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Novice Karate Group (ages 8 & up)

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Vitamin B Deficiency Cracked Lips

There's nothing like soaking up a little vitamin D from the sun, but we all know that too much sun exposure can be damaging to the skin. This includes the skin of your lips. "The sun can dry out the lips and compromise the lips' ability to hold water and hydration," Michelle Henry, M.D., founder of Skin & Aesthetics Surgery of Manhattan, explains. Board-certified dermatologist and founder of Surface Deep Alicia Zalka, M.D., confirms, "The cells suffer DNA damage and start to lose natural barrier function."

vitamin b deficiency cracked lips

Both zinc and B vitamins have been shown to promote healthy skin and support wound healing, and as essential vitamins to a healthy system, a lack of these vitamins can lead to dry lips. "Vitamin B 12 deficiency specifically can lead to a condition that leads to dry, cracked lips with difficulty healing," Henry says.

It may be surprising, but lips can experience a lot of the same skin conditions that you've heard about flaring up on the body or face. One of these conditions includes lip eczema. Lip eczema doesn't result in just your average chapped lips. Instead, it mimics common eczema symptoms such as red patches, cracked skin, flaking, and general dryness. This can lead to painful breaks in the lips.

Dry, chapped or cracked lips due to weather conditions, sunburn or the common cold are considered normal. However, chronically chapped lips may be a sign of other health concerns. The following are some health issues that could be contributing to dry, chapped or cracked lips that do not appear to be healing:

Research reveals 90 percent of angular cheilitis is caused due to poor diet. Vitamin deficiency is the most common cause of cheilitis. The absence of vitamin B2 in the body slows down the metabolism of fats, proteins, and carbohydrates and decreases energy production. Thus, increasing the intake of B2 and eating foods like eggs, milk, and lean meat may help reverse the problem of cheilitis. Moreover, it is imperative to consume foods rich in vitamin B12, zinc, and folic acid to keep cheilitis at bay.

B-complex vitamins play a variety of roles in your health, and insufficient amounts of these vitamins in the diet can lead to symptoms like dry mouth, cracked or split lips, and cracks in the corners of your mouth. Vitamin B deficiencies can be treated by incorporating the right foods into your diet or by using the oral or injection-based supplements that are available.

B-complex vitamins are usually found in the same foods and have overlapping roles in your health. This means that a deficiency in any single B-complex vitamin is likely to be accompanied by deficiencies in other B vitamins. There are eight essential vitamins that make up the B-complex family. According to the Food and Drug Administration, most people need to consume the following amounts of B-complex vitamins on a daily basis:

Vitamin B deficiency and cracked lips that occur around your mouth (not just on the sides) are primarily due to lack of vitamin B1. If you have cracked lips for long periods of time, you may also experience a split lip in which one of the cracks breaks completely and begins to bleed.

While long-term treatment for this requires resolving the vitamin deficiency, more immediate treatment typically involves applying soothing ointments, like petroleum jelly, coconut oil or medicated lip balms.

Of course, cracked and split lips aren't just caused by vitamin deficiencies. They may occur for a variety of reasons, such as exposure to cold weather or bacterial or fungal infections. In many cases, cracked and split lips will go away on their own. However, if you suspect that you have an infection or that a vitamin B deficiency is causing cracked lips, you should consult your physician.

You can find B-complex vitamins in a variety of foods that come from both plant-based and animal products. If you're experiencing cracked lips or other oral symptoms of vitamin B deficiency, you can find thiamin (vitamin B1) in:

These individuals should be particularly conscious of their nutrient consumption and, in some cases, may need more than the recommended daily value. Integrating more foods rich in B-complex vitamins into your diet may be a good idea if you believe you are at risk for B vitamin deficiency. According to the Mayo Clinic, any food is considered to be rich in nutrients as long as it has 20 percent or more of the total recommended daily value.

If you aren't able to obtain enough essential nutrients in your diet, your doctor may recommend that you take supplements. If your deficiency is particularly severe, your doctor may even recommend an injectable version of certain B vitamin supplements.

So, how does a nutritional deficiency lead to angular cheilitis? Research suggests that nutrient deficiencies affect oral tissue homeostasis (or the growth process of new cells), decrease resistance to things like bacteria and fungi, and put a damper on tissue repair. Additionally, a study found that your oral health is somewhat dependent on vitamin B12 and a deficiency can lead to a range of oral problems. Finally, a vitamin B12 deficiency can negatively impact your immune system, which can make you more susceptible to things like fungal infections.

A Vitamin B deficiency can wreak havoc on your skin, causing acne, rashes, dry and flaky skin, cracked lips, and wrinkles. It can also make your skin more sensitive to sunlight, personal care products, and other potential aggressors, and can accordingly lead to redness and irritation.

Vegans and vegetarians often lack B-12, which is found in meat. Riboflavin (or B2) is vital for healthy skin, hair, nails and yes, lips. If you have sores in your mouth, it could be due to a deficiency. Riboflavin can be found in dairy products, eggs and green leafy veggies. It is also in nuts and beans. Adults need 1.7 milligrams of riboflavin. A multivitamin offering 100 percent or more of the recommended daily allowance (RDA) for all the Bs is the simplest solution.

Besides vitamins, some drugs can make your lips dry, for example, the high-blood pressure medication Inderal. Skin care products containing retinoids may also be responsible for chapped lips. Your toothpaste, lipstick, or the lip balm itself may be responsible. Avoid lipstick with propyl gallate and toothpaste with sodium lauryl sulfate. Lip balms with parabens, phthalates or plumping ingredients like phenol and carmol can harm your lips as can menthol.

Vitamin B deficiencies are rare in the United States, because many everyday foods are fortified with B vitamins. These foods include cereals, breads, and pasta. Also, B vitamins are found naturally in a variety of foods, including leafy green vegetables and whole grains. But if you do have a deficiency in any of the B vitamins, it can cause serious health problems.

Vitamin B testing is used to find out if your body is not getting enough of one or more B vitamins (vitamin B deficiency). A vitamin B12 and folate test is often used to check for certain types of anemia.

The teeth which are in a pre-eruptive phase are influenced by the nutritional status of the body. The deficiencies of vitamin D, vitamin C, vitamin B and vitamin A and Protein Energy Malnutrition (PEM) have been associated with the disturbances in the oral structures. Enamel hypoplasia is a lesion which is characterized by hypoplastic grooves and/or pits in the enamel, which are often horizontal or linear in appearance [1]. Some hypoplasia and pits on the surface of the enamel correlate to a lack of vitamin A. More diffused hypoplastic forms of the enamel have been reported with a vitamin D deficiency as well [4, 5]. The structural damage can testify the period in which the lack of nutrition has occurred.

The health of the periodontal tissues is strongly related to the diet. There is a relationship between the calcium intake and periodontal diseases. Calcium plays an important role in building the density in the alveolar bone that supports the teeth. A similar relationship exists between vitamin C and periodontal diseases. Vitamin C plays the main role in maintaining and repairing the healthy connective tissue, along with its antioxidant properties. A deficiency of vitamin C is known to cause scurvy, which is characterized by defective collagen formation due to disturbances in the collagen synthesis. The oral manifestations of scurvy include bleeding gums and gingivitis [3,22,23].

Cheilitis may also be associated with numerous conditions or diseases, e.g., nutritional deficiencies, such as megaloblastic anemia due to vitamin B12 deficiency, anemia due to iron deficiency, oral candidiasis, diabetes (2, 4-8).

Cheilitis simplex (chapped lips, common cheilitis, cheilitis sicca) is one of the most common subtypes, presenting as cracked lips, fissures or desquamation of the lips, usually of the lower lip (Fig. 1) (2, 7). Here frequent lip licking promotes dryness and irritation, ending in separation of the mucosa and cracking. Some authors use a different label for a similarly categorized subtype, lip licking cheilitis, due to lip licking habit or frequent lip retraction into the oral cavity (especially in children with atopic dermatitis) (6, 7). Such licking removes the thin, oily surface film that protects the lips from moisture loss, leading to lip cracking. Lip lesions are also influenced by saliva, the digestive enzymes of which can irritate the lips by extracting moisture and causing evaporation. Some children have the habit of sucking and biting the lower lip, whereby a sharply bordered perioral erythema may occur.

Angular cheilitis(also termed perleche, cheilosis, or angular stomatitis or angulus infectiosus) typically manifests at the corners of the mouth/lips. The disease is most common in patients with deep wrinkles in lip angles and those who are prone to licking lip corners (8). Generally, the disease starts during vitamin and mineral deficiencies (B vitamins, iron, zinc, etc.), or is caused by other conditions and diseases (e.g., poorly fitting dentures and drooling, celiac disease) (4, 6, 9). An important factor is also saliva production, i.e. increased secretion and drooling, which contributes to the disease. Conversely, during decreased saliva secretion (hyposalivation), dryness promotes cracking and desquamation, as well as the invasion of Candida albicans with the emergence of angular cheilitis inflammation.

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