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What causes redness and soreness at the sides of mouth?

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Posted on Fri, 29 May 2015
Question: I have at the corners of my mouth areas that get red and sore. I have been told to keep the area dry and that it might be a fungus or yeast infection. I am 65 y/o woman. How do I treat this?
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Answered by Dr. Michelle Gibson James (17 minutes later)
Brief Answer:
may be angular stomatitis

Detailed Answer:
HI, thanks for using healthcare magic

It is possible that it may be angular chelitis/stomatitis.

This refers to redness and soreness at the sides of the mouth like you are describing.

There are different possible causes but fungal infection particular yeast (type of fungus) is one of the more common causes.

Other causes are: (1) bacterial infection
(2)allergies- contact with an allergen causing irritation in the area
(3)vitamin b deficiency
(4)iron deficiency

You can consider blood tests to check for the iron and vitamin b deficiency. A complete blood count would show anemia if there is iron deficiency or if some of the b vitamins are also deficient.

The specific levels can also be checked.

In addition to keeping the area dry, you should consider the use of a topical antifungal agent for at least 1 to 2 weeks.
This can be combined with a mild topical steroid cream for 3 to 7 days to help reduce the inflammation.

Eg of topical anti fungals are: nizoral (ketoconazole is actual drug), zeasorb (miconazole), loprox (ciclopirox), spectazole (econazole).
One of these should be found over the counter.

Eg of a topical steroid - hydrocortisone, because this is mild, it would be over the counter

I hope this helps, feel free to ask any other questions
Above answer was peer-reviewed by : Dr. Chakravarthy Mazumdar
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Answered by
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Dr. Michelle Gibson James

General & Family Physician

Practicing since :2001

Answered : 16811 Questions

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What causes redness and soreness at the sides of mouth?

Brief Answer: may be angular stomatitis Detailed Answer: HI, thanks for using healthcare magic It is possible that it may be angular chelitis/stomatitis. This refers to redness and soreness at the sides of the mouth like you are describing. There are different possible causes but fungal infection particular yeast (type of fungus) is one of the more common causes. Other causes are: (1) bacterial infection (2)allergies- contact with an allergen causing irritation in the area (3)vitamin b deficiency (4)iron deficiency You can consider blood tests to check for the iron and vitamin b deficiency. A complete blood count would show anemia if there is iron deficiency or if some of the b vitamins are also deficient. The specific levels can also be checked. In addition to keeping the area dry, you should consider the use of a topical antifungal agent for at least 1 to 2 weeks. This can be combined with a mild topical steroid cream for 3 to 7 days to help reduce the inflammation. Eg of topical anti fungals are: nizoral (ketoconazole is actual drug), zeasorb (miconazole), loprox (ciclopirox), spectazole (econazole). One of these should be found over the counter. Eg of a topical steroid - hydrocortisone, because this is mild, it would be over the counter I hope this helps, feel free to ask any other questions