Angular Cheilitis is a clinical name for the anti-fungal or anti-bacterial infection that causes cracks at the corners of our mouth. The cracks are very painful when you try to open your mouth for speaking, drinking liquids or eating food. The pain caused due to angular cheilitis infection is sharp and may be absent when there is no oral activity Generally this infection will be active for a couple of days; there are many cases, however which turn out to be complicated. The cracks get converted in sores and scars where there is a formation of pus. The whole oral area will start looking ugly and you would become edgy and irritable. There could be reddishness or the whole area will be itchy. The people around you will pose questions and will keep staring at your face and try and communicate that you have contacted some serious disease and naturally many advices will follow.
It is recommended that you show your symptoms to medical professional so as to get an early treatment. If the doctor identifies it as Angular Cheilitis, there is no reason you should be worried but it necessary to have the infection treated as early as possible. The doctor will naturally choose a cream that is suitable for your problem depending upon whether the infection is bacterial or fungal or a mix of both. If it is found that fungi has been residing in the lesions, it is a safe bet to use or recommend anti-fungal creams.
1) The start up treatment is with an anti-fungal cream called Clotrimazole. After an hour you need to apply 1% hydrocortisone.
2) Next alternative is to use a cream with hydrocortisone and iodoquinol as ingredients.
These creams are available over-the-counter in any pharmacy. It is necessary to use these creams till the pain, reddishness vanishes. The applications may range from two to four times a day depending upon the depth of infection.
In the process of application of the above creams, it is necessary to maintain the following discipline:
1) Keep the area near mouth as dry as possible i.e. saliva should no accumulate at the corners of the mouth; If there is such an accumulation use fresh tissues to absorb and clean it periodically.
2) Do not lick the oral area – stop this habit. The moisture due to saliva remains on the lips or at the corners of the mouth and encourages bacteria to develop and multiply,
3) Avoid consuming yeast based food items.
4) Eat healthy food. Include fruits and vegetables in your diet.
5) Drink plenty of water to keep your body hydrated.
6) If you have dentures, please ensure that they are of the proper size and shape. Ill-fitting dentures will allow saliva to accumulate near the corners of your mouth and this is how the bacterial or fungal infection will manifest itself.
7) Patients suffering from diabetes and paralysis have to be very careful as the drooping jaws will allow saliva to leak out and accumulate at the corners of the mouth.
8) Angular Cheilitis often affects you in severely cold climate. If you are a native of such a region, try to be in warmer surroundings by using a fireplace or electrically operated heaters.
9) Use lip balm if the lips are chapped or parched or have a vertical split. The balm would provide the necessary moisture to the lips.