Recurring Angular Cheilitis
You stare into the mirror in a state of disbelief as you’ve just discovered that you have a recurring case of angular cheilitis. Last month, you tried a natural home-based treatment in conjunction with a topical prescription cream and the cracks at the corners of your mouth disappeared. Overjoyed, you thought that perleche was a distant memory/nightmare, but here it is again, blown up in its full glory. How did this happen and what can you do to help prevent recurring angular cheilitis?
Yes, you seemed to tackle the underlying fungi or bacteria initially, responsible for the development of cheilitis in most people. However, while the symptoms improved you may not have suitably addressed the underlying causes. Your body may still be very susceptible to microbes and until you tackle the question of how to enhance your immune system, angular cheilitis may occur again and again.
Here are several methods that will boost your immunity, making you less attractive to offending fungi or bacteria, or viruses for that matter:
1) Eat a healthy, well-balanced diet, where there are ample reserves of vitamins, minerals, and amino acids to prevent any vitamin and/or mineral deficiencies. Stay away from excessive sugar, refined starches, and other culprits that promote yeast.
2) Consume at least 8 glasses of water a day as it will flush toxins out of your system and make your lips less chapped and dry. While you have perleche, it’s best to drink out of a straw.
3) Ensure adequate sleep as shut-eye is restorative to the brain and body. Our T-cells, white blood cells which impact our immunity, decrease with a lack of sleep, leading to a greater risk of insurgent microbes.
4) Develop healthy life-style habits. Exercise, for example, transports antibodies and white blood cells in our bodies at a much faster rate for more powerful healing capacity. It also increases body temperature which may help deter bacteria growth and helps block stress-related hormones from circulating, diminishing inflammation. It cannot be overemphasized about the importance of reducing stress. Pathogenic bacteria and opportunistic fungi are much more likely to flourish when we feel overwhelmed, inundated by stress.
5) Avoid smoking of any kind. Smoking is deleterious to every organ of your body, including your skin. Moreover, recent research suggests that a smoker actually ingests bacteria (originally existing on tobacco leaves), including Staphylococcus, the bacteria which contributes to cheilitis development.
6) Make certain the mouth area is thoroughly clean and dry. Wash with a mild, non-irritating cleanser and completely pat the areas around your mouth with a clean towel. You’re looking to make the corners of your lips as antiseptic as possible. Do not lick your lips under any circumstances.
7) Visit your local health food store and purchase some supplements that have purported immune-enhancing benefits and ones that are most linked to angular cheilitis (i.e., where there are low amounts of that supplement that may be contributing to the cheilitis). Speak with your nutritionist or physician to obtain his/her recommendations. You may consider taking a full spectrum Vitamin B supplement, Vitamins C, D, and E, and minerals, iron and zinc. You have to be careful about individual supplements, however, as taking one type of mineral, for example, may cause an imbalance in another mineral. Therefore, don’t overdose on supplements (more is not better), particularly when it is more beneficial to acquire nutrients through food rather than a pill.
8) Make meaningful connections with people and develop a sense of humor – Isolation and a serious nature are not conducive to building a healthy immune system, replete with white blood cells that fight infection. Try to socialize and figure out to laugh more as cultivating a light-hearted spirit, looking to establish community with others, can help ward off illness. Although angular cheilitis may be no laughing matter, it is not life-threatening and will eventually disappear.
In conclusion, recurring angular cheilitis may be thwarted by following the aforementioned immune-boosting, holistic practices outlined above with the added benefit of increasing the quality and quantity of your life.