While we’ve already listed the five best supplements to take for angular cheilitis, we thought it would be instructive to mention other supplements that may provide some relief from perleche and decrease the frequency of its occurrence. Many conditions, even cheilitis, are more inclined to occur in the midst of nutritional deficiencies, and as health-enthusiasts, we believe that supplements can improve body biochemistry and enhance the immune system.
Although there are hundreds of supplements to choose from, we’ve highlighted those that deserve honorable mention:
1) Garlic – A natural antibiotic, garlic has been used for centuries as a ‘natural healer.’ Replete with nutrients and enzymes, it can provide us with vitality, energy, and health. It contains antibacterial and antifungal activity which is perfect to combat angular cheilitis microbes. In addition, garlic contains diallyl sulfide and thiacremonone – both possessing anti-inflammatory properties, useful when fighting against perleche.
You can cut a clove of fresh garlic and apply the juice to the affected areas although a slight burning sensation may occur. It may even be worthwhile to mix the garlic clove juice with water, and gargle with it to create healthier lip and mouth conditions. At the same time, you can ingest odorless garlic, 600 mg per day, to derive further benefits. Please note that some medical practitioners, such as Dr. Andrew Weil, a renowned physician and naturopath, believe that eating one garlic clove (with food) is preferential to taking a supplement. Watch for stomach upset if you choose to eat garlic.
2) Probiotics – In the alternative health community, probiotics are believed to improve the immune system, treat inflammatory conditions, and introduce so-called ‘good bacteria’ at the expense of ‘bad bacteria.’ Restoring balance to the gut, probiotics can also attack yeast and fungal overgrowth. The angular cheilitis sufferer may wish to put probiotics on his/her shopping list as a result of its ability to maintain the natural balance of organisms within our intestines, and its efficacy against bacterial and/or fungal infections,
There are a wide variety of probiotics and their varying strains that can be purchased. You should take them as directed on the bottle, but its always advisable to discuss any form of supplementation with your doctor. If you decide to pursue probiotic treatment, look for one that contains Lactobacillus acidophilus which is particularly useful when dealing with perleche.
3) Oil of oregano – Made with the flowers and leaves of the wild oregano plant, oil of oregano is considered nature’s antibiotic. Wild Mediterranean oregano may be the most potent but there are several commercially available products, such as Oreganol, that are beneficial.
Oil of oregano is primarily known as an antifungal. It contains thymol, an ingredient that happens to be in the popular mouthwash, Listerine. Thymol speeds up the healing process, repairs tissues, fights toxins and inflammation, and boosts the immune system, serving admirably against perleche. The component, terpenes, is also found in this oil, providing some antibacterial fighting power, again useful in our onslaught against cheilitis.
It is not recommended to take oil of oregano on an empty stomach. You can mix 1-2 drops with water twice a day or consume oil of oregano capsules, 100 mg to 300 mg, twice daily, with meals. You can also apply 1-2 drops of the oil topically to relieve angular cheilitis symptoms.
Versatile and powerful, oil of oregano may be a helpful adjunct in defeating angular cheilitis.
4) Bee pollen and bee propolis - As we’ve already highlighted the soothing properties of honey, it should come as no surprise that we’re proponents of bee pollen and bee propolis.
Bees harvest the powdery substance of pollen and mix it with honey carried from the hive to create a potent bee pollen combo, containing amino acids, vitamins, minerals, trace elements, enzymes or co-enzymes, and fatty acids. It’s known as a “Superfood” and can treat skin irritations and inflammatory conditions, such as angular cheilitis. There are antibiotic and antifungal factors present in the pollen, advantageous when tackling perleche.
The helpful bee also collects a resinous substance from the leaf buds of trees and certain vegetables, called bee propolis, used to disinfect the beehive. Similarly, we can use bee propolis to disinfect cheilitis. Propolis is rich in vitamins, amino acids, trace minerals, and fats, and can ostensibly help to get rid of a host of conditions, including skin conditions.
There are bee pollen and bee propolis creams you can purchase to apply topically to your perleche. You can also purchase pure bee pollen and bee propolis supplements, 500 mg, once or twice per day with food.
5) Coconut oil – This widely used oil can do wonders for infections, particularly if you use extra virgin coconut oil. It supports immune system health with its antibacterial, antifungal, and even antiviral properties. This anti-microbial activity can keep your skin healthy and youthful looking, and provides protection against conditions like perleche. Studies abound revealing coconut oil’s ability to treat wounds and bacterial infections.
You can swish coconut oil, apply it topically, or even take it in capsule form, no more than 1000 mg per day. Some naturopaths aver that coconut oil may even be the best type of oil to use in cooking.
There is not much risk when using coconut oil for angular cheilitis, with much reward potential.
The aforementioned list is far from exhaustive. There are many supplements that are worthy of investigation but you don’t want to use so many at once. It’s important to see the individual effects that each one delivers. Moreover, you can only make an educated guess as to what your individual response will be. Also, perhaps you need to weigh whatever risks any supplement may engender by consulting with your health care provider.
Case in point: Grapefruit seed extract - Originating from the white membranes and seed pulp of grapefruits, grapefruit seed extract has shown antibacterial and antifungal properties. Consequently, this is hypothetically spot on for folks dealing with angular cheilitis.
We were going to recommend grapefruit seed extract pills, but upon investigation, a relatively recent German study found that five out of six tested commercial grapefruit seed extract supplements contained certain harmful chemicals, such as benzethonium chloride a caustic, perhaps even toxic, ingredient used in cosmetics. As such, we’re not recommending grapefruit seed extract as part of our anti-angular cheilitis program.
Again, perform more research, speak with your physician or even nutritionist, to carve out a supplement plan that works for you and one that may eradicate cheilitis and shield you from any reoccurrence.