Angular Cheilitis Remedies

Author: | Modified: Mar 30, 2018
Any condition that affects the mouth or area around the mouth can cause discomfort and even added frustration – just think about how many times you use your mouth each day for eating, drinking, smiling, talking…At any rate, angular cheilitis is one of the most uncomfortable mouth conditions as it causes excessive sensitivity at the corners of the mouth. However, with a few of our favorite home remedies, including yogurt, bee propolis, and castor oil, you’ll find relief in no time.

What Is Angular Cheilitis?

Angular cheilitis is a common condition that is called by a number of different names include perleche, angular stomatitis, corner of mouth sores, and cracked lip corners. By any name, the condition is the same. The corners of your mouth are extremely sensitive and may range in level of discomfort from that of minor chapped lips to cracked lesions. The condition may also cause the corners of the mouth to crack and split. As angular cheilitis is caused by a bacteria that is naturally present in our saliva, it is common among people of all ages and either gender.

Common Treatments for Perleche

Generally speaking, people attempt to treat perleche in one of three ways: doing nothing, going to the doctor, or treating it at home. While many cases may improve on their own, they may also worsen unexpectedly. Additionally, while medical treatment may be effective for reducing the symptoms of the condition, it often doesn’t remedying the underlying cause, which is why we suggest using natural, at-home remedies.

Do Natural Treatments Work to Treat Mouth Sores?

Natural treatments function to restore balance in the body and to moisturize and replenish the affected skin. While you can try any number of home treatment options, we suggest beginning with yogurt, bee propolis, and castor oil.

1. Yogurt

Yogurt contains active bacteria cultures or probiotics. These cultures help restore the natural balance of bacteria in the body and eliminate angular cheilitis. It also helps moisturize the skin.

2. Bee Propolis

The sticky resin that bees collect from trees and vegetables, bee propolis is full of important nutrients. When applied to the corners of the mouth, it helps fight infection and soothe the skin.

3. Castor Oil

Castor oil also helps treat mouth sores as it fights infection and inflammation. It also helps restore the natural moisture of the skin.

If you have ever had a mouth sore, you know how important it is to treat them quickly and effectively. Give one of our treatment options a try or continue reading below for many more remedies from our readers and let us know what worked for you!

About the Author: Deirdre Layne

Founder and CEO of Earth Clinic, has an extensive background in health and healing. She created in 1999 as a way to teach people about natural remedies and alternative healing therapies. Since then, thousands of people around the world and their pets have been healed by the remedies found on Earth Clinic. Deirdre holds a BA from Mount Holyoke College in Philosophy and is the author of the book Apple Cider Vinegar: A Modern Folk Remedy.

Avoid Allergens  

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Posted by Healthy Girl (Mesa, Az) on 07/13/2017
5 out of 5 stars

I battled angular cheilitis for over two years. I tried anti-fungal creams, B-complex vitamins, turmeric, different essential oils, yogurt, ointments - you name it, I probably tried it! It came on so suddenly that it had me stumped. At times it would get better and then flair up again, although not as bad as the first time I came down with it. I think I have finally solved my problem:

I believe I have developed an allergy to the peppermint oil in my toothpaste and lip balm. I also think that Xylitol makes it come back. Recently, I started brushing my teeth with straight baking soda and salt and then I gargle with peroxide. When my lips start getting chapped, I put Vaseline on them, although I still wear lipstick just about every day. It has now been two months and no peeling or cracking at the corners of my mouth. I think cheilitis can be caused by many different things whether it is an allergy, fungal or a deficiency.

I hope found my cure - the real test will be when I go to the dentist the end of this month. Hopefully, I won't have a flair-up.

Replied by Diana

Thank you! I have actually had this since a teenager and I'm now in my 60's. My dentist never knew how to help me. It's not constant but it does flare up. I take a live liquid probiotic which really helps. Lately it has been terrible, hurts like crazy, and the probiotic isn't helping. You just solved my problem I think! I've been drinking lots of Peppermint chocolate coffee's from Starbucks! No more peppermint!

Avoid Fish Oil  

Posted by K. In La (Los Angeles, Ca) on 11/27/2014

NO FISH OIL - To treat another condition I had been taking Cod Liver Oil (CLO 1500mg) and occasionally coconut oil (1000mg). Reading about Krill Oil I then added that (2000mg) and took the other two more regularly. My skin became a bit dryer but I thought it was from my heater being on overnight due to fall/winter weather. Then I developed the cracked corner lips and thinking I was just dehydrated expected them to heal with extra water over a day or two. A week later it hadn't healed and I knew something was wrong.

Thinking it was an infection, I tried tea tree oil or grapeseed oil, along with castor oil and then Listerine before bed. It would help overnight but return by the end of the next day.

I then thought about my diet. The only significant change I had to my diet was the addition of the Krill oil, and increase in CLO and Coconut oil. Doing research on Angular Cheilitis I found this:

"In general, dietary intake of natural, vitamin A rich sources like fish oils and cod liver oil increases the risk of developing angular cheilitis."

I immediately stopped all the other oils and started a Primrose Oil (1000mg to reduce inflammation) along with a B-50 complex twice a day. I would also poke a Vitamin E capsule and squeeze the contents onto my lips like a lip gloss. In the morning and evenings I'd drink a great Detox tea with dandelion root, licorice root, burdock, and other great liver supporting elements.

The condition began healing overnight. It took 3-4 days to completely exfoliate and renew the skin, but it's healed completely.

If your diet or location has changed in the past few months your system may be out of balance from changes in food and/or water sources. If you're taking supplements, optional medications, or beverages you may want to stop, detox and go vegan/green for a few weeks. And be patient. Healing from the outside in takes time; and the more out of balance your system, the longer the wait.

Replied by K In La
Los Angels, Ca

After about two weeks, the infection came back, worse than before. I tried everything I could but could not find a completely natural remedy. I had to buy an over the counter miconazole yeast infection cream and put it on at night. Then I'd wake up and put a glob of medicated lip ointment which was mostly allantoin, camphor and menthol until I got to work, when I'd wipe it down. As soon as I left work, I'd glob it on again until I went to bed with the cream.

I also started taking vitamin E and drinking more water to help hydrate my lips and skin.

Within a week or so it healed. For another week I would sometimes feel it starting again and it reminded me to keep going for one more week even if it appeared healed. Once that round was done it ended. After three months it hasn't returned.

Bee Propolis  

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Posted by Gc (Belgium) on 12/08/2014
5 out of 5 stars

Propolis Balm for lips (5% of Propolis, 20% of Butter shea) cured my angular cheilitis in 2 days.

The problem was due to drooling during sleep, so if you happen to have the same problem, just put some balm for lips at night and you're done :-)

Anyway, I also have seborrheic dermatitis on the face for which current evidence demonstrates that it results from a nonspecific immune response to Malassezia yeasts.

***Complete paper --> Malassezia Yeasts Implicated in Atopic Dermatitis

Research on Propolis already shown results on Malassezia for dogs who had dermatitis.

*** Complete paper --> The Antimycotic Effectt of Some Bee Products and Vegetal Extracts on Genus Malassezia Fungi

I'm actually testing Propolis' supplements (3 caps / day), I'll let you know if I have results.

I hope this will help you, Feel free to let me know if you have any question.

Best regards,

Posted by Catscradle123 (New York, NY) on 07/31/2010
5 out of 5 stars

Bee Propolis cured my Angular Cheilitis. I had a painful rip at the corner of my mouth that would not go away for a week. Last night, I added three drops of Bee Propolis tincture and slept on it. The next morning (today) the rip healed significantly. Will keep adding drops today!


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Posted by Art (California ) on 03/30/2018 376 posts
5 out of 5 stars

Recently my niece had angular cheilitis around her mouth which appears as a rash around the lips that causes painful cracking at the sides of the mouth that can bleed. She applied a saturated solution of borax water to the affected area 3 times per day and it was all gone in less than a week! Another win for borax!


Castor Oil and Baking Soda  

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Posted by Tamara (Des Plaines, Il) on 05/12/2010
1 out of 5 stars

Castor Oil and Baking Soda didn't help me heal my mouth cracks. I think it just made it worse. May be I wrong. I started taking multivitamin and the cracks started to heal.

Replied by Lkslive
Vancouver, Bc /canada

Try marigold cream - this helps with healing and with bacteria etc. You may also be in a vitamin b or e deficiency- take a good multi along with vit e and b complex-b12 and folic acid this regime daily will help.

Posted by Bryan Martin (Dayton, Ohio) on 01/15/2010
5 out of 5 stars

I have suffered with angular cheilitis for many years. I have tried many things including, antibacterial cream, cortisone cream, fungal cream, tea tree oil, oregano oil, hydrogen peroxide and more. I had some success with tea tree at keeping the sores from getting larger but nothing has helped to diminish them until now. My angular cheilitis was a pretty severe case with a raise "sore" at the corner of my lips that was at least the size of a dime, and then raised up somewhere between 5-7 millimeters. The condition has really hurt my self esteem. Thankfully I finally found a way to rid myself of angular cheilitis. I made a paste of castor oil and baking soda and applied it over night. After just one application my angular cheilitis was reduced by half, several more and it now almost completely gone! This remedy has been easy, cheap, and it's the only thing I have ever found to be effective. Just mix some castor oil and baking soda until it makes a thick heavy paste and leave on over night. It will burn some but it really really really helps!

Replied by Soremouth
Vancouver, Bc

Has anyone else tried this? I bought Oil of Oregano for my angular chelitis and it's now really bad. Before I had a sore, red rash in the corners of my mouth. Today, my skin is completely split and open on both sides of my mouth. I want to try the castor oil & baking soda but I don't want to make things even WORSE.

Replied by She
Virginia, United States

Oregano oil is very very strong!! It is a good anti fungal, but it needs to be diluted with a carrier oil. You could use coconut oil or castor oil. I think that's what I'm going to try. I'm pretty sure I have the angular chelitis. Bad sores on both sides of my mouth and now little bumps forming around the lip line. Ughhhhhh!! Thank you for all your advice Earth Clinic!!

Castor Oil and Boric Acid  

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Posted by Grammie4u (British Columbia, Canada) on 06/04/2015
5 out of 5 stars

I have had Angular Cheilitis off and on for several yrs. Finally I have found something that really works. You must use Castor Oil which is Food Safe and not used for medicinal purposes but for topical use. You can buy a large bottle in Canada for $12.00. Put a 1/8 tsp. of Boric Acid....not Borax and a few drops of Castor Oil in the palm of your hand and make a paste out it, apply before bed and in the morning you will see results.

Dakin's Solution  

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Posted by K.A. (Cape Town, Rsa) on 11/16/2009
4 out of 5 stars

First, thank you all a million --and especially to Ted from Thailand, as my terrible oral Thrush started going away as soon as I started his protocol. Very severe case, as I had no idea what it was and treated it with Corsodyl mouthwash for bacteria.

But, the angular chelitis on my lip corners has been very resistant. That is where the infection started, but until the Thrush went inside my mouth and turned white, I thought I had cut myself with dental floss, or burned my mouth on coffee and maybe it had gotten infected--therefore, I treated it incorrectly until the entire inside of my mouth, tongue, tonsil area and palate were covered with white plaques, and the corners of my lips cracked so that I could not talk for 4 days-- until I started the Apple Cider Vinegar, Hydrogen Peroxide anti yeast diet heavy acidoplilus.

Even when this was clearing up well, the lip corners did not respond. That is when I tried OTC antifungal (some result), tea tree oil (no result), lavender oil (very soothing but no rememdy)...the application of ACV did not help, nor did (name brand) lip ointment with alantoin (sp?) to reduce keratin formation.

But, this Dakins Solution has worked a I wanted to let you all know, in case you have a similar problem.

I found a recipe for Dakins Solution: 1/4tsp household bleach (sodium hypochlorite only) in 1/2 cup water. Pinch of Bicarbonate of Soda optional.

I rinsed with this and within a few hours the inflammation was noticably reduced, and the cracks were less "oozy". For the first time, I feel that my lips are actually healing, rather than just not getting worse.

I wanted to put a little lavender oil on them, but I am just holding off and letting them dry out a bit.

I will continue on the anti-yeast diet and ACV, H202 tonic--because I have had such a bad sinus for years that I think I might have had a long-term yeast problem and not known it. I catch every flu around, and my sinus infection is chronic and I don't treat with antibiotics anymore for fear of developing resistance.

Does anyone know how to get the Allantoin that reduces keratin formation in some other form other than that popular ointment? It is very expensive here in Africa, and it works so great on anything chapped or scar forming?

Thank you all again for all the great advice and I have sent this site to several friends, whom I know will love it!

EC: More about Dakin's Solution:'s_Solution

Replied by Janice
Coloma, Mi

K.A. Your post really caught my attention. My dog has had cracks at the corner of her mouth and her lips are inflammed and they have been that way for over a year. I have had her to three different vets and they don't know what it is but they want to give her prednisone. I'm not happy with that. One vet did say it was a yeast or fungus but hasn't been able to help and I just go around and around trying everything I can think of. I think I am going to try the Dakin's Solution on her. I have nothing to lose. I'm wondering if a dog could have angular chelitis. Thanks for giving the instructions for making the solution. I do have a question though. Did it really hurt when you put it on open cracks. Her mouth is really pretty raw. Thanks again.

Flax Seed Oil  

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Posted by Bobby (Retford, Uk) on 04/04/2012
5 out of 5 stars

I have suffered with Angular Cheilitis on and off for several years. I tried everything - even candida diet etc etc. Nothing seemed to work.

The last month, however, has been very promising indeed. I now look 98% normal as opposed to 80%! I think this is due to me taking 4 flaxseed capsules a day (2 in the morning, 2 at night). But I have also been eating a lot of unsweetened ('greek') yoghurt, more milk than usual, more B vitamins, plus a drop of clove oil a day. Could be the combination but I reckon the flaxseed is the main contributor at work.

Posted by Janet G. (Winnipeg, Manitoba, Canada) on 09/29/2009
5 out of 5 stars

A. Fter one bad year of chelitis I found something totally at random which was very effective. I noticed that once i introduced flax oil daily to my diet the problem quickly vanished. I took a total of 6 capsules daily at 3 intervals the capsules were 1000 mg. Each. I have never had the condition again. So 2 capsules 3 times daily...inexpensive and it worked.

Folic Acid  

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Posted by Misha (Binghamton, New York) on 04/01/2012
5 out of 5 stars

I highly recommend supplementing with Folic Acid to eliminate this condition. Take a slightly larger dose than recommended. I can personally attest to its effectiveness.

Replied by Misha
Binghamton, Ny

I am surprised that folic acid supplementation is not at the top of this list (for cures for Angular Chelitis). Folic acid absolutely works for the treatment of this condition and I can attest to its effectiveness on at least two occassions.

General Feedback  

Posted by Suzanne Dunning (Oakland, CA) on 12/20/2008

I am curious if you have any remedies for Angular Cheilitis- About a week ago, I started having this little crack at the corner of my mouth- it gets flaky, and is painful, and won't go away- I've been putting lavender and tea tree oil on it. Any ideas? Thanks

EC: New page created, thank you for the suggestion!

Replied by Terry
Westport, Connecticut

I have had angular cheilitis many times in my life. I believe it to be an allergic reaction to some preservative in foods, but I haven't yet pinpointed which preservative it is. Some brands of hot sauce cause this to happen. I also just bought a new brand of toothpaste last week at the grocery store from Arm & Hammer and within an hour the right corner of my mouth started to peel. The toothpaste had touched my lips when I was brushing. It's happened before with toothpaste so I need to use natural brands - I just forgot until it happened yet again! The fluoride isn't causing it because the natural brands I use like Tom's of Maine have fluoride in them (ha, not so natural!). I am guessing you are also having an allergic reaction to either food or toothpaste and it's something you keep using! One more trigger for me is certain brands of lipstick. I don't know what they put in them but it causes the cracking and dryness at the corners.

Replied by Maya
Treasure Coast Florida

I'm so glad you mentioned toothpaste! I just got a new brand.. from a health food store.. what I noticed is it's super foamy (unlike other natural brands) this may very well be the cause of my AC which is extremely rare for me to get.. in fact I don't remember last time I had it and was so surprised when it developed just the other day!

Heavy Metal Detox  

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Posted by 007rg (Sherman Oaks, Ca) on 10/20/2009
5 out of 5 stars

Heavy metal detox: i've been battling angular cheilitis for years... think it started when i was pretty young and got a mouthful of silver/mercury amalgams. from all of my research which has been extensive bc need to finally get rid of angular cheilitis forever. turns out that heavy metal poisoning causes the body to farm candida to bind with the metals which in turn can cause angular cheilitis. basically get rid of the metals in your system then start to eliminate candida. they seem to go hand in hand with me. also caused health issues like hyperthyroidism, loss of hair, brain fog, muscle & joint aches... i've recently removed 80% of my amalgams and waiting for financial stability to get rid of the rest. wish the process wasn't so expensive but so far it's helping. hope this info saves some of you a lot of time and despair.

Replied by Bcutts
Portland, Or

You do realize that once an amalgam filling is placed in your mouth, it only releases MINISCULE amounts of mercury? You would get more mercury from eating a tuna fish sandwich than you ever would from all your amalgams over a lifetime. When the amalgam is placed, and when it is removed are the biggest times of risk for ingesting amalgam. Bits can escape the assistants suction (I know, I am one) and as vigilant as we are, we can't catch it all. In fact, when an amalgam is being removed, it's ground into a fine dust all over your mouth, which of course is impossible to completely remove. Don't swallow, haha! Basically, don't bother getting your amalgams removed. They last years longer than composites (unless you're replacing with gold inlays, which could last forever) and you'll be exposing yourself to MUCH more mercury than you would by leaving them there.

Replied by Jen
Bozeman, Mt, Us

As an ex-dental assistant I used to fall for that line too. Until I started having so many problems that I realized there was only one other option left, it had to be the fillings. Don't listen to your dentist who says you get more mercury from a tuna sandwich then you do from a filling over your lifetime. They are just as misinformed as you. Amalgams break down and over the life of the filling (usually 10 to 15 years) little tiny toxic pieces break away. At that point they aren't getting sucked into the suction from the dental assistant they are going into your body and usually parking somewhere deep in your cells to cause havic with your health. If you take charge and have the ability to remove your amalgam fillings I say do so. You will be toxic for a shorter time than if you leave them and let them slowly deteriorate. Not to mention if fillings last for 10 to 15 years guess what happens when its time for a new one. The dentist drills the old one out causing toxic fumes to cause problems for the dentist, assistant, and definatly for you the patient. So go for it now and get rid of the poison while your still healthy enough to detox the mercury from your system.

I used to sit there and listen to my boss who was a dentist give the same bs line to every patient who asked. I feel terrible having been a part of that now that I know differently. I fell for it too. Dentist's do not perform any studies on mercury and how much goes into your system through your life time. Nor does anyone else for that matter. They are using data from short term studies. There is no way to get that information on a human without constantly testing the persons blood, hair, saliva, urine, etc... over thier entire lifetime.

If you are ill and you don't know why and you have amalgams I would suspect them if I were you. Composites are much stronger now days than they used to be. You can even get composite build ups for crowns that last almost as long as amalgams. There are also inlays and onlays as well as glass ionomer fillings. Any dentist who tells you that your health is not in danger by getting the amalgam fillings is just as much a fool as the rest of us. Many dentists are becoming aware of this. You can google Biological Dentistry to find a dentist who removes amalgams in a safe manner. They have all been trained on the dangers to them, you, and thier employees so they practice safe removal. Here is a site to check out.

Hydrogen Peroxide, Baking Soda  

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Posted by Marty (Vancouver, Canada) on 11/23/2014
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I recently came down with angular cheilitis, I tried different home remedies after getting 40 dollar bottle of cream from doctor (waste of cash and time). Truth is that it wouldn't clear up until I sanitized my mouth first (flush for one min with 3%hydrogen peroxide) and yes it stung, especially where the bacteria or fungus or whatever it was had been proliferating. It stings, however as I gargled and flushed, the size and number of spots disappeared quite fast, but I continued even after the stinging stopped, just reduced from 4 times a day down to 2 times a day. All the while I would wash the cracks and surrounding area with hydrogen peroxide, dry off and then apply damp baking soda to the entire site, and yes that stung but I found that the baking soda reversed the spread literally in 24 hrs and yes the first time I went to sleep with the baking soda on my face. It was on approx 6 to 8 hrs while I slept. Signs of spread and redness were clearly evident.

During the times I did not have the baking soda on, I washed my lips and affected areas with the hydrogen peroxide and left it for a minute or so and then I applied a product called correctx(my wife is a rep for essential oils and she gave that to me) basically I kept water and or moisture from getting into cracks this way. Don't confuse water in hydrogen peroxide as regular water. I flushed regularly with the peroxide and did half hour stints during day when not working using baking soda, then washed area with hydrogen peroxide and applied something to keep water from saliva and drinking water out. 4 days later it is almost completely gone. But remember it will sting at first, the less it stings indicates progress. Just for those who say they have a high pain threshold, if u cant handle this don't say u have a high pain threshold but couldn't hack it