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Beauty Banter

Corners of mouth very dry, peely and tender - what can I use?

Started 1327491633.983 in Beauty Banter | Last reply 1328067847.07 by KayinMN

I never had this problem before. The corners of my mouth are very dry, red, and the skin is so dry I have little flakes. I always wear lipstick and/or balm, but lately it's as though I have no moisture left and this area is completely dehydrated. Does anyone ever experience this? If so, what can be done or used to correct it?

Any time I have ever tried to use a product that is a little more emollient than my usual lotion around my mouth or lip area because I am beginnng to get those dreaded vertical lines, I get blemishes. Even though I am old!!! {#emotions_dlg.sad} It's like a catch 22 or something!

I'd really appreciate your help! It's driving me crazy and is not only uncomfortable but very unattractive as well! Thank you!

"A day without sunshine is like, you know, night." - Steve Martin.

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lovestotea­ch1327491871.8114499 PostsRegistered 1/2/2009DFW Metroplex, Tx

You might try dabbing a little mineral oil on the cracks only. (or vaseline) Then seal it with your favorite gloss or chapstick, whatever. I use Clinique lip plumper which is very gooey, but it sticks and takes care of my peeling, chapping lips. It doesn't "bleed" over the edges of my lips, either, and maybe because of the consistency, it discourages my usual biting of lips. HTH

Loves ~ dancin' & prancin' ~ ♥ ♥ ♥

NP871327491969.1171228 PostsRegistered 1/9/2012

You have a Vitamin C deficiency. Take some tablets and use a good lip cream or chap stick that is emollient.



I Am

AngelPuppy11327492165.838678 PostsRegistered 5/26/2008

Thanks, lovestoteach. Maybe I will try a little vasoline. In all my years of terrible, nasty cold weather, etc., I have never had this problem! The Clinique lip plumper sounds good, too. I not only need some relief from it, but I want to hault this problem. I don't bite my lips at all, but maybe I do when I'm sleeping or something and don't know it!

"A day without sunshine is like, you know, night." - Steve Martin.

AngelPuppy11327492250.698678 PostsRegistered 5/26/2008

NP87: Really? Could this be what it is? I was wondering if I could be deficient in something but I take all kinds of supplements. I do not take Vitamin C though. I will definitely try that. Thank you so much!

"A day without sunshine is like, you know, night." - Steve Martin.

scottygal1327495655.441839 PostsRegistered 4/6/2006

Angular chelosis can be caused by a vit. B deficiency. It could also be a fungus ( sounds gross but very common) or a reaction to Sodium Lauryl Sulfate in your toothpaste. Ask your dentist. If it is fungal he can provide you with a RX.

Dusty11327502352.983896 PostsRegistered 5/21/2006

It could be something as simple as a tooth paste (especially whitening products) or mouth rinse. It could also be a lip balm/lipstick/gloss causing the problem. I would consider all of them, to see if there may be a cause.

LostGirl1327503110.535023 PostsRegistered 10/22/2009

ANGELPUPPY - It does sound like angular cheilitis. It's fungal, similar to a yeast infection. It flares up on me during colder weather and started to get very bad this year. After reading up on it, I used some of the leftover mystatin cream that I had - applied it twice a day, for about 2-3 days. After it healed, I just keep A&D ointment on the corners of my mouth whenever possible. So far, so good.

Really skcus, doesn't it?

"Guys, where are we?"

Sebastian1327503623.563269 PostsRegistered 1/22/2011

Angel, I have always had very dry lips but this winter, for the first time, have experienced severely cracked mouth corners. What has worked for me is this~I used polysporin on the corners for a couple of days/nights and now I faithfully apply vaseline every night and throughout the day when I am home. After I brush my teeth and after my daily glass of oj, I take a warm washcloth and wipe my mouth and dry. If you ingest anything acidic, possibly the remnants may be exacerbating your already dry condition. I thought it was cheilitis and was prepared for a trip to the dr but the above has solved my dilemma. Also, I started drinking more water as I have a tendency to not drink adequate amounts. I agree with above poster, toothpaste and lip balms can make things worse. Trial and error.

Sassenach11327504390.874498 PostsRegistered 12/3/2005

Try Neosporin and Aquaphor to heal, then Aquaphor to prevent. Aquaphor it my go-to for lip dryness.

GoodStuff1327504566.64714829 PostsRegistered 11/11/2008

The first thing I'd try is putting some antibiotic ointment (Like Neosporin or Polysporin) on the affected area several times a day. It's very common for bacteria to get into dry, cracked skin, which can cause inflammation and soreness, and the antibiotic cream should help if that's the case. If that doesn't help, try applying some Lotrimin (antifungal) cream, because a fungal infection is also a possibility. Lotrimin is available in your drugstore where foot care/athlete's foot products are kept.

If you're eating a good, balanced diet with plenty of fruits and vegetables it's very unlikely that you have a Vitamin C deficiency serious enough to cause this problem.

Sooner1327504785.48314859 PostsRegistered 10/6/2004

I had a similar problem and switched to natural toothpaste. It was gone in two days and everything is fine now.

Iwantcoffee1327507514.9772694 PostsRegistered 11/28/2006

I use Aquaphor healing ointment advanced therapy. Aquaphor makes one product just for lips but this is not the one I use.

Last edited on 1/25/2012

Last edited on 1/25/2012

katkitty1327507735.1834722 PostsRegistered 12/12/2007
On 1/25/2012 NP87 said:

You have a Vitamin C deficiency. Take some tablets and use a good lip cream or chap stick that is emollient.

A vitimin B deficency will do that too. Stress is just one factor that causes vit B to be depleted.

Do you use retin? Sometimes retin will do that if you put it by the corners of your mouth.

Also, are you drinking enough water everyday?

Last edited on 1/25/2012

Last edited on 1/25/2012

JustPeachy1327508568.41048 PostsRegistered 5/16/2008
On 1/25/2012 Sassenach1 said:

Try Neosporin and Aquaphor to heal, then Aquaphor to prevent. Aquaphor it my go-to for lip dryness.

Yep, Yep my routine exactly only I add Lotrimin (yes, its for athletes foot/fungus) and in a day its gone. I had this problem and I cant tell you how many treatments I tried before I found this one.

Before bed I put all 3 on my finger and rub it all over my lips, especially the corners. In the am its usually gone. When I see it starting again I dab the trio on and within a day its gone.

monet1327514964.445178 PostsRegistered 6/8/2007

Many good suggestions.

Only thing that I will add is that this happened to me once and it was due to camphor in many of lip conditioners. As soon as I stopped using the lip balms, it disappeared. My doc told me to use vitamin E from a capsule. Break it and put it on the lips. Didn't see any improvement with the vitamin E but it might work. Use capsules they are sterile. Vitamin E in bottle is not. He told me vit E is great for chapped lips also.

Rochester ­Shopper1327515327.3534922 PostsRegistered 7/20/2011Michigan

I hope you feel better soon!

Last edited on 2/2/2012

Last edited on 2/2/2012

~Be kinder than necessary, for everyone is fighting a battle.~
~My Grandma's motto: Is it nice, is it true, would you like it said of you?~

Quinny1327516518.052433 PostsRegistered 1/21/2009

I've had this same problem for the last 2 years and have been at a loss as to how to handle it. I haven't gone to the derm because I know there is ALWAYS an Rx for "something" and the derm will be more than happy to write me one. I already have to take 6 other meds. per day for another chronic illness and I DON"T want to introduce one more chemical into my body. I've been taking the meds. for 16 years and didn't have the problem until 2 years ago, so I don't think it's from them.

This problem makes wearing lipstick impossible because the lipstick wants to collects into the peely corners of me mouth.

I am going to go the Aquaphor route. It just occurred to me that my five year old grandson has seriously chronic dry skin. His pediatrician advised my daughter to "grease" him down in Aquaphor befroe her gets pajamas on and he sleeps in it. The difference in his skin is so improved.

I have wondered about my toothpaste as a cause as well.

ibb381327516755.94712246 PostsRegistered 10/6/2004
On 1/25/2012 AngelPuppy1 said:

Thanks, lovestoteach. Maybe I will try a little vasoline. In all my years of terrible, nasty cold weather, etc., I have never had this problem! The Clinique lip plumper sounds good, too. I not only need some relief from it, but I want to hault this problem. I don't bite my lips at all, but maybe I do when I'm sleeping or something and don't know it!

Vaseline around the mouth might break you out- I extend lip balms all around my mouth this time of year. It's extra dry out!! But I only use lip products that don't contain petro (as in vaseline) or mineral oil. Breakouts around your mouth are the worst!!

Carol's Daughter lip butter is a wonderful product!!!

Last edited on 1/25/2012

Last edited on 1/25/2012

tiamaria1327517667.2972578 PostsRegistered 7/25/2006

This happens to my son and the only thing that we found that helps is Aquaphor. I don't know about the vitamin C theory...my son has a chewable vitamin C tablet every day along with his regular multivitamin that he takes every morning.

Desilu1327525931.78762 PostsRegistered 10/14/2010
Mineral powdered products can dry out the corners of your mouth.

CAshopper2­0111327528364.2773445 PostsRegistered 12/20/2009
Is it "cracked" in the corners of your mouth? I had this happen and googled a remedy. I cannot remember the name I the condition but th cure I found to work overnight was a cotton ball soaked in rubbing alcohol applied for as long as you could hold it (5 minutes) flowed by a cotton ball soaked in peroxide again for 5 minutes. Try doing this at least once today before you go to sleep tonight an see if it looks better by morning. You could do the "routine" a couple of times each day but it worked for me after only one treatment. Whatever bacteria is causing it will be killed by the peroxide and alcohol.

beechy1327530501.01262 PostsRegistered 1/24/2010

I've had that a couple of times. Once I had used a new lipstick and the other time was a new lip conditioner. Apparently it was an ingredient that caused my problem. I used Campho-Phenique and it cleared it up.

AngelPuppy11327577618.6078678 PostsRegistered 5/26/2008

Oooow, I hope I don't have that fungus thing you mentioned!!! I will try some of the things you all mentioned. I see that this is a fairly common complaint. I don't want to run to the dr. for it if I don't I have to. I'm like some of you here -- I have so many other ailments and take many meds, so I'd rather not add another one to it if I don't have to.

Also, you're right about lipstick. You certainly can't wear it when your lips are all peely and dried out. I look so pale without it but I am more concerned about getting my lips in a healthy condition. Plus, it is uncomfortable!

I don't understand how I got this. I am very diligent about keeping my lips moisturized and drinking a lot of water and eating healthy with lots of fruits and vegetables. Perhaps the fact that I am not in the greatest of health has left me vulnerable to this though.

Those of you who have mentioned Aquaphor products, could you please elaborate? It sounds as if some of you are using more than one product? Could you please post the particular ones you are using? I have heard the name before but am not familiar with the products.

I thank you all for your posts and if one thing doesn't work, I will try another!

"A day without sunshine is like, you know, night." - Steve Martin.

dperry1327578596.5131775 PostsRegistered 12/13/2008On the Chesapeake Bay, MD
On 1/25/2012 Sassenach1 said:

Try Neosporin and Aquaphor to heal, then Aquaphor to prevent. Aquaphor it my go-to for lip dryness.

Yes, I have this too and my doctor told me to use Aquaphor. My dry cracked corners are caused by allergies. My lips blow up and swell and when they go down the skin is cracked and flakes. Unfortunately my allergist does not know what I am allergic too. It is very painful.

rnmomma1327590217.59671 PostsRegistered 12/31/2009Northeast OHIO

I have had this problem for years. I am in my late thirties. My dermatoligist suggested it may be my toothpaste. Todays toothpastes are so strong and can be harmful to delicate skin. I have been rinisng the area around my mout with cool water after brushing. The flaking has decreased. I have also made sure to exfoliate at least once per week. I follow with serum and a good thick moisturizer focusing on the drier areas.

You may not want to exfoliate quite yet. I would get the area calmed. Pick up some Eucerin calming lotion or the Eucerin Aquaphor. Apply twice daily to a freshly cleaned face. The Aquaphor is very thick and quite healing.

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