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- What is Chapped Lips?
- What causes Chapped Lips?
- Diagnosing Chapped Lips
- Help for Chapped Lips
- More Information for Chapped Lips
What causes Chapped Lips?
Chapped lips can affect people of all ages and the cause of chapped lips may extend from high fevers as well as environmental conditions, such as cold weather, dehydration, and certain vitamin deficiencies. Other causes include:
- Exposure to wind, sun, and cold, dry air
- Obstructed breathing, such as in allergic rhinitis, or sleep apnea that can force you to breathe through your mouth
- Contact dermatitis due to irritants or allergens in cosmetics or skin-care products
- Certain medications, such as those used to treat acne
Diagnosing Chapped Lips
Lip licking can also become habit forming and lead to chronically chapped lips. This is known as cheilitis and is usually seen in 7–15 year olds and is typically characterized as a scaling, pink band around the mouth.
Lip-licking cheilitis is best treated with avoidance of the licking behavior, while drug-induced cheilitis (commonly seen with drugs such as Retinoids, Lithium and Chemotherapeutic agents) is treated with the avoidance of the offending drug and frequent application of a natural soothing cream to help ease lip pain and irritation.
See your primary care physician or dermatologist if you notice persistent scaling of the lips.
Help for Chapped Lips
Many herbal and homeopathic remedies have been formulated with specific ingredients to help soothe delicate skin, such as the lips and sensitive areas around the mouth. Calc flour is a biochemic tissue salt particularly useful for the healing of chapped and cracked skin, while Calendula officinalis (Marigold) is an herbal ingredient used to treat skin problems and promote healing of wounds.
Chamomile soothes skin irritation and reduces pain and discomfort, without side effects or the risk of addiction. Vitamin E products can also be used topically to ensure optimal skin health. Always use natural remedies from a reputable source.
More Information for Chapped Lips
Tips to help prevent and treat chapped lips
- In early times goose or duck fat was used to help speed healing of chapped lips – so next time you make roast duck, store the fat as traditional medicine in the fridge! Coconut oil, olive oil or shea butter, will also help to soothe chapped lips.
- Avoid any gel, balm, or lipstick that contains alcohol or petroleum products - they for sure will worsen the condition and will make your chapped lips feel even dryer and more painful. A good rule is to put on your lips only edible ingredients (in other words, if you cannot eat it - do not put it either on your lips or on your skin!)
- Abstain from eating any hot, spicy, or salty foods for as long as your lips are still dry, cracked, and painful and avoid going outside if the weather is dry and windy. If you must venture out, use a generous amount of natural oil to protect your lips.
- Be patient. It may take up to a week for your lips to heal completely, so try to avoid licking your lips as saliva evaporates quickly, leaving lips drier than before you licked them!
- Stay hydrated by drinking plenty of fluids. Dehydration can contribute to chapped lips.