What Is Angular Cheilitis?
Angular cheilitis is a medical condition in which swollen red patches occur at the corners of the lips, where they meet to make an angle. This condition is also known as angular stomatitis and perlèche.
Red patches can appear on both sides of the lips. Sometimes, this disease lasts only a few days long, but it can also develop to become a serious problem. It can happen to people of every age and gender.
Angular Cheilitis Symptoms
Angular cheilitis symptoms are easy to see as they show up only at the ends of the lips, almost every time. In most cases, these symptoms are painful. However, the severity of pain can change.
Sometimes only small red patches are formed, but other times, bleeding blisters can also form in this condition.
Following symptoms are seen at the end of your lips:
Other than these, people also complain of a bad taste in the mouth and burning sensation around the lips and mouth.
Who Is At Risk?
While anyone can get angular cheilitis, there are some factors that make you more prone to the infection. Commonly known risk factors of angular cheilitis include:
- Wearing braces
- Crooked teeth
- Overhanging upper lip
- Sucking thumb
- Licking lips often
- Lack of nutrients like Vitamin B or mineral Zinc
- Sensitive skin
- Sjögren’s syndrome
- Medical conditions such as anemia, diabetes, cancer and down syndrome
Angular Cheilitis Causes
Angular cheilitis causes can vary from patient to patient. However, the most common reason is yeast infection that occurs due to saliva.
When saliva gets trapped in the corners of the lips, it can cause cracking of the skin. To avoid this dryness and pain, people often lick their lips. The excess moisture then becomes a perfect place for fungus like yeast to grow.
Once the yeast begins to grow, it can cause the symptoms of angular cheilitis. In some cases, the doctors are unable to find the exact cause behind the condition. It is then called idiopathic angular cheilitis.
How Is Angular Cheilitis Diagnosed?
While angular cheilitis is self-diagnosed, it is crucial that you seek a medical professional’s help to determine the cause. If possible, consult any of the dermatologists as they can offer better diagnosis and treatment for skin related issues. Here is what you can expect during your appointment.
- Physical examination: For angular cheilitis diagnosis, the doctors will first examine your mouth and lips. They will also ask you about the symptoms or the details about your medical history.
- Tests: In some cases, the doctors may take the sample of the affected skin and send it to the lab for further analysis to determine the type of fungus or bacteria that might have cause the condition.
How Is Angular Cheilitis Treated?
Angular cheilitis treatment usually depends on the underlying cause or the severity of the condition. The main goal, however, remains the same – to keep out the infection. Some of the common treatment methods are as follows:
- Medications: The doctors may prescribe medicine to treat the fungal infections. Creams and ointments can also be a part of this prescription.
- Supplements: If the cause of your angular cheilitis is nutrition deficiency, your angular cheilitis doctors may recommend some supplements or a new diet.
- Surgery: This is quite a rare treatment method and is used to correct the redundant fold of skin that may cause the collection of saliva near the corners of the mouth.
Other than these, home remedies may also be recommended. To find the best angular cheilitis cure, seek medical help from experienced and trusted healthcare provider.
Here at Care.Fit, we have a diverse panel of doctors ranging from general physicians to dermatologists who can help you get the world-class care at affordable prices. Not just this, we also offer online appointment and consultation from top doctors. Visit our website or check our app to know more.
How Can Angular Cheilitis be Prevented?
Angular cheilitis prevention is quite easy and can save you from a lot of discomfort and health complications. Below are some of the best measures advised by the doctors:
- Practice good oral hygiene
- Avoid smoking
- Stop licking your lips frequently
- Re-adjust wrong dentures
- Use a lip balm to moisturize lips
- Eat food rich in Vitamin B, iron and zinc