When Candida infects the lips and mouth, it develops a condition known as, “angular cheilitis.” Characterized by symptoms of swelling and redness around the edge of the lips and the corners of the mouth, angular cheilitis causes irritation and mild pain symptoms that many people confuse with a case of chapped lips.
However, angular cheilitis infection is very different from normal inflammation of the lips associated with dehydration and overexposure. The affected individual may notice cracking on the corners of the mouth that may lead to bleeding and further infection.
In mo0st cases or chapped lips, licking the lips will help moisturize the skin, and lip balm helps to soothe symptoms. However, people with angular cheilitis infection may find that licking their lips makes the condition worse.
In most cases, the swelling and inflammation only last a few days, and affected individuals make a full recovery without the use of medications. Here are eight surprising causes of angular cheilitis.
1. Saliva Buildup
People that lick their lips frequently throughout the day may cause a buildup of saliva in the corners of their mouths. This situation provides the ideal environment for the growth and spread of bacteria and fungus that cause angular cheilitis.
Those people who are living with an oral thrush infection are also at high risk of developing angular cheilitis infection as well. When the bacteria or fungi that are causing the thrush spread to the lips, it causes them to dry out, resulting in a burning sensation along the rim of the lip and corners of the mouth.
Typically, when your lips are dry, licking them will help to moisturize the skin, and stop them for drying out further. However, with angular cheilitis infection, licking your lips provides no relief, and may exacerbate your symptoms as you spread more bacteria or fungi into the infected area. As symptoms progress, the lips and corners of the mouth start to crack, causing pain and bleeding.