When our skin is distressed, we often search for soothing salves and creams that offer the promise of instant relief. Angular cheilitis sufferers scour drugstore and health food shelves, too, in quest of that holy grail cream that will arrest the condition. Indeed, nonprescription antifungal creams for angular cheilitis are in high demand.
But Will Antifungal Creams for Angular Cheilitis Work?
There are two key points that must be made to answer this question. First, it depends on the root cause of the perleche. Obviously, if a host of bacteria are responsible for it, antifungal creams will be ineffective. Secondly, assuming fungi are responsible for the infection, there may be individual variability of response. What works for one person may not work for another. Still, the following nonprescription, over-the-counter antifungal creams are worthy of investigation.
a) Lotrimin (generic name, clotrimazole) – Lotrimin Ultra Cream, 30 grams, has received very favorable reviews and may be an effective ally against perleche. After cleansing, it is advisable to use Lotrimin twice a day on the affected area but be careful not to accidentally ingest it. This is not a medication that should not be used indefinitely. If your symptoms do not subside after a week or so, it’s time to try a new intervention and/or seek medical attention. Another caveat: Do not immediately stop using this cream if your condition goes away. Prematurely stopping the medication may allow more resistant fungi to grow and fester.
b) Micatin (generic name, miconazole) – Micatin is another popular antifungal remedy. Here, the oral gel should be employed. It should be applied twice daily for best results, and used two additional days if/when the condition disappears. Do not cover or bandage the area unless directed by your physician. The main ingredient purportedly interferes with the synthesis of fungal cell membranes and may even exhibit anti-parasitic and anti-bacterial properties, a decided advantage if bacteria are contributing to your perleche.
c) Lamisil (generic name, terbinafine) – Some angular cheilitis sufferers tout Lamisil as an effective medication, relieving any itching, burning, or cracking. This should be applied twice per day, morning and night for two weeks or as directed by your physician. Ensure that any spot is thoroughly clean before application. As always, do not lick your lips to allow the medication to perform its magic.
d) Tinactin (generic name, tolnaftate) – While Tinactin is generally known as a cream used against athlete’s foot, it also shows some efficacy against angular cheilitis. It can be used to obliterate the candida-yeast-fungus around the lips. The area may sting right after initial application but should soon go away. Most medical practitioners advice twice daily application with vigilant observation to deduce whether the condition is improving.
e) Cortizone 10 (generic name, hydrocortisone / iodoquinol) – This product combines the synergism between hydrocortisone, an anti-itch, anti-inflammatory agent with the antifungal properties of iodoquinol. Many folks see relief after one week of twice daily application. A thin layer is all that is necessary to galvanize positive results. Redness and swelling will hopefully decrease while any offending fungi are decimated.
The aforementioned antifungal creams are not exhaustive but seem to generate the most praise for their strength and effectiveness against angular cheilitis. Before using anti antifungal cream, you should consult your physician. Watch out for any adverse side effects and be sure to exercise even more caution and restraint if you have other medical issues. Pregnant women and those who breastfeed should be even more circumspect in using antifungal creams, and rely on the advice of their doctors.
There are angular cheilitis creams that very well may provide superior results. Trial and error may be exercised, but again, always use a dash of common sense and caution. If your perleche is caused by fungi, the five products listed above may make the proverbial difference in your lips and self-esteem.