Angular cheilitis (also called perlèche, cheilosis, or stomatitis) is a condition with deep cracks and splits at the corners of the mouth. If severe, the splits or cracks may bleed when the mouth is opened and a shallow ulcer or a crust may form.
Possible causes of angular cheilitis include:
Infection. Fungal infections are the most common, but viral or bacterial infections can also occur.
Nutritional deficiency of vitamin B.
Over-closure of the mouth in someone who has been without teeth or dentures for some time.
In young children, the cracks and splits often begin with lip-licking, biting the corners of the mouth, or thumb-sucking.
Treatment depends on the cause and can include lip lubrication, antifungal and antibiotic medicine, vitamins, and dentures for a person without teeth.
Medical Review:William H. Blahd Jr. MD, FACEP - Emergency Medicine & Adam Husney MD - Family Medicine & Martin J. Gabica MD - Family Medicine & David Messenger MD - Emergency Medicine, Critical Care Medicine