Will A Corner Mouth Lift Help My Severe Angular Cheilitis?

Q: Dr. Eppley, I have a downturned mouth and recently read about grin lifts. I actually do not want this done for aesthetics but I was wondering if this would help me with my chronic angular chelitis. For the last 5 years the corners of my mouth have cracked and it’s very painful. I’ve tried anti fungal, anti bacterial, steroid creams, lotions, oils, toothpastes, running alcohol etc etc and nothing has cured it.(I’ve also went to numerous drs and dermatologists I take vitamin b2 religiously) I think the way my mouth is shaped is trapping saliva in the corner of my mouth and causing this. I would like your professional opinion on if this would help me.

A:Usually in refractory angular cheilitis the more definitive treatment is surgical excision of the involved mucosa and skin areas. While a corner of the mouth lift does change the downturned mouth corner it would not involve excision of the chronically infected tissues. While the downturned mouth corners may be the origin of the problem I don’t know if changing that now would beneficial/curative since the involved tissues are not what would be removed in the lift. But given the chronic nature of this problem the argument could be made that there is little to lose in trying.

Dr. Barry Eppley

World-Renowned Plastic Surgeon