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This article has been peer reviewed. It is the authors' final version prior to publication in Skinmed

Volume 11, Issue 3, July-August 2013, Pages 198-200.

The published version is available at PMID: 24053003. Copyright © Pulse Marketing & Communications, LLC


Why an essay on angular cheilitis, an easily recognized cutaneous entity? One suggestion rests with the observation that angular cheilitis could be one of the most maligned conditions seen in contemporary practice. The fissuring, redness, and soreness at the angles of the mouth may not be catastrophic, but the embarrassment and soreness are disconcerting. Another that is more disturbing concerns the unnecessary testing and treatment often seen in the community.

When a middle aged man presented with angular cheilitis on routine examination, he asked if this was due to a vitamin deficiency. Fig 1 He had been told by a physician and, of course, by Aunt Mabelthat his diet was the problem.1 In addition to having been prescribed multivitamins, a high potency steroid cream, and an antifungal preparation for presumed Candida albicans infection, he was instructed to eliminate several foods from his diet including anything spicy, plus carbonated beverages.

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