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Why are my lips getting dry and flaky?

Q: My lips are getting dry and the skin colour changes to that of dry blood. This happens only in the two corners and the size of the spot is approximately 2 mm. I do not have a history of flaking lips. This has suddenly started during the last week. I have not tried using any lypsil stuff. Please advise.

A:Cheilitis generally is dryness and often an uncomfortable sensation of the lips with scaling and cracking, and accompanied by a characteristic burning sensation. For all we know you could be suffering from Angular Cheilitis. It is a condition with deep cracks and splits at the corners of the mouth. If severe, the splits or cracks may bleed when the mouth is opened and a shallow ulcer or a crust may form. Possible causes of angular cheilitis include:

  • Infection - Fungal infections are the most common, but viral or bacterial infections can also occur.
  • Nutritional deficiency of vitamin B.
  • Over-closure of the mouth in someone who has been without teeth or dentures for some time.
  • Contact allergy
  • Atopic or seborrhoeic dermatitis
  • Iron deficiency Treatment depends on the cause and can include lip lubrication, antifungal and antibiotic medication, vitamins (especially Vit.B complex), and dentures for a person without teeth.

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