Angular cheilitis or perleche is a relativelycommon health problem that can affect all people, regardless of their age andsex. However, some people seem to be more prone to it, and they should knowabout effective and safe ways to cure it.
Angular cheilitis is a crack that appears usuallyon the corner of the mouth, hence its name. It is an inflammatory lesion thatmay appear on both angles of the mouth. Because the mouth opens frequently,those lesions, that are in form of splits or deep cracks, may widen and formulcers. If they do not develop further, a crust forms on them before they heal.
In treatment of angular cheilitis or perleche itis important to understand that there are several possible causes for it, andsometimes it is a combination of factors that leads to this problem. Thetreatment should always depend on the specific cause, otherwise it will befutile.
Angular cheilitis due to nutrition deficiency
One possible cause of angular cheilitis orperleche is a deficiency of an important nutrient. In most cases, it is iron,vitamin B1 or B12 deficiency. It affects elderly people, people who havecertain medical conditions and those who generally do not have a balanced diet.The treatment for angular cheilitis in this case consists of vitamin or mineralsupplements for the deficiency and the regular intake of those nutrientsthrough diet. Having a balanced diet which assures the intake of all theessential nutrients will prevent outbreak of this problem in the future.
Angular cheilitis due to fungus or bacteria
Bacterial infections, usually a staph infection,and fungal infections with candida are very common causes of angular cheilitis.Bacteria and fungi usually originate from the area outside the corners of themouth. When there is a drop in the immune system, they propagate and causeinfection.
Doctors can do tests to determine what exactly causedangular cheilitis and prescribe adequate medication. For bacteria they usuallyprescribe Topical antibiotic ointments, and for fungal infections the cure isan antifungal cream combined with steroids.
Both antibacterial and antifungal medication shouldbe used with caution, because it should not be ingested, which can be hard toavoid since the problem is located near the mouth.
Angular cheilitis and dentures
Angular cheilitis is fairly common in people whowear dentures. The problem arises because dentures are extremely suitablebreeding ground for bacteria. It helps to soak them overnight in antibacterialsolutions. There are special solutions designed for dentures that keep themclean and sterile.
In addition, poor-fitting dentures can causesignificant problems and angular cheilitis is one of them. Such dentures shouldbe fixed as soon as possible.
Angular cheilitis due to chapped lips
Lips that are dry, chapped and cracked are moreprone to angular cheilitis. The problem gets worse during very cold, very hot,windy or dry weather. Lips require care and it is highly recommended tofrequently apply quality lip balms or petroleum jelly.