What is Angular Cheilitis?
Inflammation at one or both corners of the mouth is termed as angular cheilitis. These are a kind of sensitive sores, which start with a little discomfort and generally take a serious form, causing dryness, chapping and eventually, red lesions. It only sticks to the area of lips and does not spread. One thing should also be kept in mind that if a person develops angular cheilitis on one side of the mouth, he/she should try not to touch both corners of the mouth with the same finger, lipstick or lip balm tube.
The main causes of angular cheilitis are:
- Deficiency of minerals, such as iron, zinc and Vitamin B2
- Poor hygiene
- Ill-fitting dentures
The symptoms of angular cheilitis may be mild to severe. But, the first sign is cracked lips.
- Minor Angular Cheilitis
These symptoms generally go unnoticed when the person suffers from minor angular cheilitis, which is the initial stage.
- Small blistering skin in the corners of the mouth.
- Stiffness in one or both corners of the mouth.
- Slight uneasiness in opening the mouth wide.
- Mild Angular Cheilitis
This is the stage where everyone notices the angular cheilitis. Most people at this stage try to treat the angular cheilitis with Chap Stick.
- Noticeable uneasiness in one or either sides of your mouth while eating or opening the mouth wide.
- Build-up of crumbling skin on one or either corners of the mouth.
- Minor redness and/or puffiness on the sides of the mouth.
- Severe Angular Cheilitis
This is usually the stage where most people realize they are not dealing with chapped lips but, it is something more than just chapping. At this stage, the Chap Stick and topical ointment do not help.
- Very noticeable discomfort while eating, talking and movement of the mouth.
- Severe and painful blisters at one or both corners of your mouth.
- The edges of the mouth get split, which is difficult to heal.
How to Cure Angular Cheilitis?
There are various methods of treating angular cheilitis. Some of the natural home remedies are:
Honey works great in fighting with the infection-causing microorganisms. Apply honey on the angular cheilitis and let it rest for 15 minutes. This can also be used alongside cucumber.
2. Aloe Vera Gel
For treating and alleviating the pain of angular cheilitis, rubbing aloe vera on the cracked corners of the mouth also proves to be helpful. Refrigerate a leaf of aloe vera prior to applying it on the affected area. Rub it for a few minutes and let it dry for at least 15-20 minutes before washing it. This is a natural treatment for angular cheilitis.
3. Lip Balms and Moisturizers
Unscented and unflavored lip balms, like petroleum jelly or virgin coconut oil heal the infection and are an excellent natural treatment for angular cheilitis. Ensure that there are no chemical substances present in the balm or moisturizer. Do this as many times as possible in the daytime and right before sleeping.
“Hydrate yourself” is the best mantra for treating yourself with angular cheilitis. Drink enough water, so that you do not get chapped and dry lips, which eventually develop cracks. Keep the body hydrated by consuming 10-12 glasses of water daily to cure cracked lips.
5. Cocoa Butter
To get rid of dry lips and eventually avoiding the problem of chapped lips, cocoa butter is a very good moisturizer. Apply a small amount of natural cocoa butter, twice or thrice a day on the affected area, for treating angular cheilitis.
6. Homemade Mixture
2 tablespoons of tea tree oil, 1 tablespoon of Vitamin E oil, and ½ tablespoon of petroleum jelly should be mixed and applied over the cracked area as many times possible in a day. This remedy will heal the slits around the corners of the lip.
Angular cheilitis can be treated at home by applying lemon.
Put a slice of cucumber on the affected area. You can also rub it gently. It will alleviate the soreness, caused due to angular cheilitis.
9. Neem Leaves
Extract the juice of fresh neem leaves by crushing them. Apply it on the affected area to destroy the infection-causing micro-organisms.
10. Over-the-counter Ointments
You can also apply natural ointments, available in the market, to get rid of angular cheilitis. Terrasil Skin Repair is one such product that provides noticeable improvements within one day. It relieves inflammation, redness and irritation associated with angular cheilitis.
Measures to Prevent Angular Cheilitis
- Avoid licking your lips.
- Boost up your immune system.
- Take supplements of Vitamin B, folate and iron in order to overcome their deficiencies in your body.
- Visit your dentist to get your dentures readjusted.
- Drink plenty of water.