Q. I had no end of trouble with cheilitis for several years. Eventually a very practical allergist suspected the benzones in lip sunblocks could be causing the irritation of my lips.
She was right. In my attempts to protect my lips, I’d been unwittingly making them worse.
It’s hard to find a lip balm without sunblock. But my lips are much more comfortable when I avoid such ingredients.
A. Cheilitis is sometimes termed chapped lips.
Several compounds used in lip balm can be troublesome for some people. In addition to sunblocks, certain individuals react badly to lanolin or peppermint, natural ingredients in many lip products. Careful label reading is essential.
For more information about how chapped lips can actually be made worse by lip balm, check out this link.
Home Remedies for Cheilitis
Here is another person’s experience with cheilitis:
“I just had the same problem and saw it expanding and expanding, I only had it for a week though I have had mild cases of angular cheilitis in the past which always subsided on their own. This was different; it would not go away. I tried EVERYTHING I found online.
“Because I wanted to solve the problem before it got the chance to become chronic. I had the typical “clown mouth” red and dry. I could barely move my lips they were so tight and dry and painful! And of course it looked absolutely ridiculous.
“I started out by putting ordinary lip balm on my lips which didn’t seem to be working. Later I found out that it was a little more than innocent chapped lips, but that it was actually a bacterial or fungal infection. So I started reading everywhere and tried tea tree oil first. I had that in my home, but it just stung and didn’t help at all for me.
“Then I tried vinegar; same story.
“I put loads of Nivea cream on it. That soothed the pain a little but did nothing for the infection obviously.
“Then I read about ordinary pharmacy hydrogen peroxide and started wiping my lips with that and let it dry and then I covered my lips with vaseline and left it on for as long as it would stay on. After every meal I wiped my lips with the hydrogen peroxide and put the vaseline on it.
“After 3 days all the redness of the “clown mouth” is gone! The redness is gone but my lips felt very tight this morning and dry but they looked very shiny, like new skin, but the new skin was very sensitive and tight. So this morning I started putting Udder Cream on my lips and every few hours I put new Udder cream on them. I recommend this instead of standard lip balm when you are recovering from angular cheilitis because the lip balm will dry out your lips while Udder Cream just soaks into your skin and is amazing. I was afraid to use it while still treating the infection because I didn’t want to ‘over-moisturize’ the infection. But afterwards I would recommend this.
“Before I forget, I also started taking vitamin B-complex and Magnesium (a mineral that’s good for about anything! We lose magnesium while under stress and angular cheilitis is often stress related or linked to low immune system.” D.L.
We must admit that we have never heard of this approach before, so we cannot recommend it. Here is a link to some other popular remedies for angular cheilitis (perleche or cracks at the corners of the mouth).