How to treat angular cheilitis

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Angular cheilitis is a condition that causes cracking, inflammation and bleeding in one or both corners of the mouth. It is also called mouth corner cracks. This condition is caused by staphylococcus aureus and Candida albicans but it might also be due to poor-fitted dentures, nutritional deficiency, dry skin and a habit of lip licking. It makes regular daily activities and using the mouth difficult as it affects eating and talking.

Symptoms of angular cheilitis

  • One or two corners of the mouth may be blistered, bleeding and cracked
  • Itchiness, crusting, scaling, redness and pain
  • Dry and uncomfortable
  • Burning sensation in the lips and mouth
  • Bad taste in the mouth
  • Difficulty eating that result to weight loss


  • Deficiency in vitamins
  • Hormonal imbalance
  • Allergic reaction to cosmetic products and foods
  • Poor nutrition and deficiency in zinc and iron
  • Using ill-fitting dentures
  • Excessive salivation and drooling
  • Sunburn and exposure to severe weather condition
  • Underlying disorders such as anorexia nervosa and diabetes mellitus
  • Medical conditions that are at a high risk of developing angular cheilitis include anemia, diabetes, cancer of the blood and immune disorders such as HIV
  • Dehydration
  • Oral herpes due to stress, poor eating and lack of sleep


  • Apply the prescribed over-the-counter topical antibiotic and antifungal creams.
  • If angular cheilitis is due to a nutritional deficiency, take the prescribed nutritional supplement and medication for deficiency in vitamins and minerals. Deficiency in vitamins B2, B3, B6 and B12 can cause angular cheilitis.
  • Stop lip-licking habit.
  • Apply the prescribed anti-fungal cream such as clotrimazole to the sores. It lessens the pain and inflammation
  • Moisturize the lips by applying a lip salve regularly. Vitamin E oil and olive oil can be used as lip moisturizers. Avoid citrus and beverages that contain citrus during the healing process to prevent worsening of the condition. Avoid eating spicy foods.
  • Avoid wearing ill-fitting dentures to prevent further damage.
  • Soak the affected area on salty water.
  • Keep the body well hydrated by drinking 8-10 glasses of water every day. Water keeps the body moisturized from the inside and prevents it from becoming cracked and dry.
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