How do I Choose the Best Angular Cheilitis Treatment?

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  • Written By: B. Chisholm
  • Edited By: Nancy Fann-Im
  • Last Modified Date: 05 October 2019
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Angular cheilitis may be caused by a number of factors, and the best angular cheilitis treatment is chosen according to the cause. The most common of these factors is vitamin B deficiency. When this is the case, the best treatment for angular cheilitis is vitamin B replacement, usually by injection. Angular cheilitis can also be caused or worsened by bacteria, and in these cases, topical antibiotic creams or ointments may be necessary. When it is caused by a fungal infection, it may be treated with an anti-fungal cream. In general, the treatment is topical.

Angular cheilitis is also known as perleche or cheilosis. It is a commonly seen condition and refers to drying out or "chapping" in the corners of the mouth. In severe cases it may result in cracking or splitting of the lip and can be very painful. In some cases the cheilitis may become infected with bacteria or fungi, and these issues need to be tended to. Typically, though, the condition clears up on its own or with mild topical treatment.


The condition is often a sign of a deficiency of vitamins or essential minerals such as vitamin B, zinc or iron. It may be seen in malnourished people or those with bulimia or anorexia. In the case of bulimia, the condition is worsened by the frequent vomiting. The best angular cheilitis treatment in these cases is to treat the relevant deficiency with either vitamin B, zinc or iron, depending on the patient. Dietary changes to increase the levels of the deficient substance may also be effective.

Angular cheilitis may be seen as one of the symptoms of denture stomatitis. Fungal infection is common in these cases. Improved denture hygiene practices and topical anti-fungals such as nystatin or clotrimazole are the best angular cheilitis treatment in this setting. Diagnosing the causative organism would need to be done by a physician.

Mild cases of angular cheilitis tend to occur in winter. It is often exacerbated by continual wetting of the lips, which worsens the chapping. Topical barrier creams may be useful, especially for people with recurring cheilitis. Some complementary products, such as tea tree oil and aloe vera may also be helpful, especially where no bacterial or fungal infection is present.

The best angular cheilitis treatment depends entirely on the cause of the condition. Initially, symptoms can usually be treated using over-the-counter medicine. Preventative hydration using topical barrier creams during sensitive times may be advisable.


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Post 5

I have been suffering for years but think I have finally sorted it for good. When I have the cracks I apply manuka honey to them overnight, which really soothes the sores. I also take a multivitamin that contains iron and b12. It seems to be working. Hooray! I can smile without it hurting.

Post 4

I've had this condition for a few months and would like to know what's the best cream to take away all the dark, hard skin that has formed at the corners of my mouth.

Post 3

@turquoise-- It was probably not the mild fungal ointment then. When angular cheilitis is caused by fungi, it's super hard to treat! You think you've gotten rid of it and it comes right back!

I've used mild fungal ointments many times with no results! It was only when my doctor finally prescribed me oral tablets in addition to a really strong anti-fungal cream that it worked.

I also have to be careful to dry my lip area really well after washing my face and showering. Pools make it so much worse too! The best treatment for angular cheilitis is definitely prevention.

Post 2

I got angular cheilitis for the first time last month. It was so painful! First I thought I just had chapped lips but it got worse and worse over a couple of days. The corners of my lips cracked so badly that they started to bleed. I couldn't open my mouth or really eat for a couple of days.

My doctor told me to take a vitamin B complex and prescribed a mild anti-fungal cream. She also told me not to lick my lips because I do have a habit of doing that. It was hard, but I forced myself not to do it. I'm not sure which treatment worked but it got better in several days.

Post 1

I get fungal angular cheilitis too often. There is a lot of humidity where I live, I think that's the root of the problem. I apply petroleum jelly regularly on the corners of my mouth to prevent them.

Fungi thrive in moisture and humidity and petroleum jelly helps prevent moisture from getting under the skin because it's like plastic wrap. Any petroleum jelly product like Vaseline or Aquaphor works fine for this.

If I forget to use it and it's already developed, what I do is dissolve a lot of salt in warm water and apply this on my lips and the corners. I think salt kills the bacteria and fungi. Then I follow up with petroleum jelly and just wait for it to get better. I think this is the best angular cheilitis home remedy.

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