Once in a while, we either experience a certain mouth problem or encounter others who do. When the lips or the mouth corners are cracked and sore, it can very well be what is called angular cheilitis, a bacterial or fungal infection.
Angular cheilitis (AC) is just one type of cheilitis or stomatitis, which is, in layman's terms, an inflammation of the mouth. This is the most common presentation of infection of the lips. It affects millions, although most only suffer from mild cases of AC. It is also known as angular stomatitis, perleche, cheilosis, angular cheilosis and commissural cheilitis. So many names for such a common condition.
AC starts when some thing or things cause the accumulation of saliva, mainly on one or both corners of the lips. For instance, it may be due to licking of lips or drooling during sleep that moisturizes the areas, enabling fungi and bacteria to thrive there. It may be due to overclosure of the mouth, even due to a dry mouth. A lot of elders, too, experience the lesions especially because of loose, ill-fitting dentures.
It has to be emphasized that it can affect any age. Sometimes, it is one's health conditions that contribute as well in causing the inflammation. It may be an iron or a vitamin B deficiency, or perhaps the immune system is compromised.
The lesions are most often symmetrically present on the sides of the mouth. They can appear on the mucosa of the lips and even reach facial skin. These may feel sore, itchy, cause some pain, and create a somewhat burning sensation.
AC does share similarities with other mouth illnesses, causing people to misdiagnose themselves. Worse, they do the wrong self-medication. AC is often mistaken as:
(a) a condition of having chapped lips. AC does not cause chapped lips, and it is actually the other way around, with chapped lips possibly causing AC
(b) a cold sore or fever blisters, otherwise known as herpes. There are main differences, specifically in the physical manifestations - when AC worsens, lip corners start to split and cause wounds; a cold sore results in one or more blisters instead
(c) a mouth ulcer, which often affects younger people and occurs inside the mouth. On the contrary, AC often affects older people and occurs simply in the corners of the mouth
(d) a symptom of HIV. In truth, HIV weakens the immune system, making it easier for AC to occur. AC DOES NOT necessarily mean there is an existing HIV problem. AC is more likely to occur due to other factors such as stress and fatigue.
If left untreated, healing of AC can take months. If given the proper treatments, however, it can usually heal in a matter of days. Several home remedies can also be used as treatment and doctors are generally not required unless no treatment seems to work.
What are the various treatments to cure AC? Find out the answer and more facts about angular cheilitis in this website. Remember, before you self-medicate, check first if it is AC or possibly something else.
For more information, keep visiting AngularCheilitisTreatment.com. Feel free to call or email for further inquiries.