Angular Cheilitis is a condition that leads to the formation of red patches at the corners of the mouth. These patches are easy to identify because they form right at the point where the lips meet at an angle, hence the addition of the word ‘angular’ in the condition. The condition is also known as angular stomatitis or perleche. Angular Cheilitis may form on one end of the mouth or on both ends depending on the extent of the same.
Some of the symptoms that accompany this condition include the presence of crust-like layers at the corner of the lips, the presence of blisters which may or may not be bleeding as well as cracked and itchy patches. Additionally, the lips usually feel dry and you may experience a burning sensation. Some people will also experience a nasty taste in the mouth. In severe cases of Angular Cheilitis, the irritation may be so persistent that it becomes hard to eat or drink.
The primary cause of angular cheilitis is the accumulation of saliva at the corners of the mouth. Once this happens, the skin there dries and begins to crack. What’s more, the warmth and moisture present provides a viable environment for the proliferation of fungus populations, which in turn increases the chances of getting an infection. It is this infection that causes angular cheilitis.
The most common fungal population is Candida. Some of the risk factors for this condition include wearing dentures, braces, excess saliva as well as sagging skin around the mouth. Thumb-suckers and smokers are also at risk. Below are some of the natural home remedies used to treat Angular Cheilitis.
1. Tea Tree Oil:
Time Required: 20 Min
What You Need: 5 Drops of tea tree oil, 1/2 a tablespoon of almond oil and cotton wool.
Tea tree oil has long been used for the treatment of different skin disorders, thanks to its potent medicinal properties. Its excellent anti-fungal properties allow the oil to be used for the treatment of angular cheilitis. When applied topically, the oil’s active ingredients work against the fungal populations responsible for the red patches at the corners of the mouth. In addition to this, the presence of terpinen-4-ol reduces the inflammation and burning sensation at the affected corner(s) of the mouth. you will need almond oil to act as a carrier oil since tea tree oil used on its own may cause skin irritation (further aggravating the affected patches).
- Mix the two oils well and then soak a small piece of cotton wool in the oil mixture.
- Dab the wet wool at the corners of the mouth as gently as you can. This allows the oil mixture to come into contact with patches and improve the recovery period.
- Use this remedy twice daily for up to two weeks and a few days after the patches clear to prevent recurrence.
2. Cucumber Slices:
Time Required: 20 Min
What You Need: 3 Slices of fresh cucumber.
Cucumber slices are the go-to remedy for the natural treatment of angular cheilitis. This vegetable is not only a refreshing inclusion in your salad, it also has immense benefits for the skin. Traditionally, it was used to relieve pain. When applied on the red swollen patches at the corners of the mouth, the cucumber nourishes the skin and improves the recovery period. more importantly, it stimulates the regeneration of skin cells at the affected site. Add to this cucumber’s cleansing properties and it is easy to see why this is a must-use remedy for anyone suffering from angular cheilitis.
- Use one slice of cucumber for each side of the affected mouth corner.
- Gently press the cucumber slice on the cracked patches at the corner of the lips.
- Leave the cucumber slices on for about 10-15 minutes daily.
- Repeat this remedy thrice daily for up to three weeks until you are certain that the infection has cleared.
3. Raw Organic Honey:
Time Required: 20 Min
What You Need: 1/2 Teaspoon of honey, 1/4 teaspoon of beeswax, 1/4 teaspoon of olive oil and a jar with a tight lid.
One of the best natural sweeteners available is honey, a healthy option that is often used by those who do not want to use artificial sweeteners. Did you know, however, that honey is also an excellent natural remedy for the treatment of angular cheilitis. A number of studies have indicated that several species including Candida (which is responsible for the condition) cannot thrive in the presence of honey. Beeswax acts to prevent the affected part of the mouth from drying, while olive oil moisturizes the mouth on application. Interestingly, the use of beeswax and olive oil alone for this remedy did not prevent the growth of the fungal populations. The use of honey made all the difference. Prepare the remedy by following the steps outlined below.
- Place all the ingredients in a bowl and stir. You may need some hot water to melt the beeswax indirectly.
- Transfer the honey mixture to a jar that has a tight lid. This is done so as to prevent oxidation from taking place.
- Take a small amount of the honey mixture and apply it at the corners of the mouth.
- Massage gently to allow the remedy’s active ingredients seep into the affected skin patches.
- Leave the mixture on for some 15 minutes before rinsing using cold water.
- Use this remedy twice daily for two weeks to clear the infection.
NOTE: Store the remedy in a cool and dry place away from direct sunlight to prevent damage to the active ingredients.
Time Required: 10 Min
What You Need: 1/2 Teaspoon of glycerin and cotton wool.
One of the simplest ways to deal with angular cheilitis is to keep the skin around the mouth well moisturized. This is key because it prevents the dry cracked patches from spreading further over a large part of the skin. The use of glycerin is recommended for this remedy because it not only keeps the skin moist, it also provides much needed relief from the itchiness and burning sensation that characterizes such an infection. Add glycerin to your list of home remedies to alleviate the discomfort and improve the healing process.
- Use the cotton wool to carefully apply the glycerin at the corners of the mouth.
- Leave the glycerin to 0dry on its own.
- Use this remedy thrice daily for a week until the infection clears.
Time Required: 30 Min
What You Need: 1/4 Cup of fresh neem leaves 1 cup of water.
One of the most potent ways to manage angular cheilitis is to use neem. This is an ancient remedy whose numerous medicinal properties have made the herb a popular option particularly for skin conditions. Neem is packed with antimicrobial healing properties that fight off the fungal populations responsible for the infection. The active ingredients present in neem are grouped into three main categories: saponins, tannins and polyphenols. These ingredients prevent the multiplication of the fungi, and this effectively works to reduce the spread and treat the infection.
- Sort the leaves and transfer them to a pan containing water. Ensure that all the leaves are fully covered.
- Heat the mixture to boil.
- Once boiling, turn off the heat and pass through a strainer.
- Set aside some of the resulting solution for later use during the day.
- Soak some cotton wool in the neem solution and dab it at the corners of the mouth.
- Follow up by rinsing the area around the mouth using the solution.
- Repeat this thrice daily for a week or tow as you monitor the progress made.
- The crusty reddened patches should start to recede after a few days of using the remedy.
6. Petroleum Jelly:
Time Required: 1 Hr
What You Need: 1/4 Teaspoon of petroleum jelly and 5 drops of tea tree oil.
Petroleum jelly is an age-old remedy that has been used for a myriad of skin conditions, of which angular cheilitis is no exception. The moisturization properties of petroleum jelly not only prevent the cracks at the corners of the mouth from spreading, they also soothe the affected skin. More importantly, the petroleum jelly prevents recurrence of the condition. Add a few drops of tea tree oil for its aforementioned healing properties and you are likely to heal after a few days.
- Add 5 drops of the tea tree oil to the petroleum jelly and mix well.
- Apply a generous amount of the mixture on the affected skin. Take care not to lick the mixture if you are used to licking your lips as tea tree oil must not be taken internally.
- Let the remedy remain on the skin for up to an hour.
- After this, wipe it off and apply plain petroleum jelly until the next time you use the tea tree oil mixture.
- Repeat this procedure thrice daily to treat angular cheilitis.
7. Cocoa Butter:
Time Required: 30 Min
What You Need: 1/4 Teaspoon of cocoa butter and 3 drops of tea tree oil.
Take advantage of cocoa butter’s healing properties when you need to treat angular cheilitis naturally. This butter is rich in polyphenols that have been shown to improve the skin’s health. Cocoa butter does this by encouraging skin regeneration as well as improving its elasticity. It is no wonder therefore, that this is one of the key ingredients in many skin care products. Cocoa butter is also an excellent skin moisturizer that prevents further drying up of the mouth’s corners. The more mositurized the corners of the mouth are, the less likely it is they will get infected. Tea tree oil is added for its excellent healing properties that compliment those of the cocoa butter.
- Mix the cocoa butter with the tea tree oil until you have a consistent paste-like substance.
- Apply the cocoa butter mixture at the crusty corners of the mouth and massage gently while at it.
- Rinse the mouth after half an hour.
- Repeat this procedure thrice daily until the red patches clear.
8. Castor Oil:
Time Required: 30 Min
What You Need: 1/4 Teaspoon of castor oil and 2 drops of tea tree oil.
Get castor oil for the natural treatment of angular cheilitis. The oil works by reducing the pain and inflammation at the site of the cracked patches, and alleviating the discomfort caused by the same. A number of studies have also shown that castor oil is a potent anti-bacterial that prevents the potential spread of the infection. These healing properties are linked to the presence of the following classes of active ingredients: saponins, flavanoids, tannins and terpenoids. Mix the castor oil with tea tree oil for a more potent remedy.
- Mix the castor oil with tea tree oil until you have a consistent mixture. Castor oil is pretty viscous, so you may need to mix for a couple of minutes.
- Use a cotton ball to apply the mixture on the affected corners of the mouth.
- Dab the wool gently to ensure the oil’s actives are absorbed by the skin.
- Wait for 30 minutes before rinsing off the oil mixture with cold water.
- Use this remedy twice daily for two weeks until angular cheilitis clears.
9. Aloe Vera:
Time Required: 20 Min
What You Need: 1 Freshly cut aloe vera leaf and cold water.
It is impossible to list remedies recommended for treating angular cheilitis and fail to include aloe vera. This is one of the most amazing natural remedies, particularly for skin disorders such as angular cheilitis. The gel sourced from the fresh leaf is rich in minerals, enzymes, vitamins and saponins, all of which nourish and protect the skin from infections. When applied on the cracked corners of the mouth, the gel’s wound-healing properties come into play and speed up the process of recovery. The cool gel also has a refreshing soothing effect that counters the burning sensation that is typical at the corners of the mouth. With almost no side effects, aloe vera gel makes for a wonderful home remedy to treat cracked mouth corners.
- Slice the leaf into two to allow maximum gel-production.
- Collect the gel in a bowl.
- Use cotton wool to apply the gel at the corners of the mouth.
- Allow the gel to air-dry before rinsing off with cold water.
- Use this remedy twice daily for speedy healing.
Angular cheilitis is one of the most common lip infections globally. This means that everyone gets this form of infection at one point or the other in their lifetime. Knowing what home remedies to use is an integral part of managing the condition. It also helps to drop bad habits that worsen mouth corner cracks. These include thumb sucking and the habit of licking one’s lips. Although this is not a medical emergency, it does interfere with one’s daily routine, making these remedies worth checking out. If you have any concerns, or the crusty patches do not clear after a month, make sure you see a medical professional.