This was the first winter I have really suffered with dry, cracked corners of the mouth in addition to really chapped lips. It got to the point where it was painful to talk, eat and drink, and the effect was not so pretty looking.
I had no idea how my chapped lips became so severe.
After doing a bit of research, I found out that there’s a name for what’s going on with my mouth: Angular Cheilitis.
It’s not related to cold sores or herpes, which I was relieved to find out. It’s actually bacteria that can become fungal in nature because its breeding ground is the saliva that collects at the corners of the mouth. As a result, it can be pretty difficult to get rid of because that particular area is always moist even when the lips feel dry. Plus, the more our lips feel dry, the more we tend to lick them, which just continues the problematic cycle.
It’s important before reading any further that you understand I’m not a doctor, and what I’m about to share was a self-diagnosis and treatment plan that worked on me. (Please read the Green Beauty Team Disclaimer)
To that point of me not being a doctor, I will admit that the word “fungal” grosses me out entirely. I kept having the image that fuzzy, green mold would appear on my mouth like food gone bad.
Luckily there’s no green mold, but there’s nothing cute about dry, cracked lips either.
What causes Angular Cheilitis?
I found out that most people who get Angular Cheilitis have poorly fitting dentures, nutritional deficiencies, loose folds of skin at the mouth edges, engage in pen sucking, nail biting or are exposed to extremes of weather.
I fall into the categories of extreme weather and, I will confess, occasional nail biting. (My mother will shiver when she reads this.)
Here are my remedies for chapped lips that got my mouth back to normal in almost 48 hours
1. Sleep with a humidifier on in the bedroom and drink more water.
2. Avoid touching the mouth with hands or licking lips.
3. Avoid eating dairy or anything spicy.
4. Use an antibacterial ointment three times per day in the corners of the mouth to combat the bacteria rascals. I used a colloidal silver called “Sovereign Silver First Aid Gel”.
5. Apply a lip balm with a coconut oil base, which is naturally antibacterial. My favorite is RMS Beauty’s Vanilla Lip Balm.
6. Be diligent about taking B-complex and multi-vitamins regularly.
A happy ending and bonus perks
Not only have these six steps done wonders to relieve my symptoms and quickly heal my skin, but they’re also good bits of advice for keeping lips soft and kissable during dry winter months, with general immune boosting and anti-inflammatory benefits!
Restraining from touching your mouth with your hands is a super effective way to stave off illness.
Keeping vitamins coursing through your system will also help your body fight illness.
Avoiding dairy is important because it contributes to inflammation in the skin, which plays a part in creating wrinkles, acne and inflaming raw, cracked mouths.
It turns out that I have not only managed to solve my “cracked corner” dilemma, but I may have also staved off some blemishes, wrinkles and illness while I’m at it. Those are side effects that I can get excited about!