Torn Corners of the Mouth: Treatment and Causes Explained

Torn corners of the mouth are not only a visual problem, they can also be painful. Various factors can cause the corners of your mouth to crack. We explain what these are and what really helps with torn corners of the mouth. 

For some people, torn corners of the mouth only appear in winter, if at all, while others suffer from them again and again throughout the year. The cracks in the sensitive skin of the lips are usually a temporary problem, but they can burn, become inflamed, and a crust can form. Various factors can cause the angular cheilitis.

Causes of torn corners of the mouth

The skin on the lips is particularly sensitive because it is thinner on this part of the body, has no protective film of fat, and neither sebum nor sweat glands. For this reason, the skin on the lips dries out quickly and can even tear, creating what is known as the corner of the mouth. Anything that puts a lot of stress on the skin of the lips can cause the corners of the mouth to tear. These include cold, heating air, a lack of fluids, a weakened immune system, or a cold. Likewise, incorrectly fitting dentures, braces, or tooth loss can be responsible for the discomfort.

A vitamin deficiency can also be the trigger for torn corners of the mouth. These include iron, zinc, vitamin C, and vitamin B2 deficiencies. Torn corners of the mouth can also appear as a symptom of an infection with the yeast Candida albicans or herpes infection.

Since the corners of the mouth are subject to a lot of stress in everyday life, for example when brushing your teeth or laughing, the injuries can tear again and again, which slows down healing. Since viruses, bacteria, and fungi can quickly get into the cracks in the skin of the lips, there is also the risk of inflammation, which can develop into a long-term problem. So if your torn corners of your mouth don't heal or keep coming back, then you should see a doctor.

For a short time, the symptoms of torn corners of the mouth can be relieved with special creams and ointments. Ingredients such as dexpanthenol, chamomile or sage can, for example, inhibit inflammation and relieve pain. Home remedies such as olive oil and honey can also help: the olive oil moisturizes dry skin, and the honey has anti-inflammatory and antibacterial properties. Avoid spicy, acidic or particularly salty foods, as the contact can hurt and inflame further. If your lip skin is dry or even torn, you should definitely refrain from moistening the lips with saliva - even if it is difficult. The saliva provides short-term relief, but it causes the skin to dry out even more in the long term. Also, pat the corners of your mouth dry with a clean cloth after eating. In addition, the respective cause should be treated. If there is an existing vitamin deficiency, vitamin supplements can be taken, for example. 

If you want to prevent torn corners of your mouth, you should regularly avoid risk factors and care for your lips. Special lip care creams or sticks are suitable for this. 

Torn corners of the mouth: Illnesses can promote the development

Certain chronic diseases that stress the skin or lead to increased salivation can promote the development of torn corners of the mouth. These include allergies, skin diseases such as neurodermatitis, diabetes, liver diseases, or Parkinson's.

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