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Steroid-induced periorificial dermatitis in children--clinical features and response to azelaic acid.

Author(s): Jansen T, Melnik BC, Schadendorf D

Affiliation(s): Department of Dermatology, Venereology and Allergology, University of Essen, Essen, Germany. thomas.jansen@medizin.uni-essen.de

Publication date & source: 2010-03, Pediatr Dermatol., 27(2):137-42. Epub 2009 Oct 4.

Periorificial dermatitis, a common skin disease in young women, has been occasionally reported in children. This study elaborates the clinical features of periorificial dermatitis in children as well as possible pathogenetic factors and the response to 20% azelaic acid cream. A total of 10 children aged 3 to 12 (mean 7.7) years suffering from nongranulomatous periorificial dermatitis for 3 to 7 (mean 4.9) months were evaluated, and dermatologic examination was carried out. Pretreatment was documented. Skin prick tests with a panel of six common inhalative allergens and patch tests with the European Standard Series were performed. An association between atopy and periorificial dermatitis was evaluated, and patients were screened for skin colonization by fungi, bacteria, and Demodex mites. They were treated with 20% azelaic acid cream, which was topically applied twice daily on all affected areas, until complete resolution was achieved. Treatment period was followed by an individual observation period. Periorificial dermatitis had developed in typical distribution and morphology. In all patients, low- to high-potency topical corticosteroids had been used on the face prior to manifestation. Atopy was found in half of the patients. Allergological, bacteriological, and mycological examinations did not reveal pathologic results. Demodex mites could not be demonstrated by skin surface biopsy. Treatment with 20% azelaic acid cream led to complete resolution of skin lesions after 4 to 8 (mean 5.4) weeks in all patients. Transient exacerbation of skin condition with a peak between the 2nd and 6th day of treatment could be observed in three patients. Side effects of 20% azelaic acid cream were registered in six patients and were predominantly present in the first 2 weeks of treatment. Side effects were minimal and became rarer with ongoing treatment. No recurrences were seen within a follow-up period of 2 to 8 (mean 4.4) months. Treatment with 20% azelaic acid cream could provide an effective and safe alternative therapeutic option in children with nongranulomatous periorificial dermatitis.

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