Dry, red corners of the lips may result from exposure to the elements, breathing through the mouth, topical irritation or dehydration. The condition angular cheilitis can also cause cracked, inflamed corners of the mouth. People who wear dentures or other orthodontia are prone to angular cheilitis. Other causes of dry, red corners of the lips include yeast infections, nutritional deficiency and bacterial infections. Treatment must be aimed at reducing the underlying cause.
Apply lip balm or petroleum jelly to protect the irritated area before exposure to the elements. Lip protection should be frequently reapplied.
Cover the mouth with a scarf when outside in a cold or windy environment. Covering the lips protects them from extreme temperatures and wind.
Do not lick the lips, as saliva dries the lips when it evaporates.
Drink an adequate amount of fluid to stay hydrated. A well-hydrated body will allow the inflamed area to heal quickly.
Moisten indoor environments with a humidifier to further protect the lips and keep the skin moisturised.
Visit a physician if the chapped irritation persists as there may be an underlying condition like a bacterial or yeast infection. A nutritional deficiency may also cause angular cheilitis.
Apply any topical medication provided by a physician to treat angular cheilitis. An anti-fungal treatment may be used if yeast is present.
Take any supplements provided by a physician if a nutritional deficiency is causing the angular cheilitis.
After the chapped lips have healed, maintaining good dental hygiene can keep the irritation from reoccurring.