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Corners of Mouth Healed with Vitamin B

Corners of Mouth Healed with Vitamin B

Q. In a stressful period of life as a young mother of two and finishing chiropractic school, I pushed further into a vegetarian diet. During exams (more stress), I developed angular cheilitis. I immediately realized it was the vitamin B deficiency! It cleared up amazingly quickly on resuming moderate meat consumption.

A. Cracks at the corner of the mouth are called angular cheilitis, perleche, cheilosis or angular stomatitis. They can be extremely painful and persistent.
Although it is not always clear what causes this condition, nutritional deficiencies are sometimes contributing factors. A lack of vitamin B2 (riboflavin) is often blamed, but other B vitamins (such as B12) may also play a role. Vegans are frequently low in vitamin B12.
Another vitamin deficiency that may play a role in the development of angular cheilitis is vitamin D. You can read more about how correcting a vitamin D deficiency might help at www.peoplespharmacy.com
Sometimes the culprit in angular cheilitis is a product used to moisturize dry lips. A person who is allergic to lanolin, peppermint or sunscreens found in lip balm may react to them with cracks in the corner of the mouth. Finding a lip product that does not contain any of these sensitizers can be helpful in that case.

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About the Author
Terry Graedon, PhD, is a medical anthropologist and co-host of The People’s Pharmacy radio show, co-author of The People’s Pharmacy syndicated newspaper columns and numerous books, and co-founder of The People’s Pharmacy website. Terry taught in the Duke University School of Nursing and was an adjunct assistant professor in the Department of Anthropology. She is a Fellow of the Society of Applied Anthropology. Terry is one of the country's leading authorities on the science behind folk remedies. .
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