks before the dryness and rashes around the mouth subside. You also need to take extra care of your skin to avoid dryness. Here are a few tips to help you do that.

Tips To Prevent Dryness Around The Mouth

Changing your habits and taking better care of your skin can limit your skin troubles.

1. Use A Mild Cleanser

Woman washing her face with mild cleanser to avoid dry skin
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Wash your skin with a mild cleanser. Using harsh cleansing agents (like SLSi  XShort for sodium lauryl sulphate, a commonly used ingredient in cosmetic cleansing products due to its foaming and oil-suspending properties. and SLESi  XShort for sodium lauryl ether sulphate, a strong agent with cleansing, emulsifying, and foaming properties. ) or soap can dry out the delicate facial skin. Pick a cleanser that does not contains artificial fragrances, colors, alcohol, and artificial preservatives. These irritate the skin and cause itching and flaking. Also, avoid washing your face with very hot or very cold water. Always use room temperature water to clean your face.

2. Exfoliating Your Skin

Your skin has a natural cycle where new cells replace the older cells. The skin cell turnover takes about 28 days to complete. However, if the dead skin cells remain on the surface, they may clog your pores and cause patchy, dry skin on the face. Practicing an exfoliation routine once a week can help clear dead skin cells, improve skin texture, and help maintain skin health.

Note that over-exfoliating your skin can be counter-productive; it can increase the dryness by stripping off the natural oils on the skin.

3. Daily Moisturizing

Woman moisturizing her skin to avoid dry skin around mouth
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Your skin needs to stay hydrated and maintain an optimal moisture level. Applying moisturizer can prevent the skin cells from drying out and maintain a soft and plump look.

Ensure you use a hypoallergenic moisturizer – free of artificial fragrances and colors – to prevent irritation. Also, keep in mind that different skin types have different requirements. So, pick a moisturizer as per your skin type.

Petrolatum, dioxane, and alcohol in the moisturizers can sometimes worsen the flaky skin around your mouth. Hence, use them with caution.

You can use natural alternatives, such as pure aloe vera gel, coconut oil, and shea butter (5). Experiment with the quantities to find the right amount for your skin when moisturizing with oil, as too much of it can also prove damaging for your skin.

3. Use A Humidifier At Home

Exposure to dry air for a prolonged period can reduce the moisture levels in your skin. If you stay in an arid area or use air conditioning, install a humidifier at home. It helps maintain humidity in the air and prevents skin dryness.

4. Improve Your Lifestyle Habits

Woman drinking water to improve skin hydration
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Skin dryness can be a result of unhealthy habits. Drink plenty of liquids throughout the day to prevent dehydration. Limit your alcohol intake and avoid smoking, as they can cause the skin to dry up. Use fluoride-free toothpaste to avoid irritating the skin around the mouth.

Also, if you are a person who loves to stand under a shower or soak in the bathtub for a long time, it can be harmful to you. Prolonged exposure (over 15 minutes) to water can strip the moisture from your skin, resulting in dryness. Limit your bathing time to 5-10 minutes to maintain healthy skin.

You can try these tips if your condition is not severe. Changing your skin care products can also help you tackle dryness issues. Additionally, certain foods also help alleviate dry skin around the mouth. Learn more about them in the next section.

Foods For Dry Skin Around The Mouth

1. Avocado

Avocado for dry skin
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Avocado has natural emollient properties and is rich in vitamins A, D, and E that may hydrate dry, flaky skin (6). It also contains biotin that may soothe irritated skin and support skin hydration (7), (8).

2. Chia Seeds

They are rich in fiber and omega-3 fatty acids that support hydration and decrease transdermal water loss in the skin. This way, they help keep the skin supple and soft (9).

3. Almonds

Almonds for dry skin around the mouth
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Almonds also exhibit emollient properties and may help moisturize dry skin. The oil extracted from almonds may potentially help combat skin conditions like eczema and psoriasis (10). However, more research is needed to further understand this benefit.

Infographic: Dryness Around The Mouth: Causes And Prevention Tips

Dryness around the mouth occurs when the skin in this area lacks proper moisture, leading to tightness, flakiness, and discomfort. Maintaining a consistent and gentle cleansing routine and protecting the skin from harsh weather conditions by wearing a scarf during cold or windy days may help prevent dryness and improve overall skin health. Check out the infographic below for the top three causes of this condition and some preventive tips to manage dryness around the mouth.

dryness around the mouth causes and prevention tips (infographic)

Illustration: StyleCraze Design Team

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Multiple factors such as eczema, dehydration, medications, and changes in the environment can cause you to develop dry skin around the mouth. If the cause in an underlying medical condition, your doctor may prescribe antibiotics, anti-inflammatory medications, or moisturizers to manage the flare-ups. The good news is you can opt for natural remedies to avoid your skin from getting dry. Following a proper skin-care routine, leading a healthy lifestyle, and investing in a proper humidifier will go a long way in keeping your skin hydrated and healthy.

Frequently Asked Questions

What does your face look like in perioral dermatitis?

Perioral dermatitis appears in circles around the mouth. It can cause red, dry skin around the mouth with inflamed bumps and may spread to the areas around the nose and upper lips.

What should I do if my dry skin around the mouth does not improve with home or over-the-counter remedies?

If the condition continues despite trying home remedies and making lifestyle changes, do consult a physician for proper care and guidance.

Is there any way to reduce the appearance of wrinkles caused by dry skin around the mouth?

Yes, by applying natural oils like coconut and almond oil or following the advised skincare routine to prevent dryness, you can get rid of the wrinkles around your mouth. Coconut oil possesses emollient properties that can soothe and moisturize the skin (11).

Key Takeaways

  • Dry skin around the mouth can be caused by dermatitis, eczema, medications, and other issues.
  • Use a mild cleanser, apply moisturizer daily, use a humidifier, among other things, to improve skin condition.
  • Changing your skin care products might also aid in treating dry skin.
  • Consult a physician if the problem persists as it could result from an underlying condition.
dry skin around mouth

Image: Stable Diffusion/StyleCraze Design Team

Delve into the mystery of dry skin around the mouth with this informative video. Explore potential triggers and learn practical tips to regain a soft and supple complexion.


Articles on StyleCraze are backed by verified information from peer-reviewed and academic research papers, reputed organizations, research institutions, and medical associations to ensure accuracy and relevance. Read our editorial policy to learn more.

  2. Eczema
  3. Contact Dermatitis
  4. Isotretinoin
  5. Moisturizers: The Slippery Road
  6. Wound healing activity of Persea americana (avocado) fruit
  7. Evaluation of biophysical skin parameters and hair changes in patients with acne vulgaris treated with isotretinoin, and the effect of biotin use on these parameters
  8. Determination of the biotin content of select foods using accurate and sensitive HPLC/avidin binding
  9. HYVIA™: A novel, topical chia seed extract that improves skin hydration
  10. The uses and properties of almond oil
  11. In vitro anti-inflammatory and skin protective properties of Virgin coconut oil
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