Cracked mouth could mean more than dryness

Autumn is almost over and the dryness is really setting in. Your skin may start to flake and your lips crack more easily. Time to whip out those lip balms, most women would say.

But what if the dryness spreads to the corners of your mouth? Even worse, the cracks hurt and won’t go away. No amount of lip balm would help and you’re feeling down about this ugly sore spot on your face.

The mystery could be that you have a deficiency in certain B vitamins that causes the paper cut-like symptoms, which is a condition called angular cheilitis.

You could specifically be lacking in riboflavin (B2), or folic acid (B9). Milk, cheese, leafy green vegetables, liver, kidneys, soybeans, and almonds good sources of vitamin B2, but too much exposure to light would destroy it.

Similarly, while vitamin B9 is easily found in liver, kidney, green-leafy vegetables and cauliflower, it can be easily zapped away because of overcooking.

Other clues to lacking these essential B vitamins are a red, sensitive tongue and a scaly rash. Drinking too much alcohol and consuming certain drugs could deplete B vitamins in your body.

It’s not anything to panic about and I think the fastest way to solve this problem is to pop a vitamin B complex supplement or a multi-vitamin once a day till it goes away. You can use Vaseline to soothe the pain cracks as it is a gentle, scent-free lubricant.

A cracked mouth could also mean you are anemic and lacking iron in your red blood cells. You can take a stand alone iron vitamin or if that feels too much, find a multi-vitamin that has some iron in it. If you are anemic, it’s likely you tire easily so the B vitamins in a multi-vitamin pill could also boost your energy levels.

Still if the problem persists after trying alternative remedies, then it’s time to see a doctor.


Yu Ming Lui blogs at Discover Supplements where she talks about natural remedies for everyday health conditions and problems.

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