Angular cheilitis, also known as angular stomatitis and perlèche, is a type of cheilitis (inflammation of the lips). It causes cracks at the corners of your mouth. Angular cheilitis can be painful and make it hard to eat. It is often caused by a fungal infection or poor dental hygiene. It can also be caused by allergies, Crohn's disease, or other conditions that make the skin around your mouth dry out. Treatment for angular cheilitis often includes using an antifungal cream or ointment. You may also need to take measures to improve your dental hygiene and avoid things that trigger your allergies. In some cases, you may need medication to treat an underlying condition.
What are the symptoms of angular cheilitis?
The main symptom of angular cheilitis is soreness or irritation in the corners of your mouth. The skin in these areas may be:
- Oozing pus
Angular cheilitis can make it hard to eat, talk, or smile. The cracks in your skin can also become infected with bacteria.
What causes angular cheilitis?
Angular cheilitis is often caused by a fungal infection. The fungus candida albicans is the most common type of fungus that causes this condition. Candida is a type of yeast that naturally lives on your skin. But if the conditions are right, it can grow out of control and cause an infection.
Other possible causes include:
- Crohn's disease
- Dental problems, such as ill-fitting dentures
- Excessive drooling
- Harsh weather conditions
- Makeup that irritates the skin
- Poor nutrition can cause a vitamin B12 or iron deficiency
- Squamous cell carcinoma, a type of skin cancer
- Sticking your tongue out for a long period of time
What is the treatment for angular cheilitis?
There are a number of ways to treat angular cheilitis. The most common and effective treatment is the application of an antifungal cream or ointment. If the cause is a fungal infection, an antifungal cream or ointment can help clear it up. Other treatments include the use of oral antifungal medication, the application of corticosteroid cream, and the use of light therapy. In some cases, surgery may be necessary to remove the affected tissue.
What are the complications of angular cheilitis?
If left untreated, angular cheilitis can lead to a number of complications, including secondary bacterial infection, fungal skin infections, permanent scarring, and difficulty eating and speaking. Development of fissures (cracks) in the corners of the mouth, pain, and irritation in the corners of the mouth, Self-consciousness, and embarrassment due to the appearance of the condition. In rare cases, it can also lead to skin cancer.
Can angular cheilitis be prevented?
There are several things you can do to help prevent angular cheilitis, including:
- Practicing good oral hygiene, such as brushing your teeth twice a day and flossing daily
- Avoiding mouthwashes that contain alcohol
- Use a lip balm or cream to keep your lips moist
- Eating a healthy diet
- Quitting smoking
- Avoiding things that trigger your allergies, such as certain foods or cosmetics
- Managing underlying conditions, such as Crohn's disease, that may cause dryness in the mouth.
Angular cheilitis is a common condition that can be painful and inconvenient. However, it is often easily treated with antifungal creams or ointments. In some cases, other treatments may be necessary. With proper treatment, angular cheilitis can be cleared up quickly and effectively