Skin Health

Pretty Your Lips With These Steps

Angular cheilitis, also known as perleche, is a common condition that affects the corners of the mouth. It is characterized by red, swollen, and cracked skin, and can be both uncomfortable and unsightly. In this post, we’ll discuss the causes, symptoms, and treatment options for angular cheilitis.


Angular cheilitis is often caused by a fungal or bacterial infection, which can occur when the skin around the corners of the mouth becomes irritated, chapped, or cracked. Factors that can contribute to this include:

  • Licking or biting the lips
  • Exposure to cold weather
  • Poor oral hygiene
  • Nutritional deficiencies, particularly of iron, vitamin B12, and zinc
  • Denture use
  • Inflammatory bowel disease or other digestive disorders


The most common symptom of angular cheilitis is red, swollen, and cracked skin around the corners of the mouth. This can be accompanied by:

  • Pain or discomfort when opening the mouth or eating
  • Itching or burning sensations
  • Dry, scaly skin
  • Crusting or oozing

In severe cases, the skin can become infected, which can lead to further discomfort and potentially serious health complications.


The treatment for angular cheilitis depends on the underlying cause. In cases where the condition is caused by a fungal or bacterial infection, antifungal or antibiotic creams or ointments may be prescribed. It is also important to address any underlying nutritional deficiencies or digestive disorders, and to practice good oral hygiene to prevent further irritation.

In addition to medical treatment, there are several self-care measures that can be taken to help alleviate symptoms and promote healing, including:

  • Keeping the affected area clean and dry
  • Avoiding licking or biting the lips
  • Applying a protective lip balm or petroleum jelly
  • Consuming a balanced diet rich in vitamins and minerals
  • Drinking plenty of water to stay hydrated

In conclusion, angular cheilitis is a common condition that can be both uncomfortable and unsightly. It is often caused by a fungal or bacterial infection, but can also be related to nutritional deficiencies or digestive disorders. Treatment involves addressing the underlying cause, practicing good oral hygiene, and taking self-care measures to promote healing. If you are experiencing symptoms of angular cheilitis, it is important to consult with a healthcare professional to determine the best course of treatment for your individual needs.



Suzanne Trupin, MD, Board Certified Obstetrician and Gynecologist and owner of Women's Health Practice, Hada Cosmetic Medicine, and Hatha Yoga and Fitness

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