How to Avoid Cracked Lip Corners

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Cracked lip corners, also known as angular cheilitis. It is small, painful cracks that appear at the corners of your mouth, where your lips meet and form an angle. They are usually red and swollen and may bleed easily. Bleeding makes eating, talking and even laughing uncomfortable. At times there may be itching which may lead to formation of sores.

What Is Angular Cheilitis(Cracked Lip Corners)?

Cracked lip angle, a common inflammatory skin condition. It can affect one or both corners of your mouth, causing itchy, cracked sores. Although painful, angular cheilitis is usually not serious.

Angular cheilitis is sometimes called angular stomatitis or perleche. Sometimes people mistake angular cheilitis for cold sores which is wrong. Cold sores are a different ailment caused by the herpes virus. Cold sores do not cause angular cheilitis.

Who Gets This Disease?

While anyone can have angular cheilitis, certain groups have a higher risk than others. Here’s a breakdown of who may be at higher risk:

Infants and young children: Due to bowel movements and laxative use, saliva may accumulate in the corners of their mouths. As a result, this sickness can arise.

Adults: Dryness and sagging skin around the mouth make them more prone to saliva accumulation and irritation.

People with dentures: Poorly fitting dentures can trap saliva and irritate the corners of the mouth.

People with weakened immune systems: Diabetes, HIV, and other conditions that compromise immunity can increase susceptibility to fungal or bacterial infections that worsen angular cheilitis.

Those with nutritional deficiencies: B vitamin, iron, and protein deficiencies may contribute to the development of angular cheilitis.

People with certain medical conditions: inflammatory bowel disease, Down syndrome, and certain skin conditions such as atopic dermatitis may increase the risk.

Smokers: Smoking dries out the skin and weakens the immune system, making individuals more susceptible to disease.

Certain medications: Some medications, like retinoids, can cause lip dryness, increasing the risk of angular cheilitis.

Note: Even if you don’t fit into one of these categories, you might get angular cheilitis in your body. If you have cracks and swelling around the corners of your mouth, visit a healthcare expert for an accurate diagnosis and a suitable therapy.


1. Salivation: This is the most common cause. When saliva gets trapped in the folds around the mouth, it dries out, causing irritation and cracking. It is common in children and older adults. This can happen because of:

  • Improper dentures: Can trap saliva and irritate the corners.
  • Frequent licking of lips: Temporarily relieves dryness but in the long run it creates worse disease.

2. Nutritional Deficiencies: Deficiencies of certain vitamins and minerals can cause angular cheilitis, including:

  • B Vitamins (B1, B2, B3): They play an important role in skin health and proper oral function.
  • Iron: Very important for overall health and skin integrity.

3. Fungal or Bacterial Infection: Fungal or bacterial growth in the cracks can cause additional inflammation and worsen discomfort.

4. Underlying medical conditions: Certain medical conditions can increase sensitivity:

  • Diabetes: May impair wound healing and increase susceptibility to infection. Wounds in the body of people with diabetes take a long time to heal.
  • Crohn’s disease: May affect nutrient absorption, leading to deficiencies.
  • HIV/AIDS: weakens the immune system, predisposing individuals to infection.

5. External Factors: These can trigger or worsen cracked lip corners:

  • Cold, dry weather: Dry skin, making it more prone to cracking.
  • Sun exposure: damages the skin and increases dryness.
  • Certain medications: Certain medications, such as retinoids, can cause dry lips.

What Are The Symptoms?

Primary symptoms:

  1. Fissures: The most characteristic feature, appearing as deep, painful fissures at the corners of your mouth.
  2. Redness and inflammation: The affected area becomes red, swollen, and may feel raw or tender. The affected area may also itch.
  3. Bleeding: Cracks may bleed, especially when you open your mouth. 

Additional symptoms:

  1. Blisters: Small, fluid-filled blisters may form around the crack.
  2. Crusting and Scaling: The skin around the crack may be dry, crusty and flaky.
  3. Pain and discomfort: Fissures can be painful, especially when talking, eating or laughing.
  4. Burning sensation: You may feel a burning or stinging sensation in the affected area.
  5. Maceration: In severe cases, the skin around the cracks may become moist and light-coloured due to excess moisture.

How Can I Avoid Angular Cheilitis?

Certain causes of angular cheilitis are inevitable. However, you can mitigate your risk by:

  • Avoiding skin allergies and irritants.
  • Eating a healthy and nutrition meal and drinking lots of water.
  • Keep your lips hydrated.
  •  Don’t smoke or use tobacco products.
  • Avoid licking your lips.
  • Avoid using expired cosmetics.


Stop the habit of licking your lips frequently. Consult a doctor for possible vitamin or mineral deficiencies and their correction through diet or supplementation. Also follow everything below.

Infections caused by fungi or bacteria: Depending on the pathogen, use the prescribed antifungal or antibiotic cream/ointment.

Underlying medical conditions: Work with your doctor to lessen the likelihood of recurrence.

Keep the area dry: Gently pat the area with a tissue after sweating or sweating. Avoid licking your lips.

Moisturise: Use petroleum jelly or a thick, fragrance-free lip balm on a daily basis to protect and moisturise your skin.

Topical ointments: Use over-the-counter or prescription ointments containing zinc oxide or antifungal drugs to aid in healing and infection prevention.

Sun and wind protection: Use a lip balm with SPF to protect the affected area from further damage.

Pain relief: Over-the-counter pain medicines like ibuprofen and acetaminophen can help alleviate discomfort.

When to see a doctor:

  • If the condition does not improve despite home remedies.
  • If there are more signs of infection, such as increased pus or redness.
  • If the fissure extends beyond the corner of the mouth or worsens.


If the corner of your lip is cracked then you should see a good doctor as soon as possible. Because it is not right to consider any disease as small. A small disease can lead to a big disease. For this reason, if you have a disease, you should consult a doctor instead of sitting at home.

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