A patient who regularly licks his or her lips may develop a perioral dermatitis.

Mechanism: saliva and mechanical abrasion from licking causes an irritant contact dermatitis of the perioral skin


Clinical features:

(1) The patient is usually a child.

(2) It may occur more frequently during the winter.

(3) The patient has a perioral dermatitis.

(4) The patient has a habit of licking the lips.

(5) Other causes of cheilitis are excluded.

(6) The dermatitis disappears if the patient stops the habit or if the perioral skin is protected from saliva.

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