The symptoms initially start with dry, chapped lips with small splits in the skin. This is commonly mistaken as a windburn due to cold weather. It may lead to painful cracking in either or both sides of the mouth accompanied with redness. This is when you realize that the condition is something else and not just a simple cold sore. Cheilitis symptom like this makes it hard for you to eat, drink or even talk. It can be painful when you try to open your mouth.
A lot of times, the red colored lesions seen at the corners of the mouth are mistaken as a simple rash. It is itchy and painful. These lesions can extend from a simple redness to a complicated one when it starts to bleed if treatment is delayed. It can also cause anxiety because you may become embarrassed and suffer from low self-esteem because of the unsightly appearance the lesions give to your mouth. Other people may also think that you have some contagious disease of some sort and you will feel uncomfortable when in a group.
Another symptom seen is lip licking . You will unconsciously lick your lip to get some sort of relief from the pain caused by drying and chapping. This is what people do on cold weather.
However, lip licking should be avoided as it will make the condition worse. The tongue as well as the mouth is also full of bacteria that may aggravate the illness.
Ulcerations in the mouth
In addition to the cracked lips, crusty ulcers may also develop on the mouth corners. There will be tenderness and sensitivity as these crusts start to form. You become more prone to bleeding at this point because the crusts tend to become dry and split especially when you try to open your mouth. Once these crusts bleed, pus may ooze and it may not be good if swallowed. Also, the open sores can be infected with other bacteria and additional problems may develop.
All these symptoms when observed should be given attention, even if it is just starting. Most people take these angular cheilitis symptoms lightly or ignore them. This is the reason why treatment is usually delayed.
Remember, cheilitis affects all ages across the life span and we definitely do not want our children as well as our grandparents to suffer from it. Angular cheilitis is not a serious case of skin problem but early detection and prompt treatment can make you suffer less.