How Can You Get Rid of Those Cracks at the Corners of Your Mouth?

The best fix to seal cracked skin.

Q: How can you get rid of those cracks at the corners of your mouth?

Oz Says: Not quite a cold sore but more than just run-of-the-mill chapping, this uncomfortable condition (if you want to get technical, it's called angular cheilitis or perlèche) often comes with winter.

"The skin at the corners of the mouth is especially prone to cracking when cold weather dries it," says Mona Gohara, MD, an associate clinical professor of dermatology at Yale School of Medicine. "And once there are breaks in the skin, moisture, food particles, and bacteria can get into them, causing redness and inflammation."

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The best fix: Combine equal amounts of petroleum jelly and an OTC 1% hydrocortisone cream, which fights irritation. This creates a seal over the cracked skin. Dab it on for five nights in a row.

If DIY doesn't work, you might need an Rx to nix tough bacteria.

This story originally appeared in the January/February 2017 issue of Dr. Oz The Good Life.

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