“The wish for healing has always been half of health.”
-Lucius Annaeus Seneca
We’ve been enjoying a lot of single digit temperatures here in NY and as much as I love that, I don’t at all.
I recently ran into an issue with something I didn’t know existed, never mind had a formal name. I started noticing dry, flaky red skin on one corner of my mouth. I thought this was just chapped skin, so I moisturized and exfoliated it.
But it wouldn’t go away and before long the same thing began happening on the opposite corner of my mouth as well.
It started becoming painful and irritated. It stung whenever I brushed my teeth, drank something acidic, or even when I opened my mouth too wide.
I began looking up my symptoms and realized I had developed a case of Angular Chelitis, which is an inflammation in the corners of the mouth caused by bacterial and/or fungal infection. It can be caused by a weakened immune system that cannot control the naturally occurring bacteria in our bodies, or by some kind of mouth trauma (cuts that became infected), or it could be a yeast infection that developed in the dark corners of the mouth and spread outward. Angular Chelitis is not contagious and cannot spread to any other part of the body, so fear not!
What I had was a mild case, as they can get quite painful and severe:
Obviously, working as an actor and model, this was a problem for me to have painful, red, flaking skin on my face that wouldn’t go away so I started looking into solutions. You can go to a doctor and receive antibiotics or creams, but these are not guaranteed to work, can be expensive, and this was not my preferred route.
First thing I did was make sure to keep the affected area as clean as possible, especially while eating. Next, I bought some over the counter cream used to treat yeast infections (found in the feminine care aisle.) I picked up this brand and put it on my mouth every morning and evening:
I also switched toothpaste brands to used something less severe and all natural so I wouldn’t irritate the tender skin. I began using this brand below which I picked up at ShopRite:
I gently exfoliated the area everyday and used the Miconazole. I would occasionally disinfect the area with organic Apple Cider Vinegar or Hydrogen Peroxide, but not too much, because the skin was sensitive. All of this helped while I continued to drink lots of water and follow a healthy diet per the usual.
The ultimate cure for me, however came by accident and great surprise. I was experimenting with my nutrition and began eating a lot more healthy fats in the form of Almonds, butter (or ghee), olive oil, dark chocolate, and Omega 3 fish oil capsules. Within a couple of days of making this change, the skin around my mouth began healing rapidly.
For a day or so, I stopped doing this and the irritation seemed to get a little worse. As soon as I began eating more fats, my skin continued healing. Not only that, I had a lot less flaking skin on my face, which I always have in the winter and am always trying to treat. My skin is a lot more moisturized and happy! My blood sugar also feels a lot more stable (I’m less hungry for longer periods and don’t experience the cravings that come with blood sugar drops.)
I’m now making a consorted effort to include large amounts of healthy fats into my diet on a regular basis. For example, yesterday I had 4 servings of almonds, some 70% dark chocolate, 1 serving of goat cheese and 6 Omega 3 fish oil capsules. Below is the brand I use:
It’s a lot but it feels good and it’s helping my skin so much! I could this picture just today:
You can’t even see any Angular Chelitis! I’m going to continue treating it topically for a bit just to be safe, but other than some possible, minor pinkness it’s all gone!
I hope you winter dryness sufferers can experience some relief, let me know if this information helps you!