Angular cheilitis is a condition that causes red, swollen patches in the corners of your mouth where your lips meet and make an angle. Other names for it are perleche and angular stomatitis. You can get it on one side of your mouth or on both sides at the same time. Depending on underlying causes, it may last a few days or persist indefinitely.
In this video, we will introduce some useful information about angular cheilitis causes, symptoms, treatment, prevention, and home remedies.
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Causes of angular cheilitis
Fungal infection is the most common cause. This annoying inflammation is generally caused by a type of yeast called Candida. But certain bacteria strains, like Staphylococcus, can cause cracked corners of the mouth as well.
You’re more likely to get angular cheilitis if the corners of your mouth are moist a lot of the time. Repeated lip-smacking, drooling and thumb-sucking behaviors may contribute to excessive saliva buildup.
Angular cheilitis occurs most often to people in their 30s to 60s.
There are several risk factors:
- ill-fitting dentures.
- malocclusion of teeth.
- wearing braces.
- allergies (toothpaste, makeup, and food).
- deficiency of minerals, such as iron, zinc and Vitamin B2.
- mouth breathing.
- poor oral hygiene.
- sun exposure.
- tobacco smoking.
- specific medical conditions such as diabetes, immune disorders, cancer of the blood, down-syndrome.
Symptoms of angular cheilitis
If you’re experiencing angular cheilitis, the corners of your mouth may be:
Other symptoms include:
- bad taste in your mouth.
- burning feeling on your lips or mouth.
- lips feeling dry or chapped.
- difficulty eating as a result of the irritation.
Treatment options and prevention tips for angular cheilitis
Angular cheilitis is sometimes a self-limited condition and then the treatment consists of symptomatic management.
Your doctor may advise following treatment according to the angular cheilitis conditions.
- Antibiotics medication for bacterial infection.
- Oral and topical nystatin for candida infection.
- In some cases, topical steroids are added to the use of anti-candidial ointments or lotions to reduce the inflammation.
- Nutritional supplementation is necessary in case of iron or vitamin deficiency.
- Zinc oxide, petroleum jelly, or lip balm to protect the skin barrier.
- Dental work to repair dentures or a misaligned bite.
- Behavior modifications to prevent lip-smacking, thumb-sucking, or aggressive use of floss.
Natural home remedies for angular cheilitis
- Aloe vera gel. Alleviates pain when rubbed on the irritated corners of the mouth. Apply and leave it on for at least 15 minutes before gently wiping it off.
- Honey. Fights micro-organisms that cause infection. Apply for 15 minutes before removal.
- Water. Keep yourself properly hydrated to help prevent dryness and chapped lips
- Iron and B complex vitamins. It is believed that 25 percent of those who have angular cheilitis are deficient in these vitamins.
- Baking soda. Its antibacterial properties relieve symptoms.
- Lip balms and moisturizers. Unflavored versions such as petroleum jelly or virgin coconut oil to heal the infection.
- Cocoa butter. Apply to the affected area two to three times per day.
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