Health Tips for Seniors

Diseases of the lips – Trauma, Fissures, Leukoplakia

Trauma. The lips, in plain sight and the center of much activity during life, usually have suffered bruising, biting, chafing and often a cut or two. Aside from scar formation and possible mild deformity which would result, trauma to the lips heals quickly and is seldom serious. Severe lacerations of the lips obviously requires surgical repair.

Cracked and Fissured Lips. Cracking of the lips, with deep fissure formation frequently results from exposure to sunlight and cold, and can be very painful and smile-preventing. It is seldom serious and heals quickly when protected with pomade or skin cream.

Cracking in the corners of the mouth in adult people often indicates ariboflavinosis, a vitamin B deficiency. When the cracking accompanies malnutrition or disease resulting from an inadequate diet, healing of the corners of the mouth usually responds readily to an adequate diet containing sufficient vitamin B.

Leukoplakia. A milky-colored coating, of a slightly thickened nature on the wet inner aspect of the lips, is the appearance of leukoplakia, considered to be a pre-cancerous condition. It can occur in other areas of the mouth, besides the lips, and is often associated with the use of tobacco in any of its forms. Leukoplakia conditions call for ceasing the use of tobacco and usually the removal of these lesions by surgery or cautery. Mouth cleanliness also becomes a matter of concern, and routine oral hygiene becomes imperative.

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