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Angular cheilitis--driving me crazy! Anyone else??

post #1 of 20
Thread Starter 
Since I started my second trimester, I have had these awful, sore cracks in the corners of my mouth. They hurt! If I open my mouth too wide, they crack even more and have bled a few times. I googled it, and after seeing pictures, I am certain that I have "angular cheilitis." All of the links say it is either due to yeast or to iron deficiency or vitamin B2 deficiency.

After trying lip balm for weeks and having it get worse, I called my dr's nurse, who couldn't have been less helpful. She said, "oh, it just sounds like chapped lips, put some lip balm on it. I said, "um, I am reading these links, and it specifically says do NOT put lip balm on it and that it is probably caused from either yeast or low iron." She totally dismissed me, but did put the dr. on, who also kind of dismissed me (but in a nicer way) and told me to try aquaphor. I have tried the aquaphor for 3 days now, and it is just getting worse and now stings like I have paper cuts in the corners of my mouth.

Has anyone else had this?? What worked to get rid of it? Maybe I should go see a dermatologist?
post #2 of 20
Try an acidophilous powder for yeast- I gave it to DD when she got a yeasty diaper rash (mix the powder with a TINY bit of water to make the stickiest paste known to human kind) and apply it directly to the sores.

It doesn't hurt you if you ingest it - in fact, it's good for you!- so it won't hurt to try.

If it's low iron- try taking some floradix or drink some RRL tea or nettles tea (both are high in iron, I believe?) and see if that makes a difference. Again, these products are good for you anyway so it won't hurt to try.

I've had that happen before, and it sucks. Never thought to google it, I just waited WEEKS and it eventually went away. If it happens again, I'll know what it might be and what to try.
post #3 of 20
Thread Starter 
Great idea about the acidophilus powder! Thanks! I take a probiotic every day, but it may not be enough.

It makes sense to me that it would be one or the other. A lot of women are prone to yeast infections and/or low iron during pregnancy.
post #4 of 20
Thread Starter 
I forgot to ask--for the RRL tea do I want to get loose tea or are the tea bags ok? I think I saw some teabags, and the brand was traditional medicines??
post #5 of 20
Hi -

I've had that before - I took grapefruit seed extract, 250 mg three times per day and it cleared up pretty quickly...

Good luck!

post #6 of 20
For the iron, I would maybe try a source other than, or in addition to RRL tea. It has iron, but I don't think it's a good source of iron. The actual mg of iron is probably low compared to lots of other iron rich foods. (red meat, beans, etc.)

scroll down to the chart on this page:

Hope it gets better. That's too bad the nurse and doctor aren't more helpful. That must be so frustrating.
post #7 of 20
I've been struggling with this for a while now and it's weighing on my self esteem. My lips as well are extremely chapped and cracked.

My GP has tried many different prescriptions, none that worked. The last doctor I saw at a walk-in clinic said it's caused by my mouth breathing at night, which I can understand. I'm too congested to breath through my nose. The prescription cream I have clears it up for a bit, but them it comes back.

I've been figuring for a while now that it's either hormonal, or I'm lacking something. I'll be watching this thread closely!
post #8 of 20
When I get it, it's usually low b2. Increasing that makes it go away, in the next couple of days. Are you taking any other b vitamins or vitamin A? I'd look up other symptoms of b2 and iron deficiency and seeif any of those sound like you. You can also google for images with b2 or iron in the search and see if there's a visual difference - I think iron would be pale lips and b2 would be redder lips.
post #9 of 20
Thread Starter 
Thanks, all. It is getting worse, not better. I think I have other symptoms of low iron, and my lips are pale, as well as brittle nails, exhausted, etc. Although my iron was at 14.0 when they tested me at 9 weeks, which I think is pretty good. I guess it could have dropped though. Yeah, the dr and nurse totally blew me off, which is frustrating since I may need them to prescribe something to get rid of it.
post #10 of 20
My lips are pale sometimes too. I'm not sure iron is an issue for me...hard to tell when I'm still in the first trimester and tired all the time.
post #11 of 20
oh angular cheilitis is irritating, you can wrestle it forever it seems and it doesnt seem to go away,

I used one of those home overnight remedies you see on all those websites and it worked great,

They all have the same treatment click this link -->angular cheilitis treatment it's the cheapest of the bunch,

just fill in the form and it'll redirect you to the cure,

good luck to u,
post #12 of 20
ouch! i've gotten this off and on for years now. it might be low iron on my part, since my iron is low at the best of times, but i've been supplementing with floradix throughout most of my pregnancy and it's taken care of my iron levels... it's also got all the B vitamins in it, so i don't think it's a vitamin defeciency either (and I don't have other symptoms). what i do use that really helps is a prepared yeast medication. i'm not super prone to yeast infections, but i do get them off and on, and this paste stuff is the only thing that consistently heals the cracks. it's essentially the same thing as the tube of cream they sometimes sell with the vaginal yeast medication kits. i've also seen that people are sometimes prone to them because of the shape of their mouths... i have a really curvy top lip and i think that can add to the irritation because of moisture essentially sitting there.
post #13 of 20
I had this, as well as red, irritated skin on my lips where they touch when closed. I went to a dermatologist after struggling for several weeks with it and he said that it was probably an allergic to something and to try a steroid cream, they gave me a sample, along with aquaphor. It worked after a few days. I think I had a reaction to something in a lip balm I had just started using.

Good luck!
post #14 of 20
I had this during my first pregnancy, and it was yeast. My doctor told me to take a q-tip and apply monistat/OTC yeast infection cream to it, and it went away almost immediately. I know that's not a natural cure, but it did work quickly. You could try oil of oregano, tea tree oil, GSE, etc. (just make sure to dilute in a carrier oil) if you wanted to avoid the chemicals. I would also cut out sugar and take probiotics. Good luck!
post #15 of 20

So much advice here but since I just got over a bad episode of angular cheilitis, I thought I would tell you what I did.  I got this from the research I did on the net and it seemed to work.  I made a paste of caster oil and baking soda and applied it to the sides of my mouth. (Cheap fix) It stung a bit but did it before falling asleep so I wouldn't have to feel the sting too long.


 It dried it up pretty quick and once it started scabbing, I used aloe vera.  It healed up beautifully.  I think the reason I get it is the way my mouth is curved.  I seem to collect, more than average, saliva in that area.  I also took my b vitamins and have been taking a flax oil supplement as I read those are helpful in keeping it at bay.  Really messes with the self esteem and is no freaking fun but I feel like at least now I have a way of dealing with it.  

post #16 of 20

Hi all,


It is sometimes helpful to use lip balm products such as Carmex, Medicated Chapstick, or Bag Balm to promote healing. These items can be found at your local pharmacy. sorce --> Treatment for Angular Cheilitis



post #17 of 20

Good job for straying away from the lip balm. I didn't even know that angular cheilitis existed until about a year ago when I had my first outbreak. ): As an 18 year old high school student at the time, you can only imagine the herpes jokes I got. 


I've always struggled with anemia, and when I finally researched it and found out it wasn't chapped lips or a cold sore... I immediately started taking an iron supplement twice a day. Which is double the recommended dose, but it cleared it up in about three days.


Now that I'm pregnant, it has come back again... I've been taking the supplement for two days and it's almost gone already. You might want to give it a try!

post #18 of 20

Hello! I'm actually a dentist and angular cheilitis is almost always caused by yeast overgrowth. If probiotics, etc. don't take care of it, maybe see your dentist for an Rx for an antifungal ointment.

post #19 of 20

I believe I have both normal lip chelitis (where the lips themselves peel too much, sometimes crack) and angular chelitis (that is where there is a crack at the corner, right?).


Right now I"m at 12 weeks, and my cracks at the corners have been flaring. I have noticed for the angular, it seems that it happens when I consume too much simple sugar in my diet. Normally I don't have this angular chelitis, but then it'll show up and I'll realize I sugar-binged that day. So maybe it IS yeast, because sugar can cause that yeast imbalance in the mouth. So probiotics may help, that, or just cut back on the sugar in your diet too. I notice for me, coconut water triggers it (That stuff has a lot of sugar, even though it's natural)....or just plain old sugary candy, like the gummy fruit slices covered in sugar. I ate both of those recently, and now I have this. It shows up the same day, or a day or two later, depending.


The other chelitis does not seem to be linked to sugar, in me. My lips seem to peel a lot, and I noticed it is better when I am taking a lot of B vitamins in general, especially B12. I used to do B12 shots, and when I stopped them, I noticed my chelitis started up again. I take B12 oral supplements, in addition to what's in my prenatal, and my OB okay'ed it. Though sometimes it is there regardless, so sometimes I suspect other B's are at play too. I have never tried B2 so can't say one way or the other. I have heard it could be folate too, so maybe you could increase that.

post #20 of 20

So anyways (i was last poster...dunno why didn't edit..), in addition to what the dentist above said, I would def. reduce your sugar intake as the #1 thing, then #2 is try the probiotic. You open a capsule, mix some of the powder in purified (not city, could kill the good bacteria with the chemicals in the water) and swish it in your mouth, or make a paste with it, and rub it on your gums, since in my mind, the infection comes from yeast in the mouth. You could just dump the powder in your mouth from the capsule and swish, but I am careful because one time I started choking on the powder itself, got all stuck down throat and was coughing, but if that happens, you chug water. So now I try to make a paste instead. I guess swallowing the caps might work, but this is more direct for the mouth. There are probiotics in my prenatal though, so I think reducing sugar is the big impact. I can have some sugar normally, but then if this flares, I reduce so it can heal.

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