You Have Paraneoplastic Pemphigus
This is a *very* rare condition, but covering all the bases here! Paraneoplastic pemphigus is an autoimmune blistering disease associated with underlying cancer, Dr. Friedman says. While it can appear in the form of a skin rash, the hallmark of this condition is erosive oral disease, so obviously talk to your doc if you think your lips are showing signs of something more serious and blistering. With this particular condition, your lips will typically crack open and bleed, causing sores, redness, and swelling around the mouth.
Treat it: If you are diagnosed, your doctor will likely prescribe steroids and topical antibiotic ointment for the actual skin lesions and blisters and guide you through any other treatment necessary to address the underlying cancer if you do have a malignancy.
How To Heal Chapped Lips
The best way to treat dry, chapped lips is using a gentle lip scrub and a lip balm that seals in moisture. For example, sugar is a great exfoliator because its a natural humectant, meaning it draws in water from the deeper layers of the skin. You want to be extremely gentle with exfoliation and not scrub your lips raw, Stevenson says. Use a scrub with sugar or a warm washcloth. Just dont scrub it so hard that it can cause redness, she says.
I exfoliate my lips gently a few times a week with a natural gentle sugar scrub, such as St. Ives Juicy Watermelon Lip Scrub because watermelon is known for hydration. Then, I follow it up with a healing ointment to help maintain and seal in hydration, Marchbein says.
Marchbein and Stevenson also say that you can use a humidifier in your bedroom at night to help moisten the air. Staying hydrated by drinking plenty of water can also be helpful, Marchbein says.
Lastly, you want to avoid picking off flaky, dry skin. This can lead to more inflammation, bleeding, rawness and irritation, Marchbein says. She also recommends holding off wearing lip glosses, lipsticks and stains and lip plumpers until your lips have completely healed. Using these products can contribute to more irritation and dryness in this delicate area.
If you dont see any improvements with your lips after following these approaches, schedule an appointment with a board-certified dermatologist to rule out the causes of chapping.
Youre Experiencing Yeast Overgrowth
Do you have an underbite? Or maybe you drool in your sleep? These factors can cause yeast overgrowth . This type of infection can lead to dry, flaky skin around the mouth and sometimes even fissuring , Dr. Day says.
Treat it: Like yeast infections anywhere else, a prescribed anti-fungal medication is your best bet. Talk to a derm.
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The 4 Stages Of Chapped And Cracked Lips
Most of us dont tend to go to sleep one day with luscious lips only to wake up to peeling lips the next day. Dry chapped lips usually develop in the following stages:1
This cycle can continue sporadically or even become a regular thing if you dont treat the problem that is causing it.
Bouts of dry lips can be uncomfortable enough, but chronic dry lips can cause a lot of embarrassment and cause problems in day-to-day life.
What If Your Chapped Lips Wont Heal
There is a little patience required here. Most chapped lips take two to three weeks to heal with consistent treatment, per Dr. Rodney, so you need to be diligent about taking care of your pout and just wait it out a little.
But, if youve tried to make a bunch of lifestyle tweaks and youre still struggling, Dr. Rodney says its time to see a dermatologist. They can do a deeper dive into what might be behind your chapped lips and lay out an individual treatment plan for you.
The bottom line: You can typically expect your chapped lips to get better in two to three weeks. If they don’t or get worse over time, you should check in with your derm to see if something more serious is going on.
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You Have Lichen Planus
Lichen planus is an inflammatory skin condition. It usually shows itself in the form of itchy, purple bumps on the body. But it can also appear on the lips, Dr. Friedman says. And when it does, it usually shows up as purple or brownish cracked areas on the lips.
Treat it: A prescribed anti-inflammatory or topical steroid will help.
Change Your Diet To Heal Cracked Lip Corners Due To Vitamin Deficiency
Your lips tell a lot more about your diet than you think. The body expresses undernourishment in a number of ways. The lips are one of them. For example, eating spicy foods on a regular may be a trigger for sores and cracks at lip corners.
For cracked lip corners associated with nutritional deficiencies, supplement or eat diets rich in the B vitamins, Vitamin E, and zinc. Food rich in Iron is also very essential.
It is important to note that nutritional disorders are not only caused by malnutrition due to poor intake. It may also be due to malabsorption due to gastrointestinal disorders such as celiac disease, gastrointestinal surgeries, alcoholism and strict vegan diets.
Stay away from foods that trigger local allergies in the mouth. Avoid acidic foods such as pineapples, alcoholic drinks and those that may cause injuries such as sugarcane.
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Causes From Inside The Mouth
- Inflammation of the skin that underlies dentures- poorly fitting dentures
- Absent teeth especially the back teeth that support facial tissues can lead to bites leading to cracks at the lip corners
- Drooling during sleep in children and young adults
- Accumulation of yeast or fungi due to excess saliva trapped at the corners of the mouth
- Orthodontic braces
Is It Normal For Lip Balms To Cause Tingling
Tingling when you apply a lip balm may be a subtle sign that the lip balm is causing irritation. This can happen with ingredients such as salicylic acid , phenol and menthol. My advice would be to avoid any lip balm that causes tingling because lip skin is sensitive and this may indicate impending chapping from an irritant dermatitis.
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Whew Thats A Lot So How Can You Heal Your Chapped Lips Fast
Absolutely! The key to fighting peeling lips related to a low-key issue is restoring the barrier and retaining water. For a quick fix, Dr. Friedman recommends dampening your lips with water and then using something thick to coat them. He suggests products with paraffin wax. I personally like the little tins that have paraffin wax, because it allows you to scoop out even more and really just go to town with this, he says.
Another good quick applicator? Lip balm with sunscreen and no flavoring. “You want to avoid any chance of interacting with potential irritants or allergens,” Dr. Friedman says.
Dr. Rodney says that these are good ingredients to look for in your standard lip balm:
Other products like zinc oxide and titanium dioxide can help with healing and restoring while protecting from sun damage, she adds.
You can also try some natural remedies to help speed up healing, like a sugar scrub made with one part brown sugar to ½ parts coconut oil to remove dead skin, Dr. Rodney suggests. Other helpful remedies include aloe vera, honey, and cocoa butter,” she says. Once youre done, you can add petroleum jelly or beeswax if youre not allergic, which helps prevent any future moisture loss.
Lip Licker’s Dermatitis Is Irritation On And Around The Lips That Is A Common Consequence Of Excess Lip Licking
Lip licker’s dermatitis is due to excessive lip licking that causes an eczematous cheilitis and perioral dermatitis. The lip skin to thicken, redden and become irritated. The redness will ultimately extend beyond the lips to create a clown-like look. It also causes increased saliva production, which leads to more lip licking.
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Symptoms Of Cracked Lip Corners
Since there are different possible causes, the symptoms and appearance of the lesion are variable. They commonly appear symmetrically on both sides of the mouth. Sometimes only one corner of the mouth is affected.
The crack may be limited to the mucous lining of the lip. In rare cases, it extends to the skin that makes part of the face.
Cracked lip corners affect people of all ages. You can get it during any season but most often during the cold winters. This because there is lack of humidity in the air thus impairing the moisture lip barrier. Your lips are more prone to cracking.
At times, dealing with cracked lip corners can be a little embarrassing. Most people confuse the sores and cracks in angular cheilitis to herpes.
It is common for young people with HIV to develop sores and cracks at the corners of the lips. This is because the virus weakens the immune system making it easier to develop sores on mucous membranes.
This condition can last for days to years depending on the underlying cause.
Cover Your Lips With An Emollient Lip Balm
Because your lips dont have any pores , using lip balm regularly is your best bet for providing the moisture they need. Lip balms work by locking in moisture and preventing it from evaporating into the air. Look out for some of our fave nourishing ingredients like Provitamin B5, Glycerin and Vitamin E, all of which do wonders when it comes to keeping your lips soft and smooth. And, for outdoors – a lip balm with added SPF is an absolute must! Look for a gentle lip balm that contains natural moisturising ingredients like:
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S To Tell If Your Dry Chapped Lips Are Due To An Allergic Reaction
If your chapped lips are due to an allergy, they become chapped within a few days after exposure to the allergen, and can take a week or more to heal.
Why It’s Important To Protect Your Lips From The Sun
Stevenson and Marchbein stress the importance of protecting your lips from the sun daily because sun damage can happen at any time, even on a rainy, cloudy day. If youre going skiing, theres still white light reflecting from the sun on the snow. Just because you dont think the sun is out, you should still be protecting your lips, Stevenson says.
In the summer, you can get dry, chapped lips from extended exposure to UV rays, which can also put you at risk for actinic keratosis, a precancer that forms on the face, lips, ears and scalp. Unlike melanoma which is usually characterized by unusual moles, lumps and markings, actinic keratosis appears as small, dry, scaly or crusty patches of skin, according to the Skin Cancer Foundation. These patches of skin can be red, light, dark tan, white, pink or flesh-toned and can be flat or raised. Actinic keratosis that forms in the lips is known as actinic cheilitis.
The lips are not an uncommon, but often overlooked site, of precancerous lesions and skin cancers and can be particularly aggressive in this location, Marchbein says. Because the bottom lip typically protrudes past the top, it is prone to sun damage. Be sure to wear SPF lip balms in the summer to protect from sun damage and skin cancers, Marchbein explains.
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Your Diet Consists Of A Lot Of Salty Or Spicy Foods
Big fan of snacks like pretzels or chips? They could be the reason for your peeling lips. Salty foods, particularly those that have a lot of salt on the outside that can end up on the lips, can definitely affect the skin there, Dr. Day says. Salt holds water, so it can absorb the water away from the lips and just dry them out, she explains. Another food trigger? Spicy snacks. They can also cause skin irritation and water loss, Dr. Day adds.
Treat it: Lay off some of the salty foods for a while and let your lips heal by using a paraffin wax-based lip balm.
Do You Need To See A Doctor For Angular Cheilitis
The treatment for cheilitis depends on the cause. Less severe cases may heal up if you apply petroleum jelly or a thick lip balm to the area. If that doesn’t work, you may need to see a doctor, who might take a swab to better identify the cause. You might be given a different type of topical treatment, a hydrocortisone cream, or an anti-fungal ointment or medication. If the cause is a nutritional deficiency, you may need to take iron-replacement pills or specific vitamins. Allergy medication may be needed if there’s a contact allergen at work.
If you develop sores in the corner of your mouth, don’t worry. Angular cheilitis can typically be treated fairly easily. However, don’t be surprised if it returns — recurrence rates can be as high as 80 percent. Talk to your doctor about what preventative measures you can take to prevent the condition from coming back.
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How Are Angular Cheilitis And Cold Sores Different
Angular cheilitis may mimic cold sores, but there are specific signs you can look for to tell them apart. Cold sores typically begin as an itchy or painful area that turns into one or a group of small, painful blisters. Over time, they may weep, scab over, and finally heal. Angular cheilitis, on the other hand, begins as a patch of dry, irritated or cracked skin at one or both corners of the mouth. If it’s not treated early, it can progress into swollen, painful sores that may bleed when you open your mouth.
Can Chapped Lips Be A Sign Of Something Serious
Chapped or cracked lips are usually a minor problem, often caused by cold weather. But there are times when chapped lips can be a sign of a more serious condition, such as:
- Actinic cheilitis. This precancerous condition shows up as scaly, dry patches on the lower lip. Left untreated, it can lead to squamous cell carcinoma.
- Angular cheilitis. When saliva builds up in the corners of your mouth, it creates a moist, warm environment for yeast to grow. These yeast infections can lead to inflammation and crusty sores at the corners of your mouth.
- Crohns disease. This inflammatory bowel disorder can also cause skin problems. They include swelling and cracked lips.
- Thyroid problems. Dry skin and chapped lips can be early signs of low thyroid function.
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How Do I Treat Actinic Chelitis
No one ever wants skin cancer. But if skin cancer is found on the face or body, most of the time it can be treated by a simple excision and stitches. Even on the lips, skin cancers can also be be excised and repaired with stitches. But who wants the risk of a scar on such a visible part on your face?
The good news is that if you develop actinic chelitis, it usually does not need to be surgically treated. Because actinic chelitis is still pre-cancerous, if it is caught early before a true cancer develops, lasers and creams may be successful in preventing it from developing into skin cancer.But it needs to be treated early. So if your lips remain persistently dry and scabbed, see your dermatologist, because it may be something more than just dry skin. In the meantime, always keep your lips protected with a nourishing lip balm that contains SPF, like the Perfect Pout Lip Balm.
Duration Of Chapped Lips
The length of time it takes to heal chapped lips depends on how severe your condition is. Less severe cases, such as cheilitis simplex, can be healed in two to three weeks. If your lips dont feel better after a few weeks, see a board-certified dermatologist who can determine the proper course of treatment.
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Signs And Symptoms Of Chapped Lips
In general, the signs and symptoms of chapped lips include:
- Cracks or fissures
That said, your symptoms may vary depending upon the exact type of cheilitis you have. Here are the signs and symptoms of each type:
- Cheilitis Simplex Lip cracking, usually on the lower lip
- Contact, or Eczematous Cheilitis Dryness, scaling, and fissuring
- Angular Cheilitis Inflammation and redness at the corners of the mouth
- Actinic Cheilitis Red patches, puffiness, scaly plaques, and small bumps caused by sun exposure.
- Drug-Induced Cheilitis Lesions
How To Heal Cracked Lip Corners Fast
Cracked lip corners can be a little tricky to treat because of the folded skin tissue and presence of moisture. While there are many remedies touted to help with cracked lip corners, not all of them provide a cure. Some remedies bring temporary relief while others exacerbate the problem. So, what can you do to heal cracked lip corners? Here is where to start
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