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Do you also sometimes suffer from red, torn corners of the mouth? This is quite unpleasant and makes life difficult, because laughing, eating and even talking suddenly hurts. And it does not look nice either. We asked Dr. Hans-Joachim von Rohr, a specialist in dermatology/venereology, how torn corners of the mouth occur and what quick remedies are available.

What do torn corners of the mouth mean?

With torn corners of the mouth (also called corner of the mouth ragged, pearl or lazy lips) the corners of the mouth are usually reddened, irritated and torn. This is very unpleasant, because every time you open your mouth, they tear again and again. In addition, inflammations and crusts can develop. Unfortunately the painful cracks are very persistent and rarely disappear on their own.

This helps with genital herpes With our tips you can finally say goodbye to torn corners of your mouth and laugh again © Balaguta Evgeniya / Shutterstock.com

Why do you have a torn corner of your mouth?

The tearing of the corners of the mouth can have several causes. “In some cases, a vitamin and mineral deficiency can be the cause of cracked corners of the mouth,” says Dr. von Rohr.

  • Iron deficiency: If you suffer from a cracked corner of your mouth, this could be due to iron deficiency. Especially women often have low iron levels. The reason for this is usually malnutrition, where not enough iron is absorbed through food. This is because the body cannot produce the micronutrient itself. Menstruation often also plays a role. The stronger the bleeding, the more iron your body loses. Unfortunately, our Western diet is not conducive to good iron absorption either. Do you often drink coffee or black tea? What about dairy products? For many women this is on the daily menu. However, this could be problematic because the calcium from dairy products and the polyphenols contained in coffee and black tea make it difficult for the body to absorb the iron.
  • vitamin B12 Vitamin B12 is involved in blood formation and plays a role in many metabolic processes. A vitamin B12 deficiency can cause, among other things, torn corners of the mouth. Vegans often suffer from a vitamin B12 deficiency, as the micronutrient is most commonly found in fish, meat, eggs, oysters and cheese.

Torn corners of the mouth can be an indication of B12 malnutrition. The vitamin is found in fish and meat, for example © Oleksandra Naumenko / Shutterstock.com How to prevent iron deficiency anaemia 

These diseases can be behind torn corners of the mouth:

  • Skin diseases Neurodermatitis patients suffer from inflammatory and very itchy skin. This can also affect the corners of the mouth, as the irritated skin is sensitive to bacteria and fungi.
  • diabetes mellitus In diabetes, the body loses a lot of water. In addition, the salivary and sebaceous glands are often damaged. Therefore the skin of diabetes patients dries out quickly, becomes irritated and cracked. Various pathogens can penetrate through the small cracks. This is also favoured by an already weakened immune system of diabetes patients.

Increased salivation is the most common cause of torn corners of the mouth

“The digestion of our food already begins in the mouth. Saliva contains many enzymes and enzymes that can decompose food,” explains our expert Dr. von Rohr. If the saliva comes into contact with the lips, this leads to damage to the acid mantle. And that makes the skin there very sensitive. “In addition, the moisture and heat in the area of the corners of the mouth create a favorable environment for germs that come from the air,” the expert says.

If saliva collects in the corner of the mouth at night, it can irritate the skin there © F8 studio / Shutterstock.com

Increased salivation during the night is the most common cause of torn corners of the mouth. If you sleep with your mouth open, saliva often accumulates at the corners of the mouth. But even if you grind your teeth or the bite of your teeth is not correct, this stimulates increased salivation, which then destroys the acid mantle of the skin.

Torn corners of the mouth after a visit to the dentist

Do the cracked corners of your mouth usually occur after a visit to the dentist? That can be quite possible. “If the dentist opens the mouth insensitively, small skin tears and colonization with germs often occur,” explains dermatologist Dr. von Rohr.

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What can be done about torn corners of the mouth?

Dr. von Rohr recommends the oldest zinc paste in the world as an effective household remedy: Penaten cream ” Gibt’s here at amazon.de. “The Penaten cream can provide remedy, because it has an anti-inflammatory effect. At the same time, the ointment prevents skin from rubbing against skin and prevents sensitive skin from drying out”, the expert says.

You should avoid pure fatty ointments, because they tend to cover the colonization of germs, which can worsen mixed infections of bacteria and fungi.

Alternatively, Dr. von Rohr mixes his patients a cream consisting of a combination of a fatty ointment containing antibiotics and a cream containing cortisone. After one week, the torn corners of the mouth should have disappeared.

If you often suffer from cracked corners of your mouth, you should have your bite checked by your dentist © Jacob Lund / Shutterstock.com

If the corners of your mouth are repeatedly torn, you should have a smear taken from the oral mucosa. In this way the doctor can check whether a fungus is causing the painful cracks. You should also go to the dentist and have the bite of your teeth checked.

Torn corners of the mouth are painful and reduce the quality of life. Make sure you eat a diet rich in iron and vitamin B12 to prevent the unpleasant cracks. However, if you often suffer from small skin tears, you should consult your dermatologist to find out the cause.