Are the corners of your lips always dry?

Written by Dr. Apurva Chavan

Medically reviewed by  Dr. Vidhi Bhanushali Kabade BDS, TCC

Last updated May 4, 2024

Written by Dr. Apurva Chavan

Medically reviewed by  Dr. Vidhi Bhanushali Kabade BDS, TCC

Last updated May 4, 2024

Do you have red, irritated lesions on the corner of your lips? Do you keep licking the dry, rough skin of your lips? Are the corners of your mouth always dry and itchy? Then you may have angular chelitis.

The main signs of angular chelitis are soreness and irritation in the corners of your lips. The other symptoms are blistered, crusty, cracked, painful, red, scaly, swollen and even bleeding lips and corners of the mouth. Sometimes a bad taste in your mouth is also present.

What causes Angular Chelitis?

Saliva coupled with fugal growth is the most common cause of angular chelitis.  Saliva accumulates in the corners of the mouth and its warm, moist soft conditions attract various fungi, bacteria and even viruses to come an attack. Deficiency of vitamin B12 and iron are the other causes of angular chelitis.

The following factors put you at a higher risk of getting angular chelitis.

  • sensitive skin
  • excessive saliva production
  • have overhanging upper lip, causing deeper angles at the corners of the mouth
  • wear braces or removable retainers
  • wear dentures or other oral prosthesis
  • thumb sucking
  • smoking
  • frequent use of corticosteroids or antibiotics or oral retinoids
  • have regular infections like oral thrush
  • have diabetes, cancer, anemia or Crohn’s disease or Downs syndrome, Sjögren’s syndrome or HIV

Treatment options

The main goal of the treatment is to keep the corners of your mouth clean and dry. Stop licking your lips frequently. Use ghee or cocoa, Shea or Kokum butter to soothe chapped lips. Petroleum jelly or coconut oil can be used for extremely dry lips.

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Author Bio: Dr. Apurva Chavan is a dentist by the day and a voracious reader and writer by the night. She loves to fix smiles and tries to keep all her procedures as pain free as possible. Equipped with over 5 years of experience she loves to not just treat her patients but also educate them about dental hygiene and appropriate maintanence routines. After a long day of preserving smiles she loves to curl up with a good book or pen down some of life’s musings. She strongly belives that learning never stops and likes to keep her self updates with all the latest dental news and research.

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