Cheilitis - Oral Mucosal Lesion
Cheilitis is one of the more challenging oral problems to diagnose and treat. Many cases represent a factitial disorder related to lip-licking habits, and it can be difficult to convince patients that the vermilion zone of the lip should be dry (the "wet line" is the demarcation between the labial mucosa and vermilion zone).
Some cases of cheilitis are related to contact hypersensitivity reactions to compounds found in products that commonly come into contact with the vermilion zone of the lip, including cosmetics, lip balms, toothpastes, and sunscreens (oxybenzone [benzophenone-3]).
Other cases of cheilitis are due to candidal infection related to chronic lip-licking or to the use of petrolatum-based materials that are applied to the lips. The petrolatum seals in moisture, allowing the candidal organism to thrive in the moist keratin that results.
Retinoids (isotretinoin and acitretin) are also frequent causes for this problem. High doses of vitamin A, lithium, chemotherapeutic agents (busulfan and actinomycin), d-penicillamine, isoniazid, and phenothiazine have also been reported to cause cheilitis.
Related topics: actinic cheilitis, angular cheilitis, exfoliative cheilitis
K13.0 – Diseases of lips
7847004 – Cheilitis
Differential Diagnosis & Pitfalls
- Actinic cheilitis
- Contact dermatitis
- Chronic lip licking
- Chronic candidal infection – Related to application of petrolatum-based lip balms.
- Granulomatous cheilitis / Melkersson-Rosenthal disease
- Cheilitis glandularis – Very rare condition that is characterized by prominent swelling with eversion of the lip. Sometimes purulent exudate can be expressed from the minor salivary gland orifices on the labial mucosa.
Drug Reaction Data