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How to Make Angular Cheilitis Disappear with Hydrogen Peroxide

A reader dabs hydrogen peroxide on the corners of the mouth every day after brushing the teeth to make angular cheilitis disappear.

Angular cheilitis, also known as perlèche, is a very unpleasant condition in which the corners of the mouth crack open. They are usually red and sore. Sometimes this is caused by leaking saliva, which irritates the skin and leads to eczema. In other cases, the cause is an infection: viral, bacterial or fungal. Unless the infection can be eliminated, the angular cheilitis persists. Is there any way to make angular cheilitis disappear?

One Way to Make Angular Cheilitis Disappear:

Q. I suffered from angular cheilitis for years. I could control episodes with antifungal creams but the sores at the corners of my mouth would always reappear.

I read about the antifungal properties of hydrogen peroxide and I decided to try it. When my next outbreak occurred, I treated it with antifungal cream as usual. When it cleared up, I started dabbing hydrogen peroxide on the corners of my mouth each morning after brushing my teeth. The condition has never reappeared, although it has been years.

Hydrogen Peroxide to Make Angular Cheilitis Disappear:

A. Thanks for the tip. A solution of half hydrogen peroxide and half water may indeed have anti-fungal activity (Dental Clinics of North America, Jan. 2005). Your conscientious application keeps any fungus suppressed. According to WebMD, Candida yeast (related to fungus) is the most common culprit causing angular cheilitis, so other antifungal treatments may also make angular cheilitis disappear. Some readers report that Listerine is helpful.

Antibacterial Treatment for Angular Cheilitis:

If the irritation and inflammation is caused by bacteria rather than yeast or fungus, the doctor may prescribe an antibacterial cream such as mupirocin. When the treatment matches the cause, it should make angular cheilitis disappear.

Vitamin Supplements:

Doctors disagree about the role of vitamins in angular cheilitis. One reader found that correcting a vitamin D deficiency could make angular cheilitis disappear. That may not be common, but shortages of other nutrients such as B vitamins or iron may contribute to some cases.

Celiac disease may also lead to this inflammatory condition. In such situations, a strict gluten-free diet treats the autoimmune celiac disease and all of its symptoms.

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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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