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Angular Cheilitis
Aug 27, 1999

I have been searching for more information on this condition but have been unable to come up with more than a brief medical description. Can I expect it to regress permanently or is it like herpes (treatable ongoing outbreaks)? Will it get worse? Do I need to change my diet? What are the main causes? I would appreciate direction to additional resources.

Response from Dr. Reznik

Angular cheilitis is a reactive process with several possible causes, including infections, mechanical, nutritional deficiency, and dry mouth. Angular cheilitis in immunocompromised individuals is usually the result of a fungal infection caused by Candida albicans. The presence of angular cheilitis in immunocompetent elderly individuals is significantly associated with the use of defective dentures.

Angular cheilitis is normally treated with the use of topical antifungal creams or ointments such as Nizoral cream, directly applied to the affected areas four times a day for a period of two weeks.

Will it get worse? This depends if the underlying condition has been addressed. For people living with HIV/AIDS, we have observed a decrease in the incidence of this condition when the viral load is decreased and T-cell count rises. In the case of denture wearers, this condition can be addressed by fabricating new dentures and treating the infection. If your condition is caused by a nutritional deficiency, then by all means visit your physician/nutritionist to address this issue.

Take care,

DR


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