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Wednesday, 10 July 2013

Angular Cheilitis or Cold Sore

Discover the Various Mouth Illnesses Similar to Angular Cheilitis

The fact that angular cheilitis is similar to many other types of mouth illnesses can make treatment difficult. There is a bigger chance of improper self-diagnosis and wrong treatment. To avoid confusion, it’s important to know that this inflammatory skin condition occurs only on the corners of the mouth or the mouth angles, thus the name.

It can be triggered by a number of factors including fungal or bacterial infections, poor-fitting dentures, vitamin B or iron deficiency, and cold weather. Unlike other mouth disorders like cold sore, it’s not contagious. It can’t even spread to other parts of the body.

Here are some of the mouth disorders commonly mistaken as angular cheilitis:

Angular cheilitis versus cold sores

Cold sores, otherwise known as oral herpes, are caused by a virus called herpes simplex (HSV-1). While angular cheilitis manifests itself as deep cracks or splits on the corners of the mouth, this condition causes the appearance of several blisters around the mouth area, not just on the corners. These blisters can grow bigger until they burst and form a scab.

Cold sores can fully heal within 14 to 20 days. And because it’s highly contagious, it’s a lot more common than angular cheilitis. In fact, according to the American Sexual Health Association, over 50 percent of the adults in the United States have cold sores.

Angular cheilitis versus mouth ulcers

Commonly affecting people ages 16 to 25 years old, mouth ulcers refer to open lesions inside the mouth that penetrate into the mucus membrane. Unlike angular cheilitis that’s limited on the mouth’s corners, this one can develop inside the lips, inside the cheeks, on the gums, and under the tongue. Since it’s usually caused by trauma (such as accidental biting of the lip or cheek), mouth ulcer is not contagious. Healing time is also quick—from a few days to a week.

Angular cheilitis versus chapped lips

The two mouth disorders mentioned above are totally unrelated to angular cheilitis. But this one, though a different condition, can be a possible precursor. As you know, skin dryness is a leading cause of angular cheilitis since dry skin is more prone to crack formation. When cracks form and bacteria or fungi set in, that’s when the problem turns into an infection.

Chapped lips are very common especially for people living in cold weather. Although it doesn’t automatically lead to angular cheilitis, it pays to be careful. Don’t make the mistake of licking your lips to “moisturize” it. Doing so accomplishes the opposite. Saliva only dries up the skin even further. Not to mention, it has a lot of bacteria and fungi that can cause infection.

Whether it’s angular cheilitis, oral herpes, mouth ulcer or simply chapped lips, it’s imperative to resolve the problem right away before it gets worse. Consult your doctor to get proper diagnosis especially if you’re not so sure what particular type of condition you have. This way, you’ll be able to apply the proper suitable treatment that will give you long-term results.


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