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Sore in Corner of Mouth

Sore in the corner of the mouth is a condition in which the corners of the lips get cracked, chapped and in some cases start bleeding. The sore in the corner of the mouth is a very common condition and happens to people regularly. There can be a lot of reasons for the sore corners of the mouth and if not taken care of can lead to infections. Sore in corner of the mouth symptoms might range from low to high and so does the discomfort. In the cases where the pain is intense and you have problems even with the normal day to day tasks, consulting a good doctor is very important.

Signs and Symptoms

There are lots of signs and symptoms associated with the sore in corner of mouth. The symptoms can occur exclusively or all together depending on what is causing the condition.

Symptoms includes the following:


There is redness in the corners of the mouth the spreads all across the lips. The redness is because there is a small wound on the side of the lips and as a response to any injury caused to the body, our brain increases the blood flow to that area. This is done in order to fasten the healing process.

Pain and inflammation

The lips when sore cause immense pain when moved or when the mouth is opened. If any substance that can irritate the wound is applied on the lips, pain is felt. The area around them gets red due to inflammation and the irritation in the skin. In more severe cases a person is not even able to chew his food.


The corners of the mouth start bleeding if the mouth is opened improperly or the dryness makes the cracks in them. If the lips are not taken care of, the blood and the other material accumulate on the side of the lips causing even more discomfort.

Pus formation

If the skin around the corners of the lips gets infected due to poor hygiene or carelessness, the place starts forming small bumps that are filled with pus. Sometimes there are no bumps and the skin in itself gets red and swollen and pus fills inside it. It gets drained out when the condition heals. This condition increases the pain in the already painful lips.


Dehydration is one of the causes of the sore in the corner of the mouth. The lips get dry and this leads to the formation of the cracks on them. The cracks on the side of the mouth are the worst. They even pain while opening up or chewing. Drinking lots of water and moisturizing can help.


Small or large blisters are formed on the side of the lips. These blisters are filled with liquids and when burst causes immense pain and even bleeding. The blisters are usually seen in the case of cold sores or herpes. They can get worse because of drooling and not keeping the area clean.


Another symptom a person feels is the stiffness in the lips. The inability to talk, chew or open the mouth. As the person opens the mouth, there is an intense pain that stays for a long time. The lesser the movement of the lips, the less pain will be felt. This stiffness gets worsened in the case of blister formation and extreme dryness.


The area around a blister or a crack usually swells. It becomes risen, red and tender to touch. When touched or if some pressure is applied to it, inflammation and pain are caused. The lips give an illusion of becoming enlarged due to the swelling in them.

Causes of Sore in Corner of Mouth

There are a number of causes that lead to the sore in the corners of the mouth. Sometimes it might just be because of the basic things like dryness and sometimes might indicate a serious condition like an HIV or Herpes infection. The causes are explained in the detail below:


Many viral infections such as herpes and bacterial infections such as staph are the reason for the sore in the corner of the mouth. Herpes is a sexually transmitted disease and along with this, it has many other symptoms as well. Staph is a bacterium that is usually found in our respiratory tract and the skin. Even though this is some friendly bacteria, but sometimes it gets irritated and activated which leads to the infection in the different parts of the skin, especially around the nose and the lips.

Iron or Zinc Deficiency

The deficiency of iron or zinc in the body is also indicated by the sore corners in the mouth. The deficiency of minerals does a lot of harm to our immune system causing infections like this. If you have sore corners of the mouth, it is important to get your minerals levels checked. Iron is the main component in the transportation of oxygen from one body part to the other through blood and iron deficiency can lead to many other big problems. Anemia is an extremely prevalent problem and should be treated immediately.

Chapped lips

Sometimes a simple chapping of the lip can cause sores in the corner of the mouth. The chapping is not treated properly causes worse effects and pain. It becomes worse with licking the lips of drooling or not cleaning the area regularly.


Excessive exposure to the sun might lead to sun poisoning on the lips. The sun poisoning dries them and causes them to crack. The condition can lead to the sores in the corners. Sun also dehydrates the skin and burns it. So there is a chance that the person might even see redness and inflammation on the lips.

Allergic reaction

Mostly the allergic reactions happen to the cosmetic products like lip balms and lipsticks or everyday products like toothpaste and mouth cleansers. These can lead to the formation of small bumps and blisters all around the lips including the corners of the mouth and goes away as soon as the skin stops getting irritated.

Poor Diet

Sometimes the sores are also the reason of eating improper food. Foods that produce heat and are might be the reason of indigestion. Many stomach conditions are indicated by the sores in and around the lips.


Dehydration is the number one cause of the dryness and the chapping of the lips. Dehydration leads to the development of cracks on the side of the lips. These cracks if not taken care of might lead to many other infections and turn into a big disease.

Cold Sores

Cold sores are a cluster of blisters that are formed on or around the lips. These happen due to a bacterial infection and the blisters appear all of a sudden. They are very painful and sometimes cover the whole mouth. Cold sores are one of the biggest reason for sore in the corner of the mouth.


Wearing dentures that do not fit appropriately is another reason for the sore corner. Dentures are made up of metals or fiber and are pointy. So when they do not fit properly, they tend to injure the area around them forming wounds leading to soreness.

Vitamin Deficiency

The sore in the corner of the mouth might also indicate a vitamin deficiency. The deficiency of vitamin B is the reason for this. Foods rich in this can help cure the condition easily.


The sore in the corner of the mouth is not a big problem and can be easily treated with the over the counter medicines in most cases.

Treatments includes the following:


In the case of a fungal infection the doctor prescribes an antifungal ointment for the affected areas on the corners of the mouth. Regular application of the ointment helps heal them.

Zinc Oxide paste

Zinc oxide is very helpful in repairing the skin. In addition to this, it also acts as a good antifungal paste and be used to kill the fungal infection.


Other oral antibiotics are given in the case of a viral and bacterial infection. The doctor will usually determine the cause of your problem and then prescribe the medicine to you.

Cocoa butter

Cocoa butter is an excellent moisturizer and helps keep the lips hydrated. No matter what has caused the sores in the corner of the mouth, moisturizing them is very important and nothing better than cocoa butter can be used.

Vitamin E and Tea tree oil

Vitamin E and tea tree oil are some products that can do magic for the skin. Make a mixture of vitamin E, tea tree oil, and petroleum jelly and apply it on the cracked part of the lip many times a day.


Avoid spicy foods, licking the lips and drooling. All these activities can worsen the situation and sometimes lead to further infections.

How to Heal the Cracked Lip Corners Fast?

In addition to the above treatments, following the pointers were given below can help treat the cracked lips fast.


Most of the cracked lips corners are caused by dehydration. So, drinking at least 6 glasses of water daily and increasing the intake according to the need is important. Water maintains the elasticity of the skin and its deficiency makes the skin dry.

Avoid Sun

Avoid going in the direct sunlight especially during the summers. The ultraviolet rays can do more harm than good to the already cracked lips and also lead to sunburns.

Proper Diet

Take a proper diet to overcome anemia and vitamin deficiency in the body. A proper diet containing lots of vegetables, fruits and proteins are very important to keep a person healthy.


Maintain the hygiene of the lip area. Clean the area regularly and do not let any buildup of substance take place on the corners of the mouth.


Wondering how sore in corner of mouth looks like? We’ve put together few pictures of cracked corners and sores in corner of mouth for your understanding…

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