Exact cause of angular cheilitis is not known. It can be caused by prolonged exposure to sun or wind, iron deficiency anemia, malnutrition or may be associated with Plummer- Vinson syndrome.
The lesion usually affects aged with over closure of mouth. Some medicaments like isotretinoin can also lead to this condition. It is a non-contagious ailment.
Signs and Symptoms of Angular Cheilitis
Angular stomatitis at labial commissure will manifest as a split or an ulcer and can be sore and itchy. The lesion may appear as red and cause burning sensation. Lips may appear inflamed, chapped and dry with cracks and cuts.
In advanced cases of angular cheilitis, deep splits may also bleed on opening of the oral cavity wide and shallow crust may also appear. Cheilosis lesions can cause difficulty in mastication and swallowing. Angular cheilitis lesion may also get infected with bacteria and fungus and the condition can get even worse.
Angular Cheilitis VS Cold Sore Lesions
Angular cheilitis and cold sore lesions are quite similar. Cracks and redness at corners of the lips are observed in both the conditions. Cold sores are caused by herpes simplex viral infection and heal in 5-10 days. On the other hand, Angular stomatitis is a chronic condition. If not treated, perleche lesions may last for months.
Dealing with Angular Cheilitis
To deal with angular Cheilitis, the cause of the lesion needs to be cured. If bacterial or fungal infection is cause of these lesions, then a topical antibiotic gel or cream can be applied on the affected sore area after consultation of a physician.
Anti-bacterial or anti-fungal ointment may also be prescribed. If angular stomatitis is result of malnutrition or vitamin deficiency, then patient should focus on nutrient rich diet.
If patient is having vitamin B deficiency, then he/she should take more of green leafy vegetables, fish, egg, cereals, dairy products which are rich sources of vitamin B.
To prevent the incidence of perleche, lip biting and lip sucking should be avoided. A lip balm with SPF 15 should be used before going in sun to reduce the incidence of infections.
If ill-fitting dentures are cause of these lesions, then the dentures need to be repaired or replaced. Allergic reaction with dentifrices and cosmetic products can also lead to angular cheilitis.
In such cases, use of product should be stopped. Accumulation of saliva should be avoided at labial commissures for these sore lesions to heal.
Home remedies for Angular Cheilitis
Ginger extract on sore lesion or drinking tea with ginger in it is an easy and effective remedy for angular cheilitis. Infected lesion should not be touched with fingers to avoid spread of infection and further worsening of condition.
Infected lesion at the corner of the mouth can be cleaned with warm water for faster healing to take place. These home remedies are very effective for treatment of stomatitis.
Photo Credit: Crackedcornersofmouth.info/cracks-in-corner-of-mouth