Angular Cheilitis
Angular Cheilitis is an inflammation at one or both corners of the mouth.The symptoms of angular cheilitis may be mild to severe. A kind of sensitive sores, which start with a little discomfort and generally take a serious form, causing dryness, chapping and eventually, red lesions. It only sticks to the area of lips and does not spread. One thing should you should keep in mind if you develop angular cheilitis on one side of the mouth, you should try not to touch both corners of the mouth with the same finger, lipstick or lip balm tube. 

 

Causes Angular Cheilitis

Fungal infection is the most common cause of angular cheilitis. This annoying inflammation is generally caused by a type of yeast called Candida. But certain bacteria strains, like Staphylococcus, can cause angular cheilitis (also referred to as perleche, angular stomatitis or cheilosis) 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. That is why it is relatively common for children to experience angular cheilitis. 

It occurs most often to people in their 30s to 60s. There are several risk factors for angular cheilitis:

  • ill-fitting dentures
  • malocclusion of teeth
  • substantial weight loss
  • wearing braces
  • allergies (toothpaste, makeup, and food)
  • deficiency of minerals, such as iron, zinc and Vitamin B2
  • mouth breathing
  • poor oral hygiene
  • sun exposure
  • smoking
  • specific medical conditions such as diabetes, immune disorders, cancer of the blood, down-syndrome 

Symptoms of Minor Angular Cheilitis

When you suffer from minor angular cheilitis, the symptoms generally go unnoticed. This is how you can recognise the initial stage of this condition:

  • small blistering skin in the corners of the mouth.
  • stiffness in one or both corners of the mouth.
  • slight uneasiness in opening the mouth wide

Symptoms of Mild Angular Cheilitis

Mild angular cheilitis is the stage where everyone notices the angular cheilitis. Most people at this stage try to treat the angular cheilitis with chap stick.

  • noticeable uneasiness in one or either sides of your mouth while eating or opening the mouth wide.
  • build-up of crumbling skin on one or either corners of the mouth.
  • minor redness and/or puffiness on the sides of the mouth.

Symptoms of Severe Angular Cheilitis

This is usually the stage where most people realize they are not dealing with chapped lips but, it is something more than just chapping. At this stage, the Chap Stick and topical ointment do not help. You will experience one or more of the following symptoms:

  • very noticeable discomfort while eating, talking and movement of the mouth.
  • severe and painful blisters at one or both corners of your mouth.
  • the edges of the mouth get split, which is difficult to heal.

How to Treat Angular Cheilitis?

In severe cases, frequently an antifungal and antibacterial cream is advised by the general practitioner. But there are more body-friendly methods to treat angular cheilitis. Our oral health adviser selected ten remedies for you:

1. bluem® oral gel

bluem oral gel is unique due to the high level of active oxygen. Oxygen is important in all the 5 steps of the healing process of wounds. Cracked and dry lips heal faster when using our oral gel (also very effective when you have inflammation around your dental implant (peri-implantitis).

2. Cucumber

Put a slice of cucumber on the affected area. You can also rub it gently. It will alleviate the soreness, caused due to angular cheilitis.

3. Neem Leaves

Extract the juice of fresh neem leaves by crushing them. Apply it on the affected area to destroy the infection-causing micro-organisms.

4. Honey

Honey works great in fighting with the infection-causing microorganisms. Apply honey on the angular cheilitis and let it rest for 15 minutes. This can also be used alongside cucumber.

5. Water

“Hydrate yourself” is the best mantra for treating yourself . Drink enough water, so that you do not get chapped and dry lips, which eventually develop cracks. Keep the body hydrated by consuming 10-12 glasses of water daily to cure cracked lips.

6. Lip Balms and Moisturizers

Unscented and unflavored lip balms, like petroleum jelly or virgin coconut oil heal the infection and are an excellent natural treatment for angular cheilitis. Ensure that there are no chemical substances present in the balm or moisturizer. Do this as many times as possible in the daytime and right before sleeping.

7. Aloe Vera Gel

For treating and alleviating the pain, rubbing aloe vera on the cracked corners of the mouth also proves to be helpful. Refrigerate a leaf of aloe vera prior to applying it on the affected area. Rub it for a few minutes and let it dry for at least 15-20 minutes before washing it. This is a natural treatment for angular cheilitis.

8. Homemade Mixture

2 tablespoons of tea tree oil, 1 tablespoon of Vitamin E oil, and ½ tablespoon of petroleum jelly should be mixed and applied over the cracked area as many times possible in a day.  This remedy will heal the slits around the corners of the lip.

9. Lemon

Angular cheilitis can be treated at home by applying lemon.

10. Over-the-counter Ointments

You can also apply natural ointments, available in the market, to get rid of angular cheilitis. Ask your pharmacist for more information.

Sources 

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