How to Spot When It's More Serious Than Just Chapped Lips

Chapped lips are frequently met and are not a serious health issue. However, in some cases, similar symptoms can point to a more serious disease. It is important to be able to recognize the symptoms pointing to something more serious.

What Are Chapped Lips?

Chapped lips are when the skin on the lips is cracked, and may be caused by weather or the constant licking of the lips. The condition is easily treatable by applying moisturizer to the lips and by avoiding wind and licking and biting of the lips. However, if the condition doesn’t seem to improve and there are additional symptoms, a more serious infection may be present.

Symptoms of a More Serious Condition

Chapped lips can show similar symptoms as angular cheilitis. This is a skin condition that is difficult to treat and can be highly aggressive.

Angular cheilitis is caused by infectious agents such as bacteria or yeast cells. The symptoms that point to a more serious condition include:

  • No response to regular chapped lips treatments such as lip balm and cortisone cream
  • Excessive swelling
  • Formation of pus
  • Pain when touching the lips
  • Bleeding of lips
  • Bad odor of the lips

A dermatologist should be consulted to establish a diagnosis and a suitable treatment. The affected area should be kept dry, so that the bacteria and fungi will be killed. These infectious agents thrive in moist areas. The condition may persist, but can be treated.

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