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Red patches of skin around marionette lines

(27 Posts)
HornsOfADilemma01 Tue 14-Jan-20 15:41:07

Hi all, for about a year now, I've been getting red patches on the skin between the corners of my mouth and my chin. They seem to be focused around my 'marionette lines' (52 years old, sagging face sad). I've tried to take a pic, but they don't show up particularly well on a photo, so I'll try to describe them.

At the moment, they're just slightly red, sore-looking patches, but in the past they have also been dry and flaky. They extend about an inch down from the corner of my mouth. The patches don't weep/crack/bleed/swell, nor do they feel sore. There doesn't seem to be an obvious trigger. Sometimes, my skin will be clear for a month or so, but then the patches come back with a vengeance for no particular reason. Cold weather isn't the cause, they were just as bad in the summer.

They're bugging the life out of me! They're RIGHT there, shining red, drawing attention to the one part of my ageing face I'm most unhappy with.

I've done extensive googling to try and find a cause, and the closest thing i can find is angular cheilitis (although I'm not 100% convinced it's this). I've tried all of the treatments recommended for angular cheilitis, but none have worked so far.

The main suggested treatment is to keep the area moisturised. So, I've tried Vaseline, Sudocrem, LRP Cicaplast, a couple of other natural/organic (aka very expensive!) 'healing/soothing' creams from Holland & Barrett, a couple of types of nappy creams (Bepanthen, etc), a number of other lotions/potions/balms picked up from various places (I'm sure there are more, my memory is shot!) I've tried rubbing several different lip balm brands into it (including Blistex Relief Cream in the metal tube, and Blistex Intensive Moisturiser)..not all at the same time, of course smile

Another suggestion on websites is that the patches might be caused by a yeast/fungal condition. So, I've tried Canestan, terbinafine cream, etc. My latest purchase is Daktarin oral gel (miconazole), which I've so far been using for about a day now (no improvement yet).

Oh, and I've also recently swapped to an SLS-free toothpaste, just in case SLS was a trigger, but I've been using that for about a week now and there has been no changes to the red patches.

With regards to my skin care regime, I'm currently using The Ordinary products for cleansing and moisturising. I do tend to regularly chop-and-change the products i use, though, but any change of product(s) has never seemed to be a trigger.

I don't wear much make-up anyway, and (even though it's very tempting to) I don't cover the patches up with foundation/concealer, etc, because (a) it dries them out making them go flaky and look much, much worse and (b) I am making every effort to regularly reapply whatever cream/lotion/potion I'm using at that time.

My partner has tried to reassure me that they're barely noticeable, but that's mainly because they're buried in the marionette lines angry. When my face is more animated (talking, smiling, etc), they're there for the world to see.

The only thing i can think might possibly be causing the patches is.....blushangryblush....^dribbling when I'm asleep^ shock. As if getting saggy and having marionette lines wasn't enough, eh?

I've not been to the doctors, as he'll just prescribe steroid cream, and I don't really want to go down that route. I prefer a more low-key, less damaging approach if possible.

So, I'm now reaching out to you wise Mumsnetters, to see if anyone else has ever experienced anything like this. And if you on earth did you fix it?

Many thanks in advance!

florriepeck Tue 14-Jan-20 19:35:40

Was going to suggest visiting your GP for a steroid cream prescription, but then read that you prefer a low key approach ( the one that doesn't work).
Sorry, don't mean to sound dismissive, but you sound desperate to resolve this problem, so why not just see your doctor?

tinkiiev Tue 14-Jan-20 19:45:04

You've tried nivea in the blue tin or Vaseline overnight? If it was nighttime dribbling that would help! Which it might be. DC used to get red patches just there at this time of year due to daytime dribbling.....(so, you know, it could be worse grinthanks)

tinkiiev Tue 14-Jan-20 19:46:24

Or it could be some kind of allergy. Don't dairy allergies cause this kind of thing??

ItsJustTheOneSwanActually Tue 14-Jan-20 19:51:31

could be peri oral dermatitis

veryvery Tue 14-Jan-20 19:54:55

Could try blistex relief cream. It was great on the angular cheilitis I got after chemo. It is suitable for skin around the mouth and I have also used it successfully to treat dry red callouses on my knuckles. I think it works by improving blood circulation to the area.

LarryUnderwood Tue 14-Jan-20 19:55:25

See a dermatologist. Colleague recently did this privately as she had what she (and her gp) was convinced was severe eczema. Turned out it was a fungal infection and is now properly on the mend with the right treatment.

Triglesoffy Tue 14-Jan-20 19:56:50

I had something similar about this time last year. I think it is dry sensitive skin reacting to central heating, no sunlight and too much Christmas sugar. I was recommended this moisturising mask and it worked.


I am not a beauty expert and I do not work for Ren not a department store!

Wavingwhiledrowning Tue 14-Jan-20 20:10:18

DD and I both suffer from dry red patches of skin around our mouths. The miracle cure for us is hydrocortisone cream. I know you said you don't want to go to the Dr, but it really is incredible for us. We both only need it for 1-2 days (and only a tiny amount) and things clear up for a while.

macymacy Tue 14-Jan-20 20:54:05

I'm no doctor but it does sound like my perioral dermatitis and the only thing that cleared mine up was a round of Erythromycin. I keep some in just in case of reoccurrence...cold weather triggers mine. It clears it really quickly.

HornsOfADilemma01 Wed 15-Jan-20 16:14:14

@florriepeck, thanks for replying. I've been considering seeing the GP, but i suspect he'll suggest a 'sledgehammer to crack a nut' approach. He's a bit old school.

HornsOfADilemma01 Wed 15-Jan-20 16:17:45

@tinkiiev. I've not tried Nivea. It always seems to me to be too highly perfumed to be gentle, but I know a lot of people swear by it. Worth a try, I guess! Yes, I've tried Vaseline overnight, doesn't make any difference, the patches are still bright shiny red in the morning.

I feel your DCs pain!

Apileofballyhoo Wed 15-Jan-20 16:27:18

Have you tried Balmond's Pure Potions Skin Salvation Ointment? Holland and Barrett. Magic stuff.

And do you think it could be eczema? I assume you keep any SLS away from your face if you've knocked the toothpaste out. I'd watch out for shampoo too.

Could it be dietary? DS gets a rash around this area if he gets glutened. It got so bad one time the two sides joined up like he had an extra bottom lip. I had tried lots of things, including steroid cream from GP, and nothing worked till we got the Balmond's. That made a huge difference over night, I couldn't believe it. The whole awful thing was gone in less than a week, and he'd had it for months.

HornsOfADilemma01 Wed 15-Jan-20 16:27:46

@tinkiiev, actually I had considered that. I do use a lot of dairy (I follow a low carb diet, so lots of cheese, cream, etc). I might try to cut it out for a couple of weeks to see if there's any improvement

HornsOfADilemma01 Wed 15-Jan-20 16:29:19

@ItsJustTheOneSwanActually, I googled that, and it doesn't look like that. The patches are flat, no spots, they look a bit like small patches of sunburn.

HornsOfADilemma01 Wed 15-Jan-20 16:30:50

@veryvery, I've tried that, but no difference.
I already use that a lot on my lips, I love the stuff!

HornsOfADilemma01 Wed 15-Jan-20 16:33:25

@LarryUnderwood, I only wish i could afford to see a dermatologist confused

HornsOfADilemma01 Wed 15-Jan-20 16:37:45

@Triglesoffy, ooh, I might try that (when I've saved a few pennies). A nice calming face mask would be beneficial, I'm sure.

However, my 'thing' doesn't seem to be linked with cold weather/central heating because I've had it on and off all year.

HornsOfADilemma01 Wed 15-Jan-20 16:39:51

@Wavingwhiledrowning, I'm starting to think I need to bite the bullet and consider using a steroid cream. We have some in the house already (partner uses it on a skin condition occasionally).

HornsOfADilemma01 Wed 15-Jan-20 16:44:27

@macymacy, all of the Google images I've seen for perioral dermatitis show it as being a bumpy rash. Is yours like that? Mine looks more like small patches of sunburn.

macymacy Wed 15-Jan-20 17:33:12

Sometimes it is, sometimes it isn't, Ive had all sorts of combinations including what you describe. None of the creams ever worked for me

Dontforgetyourbrolly Wed 15-Jan-20 17:36:43

I am not a doctor BUT I used to get this every winter without fail when I was younger. I tried everything....the only thing that shifted it in the end was the best multi vitamins / minerals ( I used to by Centrum if they are still going) it makes sense that it was dietary as when I was younger I didn't eat very well and winter is the time when deficiencies are common.
I can't say that is the problem for you, but it worked for me and it can't do any harm

Dontforgetyourbrolly Wed 15-Jan-20 17:38:50

Just need to add it takes at least 2 weeks to start seeing results

EmGee Wed 15-Jan-20 20:58:04

I suffer on and off from small red patches around nose/sides of mouth. I went to GP who thought it was fungal. Gave me ketanozale cream. I've not actually used it yet - I try and control it with a mix of Aveeno lotion and E45 anti-itch cream. It comes and goes randomly.

BusterGonad Thu 16-Jan-20 10:56:32

I don't want to sound like a dick, but surely you've trued the gentle approach a d no luck, why not just try the steroid and get rid of it once and for all?

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