Angular Cheilitis Myths Exposed: Is Cheilitis Really Contagious, Transferable Through Kissing, or …
Angular cheilitis seems to be like the proverbial red-headed stepchild that does not get the same degree of attention as other problematic skin conditions, such as acne, cold sores, and rashes. But thousands of folks get cheilitis on a monthly basis and it’s especially disconcerting when one experiences his/her first bout of the infection. Information gleaned on the Internet may not be thorough, accurate, or even reassuring.
This is why we started the site – to enlighten folks on angular cheilitis, and objectively analyze and evaluate the latest research on the skin condition and present it in a digestible, easy-to-read manner for our visitors. In our copious study of perleche, there are several key myths that need to be addressed and unmasked.
For example, we’ve read many forum posters erroneously indicate that perleche is viral in nature. Again, cheilitis is not caused by a systematic virus but by truculent bacteria or fungi, perhaps exacerbated by other factors, such as saliva irritants, vitamin and mineral deficiencies, an unhealthy diet, and loose or ill-fitting dentures. It seems probable that the symptoms of cold sores, which indeed spring forth from the herpes simplex virus, can easily be confused with the look of perleche. As such, folks may assert that there is a viral component to cheilitis when one does not exist.
Another myth that seems to have some traction is that angular cheilitis is dangerous. Let’s unequivocally squash that fallacy. Chelitis is not an ominous, life-threatening infection that will impact the quantity of your years. On the other hand, it may very well affect the quality of your life, at least until the symptoms vanish. For those not blessed with a strong sense of confidence and self-esteem, perleche can exert an emotional toll.
Still, while you may feel embarrassed (you may get a sense that people are constantly looking at your mouth), it probably will not even leave a scar – another myth that needs to be debunked. Although we’ve addressed the topic of scars, most folks may only suffer such after-effects if they have severe cheilitis or create a cycle of scabbing by continuing to scratch it. Remember, mom’s advice: Keep your hands off your face and that includes your mouth.
Now if you or a loved one has perleche, you’re ruminating over the questions: Is angular cheilitis contagious? Can you get angular cheilitis from kissing?
While we’ve stated our contention that cheilitis is not contagious on other areas of this website, we should really be more thorough in our response. Unlike cold sores which can easily be spread from person to person, ‘cross contamination’ is typically not associated with cheilitis. You’re not vulnerable to the infection if you’re just speaking to someone with the condition or you’re in close proximity.
But if you’re specifically addressing the concern that kissing a perleche sufferer will make your lips inflamed, we still espouse the notion that you’ll be safe. However, it is not beyond the realm of possibility that you’ll now experience perleche first-hand. Here is one negative possibility. The other person’s cheilitis may erupt from Staphylococcus aureus bacteria and the resulting staph infection can spread to you. However, there seems to only be a very small chance of such an occurrence, and can only happen if you have a break in the skin or some sought of mmunodeficiency.
Of course, this begs the question of why do you want to kiss someone who has an unsightly infection on the mouth? However, attraction aside, it just seems like good, old-fashioned common sense to refrain from kissing and even more intimate contact until the other person’s infection has healed. Again, we would still not coin cheilitis as a transmittable disease per se but always exercise sound judgment and caution.
But perhaps you’re not even concerned about angular cheilitis because you’ve read that only the elderly are susceptible to it. We’re sorry to throw this monkey wrench, but just about anyone can get it – from babies to adults to seniors. Now those over 50 are more likely to be saddled with the condition, but those much younger can get it as well.
This is why your immune system is so important. If you’re under chronic stress or lead an unhealthy life-style, angular cheilitis is more likely to rear its ugly head. Diet and nutrition really do matter although some folks don’t ascribe to that idea. A healthy, balanced diet with additional support from supplements, while embracing a calm, positive mindset, will make you less vulnerable to a cheilitis attack. Perhaps seniors are more victimized by perleche because their immune systems are not as strong as their younger counterparts.
So in review, angular cheilitis is not caused by a virus, does not pose life-threatening risks, is not truly a contagious, transmittable disease, where even kissing a perleche sufferer presents grave concerns. And while it can take an emotional toll, it probably will not leave any physical marks after it’s eradicated.
As cheilitis is more of an individual response, and can affect people of all ages, it’s best to embrace a mindset and life-style of immunity where our emotions and habits make us less susceptible to all infections, including angular cheilitis.