Angular cheilitis, or angular stomatitis, is a condition that affects the corners of the mouth. This condition occurs when the lips become dried and chapped, or even split, causing an opening that can become irritated and infected. While many people experience chapped lips for various reasons, complications that result in angular cheilitis can develop into more serious problems. It may also be an indication, in some cases, of the presence of human immunodeficiency virus (HIV).
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According to the College of Family Physicians of Canada, there is a connection between deficiencies in iron and vitamin B-2 (otherwise known as riboflavin) and angular cheilitis. A lack of zinc in the body may also be a cause. These deficiencies can lead to a drying of the oral labial tissue, which leads to the invasion of the area by fungus and bacteria. The growth of the fungus can lead to a chronic infection syndrome that causes the condition to continue unless treated.
According to the National Library of Medicine, topical anti-fungals are often used to treat angular chelitis. Hydrocortisone may also be prescribed for more serious cases. In some instances, protective substances such as petroleum jelly are used to achieve stasis in the infected area, so that the infection will not be aggravated further.
According to health researcher Bill E. Cham, glycoalkaloids have beneficial effects for skin conditions. Eggplant contains these alkaloids, and one method of preparation is to cut up an entire eggplant and soak it in a container with apple cider vinegar at room temperature for one week. The alkaloids will leach into the vinegar, and the eggplant pieces can then be discarded. The vinegar solution can be applied as needed to treat the infected areas.
Dietary Control of Yeast
One symptom of this condition is the presence of yeast in the body. While this may not be related specifically to cheilosis, yeast is in fact a fungus that can become part of an infection cycle that can exacerbate angular cheilitis. Reducing sugar and yeast consumption was reported to have a noticeable effect. This would include reducing the intake of alcohol, as well as fruits and other foods that have higher levels of sugar in them.
Other Home Remedies
Aloe vera can be helpful in medicating the infected skin areas. The intake of vitamin supplements, especially riboflavin and niacin, as well as eating more green leafy vegetables such as spinach and kale may have a beneficial effect. Keeping the body hydrated may also be beneficial overall, as the drying out of any part of the body is usually a sign of dehydration. Drinking more water every day would hence be a potential benefit in the treatment of this condition.
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