Angular cheilitis is a condition that affects the corners of your mouth where your lips meet and make an angle.
It is manifested as red, swollen lesions that radiate from the angle of your mouth and can occur either on one side or both sides of your mouth at the same time.
This common condition that affects millions of people is also known as perleche, angular stomatitis, corner of the mouth sores, and cracked corners of the mouth.
Angular cheilitis occurs when saliva gets trapped and builds up in the corners of your mouth. This accumulation of saliva can cause pathogenic microbes (certain bacterial and fungal strains) to grow and multiply, ultimately leading to an infection.
The various other reasons that can make you susceptible to having angular cheilitis include:
Angular cheilitis can present itself as:
Your doctor will inquire about your dental and medical history to diagnose your condition. He will likely ask questions pertaining to your oral hygiene and habits including:
To warrant a thorough investigation, your doctor might ask you for a sample for laboratory assessment. This includes an oral rinse test. You will have to rinse your mouth using salty water, swish it around, and spit it in a bottle. Alternatively, he might take a swab sample from the corners of your mouth and/or nose.
There is no standard time frame to determine the duration of healing. It can take a few weeks to even several months to heal a case of angular cheilitis.
Some cases can be healed in as early as 18 hours. Some resolve on their own and several cases can be a and require to be treated in accordance with the specific cause:
Typical dosage of some prescribed medications for angular cheilitis
|Medication||Dosage for Adults and Children||Duration|
|Miconazole 20mg/g oral gel, 40 g tube||Apply to the angles of the mouth twice daily||Continue for 10 days after the lesion has healed|
|Sodium fusidate 2% cream/ointment, 15 g tube||Apply to the angles of the mouth four times daily||Maximum 10 days|
|Miconazole 2% and hydrocortisone 1% cream, 30 g tube||Apply to the angles of the mouth twice daily||Maximum 7 days|
Here are a few remedies that help soothe the cracked corners of your mouth and ease the symptoms:
One of the home cures for angular cheilitis is aloe vera.
It has antiseptic, antifungal, and anti-inflammatory properties, making it an effective cure against fungi and a wide range of bacterial species.
Its healing properties help alleviate the pain and inflammation that you have to deal with due to angular cheilitis.
It also helps moisturize the dry and damaged skin on the corners of your mouth.
Listerine is accredited with potent antibacterial and antifungal properties.
Using Listerine (the amber-colored original one) can help clear the microbial infection that has caused angular cheilitis within a week by wiping off the microbes from the affected region.
Angular cheilitis is a symptom associated with nutritional deficiencies.
In most people, a deficiency of vitamin B (B2 or B12), zinc, and iron can be manifested in the form of angular cheilitis.
Hence, nutrition may hold the key to the cure of this condition in individuals who are unable to meet the required nutritional demands by the body.
Eating a well-balanced diet can help provide all the essential nutrients that your body needs. Enrich your diet with vitamin B, zinc, and iron.
The following remedy is neither backed by scientific evidence nor reviewed by our health experts. Nonetheless, a number of general users have reported an improvement in their condition using this anecdotal remedy.
Although not backed by a scientific study, many people have reported the significant positive impact of hitting the beaches and swimming pools. The combination of sun, chlorine, and saltwater can promote the healing of mild to severe forms of angular cheilitis.
Seawater is replete with salts and minerals. The salt content of the water can help shrivel the bacterial cells to death and inhibit their growth. Sunlight can fight fungal infections by reducing their growth. Chlorine is a disinfecting agent that can help wipe off the microbial population from the corners of your mouth.
Although both angular cheilitis and cold sores can give painful red bumps around the mouth, these conditions are entirely different. Listed below are the major highlights that can help you spot the difference between the two:
Angular cheilitis can be prevented by following measures that can help keep the corners of your mouth dry. You can follow simple steps to minimize the retention of saliva in the corners of your mouth:
Mild cases of angular cheilitis can pass away on their own or by applying petroleum jelly or a lip balm.
If these methods do not work in your case or the cracks widen and cause discomfort, you can see a doctor and get it treated. The doctor will review it keeping in mind the possible reason behind the sore.
Your doctor might take a swab to determine the actual reason behind the lesion on your lips.
Angular cheilitis presents itself as cracks in the corners of the mouth and causes significant discomfort. Although mild cases tend to pass on their own, severe cases require medical intervention to determine the underlying cause.
Aside from the standard topical and oral medications, observing proper oral hygiene, applying a thick coat of petroleum jelly, and revving up your nutritional needs can help you keep angular cheilitis at bay.
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