Cracks in the corners of the mouth are quite unappealing but apart from being an aesthetic problem, the cracks are also blamed for pain and may sometimes even bleed. In the majority of cases cracks in the corners of the mouth occur due to dehydration, exposure to some irritants or are a part of an allergic reactions. No matter what the underlying cause it, the goal is to bring the condition under control and provide this part of the face with moist it deserves.
Underlying Causes of Cracks in the Corners of the Mouth
If one is dealing with cracks and sores in the corner of his/her mouth, the affected individual is most likely suffering from a condition known as angular cheilitis. This is inflammation of the corners of the mouth that frequently occurs bilaterally and is characterized by deep cracks and fissures. In severe form of the disease, the cracks may even bleed each time the person opens his/her mouth to eat or perform any similar activity. Crusting of the affected area is common as well. Angular cheilitis is associated with poor nutrition and insufficient intake of all the necessary nutrients, vitamins and minerals. Vitamin B12 deficiency is though to be a major contributor to the disease. The inflammation of the corners of the mouth may also be associated with some bacterial or, more frequently, fungal infections.
Dehydration is another potential cause of cracks in the corners of the mouth as well as dry and cracked lips. Furthermore, harsh weather conditions may easily cause damage to both, the upper and lower lip along with the corner of the mouth.
It is also possible to experience these unpleasant fissures if one is using inadequate cosmetic products like lipsticks containing harsh chemicals. Irritants may be also found in toothpaste and mouthwashes and be blamed for mouth irritation.
Finally, cracks in the corners of the mouth are a sign of an allergic reaction (e.g., allergy to medications) or may affect people suffering from celiac disease.
Cracks in the Corners of the Mouth - Treatment Options
Treatment for this medical issue is not unique but actually depends on the underlying cause. Discomfort patients commonly face with, however, in almost all cases can be relieved with facial skin care products containing aloe vera or vaseline petroleum jelly.
Angular cheilitis is treated with antifungal or antibiotic ointments (if caused by fungi or bacteria) and with proper diet and additional vitamin and mineral supplements.
Finally, if cracks occur due to harsh chemicals in cosmetic products and toothpaste, these must be avoided and when one is exposed to harsh weather conditions, he/she should protect the mouth with suitable lip balms.