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Angular cheilitis


Angular cheilitis is an inflammatory skin lesion located on the corners of the mouth. It is often caused by infection. It is mainly encountered in the form of a fungal infection of Candida albicans (microscopic fungi), which can be caused by a virus in the herpes family such as angular cheilitis, a bacteria like syphilis, or streptococcus. A nutritional cause may also be possible. Aside from a Candida infection, particularly in elderly or immunocompromised patients, angular cheilitis usually occurs in children where it is often secondary to impetiginisation, which is a superinfection of an injury caused by streptococcus.


The lesions are usually bilateral, appearing at both corners of the lips. Labial commissures become very dry, red, and rarely white. These lesions evolve into cracks or scabs that are painful when it comes to talking, smiling or eating. Angular cheilitis can sometimes spread to the cheek or inside the mouth. In case of impetigo, angular stomatitis may appear slightly yellowish in tint.


Diagnosis of angular cheilitis is clinical, and no further review is necessary.


It is strongly recommended to not moisten the corners of his lips with your tongue to combat the drying of wounds: doing so only delays healing and potentially further infects these areas. Generally, the infection heals itself. In the case of a yellowish lesion, an antibiotic treatment can be implemented. In an immunocompromised person and if oral lesions are due to Candida, antifungal medications may be given. If it is a resistant infection, it is advisable to consult a doctor who will prescribe an antifungal cream or after antibacterial drug.


To prevent recurrence, it is first necessary to avoid licking the edges of the mouth, which creates an environment that is favorable to the intrusion of bacteria and fungi. If your lips tend to be dry, make sure to moisturize them regularly with a lip balm. Finally, good oral hygiene and regular dental care are a must.