Angular Cheilitis Vs. Cold Sores: Similar but Different Skin Conditions

People often mistake angular cheilitis for other mouth diseases such as cold sores. How can a person tell if they suffer from angular cheilitis Vs. cold sores?

Angular Cheilitis Vs. Cold Sores
Angular cheilitis or cold sores? The person above is suffering from cold sores

Both angular cheilitis and cold sores have distinct symptoms. Understanding the symptoms of angular cheilitis can help a person determine if he or she suffers from angular cheilitis vs. cold sores.

• Duration – one way to determine if a person suffers from angular cheilitis or cold sores is duration. Cold sores, caused by the oral herpes virus, usually last between 2-3 weeks. Angular cheilitis, caused by a fungal or bacterial infection in the mouth corners, can last longer than 2-3 weeks.

• Location – another way to determine if a person suffers from angular cheilitis or cold sores is location. Cold sores will usually appear directly on the lips at any location. Angular cheilitis affects only the corners of the mouth.

• Initiation – another way to tell the difference between cold sores and angular cheilitis is the way in which the condition appears. Cold sores will generally began as an itchy area on the lips that eventually manifests into a number of small blisters. An angular cheilitis outbreak will begin as dry and cracked skin at the corner of the mouth. If left untreated, angular cheilitis may turn into swollen, red sores at the corners of the mouth.

• Progression – the final way to differentiate between cold sores Vs. angular cheilitis is the condition’s progression. The small blisters of a cold sore will eventually become one large weeping blister. After reaching this stage, the cold sore will scab over and heal naturally. Upon reaching a severe stage, angular cheilitis will result in the mouth corners splitting further into open wounds that may bleed or develop into painful sores. These wounds will not heal on their own, and a person suffering from angular cheilitis should seek treatment.

The above information will enable you to tell the difference between angular cheilitis vs. cold sores as long as you engage in a methodical exploration, using keen powers of observation.