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Lip Licker's Dermatitis

Skin Rashes

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Updated April 03, 2009

During the winter, when many kids have dry skin, they often also get red irritated skin around their mouth.
Chronic lip licking can often cause irritation around a child's mouth.

Chronic lip licking, especially in the winter, can often cause this type of irritation around a child's mouth.

Photo © Vincent Iannelli, MD

In addition to those children with eczema, whose dry skin gets red and itchy, some kids simply get dry arms, legs, or hands from time to time.

Many also get a dry area around their mouth from time to time, especially during the winter.

As the skin around the mouth gets irritated, many children will begin to lick at it, which makes it even more red and irritated. This leads to the classic lip licker's dermatitis that many parents and pediatricians see in the winter.

Fortunately, this type of rash usually responds very well to moisturizers, such as Vaseline, Aquaphor Healing Ointment, and Eucerin Original Moisturizing Cream, etc. The trick is that you have to put the moisturizes around your child's lips very frequently, to help break the cycle of irritation and lip licking.

It is also important to note that even though the lip licker's dermatitis is found around a child's mouth, this rash is usually very different than the perioral dermatitis rash that is usually seen in young women and is more rare in children.

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