Do you notice small cracks in the skin at the corners of your mouth? If yes, you may be suffering from an infection known as angular cheilitis or perleche. This is a common type of infection. And based on its cause, there are numerous ways of treating it.
What is Perleche?
Perleche is a term with a French origin, and it is derived from the French word “lecher,” which means to lick. This term describes cracks at the corner of your mouth once the skin in that area breaks open. That spot usually infected by yeast is known as Candida Albicans.
There may be a cause behind angular cheilitis; usually, the cause is either internal or is present around the mouth. It can also get triggered by diseases like cancer or diabetes, a general body infection, or iron or vitamin deficiencies. Suppose the infection is from inside the mouth. In that case, the cause can be reduced flow of saliva, inflammation of tissue under an unhygienic denture, excess pressure on the corners of the mouth caused by either bite collapse or other conditions that can increase the risks of an infection. Apart from that, wrinkling around the mouth, marionette lines or environmental conditions are common causes of crack formation.
The treatment of perleche or angular cheilitis mainly focuses on controlling the infection. The infection can be brought under control either with antifungal cream for corners of the mouth or oral antifungal or yeast attacking medicine. If the infection has spread itself into the throat or mouth, you will be prescribed other medicines. If the cause of the infection is related to dental problems such as missing teeth or ill-fitted dentures, then it is essential to get these treated as soon as possible.
Home remedies for cracked corners of the mouth
Various medicines are available to help treat this condition, and it is always beneficial to try out natural, effective remedies. Below is a list of remedies that help you treat this infection at home.
- Tea tree oil:
Tea tree oil possesses excellent anti-microbial properties. If the cause behind the crack formation at the corners of your mouth is a microbial infection, then tea tree oil can be helpful in the treatment. The anti-inflammatory and antifungal properties of the oil together will help you get rid of the infection and reduce the potential risks of inflammation.
For using it, you need to take a bowl and add 2 to 3 tablespoons of coconut oil to it. You have to add at least 3 to 4 drops of tea tree oil and mix it thoroughly. After that, apply the mixture to the affected areas of your mouth using a cotton bud. Do not rinse it. Let it sit and seep into your skin while healing your infection. You have to do this once or twice every day until it has healed.
- Castor oil:
Castor oil can speed up the process of recovery of angular cheilitis. Like tea tree oil, castor oil is also very rich in antibacterial properties. These properties are beneficial in promoting fast recovery if the infection is causing you constant discomfort and pain. In addition to that, castor oil can help prevent the risks of having dry skin, which also contributes to a faster recovery.
You can use this home remedy by pouring a few drops on a cotton pad. Apply that pad to the infected area, gently dab it and let the oil soak into your skin. Do these 2 to 3 times per day.
- Baking soda:
It is yet another effective way of treating angular cheilitis, and it will help you get rid of the painful cracked corners of your mouth. Baking soda contains antiseptic properties, which are very beneficial for getting rid of fungal infections, including the one we are talking about.
All you need to do is, add one tablespoon of this ingredient to a bowl. Add water and make a thick paste. Apply this to the infected corners of your mouth. Let it sit until completely dry. After it has dried completely, rinse it off with water. Dry it using a towel and apply moisturizer on the area to prevent it from getting more cracked.
- Aloe vera:
This ingredient doesn’t need any introduction. Its healing properties are known to all. Aloe vera is a versatile ingredient when it comes to healing skin issues. Aloe vera possesses anti-inflammatory, anti-microbial, soothing, and moisturizing properties. It can deal with dryness and prevent the spread of the infection to other parts of the mouth. You can use this ingredient either in its raw form or go for aloe vera gels.
It is straightforward to use this product; you need to apply it to the affected area. You have to apply it once or twice daily. In case of irritation, rinse the product immediately.
If the condition you are suffering from, i.e., angular cheilitis, is due to bacterial or fungal infection, then garlic can be used for its treatment. It can also help in improving the overall immunity of your body. Apart from that, it consists of anti-inflammatory and anti-microbial properties, which are essential to manage and prevent the infection from spreading. The most notable benefit of garlic is because of one of its active compounds, named allicin. This compound helps in coping with any fungal infection responsible for causing cracks.
You have to mince a few garlic cloves and then extract the juice from it to use it. Apply this freshly extracted juice to the affected area using a cotton bud. Let it stay for a few minutes. Once it dries, rinse it off. After that, you can apply a moisturizer to keep the area from getting dry. Do this 1 to 2 times every day.
This particular element is believed to have outstanding benefits in healing and promoting faster recovery of the sore. It is done with the help of the anti-microbial properties of coconut that contribute to getting rid of the bacteria. In addition, coconut oil also possesses anti-inflammatory properties, which help keep the inflammation under control. This ingredient can also be used as a moisturizer that can be applied to the sore to prevent dryness and reduce the chances of bleeding.
Using a cotton pad, you need to dab some virgin coconut oil on the area affected by the infection. Leave the oil on and let it seep into the skin, and apply it to your skin multiple times per day.
Although all these remedies are highly effective, you should still get your infection checked by a doctor. If your infection is severe, the doctor will give you an antifungal cream for the mouth, which will help treat the problem. One such cream is the Ketomac cream, which possesses antifungal properties and can be a handy yet highly effective treatment.