Cheilitis is an inflammation of the lips. It may be acute or chronic, involving the vermilion or surrounding skin of one or both lips.
In this video, we will introduce some useful information about cheilitis causes, types, symptoms, treatment, prevention, and home remedies.
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Causes of cheilitis
There are several different causes of cheilitis. The most common is yeast infection as a result of saliva.
and there are other causes of cheilitis. Lip-licking cheilitis is usually seen in 7–15 year olds and appears as a scaling, pink band around the mouth. This is caused by repeated licking of the lips.
Retinoids ( Vitamin A ) are the most frequent drug-induced causes of this problem. High doses of vitamin A, lithium, chemotherapeutic agents, d-penicillamine, isoniazid, and phenothiazine can also cause chapped lips.
Other possible causes of chapped lips cheilitis include high fevers, environmental conditions such as cold weather, dehydration, candida infection, bacterial infection, certain vitamin deficiencies, and some systemic diseases like Crohn, lupus, and others.
Who’s at risk of cheilitis?
Certain people are more at risk for developing cheilitis, they include:
- smoke addiction.
- people who frequently use corticosteroids or antibiotics.
- wear braces.
- deficiencies of vitamins B groups or the mineral zinc.
- sensitive skin.
- people who have inflammatory illnesses, such as Crohn’s disease and Sjögren’s syndrome.
- use oral retinoid medication.
- Anemia, diabetes, or cancer patients.
symptoms of cheilitis
People with cheilitis have lips that appear dry, scaly, and may have one or more small cracks fissures. Chapped lips are often painful, and there may or may not be redness, swelling, blistered, crusty, and burning sensation on lips or mouth.
Types of cheilitis
There are different types of cheilitis, based on what causes them or presents.
- Angular Cheilitis. this is the most common type of cheilitis.
- Eczematous Cheilitis.
- Actinic Cheilitis. Also known as solar cheilitis or cheilosis, is a degenerative condition of the tissue of the lips after years of exposure to ultraviolet light, such as sunlight. It is a premalignant condition.
- Exfoliative cheilitis.
- Glandular cheilitis.
- Cheilitis granulomatosa.
- Herpes simplex cheilitis.
- Drug-related cheilitis.
- Lichenoid cheilitis.
- Crohn’s disease cheilitis.
- Cutaneous lupus erythematosus cheilitis.
and others. We will introduce some common cheilitis types in our upcoming videos.
Treatment for cheilitis
The treatment of cheilitis depends on the underlying cause.
Cheilitis is usually relatively harmless on its own, but some symptoms and types are considered warning signs of skin cancer or other systemic diseases like lupus or Crohn’s disease.
Anyone with symptoms of cheilitis should talk with a doctor to rule out additional complications. A doctor should examine the lips soon after symptoms begin to establish a baseline and monitor the progression.
Antibiotics, antifungal treatment: When the area is infected, then the underlying infection requires treatment. It is important to diagnose the cause of the infection since yeast infections, for example, will not respond to antibiotics. In most cases, a doctor can tell by looking at it whether the infection is bacterial or due to yeast.
topical antiseptics can keep the wound clean, and topical steroid ointments may help reduce the symptoms.
Fillers and injections: In some cases like angular cheilitis caused by mouth shape, a doctor might recommend treatment to change the shape of the mouth.
There are other treatment options for different types of cheilitis. In some cases, specialists may advise some treatment alternatives like laser ablation, cryotherapy, vermilionectomy, electrocautery.
Lip-licking cheilitis is best treated with avoidance of licking behavior. Drug-induced cheilitis is treated with avoidance of the offending drug, but if this is not possible, frequent application of petroleum jelly may help ease lip pain and irritation.
Prevention and home remedies for cheilitis
- First things first, find out trigger factors if cheilitis is caused by sun exposure, cold weather, dehydration, or others.
- Moisturizers and staying hydrated can often help reduce symptoms of dryness.
- applying sunscreen to the body and face daily, even if not spending a long time outside.
- applying lip balms or moisturizers that contain sunscreen, frequently throughout the day, especially when in the sun
- wearing a wide-brimmed hat and light, long-sleeved clothing in the sun
- stopping smoking or chewing tobacco, avoiding excessive alcohol use.
- Have check-up regularly, if vitamin deficiency or systemic disease is found, take proper treatment under your doctor’s recommendation in time.
Cheilitis is a common, inflammatory skin condition. While it may be uncomfortable and cosmetically unappealing, the good news is that in the vast majority of cases, it can be treated with straightforward and simple measures.
If you think you may have cheilitis or notice any new changes with your lips or the skin surrounding your lip, be sure to make an appointment with your doctor.
Thanks for your watching.