Lip Lick Dermatitis – Childrens Faces

This month I am showing you a very common problem which often causes a lot of confusion and concern.

The problem is exaggerated and often entirely confined to the skin immediately adjacent to the lips or extending to a distance of about 1.5 cm. Often the child has lots of treatment creams from the GP, sometimes with increasingly strong steroids and usually without a very good response

This condition is often referred to as LICK LIP DERMATITIS  – and it is a habit disease caused by the child’s saliva burning in irritating the skin around the lips – it is then accentuated by the child licking the lips to suppress irritation but in fact making the situation worse. Often the child and sometimes the parents, completely deny that this is possible and that they do not observe their child performing this habit. Under these circumstances it is almost certain that saliva contamination overnight whilst asleep in bed is the culprit.

The problem usually completely resolves by – firstly alerting the child to licking the lips if that is present – secondly overnight whilst the child is asleep applying a thick coat of protective cream around the lips to act as a barrier – SUDOCREM  or something similar is usually very effective and has the same protective action as it would  for your irritation in a child’s nappy.

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