Derm DMs: What Is Angular Cheilitis and Could I Have It?
Skin dryness can be common when the weather gets cold, from dry skin around the nose, to flaky eyelids and eczema. One issue that you may confuse for dryness is angular cheilitis, which appears as cracked corners around the mouth. We consulted with Dr. Joshua Zeichner, New York City-based board-certified, Skincare.com dermatologist, to learn more about angular cheilitis, plus how to address and prevent it.
What Is Angular Cheilitis?
According to Dr. Zeichner, angular cheilitis is a rash that develops in the corners of the mouth. “Because saliva and moisture tend to build up in the crevice where the upper and lower lips meet, it creates an environment that allows yeast to grow,” he says. At the same time, the skin barrier becomes disrupted, causing inflammation.
How to Address Angular Cheilitis
If you have this scaly rash in the corners of your mouth, you should visit your board-certified dermatologist. “The goal of treatment will be to reduce inflammation and lower levels of yeast on the skin,” says Dr. Zeichner. He adds that your dermatologist may prescribe a medicated cream to treat the yeast or address the inflammation.
How to Avoid Angular Cheilitis
Dr. Zeichner adds that the best way to avoid angular cheilitis around the lips is to keep the area moisturized. “If you develop dryness on and around the lips, hydrate them as soon as possible to prevent skin barrier disruption,” he says. Our recommendation? Try the CeraVe Healing Ointment for cracked, chafed and dry skin.
Design: Hannah Packer