Cracked corners of mouth can be a very annoying and sometimes even painful condition. There is actually a medical term for cracked corners of mouth: angular cheilitis and perleche. The symptoms are often painful and can include dark or red blisters or sores in the cracked lip corners. In some cases, the condition is so severe that the crack in corner of mouth begins to bleed when you move your lips. This is a condition that could last for weeks, months or even years without proper treatment, so it is important to figure out what to do as soon as you notice the problem.
Causes of Cracked Corners of Mouth
There might be one cause for cracked corners of mouth, or several at the same time. It is most often caused by infections, such as yeast, staph or strep. It might also be caused by very dry weather, which can lead to a lack of moisture in the skin. Other problems might include iron-deficiency anemia, deficiencies of B-vitamins, dentures that don’t fit properly, or allergic reactions to certain products, such as lip balms or toothpaste. Sometimes these reasons are easy to spot, but severe cases might need to be evaluated by a doctor.
Home Remedies for Cracked Corners of Mouth
1. Pure Honey
Honey is a natural way to fight infections of any kind, and it can help with cracked corners of mouth, too. Apply it to the area and let it stay there for fifteen minutes before gently washing it away.
2. Aloe Vera
This remedy has been around for centuries, and it still works wonders. Apply a bit of chilled aloe vera to the corners of your mouth and leave it there for at least fifteen to twenty minutes. Aloe vera straight from the leaf is best.
3. Stay Hydrated
Dry skin is a very common cause of cracked corners of mouth. Drink at least ten glasses of water a day to alleviate the symptoms. You can also use a humidifier to keep the air around you moist.
4. Natural Oils
Using very gentle natural oils can help keep the lips very hydrated and alleviate the pain. Great oils to use on your lips include olive, jojoba, coconut, almond or rose hip. Shea or cocoa butter helps, too.
5. Vitamin B2 and Iron Rich Diet
A lack of particular nutrients might lead to or contribute to cracked corners of mouth. A diet rich in iron, B2 and other good nutrients can help. Try potatoes, spinach, almonds, cheese, wheat bran, broccoli, carrots, beets and the like.
Sometimes medications that contain hydrocortisone can help alleviate the pain. These medications can be found over the counter, and should be used only as directed. Use a thin layer on the skin as directed, but use it only for one week. If you haven’t seen improvement by then, talk to your doctor.
How to Prevent Cracked Corners of Mouth
There are many ways to prevent cracked lip corners. Start with these care tips and keep them up consistently.
- Remember that staying hydrated is vitally important, so use a humidifier in your home, especially during the cold months. Drinking plenty of water a day can help hydrate you from the inside out.
- Use sunscreen at all times, even during the winter, or when the sky is overcast. Use natural lip balms to help protect your lips at all times, too.
- Avoid any skin care products or cleansers that are harsh and dry out your skin, as this might make the condition much worse. Look for hypo-allergenic products, to be on the safe side.
- And finally, if you smoke, now is the time to quit. Smoking can cause serious problems with your lips and skin dryness, as well as cause many other health problems.