It is important to be fully informed of the different kinds of lip disorders. The lips are used for so many purposes that having it become inflamed or infected will inconvenience you in such a way that even the most basic of human functions, talking and eating, become a burden. There are also times that these lip disorders can also signify some underlying cause or nutritional deficiency that needs to be checked up on immediately. The following are some of the more common lip disorders that you should look out for:
Hematology and Oncology
1. Labial Melanotic Macule:
According to the book on Pathology and Genetics of Skin Tumours by Philip E. LeBoit, Melanotic Macules are are pigmented lesions that occur on skin, mucous membranes, and in nail units. Labial melanotic macules are found in the lip area. There is usually a hyperpigmentation in the affected area or lesion which leads it to look darker than the surrounding lip area. This condition is usually benign and may even not need treatment, however some people opt to have them removed using laser treatments.
In a study published in the British Journal of Dermatology, they found that this condition is usually found in women, a whopping 85% of them to be exact. It usually affected those in the 40 year old age group. This is more commonly found in the lower lip region and multiple lesions at a time are not very common. This condition is generally not something to be concerned about since those that have had it have not reported any recurrent lesions or harmful side effects to it. Some lesions even start to disappear over time without the need of treatments such as cryotherapy or laser treatments.
1. Angular Cheilitis:
Angular Cheilitis is an inflammation of the corners of the mouth. This may last a few days but may last for an even longer period of time if the underlying cause is more serious. This condition can be found in both children and adults. However, older people who use dentures that do not fit properly may suffer the consequences of this condition. Medication such as antibiotics, isotretinoin and acitretin can also cause angular cheilitis. Poor nutrition can trigger it as well.
For those who are suffering from this condition it is important not to lick your lips often as this could worsen the inflammation. The good news is, this condition can be treated over time without the need of any medication. However, for those Dr. Amanda Oakley, a dermatologist practicing in New Zealand, considers the following treatments to be useful:
- Nutritional and vitamin supplements
- Antifungal creams (The American Dental Association also recommends this.)
- Antifungal medication taken orally
- Topical antiseptics
- Filler injections or implants
The frequent use of lip balms or anything that can keep your lip area moist is also highly recommended.
2. Angular Stomatitis:
Although Angular Stomatitis is often confused with Angular Cheilitis, and the terms are often used interchangeably, Angular Stomatitis is characterized by drying out of the corners of the lips. This usually gives you the sensation of having dry and chapped lips however in Angular Stomatitis, the skin in the lips breaks apart and becomes infected which in turn may cause it to sting. The similarity of Angular Stomatitis and Angular Cheilitis can be found in the causes and cures. Similar causes such as nutritional deficiencies, infections, dentures that are not fitted properly and even allergies. Frequent moisturization of the lips by using lip balm or any natural oil of your choosing is required in this situation but constant lip licking is not encouraged since this could worsen the infection. Taking the necessary supplements or topical medication may be needed depending on your situation. But as always it is best to consult with your doctor first before applying any sort of medication to the affected area.
1. Mucous Retention Cyst:
In an article published by the Journal of the Massachusetts Dental Society, they defined Mucuous Retention Cysts as Mucous retention cysts are a result of enlargement of a mucous gland caused by blockage of a mucous gland duct in the floor of the maxillary sinus. These cysts appear as dome-shaped relative radiopacities in the maxillary sinus with the base along the floor of the maxillary sinus. There is no bony cortex around the radiopacity and no destruction, expansion, or thinning of the walls of the maxillary sinus. The majorities of mucous retention cysts are asymptomatic and tend to remain unchanged over long periods of time. If we were to make this definition more understandable for the regular Joe, this statement only means that a Mucuous Retention Cyst is a cyst found along the lining of the sinus. This cyst does not expand or interfere with any other parts of the facial area such as the eyes or nose. They usually grow smaller overtime and do not necessarily need any treatment. This is extremely common; reportedly 30 to 40% of people who request for a CT scan on their eyes will find that they have retention cysts. These can also be found in the inner surface of the lips.
1. Peutz-Jeghers Syndrome:
Peutz-Jeghers Syndrom is an extremely rare condition affecting only, statistically, 1 person in a group of 25,000-28,000. This is a serious condition that has to be treated imeediately. The usual things to consider when diagnosing Peutz-Jeghers Syndrome, is the patient’s family history and hyperpigmentation in the mouth, hands and feet since these are considered to be first signs of this condition. Another factor would be the Hamartomatous polyps in the gastrointestinal tract. When a patient displays at least 2 out of the 3 sympotoms mentioned then it is higly probably that he or she suffers from Peutz-Jeghers Syndrome.
1. Lip Ulcer:
Of the conditions discussed in this article, lip ulcers are probably the most common. These are colloquially called Canker Sores. They are round inflammations that have a yellow or white color in the middle. They are commonly found inside the mouth or lips or on the surface of your tongue. Although lip ulcers can occur to absolutely anyone, a recent study published in the BMC Gastroenterology journal has found that it is more frequent in females, adolescents and children. These sores usually last around a week or two and may die down by itself. However, most people want to speed up this process by using a warm water and salt mouth rinse or mouthwash to cleanse it of any bacteria that may worsen the lip ulcer.