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Angular cheilitis - Oral Mucosal Lesion
Other Resources UpToDate PubMed

Angular cheilitis - Oral Mucosal Lesion

Contributors: Carl Allen DDS, MSD, Sook-Bin Woo MS, DMD, MMSc
Other Resources UpToDate PubMed


Angular cheilitis (perlèche) is a chronic inflammatory condition of the corners of the mouth (commissures) that is usually associated with a candidal or staphylococcal infection. The areas are generally slightly painful. The condition tends to last from days to months, depending on whether the patient seeks treatment. There may be concomitant intraoral candidiasis

Patients with diabetes mellitus, those who are immunocompromised, and those who have undergone head and neck radiation are prone to develop oral candidiasis, including angular cheilitis. 

Patients who wear dentures that do not adequately support the facial musculature are also prone to develop angular cheilitis. Patients will have accentuated folds at the corners of the mouth, leading to wicking of the saliva onto what is normally dry skin. The moist keratin acts as substrate that encourages fungal and bacterial growth.

Patients with iron;vitamin B2, B3, B6, or B12; zinc; or folate deficiencies are predisposed to this condition, although these represent a much less common cause for angular cheilitis.

Related topics: cheilitis, actinic cheilitis, exfoliative cheilitis, granulomatous cheilitis


K13.0 – Diseases of lips

266429005 – Angular cheilitis

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Drug Reaction Data

Below is a list of drugs with literature evidence indicating an adverse association with this diagnosis. The list is continually updated through ongoing research and new medication approvals. Click on Citations to sort by number of citations or click on Medication to sort the medications alphabetically.

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Last Updated:07/17/2023
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Patient Information for Angular cheilitis - Oral Mucosal Lesion
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Angular cheilitis - Oral Mucosal Lesion
A medical illustration showing key findings of Angular cheilitis : Commissure of lips, Lip scaling
Clinical image of Angular cheilitis - imageId=2172451. Click to open in gallery.  caption: 'Fissured pinkish and brown papules at the oral commissures.'
Fissured pinkish and brown papules at the oral commissures.
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