Cracked Corners of Mouth, Sore, Splitting, Painful, Crusty, Causes, Angular Cheilitis, Remedy, Treatment

Cracked corners of mouth also known as angular cheilitis or perleche may be very painful, dry and sore. In some cases, side of mouth or corners keep splitting, cracking, red, become very dry, crusty, bleed and won’t heal. Corner of mouth cracks can be caused by dry weather, cold sores among many other factors discussed below. They may get worse in dehydrating weather conditions. Below are some remedies, home care and treatment of corner of mouth sores, tear and cracks.

Side of mouth cracks can be very painful. Depending on the underlying cause, this condition may heal on its own. A good example is when it is caused by cold sore. In some cases, sores at the corner of the mouth may keep coming back and may take even a longer time to heal.

Angular cheilitis can be controlled with the right care and treatment
Angular cheilitis can be controlled with the right care and treatment

Angular cheilitis may even take several months to completely heal depending on the causative factors. Home remedies can be used to treat and heal this condition. However, if the corners of your mouth keep getting dry, wont heal, won’t go away or keep coming back and bleeding, see your doctor for a proper checkup.

Readers may also look at;

  1. Cold sore scabs
  2. Roof of mouth sore
  3. Receding gums

Angular cheilitis

Angular cheilitis is simply another named used to refer to dry swollen inflamed corners of lips. Dry lips are a major cause of cracks at the corners of the mouth and the lips in general.

  • Cracks at the corners or on the lips may leave openings that may be used by bacteria or fungi to attack. When this happens, there is a high chance of having swollen lips.

A major sigh of infected cracks on the lips is when they become swollen, red, sore and painful. Dry lips may be treated at home but when it keeps swelling and become very sore, seek immediate medical attention.

Symptoms corner of mouth crack

Below are some early symptoms and related symptoms of cracked corners of mouth. When these symptoms are noted an earlier stage, split at the corners of mouth may be successfully controlled or avoided. Seek medical advice in case of severe complicated symptoms.

Cracked corners of mouth
Cracked corners of mouth
  1. Pain at the corners of mouth when yawning, eating or talking
  2. Dry skin at the corners of mouth
  3. Crusty like white substance keep settling at the corners of the mouth
  4. Sudden bad breath with pain at the corners of the mouth
  5. Swollen lips that appear inflamed than their usual size
  6. Continuous dry throats due to dehydration
  7. Dry lips that extend to the corners of the mouth

It is important to avoid biting, licking and scratching the itchy dry lakes at the corners of the mouth since this will cause blood to ooze out of the cracked sores. Leave them as they are as you work on treating them

Causes of cracked corners of mouth

Why are the corners of my mouth cracking up? Well there are several causes of those sores at the corners of the mouth. Causes may also be determined by an individual’s immune system and past allergy records. Below are some causes;

1. Cold sore

Cold sore is a common experience and is normally caused by the herpes simplex virus-HSV-1. Symptoms on the lips and on the sides of mouth will normally start with a tingling effect.

  • This may cause you to lick on the lips all the time with an urge to itch on them. Blisters are more likely to form after the minor symptoms.
  • These red blisters at their late stages tend to erupt and weep. When healing they will form scabs. These scabs are as a result of the discharge from the open blisters that are crusty when dry.
  • When the scabs are formed, there are high chances of experiencing a tear or crack at the corner of the mouth that is dry. This may cause pain when yawning, eating or talking.

Individuals with a well-balanced diet and good stable immune system will have cold sore clear on their own within three weeks. However, in severe cases doctors may recommend treatment after diagnosis of the major underlying cause.

2. Hyper-salivation

Drooling is a major cause of cracked corners of lips in babies
Drooling is a major cause of cracked corners of lips in babies

Hyper salivation is a condition were an individual tends to have excessive saliva production from the mouth. This will cause drooling as well. This saliva will tend to settle at the corners of the mouth during the day or while sleeping.

The saliva will definitely soak on the soft skin at the corners of the mouth causing the skin to become irritated. Eventually it will start to crack due to the constant irritation from soaking.

3. Breathing from the mouth

Breathing using the mouth all the time simply translates to having an open mouth all the time to aid in breathing. A good example is when you have a blocked nose from flu.

The continuous air flow through your mouth will cause you lops to dry up. The corners of the mouth will be more affected since they are soft and delicate.

4. Weather and dehydration

Dry and humid weather conditions will definitely cause the loss of water in large quantities from your body. Sudden change of weather may result in having cracked corners of mouth due to constant dehydration.

5. Allergy and irritants

Allergic reactions to certain food that may cause blisters and lesions on the mouth may leave you with cracked corners of the mouth.

Irritants like eating raw pineapples may cause flares at the corners of the mouth. Pineapples even when ripe are a major cause of cracked corners of the mouth in children because of their soft vulnerable skin.

Dentures may also leave you with cracked sores at the corners of mouth
Dentures may also leave you with cracked sores at the corners of mouth

6. Fungal and bacterial infections

Fungi commonly known as the candida albicans can cause this mouth condition. Bacterial infections may also cause this condition. Staph and Aureus bacteria are some of these causative bacteria.

  • This will in turn result in to cracks at the corner of the mouth that is painful, red and may even bleed. Bleeding depends on how deep they have infected the tear. You mays see more on yeast infection bumps

Unlike cold sores, they tend to take a longer duration to heal and in most cases only the right remedies and treatment will help them clear up faster.

7. Dentures

Irritants may also include dentures that are not well fit. It is advisable to re-visit your dentist in case you are having problems with dentures that are new since they are likely to cause contact dermatitis.

Uncomfortable dentures may make you want to keep your mouth open all the time. This in turn will definitely leave you with dry lips since you are breathing more through the mouth than the nose as required.

8. Old age

We all know that at some point in old age, you cannot avoid wrinkles. When wrinkles form around the corners of the mouth at old age, there are high chances of saliva accumulating in these area while talking, eating or sleeping.

The saliva will then tend to soak on the delicate skin leaving them sore dry and easy to irritate. When this happens they easily form cracked corners of mouth.

9. Dehydration

Dry lips and cracked corners of the mouth have dehydration as a major causative factor. The lips have a delicate soft layer that easily loose water in dry weather conditions or when exposed to concentrated solutions like whiskey.

cracked corners of mouth home remedies and care

Corner of mouth crack can be healed at home with the right care and essential treatment. When treating this condition at home, it is important to keep observing the effects of the home remedies and the healing trend.

If cracked corners of the mouth won’t go away and keep coming back, seek medical advice for a proper diagnosis. Below are some remedies you may use at home;

1. Lip balms

Some lip balms may irritate the lips while some may heal sore lips. use recommended ones
Some lip balms may irritate the lips while some may heal sore lips. use recommended ones

Recommended Lip balms will act as moisturizers and protect the sore lips from further damage. They will also help in speeding up the healing process.

Lip balms that have petroleum contents in them will help in retaining more moistures for both the lips and the corners of mouth. These that contain bees wax are also good in healing cracked corners of mouth.

2. Balanced Diet

Increase the intake of essential vitamins that are good in boosting your immune system and promote a healthy skin. Vitamin A will help in keeping away dry flaky skin and that explains why it is a common property in most of skin and body lotions.

  1. Taking foods that are rich in vitamin A, like sweet potato, carrots and leafy vegetables will help in boosting the immune system and help in fast and natural healing of cracked corners of mouth.
  2. Vitamin B complex is another good factor to consider. Oatmeal, eggs and rice among others are some of the best foods that are rich in this essential vitamin. Lack of vitamin B in your system will expose you to constant dermatitis and even hair lose.
  3. Vitamin C is another vital factor to consider adding in your diet. This is easily available in fruits, green leafy vegetables and bell peppers.
  4. Vitamin C will help in reducing the chances of cold sores that cause cracked corners of mouth. It will also fight and keep away wrinkles from your kin leaving you looking young with a soft vibrant skin.
  5. Vitamin E will also help in removing scars and keep away dry skin. Consider takin more spinach and olives in your diet to keep this in your body system.
  6. Vitamin K will also help in removing the dark bruise marks left by the scars after treating them. Consider the increase of dark leafy vegetables. Generally green leafy vegetables for that grocery near you might be the solution you keep ignoring.

According to webmd, “Research has found that vitamins C and E, as well as selenium , can help protect the skin against sun damage and skin cancer. And they may actually reverse some of the discoloration and wrinkles associated with aging”

3. Hydration

It is as simple as this, increase the intake of water to keep away cracked corners of mouth and to help in their fast healing. A void drinking too much when you know you cannot take water in the middle of your beer.

  • Drinking the recommended quantity of water on a daily basis is one of the best ways to keep all diseases at bay. One of the reasons why cracked corners of mouth happen is because of having an improper water level in the body

It is recommended that you drink between ten and twelve glasses of water each day as a way of keeping the body fully hydrated.

4. Scarfs

Scarfs will help a lot in harsh weather conditions like the winter. Exposing lips that are already cracked or delicate lips will leave them with more cracks.

Consider covering your lips with scarfs in harsh weather conditions. A good example where you should use scarfs is very sunny weather or dry windy weather conditions.

5. Olive Oil

Olive oil has for years been used in treating various skin diseases due to its rich antiseptic properties, as well as its capability to fight organisms that cause infections in the body.

Given the fact that it contains great moisturizing properties, olive oil can be used to treat this condition. All you are required to do is scoop some warm olive oil and proceed to apply it to the affected region two times each day.

You may also choose to add a few drops of lime juice before application to make it smoother.

6. Baking Soda

Cracked corners of mouth are also referred to as angular cheilitis. If you have this condition, you will find that baking soda will be of great help to you.

Baking soda is anti-inflammatory and reduces itchy sore lips
Baking soda is anti-inflammatory and reduces itchy sore lips


  1. measure a few teaspoons of baking soda and add in a small amount of water to it to make a paste
  2. Once the baking soda paste is ready, take it and apply it to the area that is affected
  3. You should leave it in that area for a few minutes
  4. After washing off the baking soda paste, you can apply a moisturizer to ensure that this portion will not dry up.

7. Cucumber

Cucumber is known for its cooling effect, which is vital when it comes to relieving pain associated with this particular condition.


  1. You will need to take a cucumber and proceed to cut it into thin slices.
  2. Place your cucumber slices in the fridge for refrigeration purposes
  3. Once refrigerated, take them and apply them on the area that is affected

8. Lemon

Lemon helps in reducing inflammation thanks to its antioxidant and anti-inflammation properties. You are required to cut your lemon into slices and apply a slice of lemon on the area that is affected.

Although it may cause a tingle and some irritation, using lemon helps in fighting off bacteria that may have started to build-up on the side of your lips

9. Coconut Oil

Coconut oil is one of the remedies relied on when treating angular cheilitis. A person suffering from this condition will need to take the coconut oil and apply to the affected region three times each day for optimal results.

The oil will act as a moisturizer and will remove any dryness that could be present on your lips. Coconut oil also works as an antifungal and antibacterial agent, a fact that makes it the best cure for this condition.

10. Cocoa Butter

Cocoa butter acts as an excellent moisturizer this is a proven fact. As such, instead of relying on lip balms to keep your lips moisturized, you should instead choose to apply cocoa butter, and within no time, you will start to notice a drastic change in the condition of your lips.

11. Petroleum Jelly

Applying some Vaseline on sore dry lips
Applying some Vaseline on sore dry lips

Compared to other beauty products available in the market, Vaseline petroleum jelly stands out from the rest, as it is free from all types of chemicals.

  • Applying Vaseline to your lips four times a day will help eliminate the dryness and the cracks present at the corners of your mouth.

Vaseline works by preventing contact between your lips and air, and this stops bacterial growth from taking place, which then lessens the pain being experienced.

9. Moisturizers and Lip Balms

You can use unflavored and unscented moisturizers and lip balms to help relieve the pain present in the areas that have a split. This will also help in healing burning cracked corners of mouth.

You ought to always remember that any lip balm or moisturizer selected should not have any chemicals on it, as this may make the situation on your lips worse.

10. Homemade Mixture of essential oils

To help fill in the slits at the mouth corners, you may choose to prepare a mixture at home. You can do so as follows:


  1. Obtain two teaspoons of tea tree oil, a single teaspoon of vitamin E oil or capsule, as well as half a teaspoon of petroleum jelly
  2. Place the above ingredients in a single container and mix them thoroughly until you form a good
  3. Apply the homemade mixture to the slits at least four times a day

11. Rubbing Alcohol

Rubbing alcohol is effective when it comes to fighting infections and killing bacteria. Therefore, if the slits on your mouth have been caused by a bacterial infection, you can use a cotton ball to rub some alcohol into the slit

Although the rubbing alcohol will hurt at first, it will help in fighting the bacterial infection, thereby stopping any further harm.

12. Glycerin

It is capable of moisturizing the lips for a very long time, without causing any kind of side effects. Additionally, it can easily be purchased at any medical store without the need for a prescription.

The glycerin should be applied three times each day to help in moisturizing your lips, while also helping heal the cracks present.

13. Food Rich in Vitamin B

According to some studies, one of the main causes of cracked corners of mouth is a deficiency of vitamin B. As such, consuming a diet rich in vitamin B vegetables and fruits such as carrots, tomatoes, and spinach will help in curing your cracked corners.

To avoid a recurrence, you should consider drinking apple juice and tomato soup on a regular basis.

Almonds are rich in natural Vitamin B
Almonds are rich in natural Vitamin B

14. Yogurt

Yogurt is another effective treatment that can be used to address this condition. It contains live bacteria and should be applied at the corners of your mouth overnight.

If bacteria have caused the condition, refrain from using yogurt on your skin surface as it may make the condition worse.

15. Apple Cider Vinegar

ACV contains antibacterial and antifungal properties, making it an ideal solution for use with angular cheilitis.

It has cleansing properties that help in cleaning the skin and in preventing further expansion of angular cheilitis.

You should not use ACV directly on your skin as it may cause some irritation. You must, therefore, dilute it before use.

16. Major Misconception

Angular chelinitis may keep coming back causing the skin at the corners of the mouth to dry up and look flaky. In some cases, this may affect only one side of your mouth while in others, it causes sores on both corners of the mouth

  • There are several misconceptions that it is normally one of the signs of HIV. It is a fact that HIV will cause one to be vulnerable to several attacks on the skin and the body in general.
  • Having Angular cheilitis does not mean you have HIV unless you have taken the recommended standard HIV test to ascertain this.

Sores and crakes in corner of mouth Treatment

Medical treatment will only be done after the doctor has found an underlying cause of this condition. It is advised to avoid using over the counter drugs due to the fact that there are several causes to this condition.

  • Antibacterial and Antifungal creams may be prescribed when the cause of cracked corners of mouth is found to be from either a fungal or a bacterial infection. This will also help in killing yeast infections that may have cause cracked corners of the mouth to keep splitting.

According to wikipedia, “Most cases of angular cheilitis respond quickly when antifungal treatment is used. In more long standing cases, the severity of the condition often follows a relapsing and remitting course over time. The condition can be difficult to treat and can be prolonged.”

  • Vitamin supplements may be prescribed to these that are found to have a weak immune system as the major cause. The recommended Vitamins will help in boosting your body’s immune system to fight of further infections. This is also good for sore in corner of mouth that wont heal.

Hydrocortisone may also be prescribed in cases of inflammation this will help in reducing the swelling and sores at the corners of the mouth.

According to deardoctor “If infection arises from inside the mouth, it is likely to recur if only the corners of the mouth are treated. Chlorhexidine rinses can also be used to treat minor oral yeast infections. It is also effective for cleaning and scrubbing dentures; however, it is important to leave them out at night”

Some of the reasons that cause sore dry lips may also extend to the corners of the mouth. See more about this here Sore Lips

Below is a video shading light on cracked corners of the mouth;




  1. Your lips can become chapped and dry when they’re exposed to the sun, wind or cold air. A lip balm containing petroleum or beeswax will provide a barrier and help seal in moisture.


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