Get more insight on cracked corner of mouth, dry lips and angular cheilitis. Learn why you might develop cracked itchy corners of the mouth due to a cold sore, vitamin deficiency, and other causes. Also, the solution on how to heal cracked lip corners fast and treatments are provided in this post.
Why are the Corners of my Mouth Dry and Cracked?
The development of dry and cracked skin in corners of the mouth is both health and beauty problem that can really disappoint you. Besides hurting you, this condition can make your lips to look less attractive. This might make you feel low and even lower your self-esteem.
A dry and cracked corner of the mouth with sores and red inflammation is commonly known as angular cheilitis or perleche. This condition can make the skin of the lip corner to be dry, flaky and scaly. Also, bumps, sores, and a cluster of blisters might appear on the chapped lips.
Many people question themselves why the corners of their mouth have a dry cracked skin. This is the appropriate section of the post that explains clearly the reason behind the development of dry scaly skin in corners of the mouth.
Causes of the cracked corner of mouth include the following:
- Cold sore
The outbreak of cold sore infection on the mouth can lead to a problem of cracked corners of the mouth. Cold sores are painful red or pink cluster of fluid-filled blister that can show up on lips. This sore can also appear inside the nose, on cheeks, and on the chin.
Cold sores infection is usually characterized by burning sensation in the affected area before the blister appears. After few hours of irritation, the fluid-filled bumps show up, burst to ooze out fluids, crust over and finally heal after few weeks. The cold sore in corners of the mouth may damage the skin to become dry and cracked.
This infection is caused by herpes simplex virus. Herpes virus is highly contagious and you can easily be infected when your skin becomes into direct in contact with the contaminated saliva. Cold sores are a harmless infection that cannot advance into more serious health complications.
- Canker sore
Similar to a cold sore, canker sore can also lead to angular cheilitis. Canker sores are painful mouth bumps that have yellow or gray color on top of the bumps and a red color on its base. These bumps typically appear inside the mouth but the can also occur in corners of the lips.
According to the Web MD, the main cause of canker sore is not clearly stated but this condition is correlated to occur when you are exposed to risk factors that can trigger their outbreak such as weakened body immune, stress, oral trauma and sudden change of body hormones.
- Dry weather
Chapped lips and cracked corner of mouth may show up during dry weather condition. The problem of angular cheilitis often affects many people during the time of winter season of the year. However, you can develop scaly lips anytime you are exposed to dry air weather condition.
The reason why dry weather might make your lip to crack is that it increases the rate at which your skin loses its moisture to the air. After the skin loses it moisture, it becomes dry, scaly, flaky and cracked. Also, the delicate skin on the lips is more vulnerable to develop cracks when exposed to dry weather condition.
You can prevent this problem of cracked lips during dry weather by using the appropriate lip balm or any other suitable skin moisturizer. You can as well drink plenty of clean water that can help to keep your body and skin well hydrated.
- Vitamins deficiency
You can develop dry and cracked corners of your mouth as an effect of nutrient deficiency. Vitamin B complex and vitamin D play a critical function to maintain your skin supple. Chapped lips might be a symptom of deficiency of this vitamin.
The problem of cracked corner of mouth is common to people who have malnutrition due to eating unbalance diet. You can escape the problem on angular cheilitis by taking vitamins supplements in your daily diet.
- Allergic reaction
You might develop cracked corners of your mouth as a consequence of an allergic reaction. Contact or irritant dermatitis is a known skin condition that is associated with allergic reaction. Contact dermatitis is usually associated with flaky skin on the affected area.
Exposure of your lips to allergens or irritants such as a harsh lip balm that has harmful chemicals, detergents, strong acids, strong base, spicy food, poison ivy or any other harmful household chemicals can lead to cracked lips.
- Fungal infection
Candidiasis or oral thrush is a fungal infection may lead to cracked corners of the mouth. The overgrowth of yeast in the mouth cavity can lead to white or yellowish mass and sores that can spread to lips surface.
The overgrowth of yeast can occur in your mouth due to poor oral hygiene. Also, you can develop the infection due to the weakened immune system after the use of strong antibiotic drugs or as an effect of HIV virus.
- STD infection
Angular cheilitis can occur in your mouth as a consequence of sexually transmitted infection. The common STD that can lead to mouth sores and cracked lips include syphilis, genital herpes, oral herpes, genital warts, and HIV.
If you develop cracked corners of the mouth after unprotected oral sex, it might be a symptom of sexually transmitted infection. In this case, you can seek the help of the medical specialist to help in the diagnosis and the treatment of the condition.
- Eczema on mouth
Eczema is a chronic skin disease that is usually characterized by the red, dry, scaly and itchy skin on the affected area. Eczema on the lip can lead to the cracked corner your mouth. Eczema is an immune disease.
- Psoriasis on lip
Psoriasis is another autoimmune disorder that can lead to the cracked corner of mouth. This condition is may show up as red, pink, brown or whitish silvery patches and spots on the area affected. This condition can occur anywhere on your skin. They usually show up on face, scalp, feet, and arms.
- Lip licking and drooling
The habit of drooling and licking your lips each time can increase the risk to develop chapped lips and cracked corner of the mouth. Licking the lip can remove all the natural sebum on the skin of the lips that can lead to dry cracked lips.
Drooling of saliva from the mouth might lead to cracked corners of the lips when the saliva dries in mouth corners that can encourage the infection of the yeast.
- Smoking and chewing tobacco
Smoking and chewing tobacco product is another factor that can lead to angular cheilitis. Smokers are always affected by the problem of dark chapped lips and cracked corners of the mouth. The hot smoke can burn the delicate skin on lip surface to form scales.
Chewing tobacco product, on the other hand, can make the lips dry and cracked as an effect of harmful chemicals in the product. More seriously, smoking and chewing tobacco can increase the risk of getting oral cancer or any type of cancerous condition.
- Dental work
Cracked corner of mouth after dental work can occur as an effect of physical injuries or trauma on the lips. Also, harsh chemicals that are used in the process of dental work can cause irritation of the skin around the mouth to develop cracks.
- Change of body hormones
The sudden change of body hormones during the time of pregnancy, menstruation, and menopause might affect women to develop cracked corners of the mouth. Men can also develop chapped lips due to stress and anxiety.
Chronic sores and cracks in corners of the mouth that won’t heal easily and can bleed easily might be oral cancer. In case you notice such condition, you need to seek the help of your doctor for diagnosis and treatment.
- Other rare causes
You can develop cracked corners of your mouth due to other underlying body condition such as diabetes, kidney infection, liver disease, anemia, lung infection and others.
Is it a Cold Sore or Angular Cheilitis?
If you confuse to make a clear difference between cold sore and angular cheilitis, you are not the only one. Many people might not be able to distinguish between cold sore and angular cheilitis when they develop cracked corners of their mouth.
Cold sore and angular cheilitis has similar signs and symptoms. However, cold sore in an oral condition that is characterized by painful red or pink fluid-filled blister that can burst, crust over and finally heal. These sores can occur anywhere on lips surface, outside cheek, inside the nose, on the chin and in corners of the mouth.
Unlike cold sore that occurs anywhere around the mouth, angular cheilitis occurs typically in corners of the mouth only. Angular cheilitis is an oral condition that is associated with chronic sores that crust over, cracked, and split skin in either one or both corners of the mouth.
Why do Corners of Mouth Itch?
Itchy cracked corner of mouth can occur due to angular cheilitis. This condition is associated with blisters that crust over, red sores, dry and cracked skin that can lead to an irritation that can make you feel a discomfort.
Itchy cracked skin in corners of the lips might be symptoms of a more serious condition that needs medical attention. For instance eczema, scarlet fever, and psoriasis on lip can lead to intense itchiness on the area affected
Occasionally less harmful condition such as cold sores, canker sores, and fungal infection can also lead to itchy cracked mouth corners. In addition, you might also develop dry scaly itchy cracked corners of the mouth due to any of the conditions that are already been discussed in this post.
In case you develop cracked corners of the mouth that cause itchiness, it is advisable to visit your doctor to help you in diagnosis and treatment.
Cracks in Corners of Mouth Vitamin Deficiency
You can develop skin problems such as the cracked corner of mouth as a symptom of vitamin B-2 or riboflavin. This vitamin helps to maintain a healthy smooth and soft skin. Also, vitamin B helps the body defense mechanism to fight against harmful microorganism that can lead to skin disease.
Most food that we take has some content of riboflavin. But you can get a lot of riboflavin in green leafy fresh vegetables such as asparagus, spinach, turnip leaves, and broccoli. This vitamin also occurs in dairy products, fruits, whole grains, legumes, meat, palatable seeds, and nut.
Cereals product such as maize flour and wheat flour may be fortified with enough content of riboflavin to provide your body with adequate amount of vitamin B-2. The multivitamins supplements are also saturated with a lot of vitamin B complex.
According to doctors’ advice, you should keep consuming plenty of vitamin B or riboflavin. This is because that this vitamin is highly soluble in water and there is no clear known storage system in the body that may keep riboflavin for reserve.
How to heal Cracked lip Corners Fast
You can help to heal corners of your mouth using various treatment methods. You can use home remedies that can help to get rid of the cracked corner of mouth. Some of the common treatment methods that you can use include:
- Coconut oil
Coconut oil an effective home remedy that you can use to heal angular cheilitis. The oil has a strong antimicrobials property that can help to fight harmful microorganism that causes skin infection. Coconut oil is also an excellent skin moisturizer that you can use for dry and cracked lips.
How to use:
- Clean your lips with warm water and pat dry it
- Apply few drop of the oil on the affected area of the lips and spread it gently using your finger
- Allow the oil to stay on your lip the whole day
- Repeat to apply the oil on your lips three times in a day for few weeks until the cracks in corner of your mouth health completely
- Instead of coconut oil, you can alternatively use any other essential oil such as castor oil, olive oil, Neem tree oil, almonds oils and others
- Lemon juice and raw honey
A mixture of lemon juice and honey has a powerful healing ability for cracked lips. Lemon juice contains citric acid that plays a role as the antiseptic while raw honey is a skin moisturizer that can soften and heal scaly lips within the shortest period of time.
How to use:
- Get on teaspoon of lemon juice and mix with equal amount of raw honey
- Use your hand to apply the mixture to the affected area of the lips
- Allow it to stay on your skin for about 20 minutes before rinsing it off
- Repeat this treatment two times in a day for a period of few weeks until your mouth cracks heal
You can apply the appropriate skin moisturizer such as lip balm and Vaseline petroleum jelly on the cracked corner of mouth. The skin moisturizers are formulated with natural ingredients that can help to heal the cracked lips over a short period of time.
How to use:
- Clean the affected area of the lip with warm water and pat dry it
- Apply the thin layer of moisturizer on dry lips
- Allow it to stay on your skin during the whole day
- Repeat to apply it several times you feel that your lips are about to dry
- Aloe Vera
Aloe Vera has the ability to heal angular cheilitis within a short period of time. The herb has antibacterial, antifungal and anti-inflammatory that can help to heal sores in corners of the mouth.
How to use:
- Use warm water to clean your lips and pat dry it
- Apply a thin layer of Aloe Vera gel, cream or juice on the cracked skin your lips
- Leave it to stay on your lips for about 30 minutes before rinsing it with water
- Repeat this procedure three times in a day for few weeks until your lips heal completely
- Dry plenty of water
Taking a lot of clean water can help to make your skin hydrated and moist. This remedy can help to heal angular cheilitis with 1 week.
How to use:
- Consume 7 to 10 glass of water daily
- Alternatively, drink more fluids like fruit juice
Cracked Corners of Mouth Treatment
The treatment of cracked mouth corners depends on the nature of the condition. For the case of mild and tiny cracks on your lips cause by a less harmful cause such as dry weather, cold sores, fungal infection and allergy reaction. You can use home remedies.
However, medical treatment is the best option you can go for when the cracks in corners of your mouth are like to be a symptom of a more serious health condition such as eczema, psoriasis, oral cancer, and STDs.
For worrisome sores and cracks in corners of your mouth, you can visit a health provider. Your doctor will decide the suitable diagnosis and treatment method to use that can help to solve your health problem.
Your doctor might use the following treatment methods:
- Prescription of oral medications, antibiotics and ointment creams that can help to cure cracked corner of mouth.
- Laser treatment that uses a strong beam of light that can help to control the growth of malignant skin tissue makes your lips to appear dry and scaly.
- Surgical excision that can help to remove chronic sores and bumps that might occur in corners of the mouth.
You can see you doctor over cracked mouth corners when you notice the following oral strange conditions that include:
- When cracks in corners of your mouth persisted for a period of more than three weeks without any change.
- If you experience difficulties in eating and talking as a consequence of cracked corner of mouth.
- When angular cheilitis advance into chronic sores in corner of mouth that refuses to heal
- If the cracks are spreading from the corners of the lips to entire face.
- When you notice another strange symptom such as fever, headache, sore throat and others.
- Why are the corners of my mouth dry and cracked? https://symptomchecker.webmd.com/multiple-symptoms?symptoms=cracks-at-corner-of-mouth%7Cdry-mouth&symptomids=321%7C85&locations=7%7C7
- Causes of dry and cracked corners of the mouth: https://www.livestrong.com/article/306385-dry-cracked-corners-of-the-mouth/
- Cold sores and angular cheilitis: http://yourlifebalancing.com/angular-cheilitis-vs-cold-sore/
- Vitamin deficiency and cracked corner of the mouthhttps://www.livestrong.com/article/409132-the-vitamin-deficiency-that-causes-the-corners-of-the-mouth-to-crack/:
- How to heal cracked lips fast: https://homeremedyshop.com/10-best-home-remedies-for-angular-cheilitis/
- Treatment of cracked corners of the mouth: https: https://www.livestrong.com/article/409132-the-vitamin-deficiency-that-causes-the-corners-of-the-mouth-to-crack/