Ask the Nurse

I have been suffering from angular cheilitis for over a year. I have tried fungal creams, nutritional supplements, and mouthwash without any benefit. Do you know of any other remedies for angular cheilitis? I’m so embarrassed. Please help!

All individuals with angular cheilitis should maintain optimal oral hygiene. Part of the treatment includes avoiding excessive moisture around the mouth. Try using petrolatum which functions as a barrier against excess moisture or irritation.

Fungal infections can also be associated with angular cheilitis. As you had mentioned, topical antifungals like miconazole or clotrimazole are often used. Keep in mind that the duration of treatment may be up to 3-4 weeks and often needs to be repeated. For refractory cases related to fungal infections, some people require the use of oral antifungals.

Still other causes of angular cheilitis include bacterial infections. Topical antibiotic ointments can function as a barrier cream while fighting bacteria.

Uncommonly, nutritional deficiencies, irritants (from oral hygiene products, denture materials), and poorly functioning immune systems cause angular cheilitis.

Because your symptoms are persistent despite multiple therapies, I recommend that you see a dermatologist who specializes in treatment of angular cheilitis.

Angular cheilitis often recurs, so maintaining oral hygiene and continuing to use barrier creams is important.

All My Best,
Nurse Mary

January 6, 2015 at 10:21am