Cheilitis simplex

Last Updated: 2023-07-07

Author(s): Navarini A.

ICD11: DA00.0

Cheilitis is an inflammation of the lips. It can occur acutely or chronically. Primarily, the red of the lips is affected (vermilion and its border), secondarily, the surrounding hair follicle-bearing skin as well as the mucosa may also be involved.


Comes with

  • chronic irritant contact dermatitis (1/3 patients)
  • allergic contact dermatitis (1/4)
  • atopic diathesis (1/5)
  • idiopathic (1/10)
  • associated with other dermatoses (1/10)

  • Erythema
  • Dry, lamellar scaling
  • Rhagades
  • Edema
  • Itching / burning

History: Atopic diathesis, contact irritants or allergens, lip licking, food, cosmetics, environmental irritants (cold, dryness, ...).

Typical clinical picture

Exclusion of actinic cheilitis and exfoliative cheilitis (idiopathic)

Lips, partly surrounding skin.

After avoiding identified contact substances, the prognosis is good.

  1. Treatments of actinic cheilitis: A systematic review of the literature. Lai M, Pampena R, Cornacchia L, Pellacani G, Peris K, Longo C.J Am Acad Dermatol. 2019 

  2. Treatment of actinic cheilitis: a systematic review. Salgueiro AP, de Jesus LH, de Souza IF, Rados PV, Visioli F.Clin Oral Investig. 2019 May;23(5):2041-2053. 

  3. Patch Testing for Cheilitis: A 10-Year Series. Cheng HS, Konya J, Lobel E, Fernandez-Penas P.Dermatitis. 2019 Nov/Dec;30(6):347-351.