Chapped or Cracked Lip Corners
Everyone aspires to have soft and healthy looking lips. With healthy and smooth lips, your smile becomes the focal point of your face. Cracked, dry lips not only make your smile ugly but also cause a lot of discomfort. Cracked and dry lips are a common problem in cold weather conditions. Lips do not possess oil glands of their own. This prevents them from keeping themselves hydrated in dry weather but the good news is that lips do not take very long to heal.
Dry lips or cracked lips sometimes have dry and flaky skin on the entire lip but sometimes only the lip corners get dry and cracked. This dryness is caused by several factors including:
While chapped or cracked lips is a common problem faced by many people, some people get affected by a more severe form of chapped lips known as Angular Cheilitis. This can be caused by a fungal infection and is characterized by cracked lip corners.
* Cold and dry weather
* Excessive licking of lips
* Certain medications
Chapped or cracked lips at times heal quickly on the application of lip balm, vaselines, and certain home remedies but if the lips continue to be severely cracked then you might need to consult a skin doctor.
If you notice dryness, flaking, scales, swelling, sores, cracks, and bleeding on your lips, then you probably have angular cheilitis. As lips do not have oil glands like the skin, they are more susceptible to dry weather. The lack of moisture in dry weather makes the condition worse. Many people have the habit of licking their lips excessively. The saliva strips the lip moisture leading to more dryness. Sun exposure can also lead to dryness.
Certain medications can also cause dryness in the lips. These include:
* chemotherapy drugs
Cracked or chapped lips are also a result of excessive dehydration or malnutrition. Both these conditions require immediate medical care.
Sometimes, the dryness of the lips leads to cracked lip corners or soreness in the corners of the mouth. These are not only very painful but also very unsightly. The pain in Angular Cheilitis is many times higher than the pain in cracked lips. It causes difficulty in talking, drinking, swallowing and eating. You cannot open your mouth wide because of the cracked lip corners.
These cracked lip corners can be inflamed, scaly, bleeding, blistering, stiff, or even develop painful lesions. There are some self-care and home treatments which can help you cure yourself but if the condition persists, you might need to see a dermatologist. Angular Cheilitis is nothing but severely chapped lips with cracked mouth corners. This is often followed by a fungal infection in the open cracks and cuts. The lips will apear dark pink or reddish in color. You might also develop ulcers if not treated in time. The cracked lip corners often have white plaque on their surface.
A regular case of cracked lips may develop into angular cheilitis due to further infections and inflammatory diseases such as Crohn's disease. Excessive saliva production may worsen the condition. Bacteria and fungus can easily enter the open cuts and cracks and cause infection. Angular Cheilitis also develops in adults and children who wear dentures, braces or use pacifiers.
A dermatologist will be able to determine whether you have chapped lips and angular cheilitis.
Causes of Angular Cheilitis
Mentioned below are the various factors that can cause Angular Cheilitis or cracked lip corners:'
* Fungal or Bacterial infections
* Deficiency of vitamin B12, zinc and iron
* Poor dental hygiene
* Hypersalivation ( Excessive saliva production)
* Problems with the dentures or braces
* Seborrheic Dermatitis
Home Treatments for Cracked Lip Corners
Here we have some wonderful home treatments which can help you cure your cracked lip corners easily at home.
1. Use Lip Balm
Lip balms are made from nourishing and hydrating ingredients which help to buffer up your delicate lip skin. You should choose one which has a high content of emollients, petrolatum, and dimethicone. Petrolatum locks in moisture while the dimethicone seals off the cracks in dry lips.
2. Lip Ointments
Many companies sell their lip care products as lip ointments. These might have similar nourishing ingredients to the ones found in lip balm. Lip ointments are more medicinal applications than lip balms which are cosmetic. Buy a good antifungal cream for your lips to cure your angular cheilitis.
3. Olive Oil
Olive oil is a very good home treatment. It works like an antibacterial and antifungal cream. Olive oil is great for moisturizing dry lips. All you need to do is to apply warm olive oil to your cracked lip corners overnight and during the day. You will be surprised at the instant results.
4. Coconut Oil
Coconut oil is as good as olive oil for treating angular cheilitis. You need to dab some coconut oil over the dry and inflamed area. There is no limit to how many times you can apply this oil. It moisturizes your cracked corners and also cures inflammation. It is also helpful in reducing the pain.
You might be surprised by this remedy but believe me, lemons are very helpful in fighting infections. You need to rub lemon juice over your cracked corners and then apply an antifungal cream or moisturizer. You can even drink lemon juice or vitamin C loaded juices to boost your immunity against fungal and bacterial infections.
This is one of the best home treatments for angular cheilitis. You can apply honey all over your inflamed mouth and rinse off after 15 minutes. Honey works like an antibacterial and antifungal cream and destroys the germs present in the cracks. This remedy is very useful for little children as they like the taste of honey and will not refuse if you apply it over their lips.
7. Aloe Vera
Aloe Vera has been used since time immemorial for nourishing skin hair. It is very helpful in reducing inflammation and soothing the skin. You need to refrigerate the aloe vera leaf and then remove the cool gel in your hand. Massage this cool gel over the infected area gently and leave it on for 15 minutes. You will find it very relieving and nourishing.
8. Cocoa Butter
Cocoa butter is a natural moisturizer. You can apply cocoa butter over your entire dry mouth three times in a day to combat dryness. If you cure lip dryness in the initial phase, it will not lead to cracking and infections later on.
Holding a cucumber slice over the infected area thrice a day will relieve you of your pain and it will also help to moisturize the cracks.
10. Clarified Butter
You can even apply a layer of clarified butter on your lips at night before you sleep. These will moisturize your lips and make them soft and supple. Many countries like India, use clarified butter as the best remedy to moisturize dry lips.
11. Baking Soda
To cure the inflammation and disinfect the open cracks, you can mix some water with baking soda to make a paste. Apply this paste over the infected area and leave it for 15 minutes. Rinse it later with normal water and apply a moisturizer. Once the inflammation is reduced and the wound is disinfected, it will heal faster.
12. Sip Lots of Water
Cracked lip corners can be the result of dehydration. You need to drink at least 10 glasses of water in a day to hydrate your body. Take frequent sips of water to wet the lips often.
13. Make Your Own Lip Balm
This remedy is fun and easy. All you need to do is mix some petroleum jelly with tea tree oil. Your painful cracks will heal quickly. You can use this concoction for dry or chapped lips and also for angular cheilitis. You can even add some shea butter and some strawberry flavor if you want your lip balm to be flavored.
14. Combating Malnutrition
Make sure you have a healthy diet to combat nutritional deficiencies. Take sufficient amounts of iron and B Complex naturally from food or from supplements. Eat a balanced diet containing all the vital nutrients.
How to Prevent Cracked Lips
Apart from the above-mentioned home treatments, there are a few other measures you need to take to ensure the quick healing of your sore lips.
* Apply lip balm 3 to 4 times in day. Choose a lip balm with sun protection. You can prepare your own lip balm as mentioned above or buy a lip balm with SPF 15 or above.
* Protect your lips when stepping outside in cold temperatures. Wear a scarf above your lips. Also, apply a generous amount of lip balm or petroleum jelly before stepping out in cold weather.
* Drink 10 glasses of water in a day to hydrate your body from the inside.
* Use a humidifier at home which will provide moisture to your lips. It is best to turn it on during the night when the skin heals the fastest.
* Refrain from licking your lips because the saliva strips off the moisture from the already sore or dry lips.
* Do not try and pick and peel the flaky skin on your sore lips as it may lead to blisters.
* Do not exfoliate your lips as this may lead to further damage of your already sore lips.
* See a dermatologist if your problem persists. Unhealing chapped and sore lips can be a sign of cancer or a pre-cancerous condition known as actinic cheilitis.
Nah sekitar 2-3 hari yang lalu penyakit langgananku kambuh lagi. #AngularCheilitis, penyakit yg datang 1-2 kali setahun, menyerang ujung bibir kanan. Awalnya muncul benjol kecil-kecil menggerombol, bening lama-lama merah, luka, kering, sembuh. Fasenya perlu waktu seminggu. Biasanya sih dioles kenalog atau albotyl atau gom atau minyak tawon, hehehe.. Sakit sih ga ya, kecuali kalo mangap terlalu lebar, lukanya ikut nganga 😂 Secara visual sih yg ngganggu banget, pengen bgt ditutupin tapi pake apaa.. Wong diujung bibir.. Akhirnya ya ditunggu sampe sembuh. Eh nyambung sama fotonya. Vaseline ini ternyata lumayan ampuh lo jadi obatnya. Rajin-rajin diolesin sampe kayak abis makan gorengan hehe.. Lukanya ga sempet kering, lembab terus dia. Mudah-mudahan cepet sembuh nih. Oia si #vaseline ini juga serba guna. Eksperimenku buat dioles di bulu mata 😝 sama luka bekas gigitan nyamuk-nya Rahman. Belum keliatan sih hasilnya. Kan semua butuh proses ya 😛 #vaseline #repairingjelly #petroleumjelly #bukanendorse #belisendiri #dialfamartadakok
The old saying, 'Smile and the world smiles with you', holds quite true. Take care of your lips to smile often. Make sure your lips do not hurt when you try to smile. Make your lips healthy and luscious and your smile will automatically be contagious wherever you go!
I’m sharing these pictures even though I am embarrassed about this. I want to become braver about being visible when I have a flare up. I have frequent flare ups of #angularcheilitis which is a skin condition that is sometimes caused by bacteria and sometimes by fungus. I have tried countless remedies to soothe my skin when I have a flare up, and I try to avoid irritants, but nothing seems to work perfectly. I can never be sure exactly what’s causing it, and what triggers a flare up. All I know is it’s less likely to happen if I make sure to consume enough water and vitamins, and to avoid irritants if I feel it getting sensitive again. What makes it worse is that I often confuse it with #perioraldermatitis, and the treatments for both conditions conflict with each other. The antifungal cream I used to heal the angular cheilitis causes redness and swelling, for which I was given a corticosteroid cream..... that makes perioral dermatitis worse! I had a flare up of angular cheilitis last month which healed after I had the flu two weeks ago, but I've been using nasal sprays to help manage my nasal congestion which is still lingering from the flu, and those sprays have also been known to trigger and exacerbate perioral dermatitis. Two days ago I tried on a lip gloss using a tester wand at Sephora, and later ate food with ingredients that could potentially further irritate my skin. I should have known better on both counts - even if I use a clean wand, I can’t know what bacteria people have been plunging back into the tester. I should have remembered to avoid potentially irritating food. But I had been doing so well and I thought maybe I was okay for now. My mistake. I feel so embarrassed going out in public like this, with my slimy clown lips. But I can’t avoid it, and covering it with makeup only makes it worse. The thing I’m worried about right now is my birthday, which is in two days, and my party is on the weekend. I want to feel proud and confident. I want to wear my favourite makeup. I want to look good for my friends and in pictures. But I don’t know if this will heal in time...