What’s Perleche?

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Perleche is a painful condition of lesions or cracks in the corners of the mouth that can progress to infected ulcers. It is often caused by a lack of proper nutrition, allergies, or medications. Treatment includes identifying the source and using medicated lip balms or petroleum jelly. Seek medical attention if the condition persists.

Sometimes referred to as cheilosis or angular stomatitis, perleche is a series of lesions or cracks in the corners of the mouth. Because of the location of the cracks, the perleche can be a source of constant pain, with the discomfort increasing when you try to eat or drink, or even carry on a conversation. Left untreated, perleche can progress to the point that the cracks or sores begin to bleed and can even develop into infected ulcers.

As with many physical ailments, perleche is often associated with a lack of proper nutrition. Specifically, perleche can develop if the body doesn’t get a reasonable amount of riboflavin or iron on a daily basis. People who don’t eat a balanced diet every day are much more likely to develop perleche and also have a harder time recovering from the condition.

Perleche can also occur as a reaction to an allergy or even a drug. Often, identifying the irritant that is causing the outbreak can reverse the condition. Simple allergy tests will indicate whether an allergy is the source of the condition. If so, removing the allergen from the perle sufferer’s diet or environment will allow the condition to heal. A qualified physician will know if any medications prescribed may have the potential to cause perleche in some patients and be able to change the dosage or even prescribe a different medication if needed.

Perleche can be treated with ease while the source of the health problem is identified and addressed. Using a compound to add moisture to the area will often bring some measure of relief. Many types of medicated lip balms can help with perleche, and even plain old petroleum jelly in a light coating can soothe the pain associated with the condition. However, it is important to seek the services of a qualified physician if the condition appears to persist, as chapped lips can be an early sign of several more serious health problems.

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