Angular Stomatitis and Cheilitis

Cheilitis or Cheilosis  is drying and scaling of the lips and corners of the mouth.

Angular Stomatitis may be taken as a specific case of cheilitis, where painful fissures or cracks develop at the corners of the mouth. It occurs very commonly in kids.

Symptoms

  • Lips become dry and may appear whitish. Tiny scales of dry skin may be seen.

    dry-lips

    Initial stage of dry lips

  • It’s common for them to be itchy at this stage.
  • Individuals with this condition may experience difficulty and pain when they try to open their mouth wide to laugh or eat.
  • They will lick their lips repeatedly with their tongues to moisten them, a habit that should be avoided to prevent further irritation and infection.
  • If no intervention is taken and they further dry up, you may note a burning sensation over them. They may appear reddish due to inflammation.
  • Finally, the skin over the lips start cracking from various points of pressure. Commonest sites are the corners of the mouth, frond of lower lips.
  • Your lip may bleed from these cracks, giving you pain.
  • If not taken care of, you may develop infections at these cracked spots.

Causes

  • Riboflavin (a form of vitamin B-2) deficiency is a common cause. This condition is associated with inadequate consumption of milk, milk products and animal protein due to which vitamin deficiency is caused.
  • Deficiency may also eventually occur in certain disease conditions, as some cases of liver disease, chronic diarrhea or chronic alcoholism.
  • Similar findings may be noted with niacin (another form of vitamin B) and B6 deficiency states.
  • When exposed for long hours to extreme hot and dry weather conditions.
  • Dehydration, that is, reduced intake of water by the individual. This happens when you consume less water, high fever conditions and acute diarrheal states.

Home Remedies for Healing Chapped Lips and Cracked Mouth Corners

Treatment includes the following steps:

  • Correcting the deficiency state
  • Providing adequate energy, protein, fluids and nutrients to promote healing.
  • Application of any emollient cream over the affected area.
  • Take temperate, non-spicy foods and fluids to avoid further irritation to the lips and mouth.
  • Drink at least 6­8 cups of fluid per day.

Correction of avitaminosis is the primary objective with emphasis on large amounts of vitamins B-2, B-6 and B-12. You can get them over the counter at any drug store.

Also any emollient cream can be applied to the affected area and cuts for relief. Relief is noticed very soon after taking these vitamins. Recovery may be expected in about a week’s time.

Angular Stomatitis and Cheilitis in Association With Iron Deficiency Anaemia

Cracked dry lips and mouth angles may also be seen as a symptom in  iron deficiency anemia. Here, the treatment mainly focuses on correcting anemia by taking iron supplements and food rich in iron.

Angular Cheilitis (Perleche)

Angular cheilitis sores are often associated with fungal infections, lip sucking, and dehydration. The moisture of the saliva at the corner of the mouth allows for a fertile environment for yeast to form. This will cause cracking, redness and irritation.

Treatment of Cheilosis Due to Opportunistic Fungal Infection

When angular cheilitis is due to opportunistic infections brought on by decreased resistance secondary to nutrient deficiencies, treatment should focus on antifungal therapy (miconazole), correction of the nutrient deficiency, and diet modification. In case if antifungal cream (miconazole) doesn’t work after a week of application, you may need to apply over-the-counter hydrocortisone 1% right over the miconazole layered area. These may be applied 2-3 times a day.