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Cracked Mouth? Could Be a Vitamin Deficiency

It's common to get dry, chapped lips during the Winter, but what about cracks at the corners of your mouth that don't seem to go away no matter how much lip balm you apply? I've heard that this could be a symptom of a vitamin deficiency, so I decided to do some research.

Indeed, persistent cracking at the corners of the lips could be a sign that you're not getting enough vitamin B — in particular, folic acid (B9) and riboflavin (B2). This isn't anything to freak out about, but if you think your diet might be lacking, try taking a multivitamin or vitamin B complex supplement. Or just increase your intake of foods rich in B vitamins and see if that helps. You can also soothe the cracked areas with ointments like Vaseline or Neosporin.

If the problem persists, talk to your doctor to see if you might have a more serious problem with anemia or a common fungal infection called angular chelitis.


oliveoyle625 oliveoyle625 8 years
Man, my lips are so sensitive that they almost always peel after any lip balm I apply has fully absorbed. They are generally really dry too.
pixelsugar pixelsugar 9 years
This is so helpful! I didn't know this!
snowbunny11 snowbunny11 9 years
Hey! Thanks...I moved from a snowy climate to Socal, and expected my lips not to be perma-chapped anymore...but they still are, this might explain it!
Spectra Spectra 9 years
I sometimes get chapped lips and the skin on my lips gets kind of dry, but it's not too bad. What I do sometimes is to put a little lip balm on, then take a toothbrush and scrub the dead stuff off.
Jennyusagi Jennyusagi 9 years
I take B6 for this (among other things) based on information I found on It seems to work for me. Whenever I forget to take them for a while the cracks come back.
aimeeb aimeeb 9 years
GlowingMoon GlowingMoon 9 years
I have this problem during the winter season. For me, the only cure was Vaseline. I apply Vaseline on my lips, especially in the corners, before I go to bed. Now my lips are fine.
Lovely_1 Lovely_1 9 years
Eeeee sounds horrible...and painful :(
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