Please select the country or location you would like to see content from.
country picker icon
condition icon


Angular cheilitis

Written by Healthwords's team of doctors and pharmacists based in UK | Updated: 24.02.2023 | 2 min read

This is a condition that mainly affects the corners of the mouth rather than the rest of the lips. The main symptoms include swelling and redness, blistering, and crusting or cracking in the corners of the mouth.

It may be painful and can be caused by a number of factors. Some forms of angular cheilitis may be caused by sweat and saliva build-up. This causes changes in pH on the skin and can lead to a fungal infection in the corner of the mouth. There can also be bacterial or viral infection present.

Who gets angular cheilitis?

Elderly patients are more prone to angular cheilitis due to structural changes to the muscle around the lips that can cause sagging of the skin around the mouth.

All ages can be affected. Some groups may be prone due to:

  • soreness due to recent dental work
  • certain vitamin and mineral deficiencies, particularly the vitamin B family and zinc
  • those who suffer from inflammatory or autoimmune conditions such as Sjogren's syndrome and Crohn's disease

When should I see my doctor?

If your pharmacist confirms you have angular cheilitis then you should book a visit with your doctor. You should also see the doctor if your angular cheilitis is severe, you have any additional symptoms (such as skin rash, change in bowel habit, fatigue) or it is not improving after two weeks of treatment.

The doctor will ask you about your medical history and examine the area. Your doctor may want to investigate whether there's an underlying cause for it. They may take swabs to see if there is any bacterial, fungal or viral infection present. They will suggest a treatment or provide a prescription if necessary.

Am I fit for work?

You are fit for work if you have angular cheilitis.

Was this helpful?

Was this helpful?

Newsletter icon
Subscribe to our Newsletter
to get monthly notified about our latest health and wellness topics.
By clicking Subscribe, I agree to the Healthwords Terms & Conditions and Privacy Policy and understand that I may opt out of the newsletter subscription at any time.