How to Treat Cracked Corners of the Mouth (Angular Cheilitis)?
Do you suffer from cracked corners of mouth? Do the corners of your mouth keep splitting?
Cracked corners of the mouth, also known as angular cheilitis, is a painful condition that affects over 200,00 people in the US each year.
Angular cheilitis causes dryness, redness, irritation, sores, burning, itching, crusting, or cracks in the corner of your mouth.
Angular cheilitis causes a lot of discomforts. But there are some treatments and ways to prevent this condition. If you are suffering from angular cheilitis, you should seek medical attention before starting treatment.
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What Causes Cracked Corners of the Mouth?
If you are suffering from cracks in the corner of your mouth, you may wonder what causes cracks in the corner of the mouth. There are a number of causes, some of which are stated below:
1. Saliva Build Up
Saliva build-p is one of the most prominent causes of angular cheilitis. As saliva builds up in the corners of the mouth, it promotes fungal and bacterial growth. People who have excess saliva build up, or those with dentures or braces suffer from this problem.
2. Fungal Infection
Fungal infection often leads to cracked corners of the mouth. A yeast called Candida causes the fungal infection. It is the one which causes diaper rash in babies. Any buildup of microorganisms in the corners of your mouth puts you at risk of developing angular cheilitis.
3. Foreign Objects
People who wear facial masks, braces, or dentures, or who smoke, are at a higher risk of cracks in corners of the mouth. These foreign objects attract fungus and bacteria and cause infection. Even babies can be at higher risk of infection if bacteria infect the pacifiers and bottles.
4. Vitamin Deficiency
Vitamin deficiency can also cause the corners of your mouth to keep splitting. A deficiency of vitamin B2, B12, zinc, or iron can cause cracked corners of the mouth. These vitamins are vital and help support the immune system. They help your body to fight off infections.
A deficiency of any of these vitamins can cause cracked corners of the mouth. These vitamins are vital and help support the immune system. They help your body to fight off infections.
Dehydration causes dryness which eventually causes cracks in the corners of the mouth. If you are not drinking enough water, you can develop dry, cracked skin at the corners of your mouth.
6. Other Diseases
People with anemia, blood cancer, diabetes, HIV, kidney cancer, liver cancer, or pancreatic cancer are at a higher risk of developing cracked corners of the mouth. These illnesses weaken the immune system and make the person more vulnerable to infections, including angular cheilitis.
Also Read: Cracked Tongue: Symptoms, Causes, and Treatments
Cracked Corners of the Mouth: Treatment Options
If you are suffering from cracks in the corners of the mouth, there are some simple cracked lip corner treatments available. Before starting any treatment, you should see your doctor
Before starting any treatment, you should see your doctor have the infection checked. Then you can start with one of these treatments.
1. Clean the Infected Area
It’s important to keep the infected area clean so that the cracks in the corners of your mouth don’t get worse. Clean the cracked corners of your mouth often so that the infection doesn’t grow.
2. Remove Irritants
You may be using a new lotion or makeup that is irritating the corners of your mouth. You should stop using any new lotions or makeup until the infection clears up. Also avoid face masks, cigarettes, or other objects which bring bacteria to the irritated site.
In small children, you should stop the use of pacifiers and bottles until the infection clears up. Be sure to clean the affected area regularly to keep it free of bacteria and fungi. Proper hygiene practices are essential to treat the infection and prevent it from recurring.
3. Antifungal or Antibacterial Cream
If the infection is caused by a fungus, apply an antifungal cream topically to the site of the infection. Antifungal creams, like Nystatin, Miconazole, and Clotrimazole, are available by prescription.
If the infection is caused by bacteria, you can apply an antibacterial cream topically to the corners of your mouth. Antibiotics for treating angular cheilitis include Mupirocin, which requires a prescription.
You should ask your doctor about these treatment options. The doctor will be able to tell you whether the infection is caused by a fungus or a bacteria. Then you will know which type of cream can treat your infection.
Home Remedies for Cracked Corners of the Mouth
Angular cheilitis, or cracked corners of the mouth, is a painful condition. But it is not often associated with great health risk. So patients may choose to employ home remedies before going to their doctor for medical care.
People suffering from cracked corners of the mouth who do nothing to treat it may have the infection for a few weeks to a few months. Certain home remedies will help you heal cracked lip corners fast.
1. Take Vitamin Supplement
You can try to boost your immune system by taking vitamin supplements, eating food rich in vitamin B, and drinking more water. These remedies may shorten the duration of the infection or reduce the severity of the symptoms and pain.
2. Clean the Area
You should also clean the infected area regularly to prevent further bacterial or fungal growth. Good mouth hygiene can reduce the risk of getting the infection. It can shorten the duration of the infection if in case it happens.
There are other home remedies that have differing degrees of impact. You can apply honey to the site of the infection. Honey is antibacterial and helps kill the bacteria and fungus growing there. Plus it is a sweet treat for kids!
4. Aloe Vera
You can apply aloe vera to the site of the skin infection. This may help alleviate the pain and soothe the skin. Just like with sun burns, aloe vera can reduce inflammation and soothe the damaged skin.
5. Cold Cucumber
Cucumber is also said to provide a soothing effect. You can place a cold slice of cucumber directly on the site of irritation. Putting a cucumber slice on the cracked corners of your mouth may help you feel better.
6. Lotions and Oil
Patients with cracked corners of the mouth can also try using lotions and oils. You can relieve the dry skin by applying cocoa butter, vaseline, olive oil, or coconut oil to the corners of the mouth. Do this several times per day for the best results.
7. Baking Soda
Some people find relief after applying a mixture of baking soda and water to the cracked corners of their mouth. To try this, mix the baking soda and water. Then put it on the infected area for a few minutes. And then wash it off. You can do this every day until it feels better.
The symptoms of angular cheilitis can appear similar to other conditions, like cold sores, herpes labialis, and lichen planus. If you are concerned about cracks in the corner of your mouth, you should consult your doctor. Your doctor can make sure you get the right diagnosis.
Sarao C., “Dry, Cracked Corners of the Mouth,” Livestrong web site, Aug 14, 2017; http://www.livestrong.com/article/306385-dry-cracked-corners-of-the-mouth/, last accessed Aug 20, 2017
Chittenden B., “Cracks in Corner of Mouth: Causes of Angular Cheilitis and How to Treat It,” Doctors Health Press web site, Apr 24, 2017; http://www.doctorshealthpress.com/general-health-articles/cracks-in-corner-of-mouth/, last accessed Aug 20, 2017
Kerkar P., “Angular Cheilitis or Cracked Corners of the Mouth: Causes, Symptoms, Treatment,” ePainAssist web site, Jul 8, 2017; https://www.epainassist.com/face-mouth-throat/angular-cheilitis-or-cracked-corners-of-the-mouth, last accessed Aug 20, 2017Sharing is caring! Your love and support motivates us!