By Gary M. White, MD

Cheilitis Glandularis

Cheilitis glandularis is the chronic swelling of the lower lip caused by hyperplasia of the salivary glands.


Swelling of the lower lip with multiple vesicles or the formation of beads of clear fluid with gentle pressure is characteristic. The string sign is the formation of a string of mucous between the finger and lip. Eczematous changes may coexist, e.g. inflammation, crusting scaling etc.


Aggressive sun protection is advised. For any eczematius changes, a topical steroid ointment may be given. Educating and monitoring for SCC should be done. Topical tacrolimus, oral minocycline and intralesional triamcinolone have been used. Macrocheiloplasty may be beneficial in chronic, resistant cases.

Additional Pictures

The string sign is shown here.
Cheilitis Glandularis

Beads of fluid are seen.
Cheilitis Glandularis


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