Chapped Lips & Thrush

Chapped lips
Chapped lips (Image: Image by, courtesy of Martin Kingsley)

Our mouths are one of the most prominent features of our faces. We use them every single day for talking, eating or even kissing our loved ones. Certain medical conditions, such as thrush or chapped lips, can make any of these activities embarrassing or even painful.


Thrush is a yeast infection of the mouth. Creamy white patches can appear on the tongue, cheeks and throat of a person with thrush. According to the Mayo Clinic, thrush is most common in babies or in people with a compromised immune system, such as a person with AIDS.

Chapped Lips

Chapped lips can produce white flakes of skin on the surface of the lips and can cause the lips crack and bleed. Chapped lips can occur on anyone, and are usually a result of the environment. The National Institutes of Health reports that exposure to sun, wind or dry air can cause lips to become chapped.

Are They Related?

Although you may experience thrush and chapped lips at the same time, it is unlikely that the conditions are related. The yeast that causes thrush requires a warm, moist environment, such as the inside of the mouth and throat. Chapped lips are caused by drying conditions in the environment.


According to the Columbia University College of Dental Medicine, if the corners of your mouth are red, cracking, peeling or bleeding, it could be a condition known as cheilosis. This condition could be related to thrush, since it is a yeast infection in the moist corners of the lips.


Treat chapped lips by applying lip balm and humidifying the home to remove dry conditions. Wear a lip balm with sunscreen while outdoors to prevent chapped lips from recurring. hrush and cheilosis can be treated with antifungal medications. However, both conditions can be caused by an underlying condition (such as diabetes or AIDS), so it is important to consult a doctor to determine the root cause of the infection.

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