Perioral Dermatitis and MCSS: Linked Conditions?

Perioral dermatitis is nasty. It manifests as a bumpy, red, disfiguring rash that hovers around your mouth and nose, and then metamorphoses into a flaking, scaling mess. But the rash isn't just unattractive, it itches and stings and makes you miserable.

Unwanted Guest

There are medications. Most doctors will prescribe topical antibiotics and if that doesn't work, they'll put you on oral tetracycline. You could be on this regimen for months. Some doctors will even prescribe a mild cortisone cream to reduce the redness and itching. But the condition doesn't seem to get the message that it's unwanted. Perioral dermatitis is very hard to cure.

The newsflash is that some sufferers have figured out that certain products aggravate the condition. Sodium lauryl sulfate is a common culprit and is found in shampoos and toothpaste. Another trigger is found in the form of facial cleansers. Even those marked as safe for sensitive skin contain irritants like sodium laureth sulfate. Switching to gentler products marked free of SLS often brings on a dramatic recovery.

What's interesting is that many sufferers of perioral dermatitis seem to be hypersensitive to a wide variety of chemicals in general. They may feel ill after an afternoon of trying on clothes in a department store. The smell of new clothes gives them headaches and may make them feel nauseated and dizzy. Or perhaps you can't bear to be in the room you just had remodeled. You think it's the new rug, or the paneling. Whatever it is, something is making you sick. This is where another condition, this time a controversial one, comes in.

Controversial Ailment

Multiple chemical sensitivity syndrome (MCS, or MCSS) has never really been accepted as an actual physical ailment by the medical community at large. This is in spite of the fact of clinical evidence that the condition exists. Those with MCS are seen as hypochondriacs, or are thought of as having mental health issues. Yet, removing certain triggers from the environment makes the symptoms of the MCS sufferer improve or even disappear.

Sound familiar? Some people think so and that's why many are taking a closer look at perioral dermatitis and MCSS to see if there might be a connection. Both conditions seem to be triggered by chemicals and when these chemicals are removed from the sufferers' environments, the symptoms disappear like magic. Of course, both of these conditions often affect those afflicted with fibromyalgia, a condition which, like MCS, has struggled for recognition as a real, physical ailment.

Skin Irritants

We may not be able, at this point in time, to prove a link between these three conditions: perioral dermatitis, MCS, and fibromyalgia, but in the meantime, sufferers can try to avoid using products containing known skin irritants or at least look for products which contain such irritants in smaller concentrations. Here is a list of some of the ingredients known to cause reactions in hypersensitive individuals:

*2% Sodium lauryl sulfate

*5% sodium C12-15 pareth sulfate

*5% sodium cocoyl isethionate

*10% disodium laureth sulfosuccinate

*10% sodium cocoamphoacetate

*10% cocamide DEA

*10% cocamidopropyl betaine

*10% lauryl glucoside

Table of Contents
1. Associated Conditions
2. IBS
3. Raynaud's Phenomenon
4. Sjogren's Syndrome
5. Lyme Disease
6. Cushing's Syndrome
7. Crohn's Disease
8. Lupus
9. Carpal Tunnel
10. Osteoporosis
11. Osteoarthritis
12. Multiple Sclerosis
13. Chronic Fatigue
14. Hypothyroidism
15. Polymyalgia Rheumatica
16. Anemia
17. Rheumatoid Arthritis
18. Morton's Neuroma
19. Seasonal Affective Disorder
20. GERD
21. Cardiovascular Effects
22. Interstitial Cystitis
23. Sexuality
24. Vision
25. Nervous System
26. Yeast Infections
27. Reflex Sympathetic Dystrophy (RSDS)
28. Endometriosis
29. Cervical Stenosis
30. Bruxism
31. Cytokine Levels
32. Hypoglycemia
33. True Life Stories
34. Female Risk Factors
35. Overactive Bladder
36. Women's Issues Vulvodynia
37. Vulvodynia and Sex
38. Single With Vulvodynia
39. Sexual Abuse and FMS
40. Fibromyalgia Sex Abuse Cause
41. Fibromyalgia and PTSD
42. Posttraumatic Stress & Fibro
43. MRE and Myofascial Pain
44. Brain Damage
45. CBT and CFS
46. DSS Spectrum
47. Chiari I Malformation Surgical Cure
48. Muscle Spasms
49. Pregnancy Issues
50. Frozen Shoulder
51. Sinusitis
52. Gastroparesis
53. Patch Test
54. Perioral Dermatitis/MCSS
55. Chromosomes And RLS
56. Skin Sensitivities
57. IC Blood Marker
58. Abuse and Fibromyalgia
59. Relistor For Constipation
60. Online Fibro Community
61. XMRV
62. Myofascial Trigger Points
63. MTPs & Tender Points
64. Breast Implant Risks
65. Endometriosis Fibro Fatigue
66. Headaches and Food Triggers
67. FM, CFS and HAIT
68. Leaky Gut Syndrome
69. Lyme Disease
70. Chronic Fatigue & Hashimotos
71. Distinguishing FMS
72. Understanding MCSS
73. Fibro Foot Pain
74. IBD and Fibro
75. Mercury Poisoning
76. FMS & Multiple Sclerosis
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Patricia Fitzgerald
I recently had shingles on my head. My doctor prescribed Lyrica for the pain and it was very effective. I also am type 2 diabetic. In addition to helping with the shingles I found the Lyrica very helpful with the neuropathy in my feet. I would like to keep taking it. Being on a fixed income could be a problem. If there is some source of help for this I would be very grateful. Patricia Fitzgerald patti111
It's also worth noting that there is a perioral dermatitis associated with gluten sensitivity and celiac disease. This is characterized by skin at the corners of the mouth which easily cracks open and gets infected. It's painful and unsightly. The treatment is to go strictly gluten free. There are blood tests for gluten sensitivity, and also doctors may offer an intestinal biopsy and tell you that is the "gold standard" for diagnosis. But, chances are, they know almost nothing about gluten and celiac disease, so you will have to educate yourself. Really, JMO, the gold standard is whether you respond to the diet. You may have to stay on the diet for 6 months - 1 year to see if it helps, but if you are gluten sensitive, the diet will cure your symptoms. And if you are gluten sensitive, you will do your body a huge favor to avoid wheat, barley, rye and perhaps other cereal grains you may be allergic to as well. About 25% of celiacs are allergic to the protein in oats, and a number of celiacs also have lactose intolerance. The diet means avoiding most processed foods - but it is a very healthy diet, including meat, veggies, fruits, rice, potatoes, and even tasty desserts (made with things like rice flour, corn flour, pea starch, etc.)