What is Angular Cheilitis?

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Illustration of angular cheilitis. (Source: https://www.top10homeremedies.com)

Angular cheilitis is increased in children, especially in those who have nutritional deficiencies, namely riboflavin deficiency, iron deficiency, folic acid, zinc, pyridoxine, biotin and protein deficiency. The incidence of angular cheilitis also tripled in the elderly who used dentures and increased twofold in men. Nutritional deficiency in children is one of the problems experienced by developing countries, including Indonesia. Data from WHO alone estimates that 181.9 million (32%) children are malnourished in developing countries, causing a high percentage of angular cheilitis.

Angular cheilitis, which has another name, angular cheilosis, commissural cheilitis, angular stomatitis, or perleche and is more commonly called arm-in-mouth by the public. Angular cheilitis is a mouth lesion characterized by a fissure, redness or desquamation of the corners of the mouth accompanied by pain, dryness, burning and sometimes itching.

There are several different causes of angular cheilitis, the most common being the involvement of fungal and bacterial infections and supported by saliva. Saliva can build up and get trapped in the corners of the lips, causing the corners of the lips to become infected and painless sores. Someone usually licks their lips a lot, if their lips are sore or they feel their lips are parched. 

This excess saliva traps the corners of your lips, which is the perfect warm place for fungus to grow and develop. Apart from fungi, bacteria can also cause angular cheilitis. Certain people are more at risk of developing angular cheilitis, for example, if they:

  • have abnormalities in the lips or bites that make the corners of the lips deeper,
  • have had a yeast infection in the oral cavity before
  • often use drugs corticosteroid or antibiotics

  • have sensitive skin
  • bad dentures
  • smoking

  • anemia, diabetes, or

How can you prevent or treat Angular cheilitis?

The first most important thing is diet and nutrition. This condition can indicate that you are deficient in nutrients, so you consume foods that contain lots of important vitamins and minerals to fulfil them.

The second thing to remember is that chapped lips can often lead to Angular Cheilitis. It can be ideal places for bacteria or fungal infections to settle down and start multiplying. Thus, it’s so important to make sure you drink enough water and avoid licking your lips. 

Since angular cheilitis can be a sign of a fungal or bacterial infection, it is better to consult a doctor to determine the right way to treat it. 

Author: Saka Winias

Link: http://www.connectjournals.com/toc.php?bookmark=CJ-033216&&%20volume=20&&%20issue_id=Supp-01%20&&%20issue_month= July && year = 2020 

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