Cheilitis is a condition in which lips become red, swelled and painful. It is a very common condition throughout the globe. Usually, it affects people of all races, colors, ages and genders. It is related with a number of deficiencies such as iron deficiency, vitamin B12 deficiency etc. Sometimes it also gets associated with allergies.
There are various types of cheilitis such as angular cheilitis, actinic cheilitis, plasma cell cheilitis etc. Among these types, angular cheilitis is considered as the most common type. It is a condition characterized by cracks or blisters on the corners of mouth. These lesions on the corners of the mouth are also called as preleche or angular stomatitis.
As mentioned above, these are inflammatory lacerations that are found on the sides of mouth. These lesions sometimes become rusty and cause irritation. In some cases, when you open your mouth, these cracks start bleeding. At times, they become a repository of pus resulting in ulcerations.
Origins of angular cheilitis are still under darkness. Although, there is nothing exact known about the causes of cheilitis, yet some of its potential causes include nutritional deficiency, ill-fitted dentures etc. Deficiency of iron and vitamins are believed to play a key role in this disease. The thing that is known faithfully about angular cheilitis is that it is caused due to some bacterial or fungal infection.
Although, angular cheilitis occurs in individuals of all ages, yet it is very common in people of old age. Elderly people are more prone to angular cheilitis owing to some denture-related problems. These ill-adjusted dentures can really disturb the facial musculature, causing sores and crack at the corners of mouth. Angular cheilitis also affects kids and teenagers frequently. In these individuals, a mild form of angular cheilitis is reported. This is known as chapped or cracked lips. In this type, the corners of mouth are not affected. Rather, the surface of lips becomes cracked and dry. The condition becomes more severe when the sufferer tries to lick his lips in a bid to moisten them. It is mostly treated through the use of lip balm. Vaseline is also very effective in treating this condition.
You can do cheilitis management in a number of ways. The first thing that you should do is to stop using flavored lip balms. Instead of imparting some benefit, these lip balms do more damage. These literally increase the dryness of lips, besides increasing irritation. You should try to use natural balms as they will cause no harm and will relieve give you comfort. They will give you a soothing effect and will relieve your pain.
Cocoa butter is another thing that lends a hand in eradicating cheilitis. It is a vegetable fat extracted from cocoa beans. If applied in very small amount on the affected area, it would yield desired results. It moisturizes the skin and decreases you discomfort.
In nut shell, the best way of cheilitis management is to stop licking your own lips, besides staying far away from flavored items. Cheilitis, when not managed properly can lead to cheilitis granulomatosa.