Name a B vitamin. Hey, Bingo! It’s on the list! What list? The complete one from all the review papers & references to possible links between individual nutrient deficiencies & Angular Cheilitis – inflammation & cracking at the corners of the mouth. So does that mean more Bs are the answer for people presenting with this painful, recurring issue?…Ahhhhhh No. Yes, you heard me correctly, these deficiencies rarely cause the breakdown of the integrity of this very specific area of skin in the patients we see. So now we have a double ouch, right?
We might send patients away with a B complex and some lip balm and over a week the cheilitis resolves – which one was the most therapeutic?
…I hate to tell you 👀
What is the underpinning cause(s) & the important message we are missing with this presentation? Well, it could be one or more of a long LONG list of differentials, ranging from anatomical, habitual, immune related to iatrogenic. And while many nutrient deficiency pictures can include this feature and therefore make the ‘possible’ list, only one makes the ‘probable’ list. And that’s iron but only in severe deficiency, aka anaemia and only affecting 1 in 5.
…Telling anyone to push the nutritional issues further down the list of differentials for any condition?
Well, that’s unexpected
And no, antifungals aren’t the answer either. Yep, that might be worth a listen….👂