Angular Cheilitis Causes

Angular cheilitis is a condition that occurs in the corners of the mouth; an infection that can be bacterial or fungal in nature and can affect one or both sides of the inside of the cheeks. While the bacteria and fungus are both present in a healthy person, the immune system keeps them from becoming an issue. For those with a weakened immune system due to other conditions, any trauma to the mouth can result in this infection spreading and causing issues.

Angular Cheilitis Causes

The bacteria and fungus that cause angular cheilitis are found commonly in human saliva and also on the face of almost every individual. For those experiencing stress, trauma or illness, the immune system is weakened. When the immune system is weak and an individual has had trauma to their lips, deep creases at the corner of the mouth or chapped lips and excess drool, bacteria and fungus grow out of control. This leads to the development of the condition known as angular cheilitis.

There are numerous actions and situations that contribute to a risk of developing angular cheilitis.

Bacteria Spreading

Conditions that would cause bacteria spreading include:

  • Touching your lips with dirty fingers
  • Having chapped lips
  • Chewing on objects that carry germs like pens
  • Chewing on your fingernails

Weakened Immune System

Angular cheilitis causes also include conditions that would weaken your immune system and make it difficult to fight against the bacteria, which include:

  • Having dental work done
  • Experiencing prolonged periods of vomiting or sunburn
  • Being malnourished
  • Suffering physical injury to the face
  • Feeling stressed

Presence of one or more of the conditions listed above will increase your risks of Angular Cheilitis as a result of increased chances of bacteria or fungus spreading to your mouth corners.

Vitamin Deficiencies Do Not Directly Cause Angular Cheilitis

It is stated by many people and websites that a lack of vitamins, especially vitamin B, is one of the angular cheilitis causes. However, this is not true. Though vitamin B can help to boost the immune system and skin health, the lack of it does not necessarily lead to angular cheilitis, according to a study held by the New Hanover Regional Medical Center.

It can, however, be a correlating factor. This is because vitamin deficiencies would weaken the immune system, thus increasing the risks of angular cheilitis.

How to Deal with Angular Cheilitis

Though angular cheilitis causes are many, in most cases, it can heal as quickly as within a single day when treated properly. A case of angular cheilitis that is not treated, however, can take up to several months to heal completely. The mouth is one of the fastest healing parts of the body, which is why a little help from treatment can go a long way.

1. Creams, Medication or Supplements


  • Usually, when a topical ointment or lip balm is prescribed, it includes emollients.
  • It is also possible to be given a prescription for antibiotics, antiseptics, topical steroids or antifungals for this condition, based on the discretion of the medical professional.
  • Natural supplements containing vitamin B2 and/or riboflavin are possibilities for prescriptions for those dealing with angular cheilitis.

2. Natural Remedies

  • Water is important to keep the body hydrated and all systems working as they should. Since dehydration is a potential contributing factor for angular cheilitis, it is recommended to drink 10 to 12 glasses of water per day to keep the systems working and minimize risk of dehydration.
  • Honey has antibacterial properties; you can resolve the overbalance of the bacteria or fungus causing the angular cheilitis. Apply to the affected area and leave for 15 minutes.
  • Aloe VeraRefrigerate a leaf from an Aloe Vera plant for one hour, then rub gently across the affected area. This should soothe the pain and also help promote healing. Repeat three times per day for best results.
  • Lemon: Soak the lips in warm water for several minutes to soften the areas that are cracked and infected. Then gently massage in lemon juice for two minutes. Afterwards, be sure to rinse and dry the lips and corners to avoid increasing pain.
  • Cucumber: Rub a slice of cucumber over the affected areas of the lips twice a day. It can be kept in the fridge to help with pain relief due to the cooler temperature.

3. Certain Oils

  • Tea tree oil: Two tablespoons of tea tree oil should be mixed with one teaspoon of vitamin E oil. Apply to the area four to five times per day to help encourage faster healing.
  • Coconut oil: Apply coconut oil three to four times per day. This will help moisturize your lips, kill the bacteria or fungus causing the issue and help prevent future outbreaks.
  • Olive oil: Warmed olive oil, which can be mixed with a few drops of lemon juice, can be applied to the affected areas three to four times per day. This moisturizes the lips and helps clear up the angular cheilitis.

4. Moisturizers

  • Glycerin: Apply glycerin to the affected areas to alleviate pain associated with angular cheilitis and also encourage the healing process. This should be done three to four times daily.
  • Vaseline prevents air contact when coating the affected areas. Apply as needed to help with pain relief and keep the area protected from further chapping.
  • Cocoa butter moisturizes the areas it is applied to, so applying this two to three times per day helps deal with cracked lips, fights the infection and moisturizes to prevent further occurrences of this issue.
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