Cracks on the lips: find out the possible causes and timely treat



  • Why appear
  • Classification
  • Symptomatology
  • Recommendations
  • How and what to treat
  • Prevention

Almost everyone has encountered at least once in a life with such an unpleasant phenomenon as cracks on the lips - painful, sometimes bleeding, interfering with eating and spoiling make-up and appearance in general. It's one thing when they are formed due to weathering in the frost (we know the reason - we treat by appropriate means). But it's completely different when they appear literally out of nowhere and cause discomfort for a long time without reacting to any therapeutic methods. Our task is to find out which symptom of the disease and the consequence of what wrong actions they are.

Why appear

If you think that the reasons for the formation of cracks on the lips are limited to windy, frosty weather, you are deeply mistaken. Perhaps you are a few days before their appearance:

  • squeezed out acne, thereby spreading a purulent infection throughout the face;
  • used substandard cosmetics;
  • unsuccessfully descended to the dentist;
  • were for a long time outdoors at low temperatures and bad weather conditions or in a room with insufficient humidity;
  • burned or hit;
  • violated the rules of hygienic care for the face, oral cavity;
  • they used dirty or strange dishes and picked up a virus, a bacterium or an infection;
  • constantly licking - in this case, the freezing occurs several times faster, and in the corners of the mouth stagnant saliva, which provokes the formation of seizures;
  • combed his lips;
  • they used unwashed products for food.

Any mechanical damage can cause the formation of a delicate skin appearance of cracks. To this group of factors it is also possible to attribute a habit of constantly biting your lips or keeping foreign objects in your mouth (pen, pencil, etc.). Then, and formed shallow bleeding wounds, which need to heal with regenerating ointments. Most often, these reasons explain the cracks in the child, who due to his imprudence can allow injuries. In an adult, they can be caused by smoking for many years.

Sometimes it happens that the skin of the lips is very dry (reasons - an individual feature, an improper drinking diet, a prolonged fever, dehydration). In this situation, any wide smile or one careless touch can provoke a crack.

But in 50% of cases, the cracked lip is a warning signal about a serious disease that ripens inside the body. It can be a symptom of such ailments as:

  • beriberi (usually deficit B2, E, A);
  • allergy (on cosmetics, toothpaste);
  • anemia;
  • bacterial infection (Pseudomonas aeruginosa);
  • Kawasaki's disease;
  • HIV infection;
  • fungal infection (staphylococci, yeast);
  • herpes;
  • liver and gastrointestinal diseases;
  • caries;
  • impaired metabolism;
  • malocclusion;
  • diabetes;
  • weak immunity;
  • cheilitis - a disease of the lips, accompanied by the appearance of not only cracks, but also peeling, ulcers, blisters, hyperemia;
  • ulcerative stomatitis.

In all these cases, first you have to treat the underlying disease, and external therapy of wound healing is already an auxiliary one. Cracks on the lips can also be the result of an overdose of powerful drugs (such as glucocorticoids, cytotoxic drugs, hormones, immunosuppressants, antibiotics).


The choice of methods for treating cracks will also be influenced by their appearance. The fact is that they can be different not only for reasons of origin, but also for size, quantity, location of localization, etc. Such classifications allow the doctor to make the right decision and prescribe the right drugs.

In the place of localization:

  • on the lower lip (diagnosed in 65% of cases);
  • on the top;
  • cracks in the corners of the lips (the so-called seizures, or angulitis).

In count:

  • single (goes, as a rule, in the center, diagnosed in 70% of cases);
  • multiple (from 2 to 4).

To size:

  • small (up to, cm);
  • large (more, cm).

The nature:

  • longitudinal;
  • transverse.

At first glance, simple cracks on the lips, a fairly extensive classification and nature of origin

In the form of cheilitis:

  • Catarrhal

Causes - injuries, weather conditions, burns. Additional symptoms: inflammation, swelling, flushing, flaking of the lips and skin around the mouth. Methods of treatment: keratoplasty, vitamin therapy (especially riboflavin).

  • Glandular

The reason - inflammation of the mucous glands due to trauma, infection, bad habits. Accompanying symptoms: glandular hyperplasia, pus, lip enlargement in volume. In 80% of cases it ends with a complication in the form of cysts, while the old form of the mouth is deformed, and it can be returned only by means of plastic surgery. Heals the glandular cheilitis dentist. Home and folk methods are excluded.

  • Exfoliative

It usually strikes women. Symptomatology of dry cheilitis, in addition to cracks: peeling, dyskeratosis. It is treated very long, can go into exudative form. In this case, soreness increases, grayish-yellow crusts cover the entire surface of the lips, which causes multiple cracks. There is a very strong swelling. This clinical picture makes speech and eating difficult.

  • Eczematous

Causes: allergies to cosmetics or toothpaste, vitamin B deficiency, trauma. Symptomatics: hyperemia, damage to the oral cavity of erythema, roseola, telangiectasia, nodules, ulcers and other lichen-like elements, crust, peeling, severe burning, infiltration. Treatment consists primarily in eliminating the allergen. After this, antiseptic drugs, corticosteroid ointments and multivitamins are prescribed.

  • Candidiasis

The main cause is stomatitis. Treatment is carried out at the dentist.

In the shape of angulita:

  • Streptococcal

Most often it is diagnosed in children. The sequence of appearance of cracks is the following: first in the corners of the mouth are formed phlyacids (bubbles) with thin lid, which is opened and detects slit-like erosion, covered with purulent-bloody crust. If you take it off, the lip splits. Causes severe enough pain.

  • Candida-cystic

In the corners of the mouth appears bright red erosion with peeling epithelium and grayish-white plaque. If they unintentionally tear off, a crack is formed.

In 10% of the population, a chronic lip crack is also diagnosed. It always appears in the same place and represents damage to the cells, which for various reasons have a low regeneration capacity. It can be healed for a while, but the first provoking factor will cause the skin to crack again in the same place.


Cracks on the lips are accompanied by additional symptoms:

  • pain that intensifies with eating or smiling;
  • hyperemia;
  • discomfort with eating and talking;
  • burning and itching;
  • bleeding at the slightest touch;
  • metallic taste in the mouth;
  • plaque;
  • film;
  • peeling not only the lips, but also the skin around.

Indeed, when the lips crack, it is very painful to eat, talk, smile, kiss. Usually such a clinical picture begins to weaken already on the second day with timely treatment. The final healing is observed, as a rule, in a week, if it is not about complications.


Finally, the diagnosis is made based on the data of the symptoms (based on the results of the patient's interview), a smear from the oral cavity (excludes candidiasis, streptococcal infection and herpes), blood tests, consultations with a dentist, a hematologist, endocrinologist.


Hygienic lipstick is the simplest and most effective preventative against cracks and flaking lips

To accelerate the healing of cracks, in addition to the treatment prescribed by the doctor, it is necessary to follow the rules for caring for tender and injured skin. Without this, recovery may take weeks. To prevent this, follow simple but important advice.

  1. Exclude alcoholic and carbonated beverages, marinades, spicy, acidic and salty foods for the duration of treatment from the diet.
  2. As much as possible to consume foods rich in vitamin B2 (wild rice, cheese, nuts, beans, green vegetables, poultry, bran, fish, egg yolk, avocado) and vitamin E (cabbage, fresh corn, vegetable oil, oatmeal).
  3. Refuse to smoke, as it can turn wounds into sores, which will significantly slow the treatment.
  4. A full sleep, fresh air and motor activity will contribute to the strengthening of immunity, which plays an important role in the treatment.
  5. Folk remedies are not recommended if the wounds are bleeding, since an infection can be added.
  6. Decorative cosmetics are excluded.

So, if a crack on the lip does not heal too long, despite the use of all prescribed medications, there can be only 2 explanations for this. Or you neglect the rules of care listed above - then you need to immediately work on the errors. Either the treatment was misdirected - it is worth to reapply to a specialist (perhaps another) and ask for an additional examination and revision of the therapeutic course.

How and what to treat

Cracks on the lips can be treated with external means to eliminate external symptoms. If the cause was normal mechanical damage, this is enough. But if this hides a more serious disease, drugs are prescribed for ingestion.

External means

  • Antiseptic dyes: iodine, zelenka, Fukortsin;
  • Bepanten and D-Panthenol;
  • Boro-plus;
  • petrolatum;
  • glycerin borax solution;
  • Gyioxysone;
  • Clotrimazole;
  • Lamisil cream;
  • Vishnevsky ointment;
  • Metrogyl Denta;
  • Nystatin, Zinc, Erythromycin, Serno-Salicylic, Synthomycin, Tetracycline, Levorin Ointment;
  • Solcoseryl (paste, gel or cream);
  • Stomatidin;
  • Triderm;
  • Trimistin;
  • Fluconazole.

Before using external means, it is necessary to remove contamination from the skin. You can do it with a cotton disc moistened in water. A small amount of cream, ointment or gel is squeezed out onto the crack and distributed throughout its length in a thin layer. After half an hour, the remnants are removed by gently blotting with a paper towel. The frequency is determined by the doctor. Usually prescribed 2-3-one-time use of such drugs. Cauterization with antiseptic dyes is made only along the edge of the wound and assumes the obligatory subsequent moisturizing of the skin.

Preparations for ingestion

  • Amoxil (Amoxil) - antimicrobial action;
  • vitamins: Riboflavin, Tocopherol, Aevit, Niacin, multivitamin complexes;
  • immunomodulators: Interferon, Decaris, Lycopid, Arbidol, Amiksin, Lymphomiazot, Ismigen, Imudon, Ribomunil, Timalin and others;
  • antifungal drugs: ketoconazole, Lamisil, Levorin, Nizoral, Nystatin, Fluconazole;
  • penicillins: Amoxicillin, Mecillam;
  • cephalosporins: ceftolozane, ceftarolin, ceftobiprol;
  • macrolides: Erythromycin, Telithromycin;
  • aminoglycosides: Iepamycin, Streptomycin.

These drugs are used exclusively for the doctor's prescription and according to the dosages prescribed in the instructions. They are aimed at suppressing pathogenic microorganisms and bacterial microflora that inhibit the healing of tissues.

To cure a crack, sometimes it is enough just external ointments and creams. But in some cases you will have to drink a full course of pills or vitamins. Injections are rarely prescribed.

Folk remedies

For treatment, folk remedies can also be used. If it is a serious illness, it can be done only with the permission of the doctor. If the cause was normal mechanical damage and the wound is not deep, you can first of all help yourself before the call of a specialist with the following recipes.

  1. The best remedy in such situations is wound healing sea buckthorn oil. They need to lubricate the wound 4-5 times a day.
  2. Mix 20 grams of apple puree and cottage cheese. Apply to a cracked lip twice a day.
  3. In 50 ml of boiled cool water dilute 5 drops of tea tree oil. Wet a cotton pad in the solution, apply for 5 minutes to cracks. Do twice a day.
  4. Mix 50 ml of liquid honey with 20 drops of fish oil. Wet the mixture with a wound twice a day.
  5. After eating, it is recommended to carefully treat the wounds with a cotton disc moistened in thermal water.
  6. Mix 10 grams of honey, cocoa powder and melted butter. Do the application twice a day.
  7. Lubricate the wound with warm extra virgin olive oil or melted butter in a water bath 3-4 times a day.
  8. Do 2-3 times a day of applique from the decoctions of medicinal wound healing herbs: celandine, oak bark, chamomile, sage, peanuts, calendula, plantain, etc.
  9. Lubricate the wounds twice a day with aloe juice, diluted in equal proportions with water.

If the treatment was professional (as prescribed by the doctor) and timely, as early as 5-6 days, cracks usually painful sensations gradually come to naught, and in the near future recovery comes.


If your lips crack very often, you need to carry out preventive measures that will forever forget about this unpleasant problem.

  1. The main preventive means is a usual hygienic lipstick or balm, which must be applied for half an hour before going out. In this case, pay attention to the fact that they should not be moisturizing. Otherwise, this will provoke a new crack formation.
  2. Be engaged in strengthening immunity, as it is at the moments of its weakening that the lips begin to crack. To do this, more be in the fresh air, tempered, eat right, try not to allow vain excitement.
  3. Twice a year, drink a course of multivitamins.
  4. In cold weather, dress warmly. Do not supercool the body.
  5. Minimize alcohol and smoking.
  6. Do not squeeze pimples on your face by yourself.
  7. Use only high-quality cosmetics - with vitamins and UPF-filters.
  8. Avoid burns and bumps, do not brush or bite your lips.
  9. In a timely manner, treat all diseases that you have to deal with. Check with your dentist twice a year.
  10. The child is very important to teach you how to wash your hands before eating and not to put various foreign objects into your mouth.

As you can see, it is quite possible to get rid of cracks on the lips if you know what caused them and start treatment in a timely manner. If there are any doubts about the reasons for their formation and therapeutic methods, it is better not to hesitate and not to experiment with ointments and other drugs. In such cases, you need to seek help from the therapist as soon as possible, which, after the examination, will be sent to the right specialist. Remember that you can not let anything go on your own - otherwise you will have to face complications.