Cheilitis glandularis is a rare disorder (prevalence is estimated to be less than one in 10,000) characterized by swelling of the lip with hyperplasia of labial salivary glands, dilatation of the excretory ducts secreting a clear, thick mucus, and variable inflammation. It occurs typically in the lower lip of adult males, but cases were described involving the upper lip, or in teenagers. In Caucasians, it is associated with a relatively high incidence of squamous cell carcinoma of the lip, presumably due to solar exposure of the mucosa. A history of sun exposure, dry atrophic lip, and histologic findings of epithelial dysplasia, indicate sometimes a solar etiology. Surgical excision by vermilionectomy gives good results. The disorder has been described in a black man and his son and daughter. This is in favour of a genetic susceptibility, but no definitive cause for this disorder has yet been established.
Last update: January 2004
- Dr Emmanuelle PROUST-LEMOINE