Angular Cheilitis Scars: How to Get Rid of Perleche-Induced Scars
You’ve finally resolved your present bout of angular cheilitis but the after-effects are not pretty. You notice scars at the corner of your lips and you’re desperate to get rid of them. While we can remind you that such scars are barely perceptible to others, and may only be seen if you open your mouth and point to them, it is still psychologically depressing. You demand to get rid of these angular cheilitis scars, sooner rather than later.
Our skin has its own remarkable recuperative powers, evidenced by the formation of scar tissue. At times, this scar tissue overgrows the point of injury, forming keloid scars. Now if this is what has transpired after a round of cheilitis, the following are possible options to pursue:
a) Visit the dermatologist and ask about the possibility of him/her carefully spraying liquid nitrogen on the site, hoping to shrink the keloid. This is called cryotherapy but does have a drawback, especially for darker-skinned individuals. The melanocytes, the cells that produce pigment, are cold-sensitive so you may experience a slight loss of color around the area. Please note that some dermatologists favor injecting a steroid in conjunction with cyotherapy.
b) As mentioned above, a steroid injection may be used with liquid nitrogen or by itself. The steroid prevents collagen formation which may help to weaken the scar and encourage it to flatten. Thinning of the skin and a slight change of color are possible side effects so discuss this with your dermatologist.
c) Topical silicone – Although results are not 100% perfect, silicone gel sheets may be employed to help shrink and flatten keloids. Use a little pressure to ensure absorption. If the silicone does not completely remove the scar, perhaps it can reduce its size.
Now angular cheilitis may not only create keloid scars, but it can alternatively manifest small red scars called hypertrophic scars. These are similar to keloid scars but the tissue does not overgrow the boundary of the injury. Steroid injection and topical silicone are the favored treatments for such scars.
A final type of scar that may be the end result of angular cheilitis are contracture scars which typically go deeper into the dermis and can tighten skin. Perhaps this type of scar developed due to a case of severe cheilitis and/or overly aggressive treatment. This type of scar demands a physician’s attention. Your doctor will review possible options, including a relatively new laser treatment using Lumenis Ultra. This relatively-painless laser can help improve the appearance, texture and thickness of burn scars. The doctor can only determine whether laser surgery should be employed around the delicate area of the mouth.
Now for those who wish to consider at-home remedies, the following can be used:
a) Over-the-counter scar creams, such as Maderma. Of interest, Mederma contains onion extract which can inhibit the overproduction of collagen in scars. Even plain onion juice can be incorporated as part of your scar revision plan due to its anti-inflammatory effects.
b) Aloe vera gel – If you can obtain this healing substance directly from the leaves of the aloe vera plant, the chances of successful resolution of scars becomes greater. It is very useful to calm irritation and speeds up the healing process.
c) Raw honey – It stimulates tissue regeneration and it is a natural moisturizer which can aid in wound repair. It’s antiseptic properties will also come in handy.
Other scar-reduction remedies include 100% virgin olive oil, stable Vitamin C creams, Vitamin E and K creams, cocoa butter, abd a host of others. You can experiment with natural and over-the-counter remedies but give it time to work. And that is another reassuring thought: Time itself may help to fade scars as your skin repairs itself.
When you notice angular cheilitis scars, we cannot amply stress the importance of seeing a physician, even if you decide to employ home remedies. In time, and with the help of your doctor and your own interventions, your angular cheilitis scars may not even be noticeable to you.