Angular Chelitis or Chapped lips?

Question

Hi Dr. Feinberg,

I have recently been having problems with minor cracking at the corners of my mouth. I have read this can be caused by a fungal infection and is called Angular Chelitis and occurs much more frequently in HIV+ people. However, in my case it goes away in a day or two after applying chapstick. If it were due to fungal infection and a weakened immune system I'm assuming it wouldn't disappear that quickly. Is this a fair assessment? Can I leave it at simply chapped lips or is there something more there? Much thanks!

Answer

Angular cheilitis is just cracking at the corners of the mpouth. Most often this is due to candidiasis, a fungal infection, but it can also be due to herpes or to chapping. If it goes away with chapstick, i wouldn't be concerned about it.