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Cheilitis

Author: Hon Assoc Prof Amanda Oakley, Dermatologist, Hamilton, New Zealand, 2010.

What is cheilitis?

Cheilitis is the term used to describe inflamed lips.

Types of cheilitis

The lips can be inflamed because of an infection or skin condition:

They may be inflamed because of an allergy, toxin, medication or injury.

Nutritional deficiency can also lead to cheilitis.

How is the diagnosis of cheilitis made?

Cheilitis is usually diagnosed by taking a careful history and by clinical examination. Swabs for infections including candida and a biopsy may be required.

What is the treatment for cheilitis?

Treatment of cheilitis depends on the cause. However, soothing emollient lip balms and sunscreens are usually recommended.

Related information

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Skin lesion photography

Watch Dr Amanda Oakley presenting "Skin lesion photography" at The Australasian Skin Cancer Congress.

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