Angular cheilitis, also called angular stomatitis, and perlèche can occur on one or both sides of your mouth. Basically, it’s inflammation around the corners of your mouth that causes those areas to seem red, swollen, and cracked. Oh, and it’s painful, too, can last a few days and be a chronic problem. People of all ages, including infants, can be affected. Angular cheilitis is a fungal infection.
Your mouth contains many viruses, bacteria, and fungi, including a type of fungus termed Candida albicans. An average amount of Candida albicans is present in your mouth and other parts of your body without harming you. Still, it can proliferate and lead to an infection called candidiasis, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.; However, the most prevalent cause of this yeast infection is saliva. When you lick your lips more to soothe the pain, discomfort, and dryness, thus excess saliva will sit in the corners, providing the ideal warm habitat for fungi such as yeast to grow and leading to angular cheilitis, the same fungus that causes diaper rash in babies. An insufficiency of vitamin B2 (riboflavin) may also lead to angular cheilitis.
The most common symptoms are irritation and discomfort in the corners of your mouth, and your lips can feel dry and annoying. Other symptoms include:
Who’s at Risk?
- Who lick their lips a lot.
- wear braces
- have sensitive skin
- Down syndrome
- Deficiency of vitamin B or iron
- patient of anemia, diabetes, or cancer
- inflammatory illnesses, like Crohn’s disease
To determine if you have angular cheilitis, your doctor will check dry, cracked corners of your mouth, redness, swelling, or blisters. They’ll certainly ask about your personal and family history of yeast infections and mouth thrush. They’ll also ask about any other medical issues you may have and any drugs you’re taking.
Your doctor will most likely take culture swabs from your mouth’s corners to send them to a lab for testing. This will assist them in determining the root cause of the problem.
How is angular cheilitis treated?
If your doctor suspects a nutritional deficit, dietary or supplement advice will most likely be given. If yeast is present and causes angular cheilitis, your doctor will likely prescribe a topical antifungal cream. Such as:
Some doctors may recommend using petroleum jelly on the inflamed regions of the angular cheilitis that isn’t caused by a fungal or bacterial illness. This protects you from moisture, allowing the sores to heal.
If it is a bacterial infection, then your doctor will prescribe you an antibacterial medication such as:
- Mupirocin is a type of antibiotic.