Cheilitis is a common skin problem found on the lips, especially in the corners of the mouth. Redness, inflammation, burning and lip cracks characterize the skin care problem of angular cheilitis. Aside from making people miserable, embarrassed and unattractive, it can get so bad that it hurts to open your mouth. This makes it hard to eat, drink and even smile, as each time the lips move there’s a painful disturbance of the affected area, often splitting deep into underlying tissue. Having sores and ugly cuts also affects the looks of a person.
Angular cheilitis is cause by fungal or yeast infections, but also from bacterial (Staphylococcal) or viral infections. People of all ages suffer this kind of disease. It is commonly found in the people who are lacking in vitamins, including vitamins B2, B3, B6 and B12. Lack of iron, constant lip licking, thumb sucking, lip biting, loss of teeth, wind and cold exposure, or a weakened immune system (such as HIV) can all be causes. There are some other common angular cheilitis-like allergies caused by dermatitis and by reactions to toothpastes, lipsticks and other cosmetics.
Dentures can also cause cheilitis because when you wear dentures you are likely exposed to accumulated bacteria and other things. When dentures do not fit properly they cause an over-closure of the mouth. Little folds form in the sides of the mouth where saliva accumulates and infections can develop.
Angular cheilitis is any condition that causes saliva to build up in the corners of the mouth and create a moist environment where the bacteria and fungi can live. This is very common among elderly people who have lost their teeth. Angular cheilitis is not contagious or dangerous, but it’s painful and causes a lot of discomfort to many people.
Both fungi and bacteria thrive on yeast. It is best to avoid all sugars and also yogurt. Using anti-fungal creams works well if the infections are caused by fungus. However, you have no way of knowing if your angular cheilitis is caused by fungi or by bacteria.
There are simple treatments to cure angular cheilitis naturally. Cover the area with a thick layer of petroleum jelly or non-perfumed lip balm. This will give protection to allow the skin underneath to heal. Rub aloe vera lotion or gel into the infected area. This, in combination with taking zinc, riboflavin and iron dietary supplements will all help. Also, rubbing with a slice of cucumber onto the affected area can help with the cracks. Eat the right foods. Eating a balanced, vitamin rich diet is truly the best way to get rid of and prevent re-occurrence of angular cheilitis.
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