Cracked skin on the corners of your mouth can get really embarrassing. Not to mention, they are terribly painful. But have you ever wondered, why do they happen? Well, there are several reasons to blame, including dehydration and deficiency of essential nutrients.
Called angular cheilitis medically, this is a condition where the lips become very dry, inflamed, or chapped. In extreme cases, they might bleed so it is important to understand the reason behind it and work on it to prevent it from happening again.
Few of the symptoms that might also occur with angular cheilitis include redness or swelling, burning sensation, pain and soreness. And these four reasons could be behind the cracked skin around the corners of your mouth.
1. Environmental factors
It is an undeniable fact that certain weather conditions make your skin go haywire. Extreme cold outside and dry indoor heating, exposure to harsh wind, or sun damage can have an equal role play angular cheilitis. So protecting yourself from such harsh conditions and taking good care of your lip area can help prevent this condition.
When your body is dehydrated your skin gets dehydrated too. If you are someone who sweats or urinates a little too much then keeping a track on your water intake is necessary. Because your body might get dehydrated, increasing your likelihood of angular cheilitis.
3. Dry mouth
If you feel your mouth is too dry and not enough saliva is being produced, then you are likely to develop angular cheilitis. Moreover licking your lips too much can also cause cracked corners.
4. Nutrient deficiency
A study published by the College of Family Physicians of Canada found that anaemia is linked to angular cheilitis. So, adequate iron intake is necessary. Moreover, deficiency of vitamin B and zinc are also linked with angular cheilitis. So, make sure you are not deficient of any vital nutrients.
Now that you know about the causes of angular cheilitis, let’s look at how you can prevent it:
Make sure when the weather is cold and dry you are keeping your lips and face properly moisturised. For that you can use either a good moisturiser and a lip balm, or petroleum jelly. This provides a protective layer to your skin which prevents moisture loss.
Further, it is equally important to stay hydrated especially during winters as we all tend to drink less water when the weather gets cold. Also, stop licking your lips please.
But even after doing all this, if the cracks keep on coming back then it is better to see a doctor to find the underlying cause.
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