What is angular cheilitis and how is it treated?
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Cheilitis is a broad term that describes inflammation of the lip surface characterized by dry scaling and fissuring. Specific types are atopic, angular, granulomatous, and actinic. Angular cheilitis is commonly seen in primary care settings, and it specifically refers to cheilitis that radiates from the commissures or corners of the mouth. Other terms synonymous with angular cheilitis are perlèche, commissural cheilitis, and angular stomatitis. Evidence reveals that topical ointment preparations of nystatin or amphotericin B treat angular cheilitis (strength of recommendation [SOR]: A, 2 small placebo-controlled studies). Improving oral health through regular use of xylitol or xylitol/chlorhexidine acetate containing chewing gums decreases angular cheilitis in nursing home patients (SOR: B, 1 cluster randomized, placebo-controlled trial).
Journal of Family Practice, 54(5) 2005: 470-471.