People affected with this condition may present with various manifestations. Angular cheilitis symptoms initially start with dry, chapped lips with small splits in the skin, which is commonly mistaken as a windburn due to cold weather. This condition then leads to painful cracking in either or both sides of the mouth accompanied with redness, which then makes the patient realize it is something else and not just a simple cold sore. Angular cheilitis symptoms such as these make it hard for the person to eat, drink or even talk as it is painful when he tries to open his mouth.
A lot of times, the red colored lesions seen at the corners of the mouth are mistaken as a simple rash that is itchy and painful. But, these lesions can extend from a simple redness to a complicated one when it starts to bleed if treatment is delayed. It also becomes a psychological stress to the person because he may become embarrassed and have a lower self-esteem because of the unsightly appearance the lesions give to the mouth. Other people may also think that he has a disease of some sort and look at him differently.
Another angular cheilitis symptom seen is lip-licking which is commonly done by the person inflicted with the illness to get some sort of relief from the pain, drying and chapping of the lips, like what we do on cold weather. But, this 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 by adding up other microorganisms.
In addition to the cracking of the lips, crusty ulcers may also develop on the corners of the mouth. There will be tenderness and sensitivity as these crusts start to form. The person becomes more prone to bleeding at this point because the crusts tend to become dry and split especially when he tries to open his mouth. Once these crusts bleed, oozing of pus may be seen and it is not good for the body if they are swallowed. Also, the open sores can be infected with other bacteria and additional problem may develop.
All these angular cheilitis symptoms once observed should be given attention, even if it is just starting. One of the concerns raised about angular cheilitis is that it is not taken seriously especially its symptoms. The severity and development of angular cheilitis symptoms depend on the early detection of the condition and prompt treatment. Remember, it affects all ages across the life span and we definitely do not want our children as well as our grandparents suffer from it.