Angular cheilitis commonly known as cracked corners of the mouth is a condition that affects millions of people worldwide. It is known by different names such as angular stomatitis, perleche, corner of mouth sores, and cracked lip corners.
It is a chronic condition that causes red, swollen patches in the corners of your mouth where your lips meet and form an angle. Angular cheilitis can occur on only one side of your mouth or both sides at the same time.
Symptoms may be mild or severe, but the main symptom is irritation and soreness in the corners of your mouth. Other associated symptoms include bleeding, crusty patches, blisters, pain, itchiness, redness, swelling and a scaly texture.
Your lips feel dry and uncomfortable, and you may experience difficulty eating too.
Cracked lip corners normally occur when saliva is trapped and accumulate in the corners of your mouth, which encourages the growth of fungus, ultimately leading to an infection. Although, certain strain of bacteria and virus can cause this problem.
If the corners of your mouth are always moist, you are most likely to develop this problem.
Conditions such as wearing poorly fitting dentures, having braces, licking your lips, smoking, drooling while asleep, sagging skin around your mouth from aging or weight loss and lack of nutrients like vitamin B and iron could also lead to this problem.
Also, certain underlying medical conditions such as diabetes, anemia, and suppressed immune system can also put you at a higher risk.
If you have angular cheilitis, there are some natural home remedies for angular cheilitis that can help you get rid of this painful and irritating condition.
Top 10 Home Remedies for Angular Cheilitis
Honey is a great skin moisturizer, and it also has antifungal, antibacterial and antiseptic properties to cure angular cheilitis.
It is also effective in destroying disease-causing organisms. Furthermore, it provides quick relief from pain and agony associated with this irritating condition.
- Rub some honey on the affected area several times a day for about a week.
- Another option, Make a mixture by melting a ¼ teaspoon of beeswax adding it to ¼ teaspoon of olive oil and ¼ teaspoon of honey. Put this mixture in an airtight container. Rub a small amount of this mixture on the affected skin of your mouth. Allow it for about 15 to 20 minutes before rinsing it off with cold water. Repeat
2. Aloe Vera
Aloe vera is another effective home remedy to get rid of angular cheilitis
It has antifungal, antiseptic and anti-inflammatory healing properties, thus making it potent against a wide range of skin infections.
It helps relieve pain and inflammation associated with angular cheilitis. Also, it helps moisturize the dry and damaged skin on the corners of your mouth.
- Extract gel from fresh aloe vera leaf and refrigerate it for about 30 minutes.
- Rub it gently on the corners of your mouth and leave it to fry for about 15 to 20 minutes before rinsing it off.
- Repeat this remedy for about 2 to 3 times daily until the skin at the corners of your mouth completely heals.
3. Coconut Oil
The oil prevents growth and spread of pathogens and help combat infections due to its antimicrobial properties.
Coconut oil is also an excellent skin moisturizer that helps reduce dryness of the skin and the resulting pain and irritation associated with skin infections.
- Rub some extra-virgin coconut oil on the affected areas. Repeat this procedure 3 or 4 times daily until you get healed completely.
- Another option, mix equal amount of coconut oil and lemon juice. Rub this mixture gently on the affected area and rinse it off with lukewarm water after 15 minutes. Repeat it twice daily.
4. Tea Tree Oil
Tea tree oil is another effective remedy for the treatment of skin related problems including angular cheilitis. It has antifungal, antibacterial and antiviral properties which prove effective in treating microbial infections also reducing inflammation and pain.
- Dilute tea tree oil by adding 1 part tea tree oil to 3 part water. Dip a clean cotton material in the diluted oil and apply it on the affected area at least thrice daily for about 1 week.
- Alternatively, mix 2 drops of tea tree oil in 2 tablespoons of petroleum jelly. Apply it gently on the affected area and leave it for about 30 minutes then rinse it off. Repeat this remedy a few times until the condition heals completely.
In the absence of tea tree oil, you can use oregano or neem oil in the same manner.
5. Castor Oil
This oil can be effective in getting rid of angular cheilitis. Castor oil helps tone down angular cheilitis by minimizing inflammation and pain due to its anti-inflammatory properties.
It also possesses strong antibacterial properties that help in combating any bacteria that may be responsible for the problem. In addition, castor oil help moisturizes the skin around the mouth.
- Gently, rub castor oil on the affected area several times a day.
- Another option, mix ½ teaspoon of castor oil and 2 drops of tea tree oil. Use a clean cotton material and apply this mixture on the corners of your mouth and wash it off after 30 minutes.
Listerine can be used as home remedy for angular cheilitis due to its potent antibacterial and antifungal properties.
- Soak a cotton swap in Listerine mouthwash and dab the affected mouth area.
- Leave it for about 15 to 20 minutes, and then rinse it off with water. Repeat this remedy 2 or 3 times daily for a week.
Garlic is a very popular herb with antibacterial, antiviral and antifungal properties that can help relieve skin irritation caused by angular cheilitis.
- Mince a fresh garlic clove and add 1 teaspoon of raw honey to it. Optionally, you can add ½ teaspoon of coconut oil. Apply the mixture on the affected skin area and leave it for about 10 to 15 minutes before rinsing it off. Repeat this remedy 3 to 5 times daily.
- You can also eat a few garlic cloves daily to boost your immunity and fight the infection.
Yogurt can be used as a remedy to treat angular cheilitis.
It contains probiotics or active bacteria cultures that help restore the natural balance of the body which in turn combats this irritating skin condition.
- Apply plain, unsweetened yogurt to the corners of your mouth before bedtime and leave it overnight. Rinse it off with lukewarm water the next morning. Repeat this procedure daily for at least 7 to 10 days until your condition improves.
- You can also include plain, unsweetened yogurt in your diet.
9. Stay Hydrated
When you are dehydrated, your mouth and lips become dry, which could worsen and could result to angular cheilitis. To prevent this condition, it is proper to keep yourself hydrated at all times. This will help prevent your mouth from drying up
10.Fight Nutritional Deficiency
Angular cheilitis could also be as a result of the deficiency of vitamin B, especially low levels of B2 or B12. Also, iron and zinc deficiency can cause this problem.
Therefore nutrition may be all you need to get rid of angular cheilitis. Endeavor to eat a well-balanced diet so that it can provide all the essential nutrients required by your body.
- Some vegetables and fruits rich in vitamin B include. Tomato, spinach, carrots, whole grains and green leafy vegetables.
- Rich food source of zinc include oysters, eggs, pulses, lobster, legumes, beans and whole-grain cereals.
- Rich food source of iron includes liver, beef, beans, fortified cereals and dark leafy greens.