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 position of the cracks, perleche can be a source of constant pain, with the discomfort enhanced when attempting to eat or drink, or even carry on a conversation. Left untreated, perleche can progress to a point that the cracks or lesions begin to bleed, and may even form into infected ulcers.
As with many physical ailments, perleche is often associated with a lack of proper nutrition. Specifically, perleche may develop if the body is not receiving a reasonable amount of riboflavin or iron on a daily basis. Persons who do not eat a balanced diet each day are much more likely to develop perleche, and also have a more difficult time recovering from the condition.
Perleche may also occur as a reaction to an allergy or even a medication. 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 that is the case, removing the allergen from the diet or environment of the perleche sufferer will allow the condition to heal. A qualified physician will be aware if any prescription medications may have the potential to cause perleche in some patients, and be able to alter the dosage or even prescribe a different medication if necessary.
Perleche can be treated with ease while the origin of the health issue is identified and addressed. Using a compound to add moisture to the area will often bring a 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 seems to persist, as cracked lips can be an early sign of several more serious health issues.