perleche or angular cheilitis, cracks in the corners of the mouth

Have you ever discovered that a seemingly simple change made a big difference in a long-standing problem? We are always pleased to hear from people who have found a way to tackle such a puzzle. This reader found that a vitamin supplement healed a sore mouth.

Could Vitamin D Help Heal a Sore Mouth?

Q. I struggled with angular cheilitis for 60 years, from the time I was 5 until two years ago. Then my family doctor tested my vitamin D level and the result came back showing I was highly deficient with a score of 12. He had me start taking 2,000 IU of the vitamin daily.

The first thing I noticed was that the corners of my mouth were no longer cracking and sore or bleeding. Since then I have continued to take 2,000 IUs and have had a flare-up with a sore mouth only once when I was traveling and neglected to take my pills.

I mentioned the connection between vitamin D and angular cheilitis on a recent visit to a dermatologist. He dismissed what I told him, saying it was rare for vitamin D to help something like this. Perhaps I am a rare bird, but I swear taking vitamin D has healed what was a lifelong problem for me.

Vitamin D and Angular Cheilitis:

A. Your vitamin D story is fascinating. It does not appear that doctors have studied the effect of vitamin D supplementation on angular cheilitis (cracks at the corners of the mouth). These painful cracks at the corners of the mouth are also termed perlèche. It may be brought on by nutritional deficiencies (low levels of B vitamins or minerals like zinc and iron).

This painful condition is more commonly treated with antifungal or antibacterial medication. Others who would like to learn more about inadequate vitamin D and its potential symptoms may be interested in our Guide to Vitamin D Deficiency. We have written about home remedies for angular cheilitis here.

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  1. c

    I keep coming across this post. I have had AC for about 5 years. I am sure the infection has gone but the ugly cracks half a centimetre are still there and nothing gets rid of them. My doctor has given me at least 5 creams over the years. I was low in iron which has been corrected. I was very low in Vitamin D same as you.. but recently I got it up to 64. The doctor told me not to take the vials anymore as I will end up having too much. I’m only at the half way point of Vitamin D but now you have me thinking maybe I should ask my doctor if I can just take a few more. I am desperate to rid myself of it. It’s not even that it is ugly it regularly hurts. Any more advice you can give me I would be so grateful. I have read millions of articles and forums and tried so many things.

  2. Sheri

    I have also recently learned that D3 intake should be accompanied by Vitamin K in order to “instruct” the D where to go and prevent arterial calcification issues. Is this true?

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