Exfoliative cheilitis describes the clinical appearance of a severe cheilitis.

Clinical features:

(1) chronic inflammation of the lips usually affecting the lower lip more

(2) cyclic thickening of the keratin layer with areas of peeling

(3) ulceration and hemorrhagic crusts may appear after the keratin layer peels off

(4) pain


The lip lesions are disfiguring and may result in social isolation.



(1) systemic lupus erythematosus (possibly as severe actinic cheilitis)

(2) HIV (potentially with Candida)

(3) Candidiasis (cheilocandidosis)

(4) in association with poor oral hygiene and stress

(5) idiopathic

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