Those red, cracked, swollen patches around the corner of your mouth have a medical term. It is called Angular Cheilitis and it affects a lot more people than you think. This condition can be painful and could even affect people’s lives since eating and chewing becomes irritating and sometimes even painful. Common symptoms of Angular Cheilitis include cracked skin on the corner of the mouth, bleeding, and formation of blisters. These can be red and swollen and painful. Most patients complain of a burning sensation on the area and around the lips and mouth.

The main cause of Angular Cheilitis or cracks in corner of mouthis saliva getting trapped in the corner of the mouth. Once it dries, the skin can crack making it a suitable environment for fungus and/or bacteria to proliferate. In extreme cases, this could lead to infection, necessitating the need for antibiotic intervention. Those afflicted are usually those with dental accessories such as braces and dentures. If these don’t fit well, it could lead to saliva build up and Angular Cheilitis. Those with crooked teeth are also prone to this condition, as well as those who habitually suck their thumb and those with a habit of smoking. The goal for the treatment of Angular Cheilitis is usually to prevent infection or to stop infection if it is already present. This means a round of antibiotics or antifungal medication depending on the pathogen present. Petroleum jelly can also be applied to the affected area to help smooth the skin and protect it from moisture to help it heal.