Angular Cheilitis, Causes, Diagnosis, Treatment, Prevention, Complications

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Angular Cheilitis, Causes, Diagnosis, Treatment, Prevention, Complications

 

Angular cheilitis is a sore at the corner of the lip that looks red and cracked, and causes pain. Although it can happen to anyone, angular cheilitis is more common in children and the elderly.

Although they look similar, angular cheilitis and herpes of the lips are different conditions. Lip herpes is caused by a virus and can be contagious. While angular cheilitis is caused by a wound that is infected with bacteria or fungi and is not contagious.

Causes of Angular Cheilitis


Angular cheilitis, also known as perleche or angular stomatitis, occurs when the saliva that collects in the corners of the lips dries up. The skin in this dry area will become cracked, causing injury.

Unconsciously, people who have angular cheilitis will often lick the wound so that the wound becomes moist. As a result, bacteria, such as Staphylococcus aureus, or fungi, such as Candida, can multiply and cause inflammation.

Angular cheilitis risk factors

There are several conditions that can make a person more susceptible to angular cheilitis, namely:

  • atopic dermatitis
  • Diabetes
  • Inflammation of the intestines, such as ulcerative colitis and Crohn's disease
  • Autoimmune diseases, such as Sj√∂gren's syndrome and erythema multiforme
  • Congenital disorders that cause the tongue to become larger than normal, such as Down's syndrome
  • Dry mouth
  • Allergy
  • Lack of nutrients, especially B vitamins


In addition to the conditions above, there are several other factors that can increase a person's risk of suffering from angular cheilitis, namely:

  • Having dentures that are not in the right position
  • Have misaligned teeth
  • Have a weak immune system
  • Smoke
  • Has a habit of licking lips
  • Frequent use of antibiotics
  • Have a habit of drooling while sleeping
  • Have a thumb or pacifier sucking habit
  • Using a mask


Angular Cheilitis Symptoms


The main symptom of angular cheilitis is the appearance of sores on the corners of the lips, either at one angle or both angles. The wound can have the following characteristics:

  • Redness
  • cracked
  • Bloody
  • Blister
  • Swollen
  • Thick and hardened
  • Pain and itching


In addition to the appearance of sores at the corners of the lips, angular cheilitis can also be accompanied by other symptoms, such as:

  • Sprue
  • Rash like eczema on the lower face
  • Redness of the roof of the mouth

When to go to the doctor

Check with your doctor if you experience any of the symptoms listed above, especially if they worsen, occur in the long term, and cause difficulty eating.

You also need to see a doctor if you have a disease that can cause angular cheilitis, such as diabetes.

Angular Cheilitis Diagnosis


To diagnose angular cheilitis, the doctor will ask questions about the symptoms experienced, medical history, and the patient's habits that may affect lip moisture, such as lip licking habits.

Next, the doctor will perform a physical examination by looking for signs of sores at the corners of the lips, such as redness, cracking, or swelling.

Since the symptoms of angular cheilitis are similar to those of lip herpes, the doctor will perform a follow-up examination to confirm the diagnosis. The examination can be in the form of a swab test on the lips and nose, to determine the type of bacteria or fungus that infects.

In addition, the doctor will also examine the condition of the teeth and mouth to determine whether angular cheilitis is caused by an improperly positioned tooth.

Angular Cheilitis Treatment


Treatment of angular cheilitis will be tailored to the underlying cause. Some of the treatment methods that can be done are:

Drugs

If angular cheilitis is caused by a bacterial infection, your doctor will prescribe antibiotics. Medicines given by doctors can be in the form of topical medications, such as:

  • Mupirocin
  • fusidic acid


Meanwhile, if angular cheilitis is caused by a fungal infection, the doctor will prescribe antifungal drugs in the form of topical medications, including:

  • Nystatin
  • Ketoconazole
  • Clotrimazole
  • Miconazole


Other treatments

If angular cheilitis is caused by other factors, such as malnutrition or dry mouth, there are several things you can do:

  • Increase the intake of foods containing B vitamins, iron, and folate
  • Apply petroleum jelly on the wound area
  • Take vitamin and mineral supplements when advised by a doctor
  • Consult a doctor to straighten misaligned teeth or fix ill-fitting dentures


Complications of Angular Cheilitis


If it occurs in the long term, angular cheilitis can cause complications in the form of permanent scars and discoloration of the skin at the tip of the lip. These complications can interfere with the appearance of the sufferer.

In addition, angular cheilitis that is not treated immediately can also cause complications such as lack of food intake due to pain in the wound.

Angular Cheilitis Prevention


There are several things that can be done to reduce the risk of angular cheilitis, namely:

  • Do not smoke
  • Eating a complete and balanced nutritional diet
  • Drink enough water
  • Protect your skin from things that cause allergies
  • Keeps lips moist
  • Stop the habit of licking lips
  • Do not use expired cosmetic products

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