Reviewed By: Pramod Kerkar, MD, FFARCSI

Cracks or cuts on the side of your lips can change your smiling, drinking and eating into a painful errand. Cut in the corner of your lips is an inflammatory condition called angular cheilitis and it is caused due to various causes. Most of the cracks and cuts on side of lips usually go away on their own. But you can fasten the healing process by providing proper treatment for cuts on side of lips with some of the helpful and proven remedies.

Though the cuts on side of lips heal on their own, in some cases the cuts can get infected and may require appropriate medical treatment.

What Causes Cuts on Side of Lips?

What Causes Cuts on Side of Lips?

The cuts on side of lips are medically termed as angular cheilitis and it is a common condition that affects many people across the world. There are many causes of cuts on side of lips. This condition is not considered to be infectious, but it is troublesome indeed.

There are several factors that cause cuts on side of lips. The most common cause leading to cuts on side of lips include fungal infection, while there are other causes of cuts on sides of lips. Some of these include

  • Viral infection or bacterial infection
  • Chapped lips
  • Overexposure to heat or sunlight
  • Deficiency of zinc or iron
  • Poor diet
  • Poorly fitting dentures
  • Extreme dryness
  • Some autoimmune diseases
  • Allergic to products used close to lips like toothpaste or lipstick

The cuts on side of lips can become aggravated if you smile, drink or eat.

The common symptoms of cracked corners of lips are red, dark, painful blisters or soreness in corner of lips. Cuts may occur, either on one corner of your lips or on both the corners of your mouth. In some serious cases, the cuts may bleed while you eat, drink or open your mouth for talking. Crusts and ulcers may also be formed in the corners of your lips. Untreated cuts on side of lips may stay back for months and years, while it may disappear in a weeks’ time if they are treated with best treatment for cuts on side of lips.

Treatment for Cuts on Side of Lips

Some people with cuts on side of lips may feel minor discomfort while for some, even the throat and mouth may be affected, depending on the cause of cut on side of lips. Regardless of the severity of infection, the treatment for cuts on side of your lips can include oral antifungal and topical treatment, as appropriate.

Physicians often prescribe antifungal ointment to treat the infection causing cuts and cracks on side of your lips and must be applied as advised. The ointments may also be given with steroid creams so as to treat the redness, inflammation and pain quickly. Anti-fungal drugs too may be prescribed as treatment for cuts and infections. Some doctors also recommend zinc oxide paste that comes with skin repair agents and also comprise antifungal properties. If the infection is serious, then the doctor may prescribe antibiotic medicines to clear the infection.

If the cuts have spread inside your mouth, the doctors will prescribe topical ointments which will help treat the cuts and prevent it from spreading. The chlorhexidine rinse is also helpful to treat the infection and the clean the dentures.

If dryness is causing cuts on side of lips then it can be treated with medicines comprising alcohol and menthol. Licking your lips may make the condition worse. So, avoid licking your lips. It is also necessary to maintain proper oral hygiene to help the cuts to heal and prevent it from forming wrinkles at the corners of your lips.

Similarly, any nutritional deficiencies must be treated with appropriate supplementation and ill-fitting dentures must be properly adjusted.

Natural Remedies for Cuts on Side of Lips

  • Aloe Vera Gel – Aloe gel is the best natural remedy for cuts on side of lips. Before applying the gel, you must refrigerate the leaves of aloe vera and apply the gel directly on the cuts and leave it for some time to get completely dry and then rinse it off.
  • Moisturizers and Lip Balms – Unscented and unflavored lip balm is also an effective natural remedy for cuts on side of lips. But, you need to ensure that the lip balms and moisturizers you are using are free from chemical substances as it can make the condition worse. Moreover, you should prefer using it before bedtime and possibly several times in a day.
  • Cocoa Butter – Application of cocoa butter directly on the affected area 3-4 times a day is an effective natural remedy for cuts on side of your lips. This is the natural moisturizer that can help you treat the condition.
  • Homemade Mixture – You need to prepare a mixture of 1 tablespoon vitamin E oil, ½ tablespoon of petroleum jelly and 2 tablespoons of tea tree oil and apply this mixture several times a day. This is another popular natural treatment for cuts on side of lips.

Over the counter remedies like hydrocortisone cream can help you counter the redness and inflammation and pain. This is only recommended when home remedies fail to offer results. You can apply this cream on the cuts 4-5 times a day, especially after meals and at bedtime.

Diet also plays an important role in treatment of cuts on side of lips. You need to ensure that you stay hydrated by drinking plenty of water. It is advisable to avoid spicy foods as it may aggravate the cuts on side of lips. Mineral and vitamin supplement can prove to be helpful, especially if cuts in side of lips are caused due to poor diet.

Pramod Kerkar

Written, Edited or Reviewed By:


Pain Assist Inc.

Last Modified On: June 20, 2018

This article does not provide medical advice. See disclaimer

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