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Cracked Corners of Mouth

Cracked corners of mouth can occur due to a number of reasons, including excessive exposure to sun and improper diet.
BeautiSecrets Staff
Last Updated: Apr 27, 2018
Dos and Don'ts
Smile, talk and laugh only if necessary as these actions can worsen the pain and prolong the healing of cracked corners of the lips.
Cracked mouth corners are quite painful and the discomfort aggravates while opening and closing the mouth. The sides of the mouth appear swollen and red. The presence of unsightly cracks makes it difficult to use cosmetic products and attend social gatherings. However, these cracked lips can be easily treated with simple home remedies that guarantee immediate relief.
Causes
Inadequate Water Intake and Poor Diet
People who consume less water and follow a diet, devoid of essential vitamins and minerals are likely to show cracked lip corners. Deficiency of vitamin B2, zinc and iron can lead to lips cracking at the corners.
Weather
In harsh weather, lips lose their moisture and become dry. No wonder, people in winter and summer season tend to develop cracks at the sides of the mouth.
Infections
Also referred to as angular cheilitis, this is a fungal or a bacterial infection that strikes the corners of the lip area. Cracks and lesions forming at the sides of the mouth is the most common symptom of this infection.
Oral Herpes
Contracting herpes infection can also cause cracks at the corners of the lips. Although herpes virus usually affects the genital areas, many times its symptoms are noticed at the corners of the mouth, indicating oral herpes. Generally, the cracks are observed at one side of the mouth.
Skin Irritants
The toothpaste that you are using everyday can also be the culprit behind cracking of lip corners. Lips, especially the corners often get exposed to toothpaste foam while brushing. Toothpaste ingredients such as sodium lauryl sulfate are known to irritate the lips. So, avoiding toothpaste that contain these skin irritants may help to resolve the issue.
Breathing Through Mouth
Mouth breathing is yet another reason why cracks develop at the sides of the mouth. The continuous flow of air in and out of mouth during breathing can make the lips excessively dry and chapped. People sleeping at night with mouth open often notice cracked lip corners in the morning.
Wrong Habits
The habit of licking the lips frequently leads to build up of moisture at the corners of the mouth. As a result, these areas of the mouth become infection breeding sites. No wonder, cracks eventually develop at the corners of the mouth. The habit of biting the corners of the lips often, causes them to crack. Poorly fitting dentures or ignoring to clean the dentures everyday compromises oral health. This may also cause an infection and eventually lead to lip corners being cut.
Treatment
Apart from drinking plenty of water and following a healthy diet, patients may benefit by using some common remedies, given below:
Prescription Creams
Topical antifungal ointments may be prescribed for fungal angular cheilitis. If herpes simplex virus is the reason for cracked corners, topical antivirals such as acyclovir cream may be recommended. These medications stop the proliferation of virus, which helps to shorten the duration of herpes outbreak.
Petroleum Jelly
Regularly applying petroleum jelly just before hitting the sack can wok wonders to get rid of cracks formed at the corners of the mouth. It is tried and tested remedy to soothe chapped corners of the mouth. Avoid using Carmex cream because it can dry the mouth and aggravate the problem.
Aloe Vera
In order to reduce the pain associated with cracked dry lips, use of aloe vera is a good option. One can apply aloe vera gel or fresh pulp of aloe vera regularly to eliminate cracked corners of the mouth.
Margosa Leaves Powder
Another effective way to treat angular cheilitis is by using margosa leaves powder. Just apply this powder on the affected area and you will notice amazing results within a few days. Application of margosa leaf extracts is well-known remedy for chapped lips and mouth corners.
Olive Oil
Instead of purchasing costly lip balms, one can go for extra virgin olive oil to soothe the cracks. This home remedy has been commonly used to keep chapped lips at bay. Olive oil not only softens the lips but also prevents them from drying out.
Cucumber Juice
Simply applying cucumber juice at cracked sites of the lips can work wonders to soothe pain and heal the condition. Gently, rubbing a fresh slice of cucumber on the split lip corners can also help to alleviate discomfort.
Diet
Avoid intake of spicy foods, sugary items and caffeinated beverages if you are serious about improving your dry cracked mouth. Sugar and caffeine can make the lips dry, whereas spicy meals could trigger a burning sensation around the mouth and exacerbate the discomfort associated with split corners at the lips.
Honey
Chronically cracked corners of the lips may indicate a bacterial infection and a natural remedy would be to apply honey. Honey displays antibacterial properties and hence its application can help to get rid of cracks and make the lips soft and supple.
Vitamin E Oil
Use of pure vitamin E oil is highly beneficial to get rid of these annoying cracks. Vitamin E oil acts as a great moisturizer and applying it several times a day can help eliminate dryness associated with lips.
Dermatologists often advice to apply unflavored lipsticks to be on the safer side. However, avoiding usage of lipsticks, until the cracks heal completely, would be a better option.
Disclaimer: The information provided in this article is solely for educating the reader. It is not intended to be a substitute for the advice of a medical expert.