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Dr. Abby
Dr. Abby, Board Certified MD
Category: Health
Satisfied Customers: 10330
Experience:  Family Physician, practicing medicine for over 10 years, United States
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The corners of my mouth are red and irritated. I am assuming

Resolved Question:

The corners of my mouth are red and irritated. I am assuming they are chapped, but it looks terrible. How can I get rid of it fast and prevent it from happening again?
Submitted: 6 years ago.
Category: Health
Expert:  Dr. Abby replied 6 years ago.

Are the corners peeling or flaking?
Do you lick your lips?
Did it completely go away from a month ago?
Do you have any chronic health problems?

Dr Abby
Customer: replied 6 years ago.

They are not peeing or flaking, all though, on the right side, where it is worse, it has there is whiteness that looks like flakes.


I do not lick my lips much. I have not licked them more than I have in the past anyway.


It did go away completely a month ago, but it lasted for a good month.


I do not have chronic health problems.

Expert:  Dr. Abby replied 6 years ago.
Thank you for the information,

You have what is called angular cheilitis.
It can be caused by many different things-fungal infections are sometimes involved. Staph skin infections may also be present.
Rarely, iron deficiency anemia or other vitamin deficiencies can cause this.
Flossing is another cause.

Treatment involves keeping the area moist. Using neosporin is helpful along with petroleum jelly.
You can also try an over the counter cortisone cream for 2-3 days. If this does not help, I recommend seeing your doctor. You will likely benefit from a nystatin cream, which is a yeast cream that is available only by prescription.

As far as prevention, keep the area moist-use petroleum based lip moisturizers, especially at night.
Finding the cause is also key, especially in recurrent cheilitis. If you continue to have this recur, a doctor visit is warranted.

Interestingly, in the older population, where this is seen frequently, gum containing xylitol was found to help prevent cheilitis so it is worth trying this as well.

Let me know if you have any follow up questions,

Dr Abby

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Customer: replied 6 years ago.
The corners of my mouth still have not healed yet. Could it be something different, or is there another remedy I could try?
Expert:  Dr. Abby replied 6 years ago.

You may need the nystatin from your doctor at this point if you still have it.

Yeast tends to persist and this may be what is going on.

Dr Abby