Exfoliative Cheilitis

Causes And Treatments Of Exfoliative Cheilitis

Exfoliative cheilitis is somewhat of a challenge in the world of medicine. Unlike a majority of medical diseases and disorders, the cause or causes of Exfoliative cheilitis are not known, making treatment especially difficult. What is Exfoliative cheilitis? It is a thickening of the red skin of the lips, caused by an inflammation of what is called the vermilion zone, the zone between the skin and the underlying layer of mucosa. This zone is rich in capillaries which is what makes our lips red.


No One Treatment Seems To Work For All - Although there are several types of cheilitis, what is usually involved is a thickening of the skin of the lips with superficial skin constantly peeling off. This in turn can create small lesions or cuts in the skin for those who happen to be afflicted with it. When an effective course of treatment cannot be found, the condition can become chronic, and in extreme cases can drastically affect one's lifestyle. Theories abound as to causes and treatments and there are numerous products on the market advertised as being able to cure the condition. One can spend a great deal of money on different products without success, or be lucky and hit upon one that works. One of the strange things about Exfoliative cheilitis is that it responds differently to a given treatment for different people. What works for one has no measurable affect on the next person.

The fact that different people respond differently to a given course in treatment gives some credence to the theory that body chemistry is in some way tied into the disease. A possible treatment then would be something that promotes a change in body chemistry. In other words, instead of a topical solution such as a cream, a medication may have to be ingested to be effective. The problem with this is that there is no one medication proven to be effective in all cases, so a patient may have to go through a series of different medications before finding relief, and perhaps not finding it at all.


Many Theories, No Solutions - Another way to change body chemistry of course is a change in diet, or by ingesting herbal supplements. This apparently has some positive outcomes though the process is understandably quite slow. If, as some suggest, Exfoliative cheilitis is caused by toxins in the body, a regimen of detoxification would appear to be a solution. This apparently has worked for some individuals but again, is not guaranteed to work for all.

Lifestyle can be a factor however, as medical studies have given some evidence that stress may contribute to an outbreak of the disease. Also the disease appears to have a greater incidence among those suffering from certain psychiatric disorders. As far as stress in concerned, we know that excessive stress can have disruptive influences on our bodies, especially the immune system, and can increase our vulnerability to contracting certain diseases and disorders. One known fact is that the vast majority of those afflicted with the disease are younger people, usually under 30 years of age. Like other aspects of this disease, why this is so remains unknown.

Is An Anti-Inflammatory The Answer? - One theory is that the disorder is caused by a bacteria and if the affected area is kept dry, the bacteria which require moisture will die off. This is one possibility, though keeping the lips completely dry is no small task unless they are covered with a protective coating of some sort. Another theory is that hydrogen peroxide is effective. Again, it may be effective for some but not for everyone. If there is a secret to success in dealing with this rare but unfortunate situation, it may well have something do with one of the primary symptoms, the inflammation of the area just under the skin on the lips. An anti-inflammatory agent may be the cure, may be effective in keeping outbreaks under control, or may simply provide temporary relief. Even the latter would be welcomed by sufferers of this rare disorder.