What is Angular Stomatitis?

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  • Written By: Malcolm Tatum
  • Edited By: Bronwyn Harris
  • Last Modified Date: 01 October 2019
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Angular stomatitis is a condition that involves a painful cracking of the tissue that makes up the lips. Specifically, stomatitis occurs in the corners of the mouth, often making simple actions such as speaking, drinking and chewing uncomfortable. While many people believe that this inflammation of the lips can only occur during cold weather, the fact is that angular stomatitis can develop in just about every type of climate.

Fortunately, angular stomatitis is a health issue that can be treated with relative ease. The main factor in dealing with the condition is to identify the origin. If the cracking in the corners of the mouth appears to be a result of exposure to the cold and wind of winter weather, applying some sort of protective coating will often help to lessen the pain of the condition. Over the counter medicated lip balms will often help to contain mild cases of angular stomatitis, and provide the protection necessary to allow the body’s natural healing processes to repair the cracks. If lip balm is not available, a thin layer of petroleum jelly will also serve to deflect the wind and cold as well as help the lips retain the moisture needed to begin the healing.


In some cases, angular stomatitis is not due to weather conditions. Instead, the inflammation of the mouth and lips is an indication of the need to get proper daily nutrition. Vitamin deficiencies may be the root cause of angular stomatitis. Most often, a lack of iron and various B vitamins can result in dry patches on the lips. Making some simple changes in the daily diet, as well as using vitamin or herbal supplements to achieve the correct levels of these nutrients, will help to ward off the incidence of angular stomatitis, as well as help an existing condition to heal.

Sometimes known as perleche or cheilosis, angular stomatitis can also be a sign that a more severe health issue is on the horizon. When this is the case, the inflammation does not seem to respond very well to home remedies. Should over the counter medications or changes in nutrition not seem to impact the condition, consult a physician immediately.


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