Cheilitis on the lips is a common phenomenon; however, most cases are not even aware that the loss of the mucous membranes and the skin of the lips is a serious pathology. Cheilitis is a disease associated with an inflammatory process that affects not only the mucous membrane but also the red border of the lips. In addition, any abnormal change in the epithelial layer of the lips, which is happening due to the background of serious diseases of internal organs, or a sharp drop in immunity, can be also called cheilitis.
The location of damaged areas can’t be limited just to inflammation lips. In addition to the dislocation on the upper and lower lip, and the corners of the mouth (the so-called “angular cheilitis”), these inflammatory lesions may appear on the body in many areas, especially on mucous membranes.
The problem of it appearing exactly on the lips is due to the fact that they are deprived of the protective layer, thus they are constantly affected by an external negative impact, which leads to over-drying, the formation of microcracks, getting infections. By the way, be sure to download Jason White’s book “Angular Cheilitis Free Forever“. This guide represents a unique method of treatment of angular cheilitis at home.
Causes of formation
The reasons for the formation on the mucous membrane of the lips is the detrimental effect of the environment, sudden changes in temperature in winter and summer, leading to chapping, drying and cracking of the area. Excessive intake of spicy, hot, salty and acidic foods can also cause inflammation. In addition, the formation of cheilitis can be caused by the following reasons:
- Pore clogging with lanolin (wool wax of animals contained in lipsticks), leading to the formation of peeling, irritation and allergic reactions.
- Contact allergies and dermatitis arising from the contact of the lips with harmful chemicals.
- Endocrine system diseases, congenital and acquired immunodeficiencies.
- Lip lesions can also be caused by serious diseases such as lupus, herpes, and syphilis.
- Diseases that occur in the nervous system, such as psoriasis and eczema, can lead to more complications on the lips.
- There may be genetic causes of cheilitis, for example, during ichthyosis.
- The influence on the development of the inflammatory process can be as well as diseases of internal organs. There’re lots of cases of mouth lesions due to liver failure or in the gastrointestinal tract.
- The sharp decline in the body’s resistance to cancer or its treatment (during chemotherapy) also leads to a violation of the natural protection of the lips.
There are several different types of inflammations of the lips, each of which corresponds to some individual signs and symptoms. If we take an overall picture of cheilitis, typical symptoms for all kinds are the following:
- Patients often complain of dryness, burning, and peeling of the skin of the lips;
- For some types of cheilitis small painful blisters, sores and cracks may appear;
- The standard layout of the inflammation is limited to the mucosa and red border of the lips, but in some cases, it can spread to the surrounding tissues;
- During systemic diseases, painful plaques and purulent discharge may appear on the lips.
In the case of allergic reactions, inflammation can last several months; however, if the inflammation does not go away after six months, it is a reason to get tested and seek the cause of cheilitis in other diseases. There’s also the risk of the transition of the inflammatory process in the malignant tumor.
Cheilitis requires specific treatment depending on the type and the reasons for its formation. Many people, faced with this problem, have a reasonable question, – which doctor treats cheilitis. Oddly enough, but you need to contact your dentist. The most commonly prescribed treatment is zinc ointment. Depending on the complexity of the situation and the external manifestations of the disease, the doctor will explain to you what to smear the lesions and the frequency of them healing quickly.