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A source that says cheilosis is contagious (?)
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Published: 12 years ago

A source that says cheilosis is contagious (?)

I was surprised tonight to stumble on an apparently reasonable source that says cheilosis is contagious.

(At least I guess that is reasonable - it's Lance Armstrong's thing, right? Though maybe it's not to be trusted.)

I am surprised that this source so boldly states that it's contagious:

"While you have cheilosis, you should not kiss other people or allow other people to drink from the same glass or use the same eating utensils. Cheilosis can be contagious."

The source is also pretty harsh on us sufferers, as if we are causing our problem:

"Many times, it will not come back after treatment, but if you are unwilling to change your oral habits, then you may get cheilosis repeatedly."

Though it's not as if the author is a world expert in dermatology: "Kathy Castillo has been a medical journalist for 14 years and has a BS in Journalism and a MA in Health Education."

I also think that she's probably talking more about angular cheilosis, although she never says so. I'm not sure if it is considered any more contagious than exfoliative cheilosis, though.


Most of the people on this forum seem to feel that it's not contagious.

I have done a quick search and there have only been a handful of postings on this forum in the last 4 years that mention the word "contagious".

These are the main threads that mention it:

3 years ago:

29 months ago:

4 days ago:

(this last one is from that angular cheilitis monster thread started 25 months ago which those guys seem to use even today. it's a different-enough topic that i think should have their own curezone forum!)

I personally have wondered if it is contagious, because I got this for the first time, suddenly, when I was already in my 40s with a stable lifestyle, eating pattern, etc. - and the symptoms began to show a few weeks after I started (and then ended) a new relationship with a guy (we did a lot of kissing).

To me it makes sense that, if some of the causes of cheilitis are bacteria, fungus, yeast, viruses, it would be possible to pass those things from one person's mouth to another person's mouth. Doesn't it? Realistically, though, those things must pass between people all the time - whether they have cheilosis or not. I guess the question would be whether the recipient's mouth were vulnerable to the invaders' taking root and causing long-term problems.

Has anyone's doctors ever mentioned that this could be contagious, or told them not to kiss, share drinks, that kind of thing while their lips were flaking off?

I notice that I'm the main poster here these last few days (when it's late at night, as it is now, it kind of feels spooky here, like it's all in my imagination and I've invented this condition and all the thousands of other posts on this forum, and when I wake up from this dream, my lips will be fine!) and I don't mean to monopolize the conversation or anything.

You know what it's like, in the first few days after you find out you've got something odd, and all the pieces fall into place, and you try to find out all you can about it. :-)

I guess many Americans are probably working hard this week in the run-up to the 4-day holiday next week.

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