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Angular cheilitis - Oral Mucosal Lesion
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Angular cheilitis - Oral Mucosal Lesion

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Contributors: Carl Allen DDS, MSD, Sook-Bin Woo MS, DMD, MMSc
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Synopsis

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 B12, and folate deficiencies are predisposed to this condition, although these represent a much less common cause for angular cheilitis.

Codes

ICD10CM:
K13.0 – Diseases of lips

SNOMEDCT:
266429005 – Angular cheilitis

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Diagnostic Pearls

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Differential Diagnosis & Pitfalls

Best Tests

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Management Pearls

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Therapy

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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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References

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Last Updated: 05/29/2013
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Angular cheilitis - Oral Mucosal Lesion
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Angular cheilitis : Commissure of lips, Lip scaling
Clinical image of Angular cheilitis
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