FAQs about Angular Chelitis

If you want to know more about FAQ on angular chelitis, here are a few:

What is angular chelitis?

Angular chelitis is the inflammation of one or both corners of the mouth. It is also known as inflammation of the lips and is caused by a fungi or yeast and/or bacteria.

What causes angular chelitis?

Angular chelitis may be a result of a variety of factors such as over closure of the mouth, dry mouth, nutritional deficiencies or lack in vitamin B and iron, drooling, lip licking habit, immunosuppressant.

What are the signs and symptoms of angular chelitis?

Angular chelitis is manifested with the presence of an inflammatory lesion particularly in the corner of the mouth and sometimes concentrated to the mucosa of the lips. The lesion may also reach the vermilion border which is the edge where the lips lining become part of the facial skin. Angular chelitis starts with a gray white thickening and an adjacent redness. There may also be a triangular portion of erythema, swelling and maceration of either mouth corner. The lip mucoso may also be fissure or cracked, ulcerated and crusted. Linear fissures may also develop in the adjacent facial skin.

What are the kinds of angular chelitis?

Angular chelitis is a type of stomatitis and may also be classified as oral candidiasis when candida species is involved. Angular chelitis can also be classified as acute or chronic and refractory.

Why does vitamin B an iron deficiency cause angular chelitis?

A deficiency in iron causes an immunocompromise or the reduced efficiency of the immune system which may result in an infection of Candida. Vitamin B deficiency are mostly suffered by people living in Third World countries and is a nutritional disorder caused by malnutrition by which people becomes susceptible to different kinds of infection including angular chelitis.

How can chronic lip licking and saliva cause angular chelitis?

Habits that can keep the mouth moist like constant lip licking, hyper-salivation, and drooling to name a few all of which may cause superficial Candida infection. Saliva contains digestive enzymes that may result in a digestive action on tissues during continued contact. Pooling of saliva in certain areas or skin creases of the mouth may also be a result of reduced lower face height as caused by tooth loss, wearing of worn down dentures and old age. The constant wetting of an area in the mouth may result to tissue maceration and the generation of yeast infection.

How can angular chelitis be treated?

Treatment for angular chelitis differs based on the cause of the infection but doctors usually prescribe an anti-fungal cream to reduce inflammation. People with denture related stomatitis are advised not to use their dentures at night, observe denture hygiene and make sure that dentures have a right fit. When angular chelitis is caused by bacteria, then doctor can prescribe anti-fungal cream with antibacterial action. If an individual does not respond to such treatment, then a medical expert may consider other underlying causes such as anemia, nutritional deficiency and even HIV infection.

Angular Cheilitis and Herpes

There is no association between angular cheilitis and herpes. Cheilitis is caused by either fungi or bacteria while herpes is a viral infection. These two skin problems are not related. Herpes causes a lesion that is similar to cheilitis but the difference is obvious especially when both signs are diagnosed by a medical professional.

Angular cheilitis

It is manifested by wet, red, crusting and breakdown of the skin at the corners of the mouth caused by the fungus Candida albicans or thrush traced to deficiencies in nutrition in the person affected. The nutrition deficiencies may be the lack of riboflavin or vitamin B2 and iron which may lead to iron deficiency anemia.

It may also be a symptom of anorexia nervosa and bulimia nervosa due to malnutrition and is also considered a side effect of continuous vomiting.

It is different from herpes because it is not a sexually transmitted disease.

It also occurs often in the older population who experience loss of vertical dimension due to the reduction of teeth which allows for the over closing of the mouth.

It may also be a part of a group of symptoms that is a result of Plummer-Vinson syndrome also known as Paterson-Brown-Kelly syndrome.

It can also be caused by medications which tend to dry our skin including isotretinon, an analog of vitamin A.

Sometimes chelitis may also be connected to primary hypervitaminosis that occurs upon consumption of liver or excessive intake of preformed vitamin A or vitamin A supplements.


As a viral infection, it manifests visible symptoms such as cold sores or fever blisters which are indicative of infections of the face or the mouth.

It can easily be transmitted through direct contact with body fluids of an infected individual and with a lesion; this makes it easy to detect upon the appearance of the visible sores or ulcers.

Antibiotic treatment for Cheilitis

Angular cheilitis is treated through the application of a topical antibiotic in the affected areas or in the inflammation at the corner of the mouth. Treatment is done for many days until the lesion heals.

Minor cases of the fungal infection can be cured through over the counter anti fungal creams such as clotrimazole.

Antiviral treatment for herpes

There are still no known methods for curing herpes virus from the body but antiviral medicines can reduce the severity, duration and frequency of the outbreaks.

A number of topical antiviral are effective for herpes labialis including acyclovir, docosanol and penciclovir.

Analgesics such as ibuprofen and acetaminophen are known to reduce pain and fever caused by herpes.

What Is Angular Stomatitis And What Causes It?

What is angular stomatitis and what causes it? The disease is also known as angular cheilitis, perleche or cheilitis characterized by swollen wound at the mouth corner, or inflamed lips. Severe cases of angular stomatitis may create deep splitting of the skin of the cheek and lips eventually causing bleeding along the affected areas.

The actual reason for angular stomatitis has been the subject of medical studies until now. However there are many possible angular stomatitis causes which can occur in male and female such as nutritional deficiency, bacterial and fungal infection, climate, denture problems, licking and drooling habits, genes, medicines and cosmetics.

  • Malnutrition. Some people with angular stomatitis are deficit in vitamins and minerals. Riboflavin deficiency, iron deficiency, and/ or zinc deficiency can cause angular stomatitis or angular cheilitis. Patients suffering from anorexia nervosa and bulimia nervosa can develop angular stomatitis because of the irregular and frequent opening and closing of the mouth as a result of constant vomiting. Old people with protein-calorie deficiency can also develop this problem and was observed in 50% of aged people in US nursing homes. In rare cases, too much vitamin A in the body from over-consumption of vitamin supplements, cod liver oil and fish oil, can also cause lesions of the lips.
  • Bacterial and fungal infection. Candida albicans, Staphylococcus aureus, and Herpes simplex can cause angular cheilitis. Culture swabs revealed that fungal infection commonly triggers cheilitis than bacteria.
  • Climate. Cold weather can cause cracked and dry lips. People living in cold climates usually experience recurrent angular stomatitis. Too much sun and wind exposure can also result to chapping and irritation of the lips and skin because of too little moisture.
  • Dental problems. Teeth problem especially in old people can cause angular stomatitis. Most old people are uncomfortable to wear dentures and this cause lack of support in the mouth resulting to cheilitis. Bad-fitting dentures can also cause angular stomatitis for people using them.
  • Habits. Some people constantly lick or bite their lips which cause the upper surface of the lips to wear off, drying the lips and triggering angular cheilitis. Even improper and frequent opening and closing of mouth can start cracks or lesions on both corners of the lips, as well as the habit of wiping mouth often with coarse fabric or hanky that can irritate the lips or mouth. Drooling especially in infants who are developing teeth may cause angular cheilitis. When the lip corners are moist all night, germs start to thrive in the saliva and cause infection.
  • Genetic disposition. People with Down syndrome are prone to develop angular stomatitis.
  • Medicines and cosmetics. Isotretinoin for acne and acitretin for psoriasis can dry the skin and result to angular cheilitis. Cosmetic products like lipstick can irritate the top layer of the lips and cause chapping which can develop into lesions.

Treating angular stomatitis depends on how mild or severe the infection is. Keeping the lesion clean so that infection won’t worsen is the initial cure for it. Home remedies, antibiotic cream and ointment can also treat mild cases. For severe cases, however, seeing the doctor is a must. He will be able to identify the angular stomatitis causes and prescribe the right medicines to treat angular cheilitis.

Is Angular Cheilitis Contagious?

Is angular cheilitis contagious? Have you seen someone with drying and cracking lips with some redness and lesions on either side of the face? Or have you yourself had any of these symptoms? How did you feel about yourself? You must be scared, worried and really embarrassed walking in front of many people or talking to them. Your reactions and what you felt when you saw yourself were expected. Those are some of the symptoms you will see with someone with angular cheilitis. The first thing that comes into the mind of the people when they see someone with this condition is “What is that?” and the second question would be “Will I also has it?” In this article, we will answer that question.

Indeed, it is understandable if people would get scared and prefer not to go near someone who has angular cheilitis since the presenting symptoms are kind of scary to look at, especially if these people are not aware what it is. So, let us answer the question: Is angular cheilitis contagious? The answer is No, although it has not yet been well established. If we are to look at the causes of angular cheilitis, we will observe that the development of this condition progresses in a gradual way.  If you do not have the risk factors presented, then you most likely will not have angular cheilitis. But in the event that the microorganisms are already present so as the lesions, careful handling of these lesions should be done. At this point, there may be a very minimal chance of transferring the microorganisms to another person, but not the disease itself. The said microorganisms may bring about other diseases to that person especially those who are immunocompromised, but not angular cheilitis.

Even though angular cheilitis is not contagious, it is recommended not to get too close to person affected with it. Kissing or touching the face or the affected areas should be avoided mainly not because no one will do it, but it may aggravate the condition. Human saliva as well as our hands contains other microorganisms that when it come in contact with the lesions, will worsen it.

The objective of this article is to enlighten the readers with the question, is angular cheilitis contagious? We hope that you got your answer after reading this. So, the next time we see someone with these symptoms; let us show them some love and respect.

Angular Cheilitis Causes

Although angular cheilitis causes are still in question, a lot of factors can be linked to the occurrence of this condition. It does not choose a particular age group and may affect both gender populations equally, most especially when in poor health.

Fungi and bacteria

One of the most common causes is due to infection including organisms such as Staphylococcus aureus, β – hemolytic streptococci, and Candida albicans.

Clinical observations have shown that after treatment with antibiotics and anti fungal, there is a noticeable reduction in the appearance of lesions, thus strongly suggesting its participation in its development.

Vitamin deficiencies

Other studies suggest that the initial onset of cheilitis is due to certain conditions in the body such as riboflavin (vit B2) and zinc deficiencies as well as iron deficiency anemia resulting from poor diet or malnutrition.

Bulimia nervosa or anorexia nervosa as a result both of malnutrition and as a side effect of vomiting can also trigger this disease.


Cheilitis is also seen to develop commonly in people who wear oral dentures. When muscles in the mouth are not supported or sustained well by dentures, they will be moist and will eventually spread in all the corners of the mouth and lips. This condition starts an infection.

Also, those using oral appliances such as orthodontic braces may suffer from a nickel-induced mouth sore.

The loss of vertical dimension due to loss of teeth is another cause allowing an over-closure of the mouth. An aggressive or too much use of dental floss and mouth washes also causes angular cheilitis.


Other causes include abnormal skin folds at the corners of the mouth and dry skin and hypersalivation. Hypersalivation or dribbling of saliva can cause eczematous cheilitis, a form of contact irritant dermatitis. It is also typically seen among HIV-infected patients and those with Down syndrome.


Cheilitis can result from using medications that dry the skin such as acitretin, a medication indicated for psoriasis and isotretinoin (Accutane), which is an analog of Vitamin A and is used to treat acne.

Uncommonly, this type is correlated with primary hypervitaminosis A, which may take place when large amounts of liver and cod liver oil or other fish oils are frequently taken. Hypervitaminosis A may occur too as a result of excessive intake of Vitamin A in the form of oral supplements.

In order to properly diagnose this condition, a detailed medical history should be taken including the occupation, dental status, and oral hygiene practices. Identifying the different angular cheilitis causes will definitely help in finding a treatment plan for the patient.