Examine Your Medicine Cabinet
Because certain medications may be the culprit when it comes to your dry lips, take a look at whats in your medicine cabinet. Talk with your doctor about the possible side effects of your current medications. Certain ingredients in medicines, like salicylic acid or benzoyl peroxide, are big contributors to drying out your skin. If youre taking a medicine that you cant switch, remember to apply your lip balm regularly were talking several times throughout the day!
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.
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.
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How Can Chapped Lips Be Treated And Prevented
Your lips lack oil glands and cannot produce moisture. Furthermore, the skin on your lips is much thinner than on other parts of the body. So when your lips are exposed to outdoor elements like the dry cold or harsh sun, they are more prone to dryness, flakiness and peeling. However, with the proper protection methods, you can heal chapped lips and successfully prevent them. Here are some tips from the American Academy of Dermatology to help you have healthy lips year-round.
The Best Treatments For Dry Chapped Lips
Treat dry lips with emollient ingredients.
So, what’s the best lip balm for chapped lips?
One that contains an emollient!
Emollients are softening, hydrating ingredients that absorb well into the skin, where they fill in cracks and prevent moisture loss.
The best emollients are natural oils and butters. I suggest using them in their pure form, rather than in combination with other ingredients. Since the lip area is so sensitive, it’s better to use as few ingredients as possible in order to minimize the risk of irritation or an allergic reaction.
Here’s what to know about each chapped lips remedy, plus my top product recommendations.
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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.
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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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.
Choose Ointments Over Balms And Chapsticks
Marchbein recommends using lip ointments over lip balms and chapsticks because theyre free of preservatives and are more effective retaining moisture. While chapsticks can temporarily soothe dry lips, they tend to have chemicals and flavors that can further irritate the skin, and in severe cases, trigger eczema and allergic contact dermatitis, Marchbein says.
They can also lead to a vicious cycle of constantly needing to use them and swiping them on the lips, often followed by lip smacking, which perpetuates the cycle of chapping, Marchbein explains. Lip ointments should be reapplied frequently throughout the day so that the lips never feel dry, she says.
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Is There A Way To Prevent Chapped Lips
Thankfully, both experts say a resounding yes, as long as the issue is not an internal one. Dr. Browne says keeping lips hydrated comes first and foremost when preventing chapped and dry lips. Keep your lips moisturized with fragrance-free, hypoallergenic emollients, she says. She recommends reaching for thicker ointments over oils and applying the moisturizer several times a day. That means dont wait until your lips start to hurt to grab your lip balm. This should be a habit that you do throughout the day for best practice.
Another way to prevent chapping from happening is using sun-protection when youre outdoors and reapplying every two hours. Yes, our lips need SPF, too. In addition to that, avoid picking, biting and excessively licking your lips. You want to give them TLC, not more reason to be irritated. And finally, water. Water is the key to staying hydrated. For me, when I slack on my water intake, the first places effected are my skin and my lips.
How To Heal Sore Lips
This article was co-authored by Tu Anh Vu, DMD. Dr. Tu Anh Vu is a board certified dentist who runs her private practice, Tu’s Dental, in Brooklyn, New York. Dr. Vu helps adults and kids of all ages get over their anxiety with dental phobia. Dr. Vu has conducted research related to finding the cure for Kaposi Sarcoma cancer and has presented her research at the Hinman Meeting in Memphis. She received her undergraduate degree from Bryn Mawr College and a DMD from the University of Pennsylvania School of Dental Medicine.There are 12 references cited in this article, which can be found at the bottom of the page.wikiHow marks an article as reader-approved once it receives enough positive feedback. This article has 11 testimonials from our readers, earning it our reader-approved status. This article has been viewed 488,998 times.
Sore lips are often a by-product of dryness and chapping, though they may also be an allergic reaction or a symptom of an underlying medical condition. By treating your lips with healing balms and avoiding behaviors that damage your lips, you should be able to eliminate lip soreness easily without medical attention. Once you’ve addressed the soreness successfully, make sure to take care of your lips and prevent soreness and damage in the future.
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Treatment Of Peeling Lips
How To Treat Chronic Chapped Lips
Being proactive is important to maintaining the moisture barrier of your lips, which are not able to moisturize themselves in the same way that the rest of your skin is. By using lip balm, SPF protection, and lip masks , you can ensure that your lips remain hydrated and prevent the weather damage that can cause initial damage and discomfort. If you are already experiencing the painful side effects of chapped lips, then restoring the moisture barrier is critical. Use overnight lip masks, remain consistent with the use of lip balm and begin using products with SPF to begin to heal the delicate skin on your lips and prevent further damage. When you first have dry lips, especially if you are experiencing dry or flaking skin, it can be tempting to try and use a lip exfoliator to help slough away this dead skin. However, this can be incredibly dangerous and can make the issue worse! Using apricot scrubs, toothbrushes, or sugar scrubs can create micro-tears that lead to infection and further damage. Determining the root cause of your dry lips, from behaviours such as compulsive lip-licking to environmental impacts from sun or cold, can help you develop a treatment plan that works best for you.
General hydration and ensuring that you are drinking enough water to keep your whole body hydrated is an important first step to improving dry lips, as well as your overall health!
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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.
Common Causes Of Sore Or Dry Lips
Sore or dry lips can be caused by many things.
Common causes include:
- cold weather, dry air or wind
- damage from the sun
Sometimes they can be caused by a lack of vitamins and minerals.
If you have a small, fluid-filled blister on your lip, you may have a cold sore.
Most people with cold sores get a tingling, burning or itching feeling on their lip before the blister appears.
Page last reviewed: 23 December 2021 Next review due: 23 December 2024
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When To See A Dermatologist
Most of the time, the above self-care can heal dry, chapped lips in 2 to 3 weeks. If it doesnt, see a board-certified dermatologist.
Your chapped lips could be caused by something aside from dry weather. An allergic reaction, yeast infection, or something more serious can make your lips feel dry and uncomfortable. Actinic cheilitis is a precancerous condition that turns one or both lips dry and scaly. A board-certified dermatologist can diagnose the cause.
Have a skin, hair, or nail problem?
Discover the benefits of seeing a dermatologist.
Best Shea Butter Lip Balms And Treatments
LXMI Pure Nilotica Melt Nourishing Balm-to-Oil is a soft shea butter that melts on contact.
- LXMI Pure Nilotica Melt Nourishing Balm-to-Oil: I originally bought this as a face oil , but they’ve now come out with a tube version that is perfect for your lips, and can be carried in your handbag! This one melts on contact, leaving a beautiful shine and eliminating the need for lip gloss.
- L’Occitane Mini Pure Shea Butter: If you’re looking for a matte lip balm, this is for you! It has a thicker, semi-waxy texture that is ideal under lipsticks.
- Institut Karité 100% Shea Butter: This one is somewhere in betweenit’s thick yet soft and imparts a slight sheen.
Why Most Lip Balms Dont Work
Most lip balms don’t work because of irritants, allergens and occlusives.
There are three reasons why most lip balms on the market fail to actually fix chapped lips.
Usually, these products contain:
- Chemical sunscreen ingredients
Of course, you’ll also find these things in other lip products, such as lipsticks, lip gloss, etc. So that Dior Lip Glow? It looks amazing on the lips, but is not something I would recommend to heal chapping.
How To Repair Severely Cracked And Dry Lips
This article was co-authored by . Dr. Margareth Pierre-Louis is a board certified Dermatologist and Dermatopathologist, Physician Entrepreneur, and the Founder of Twin Cities Dermatology Center and Equation Skin Care in Minneapolis, Minnesota. Twin Cities Dermatology Center is a comprehensive dermatology clinic treating patients of all ages through clinical dermatology, cosmetic dermatology, and telemedicine. Equation Skin Care was created to provide the best in evidence-based, natural skin care products. Dr. Pierre-Louis earned a BS in Biology and an MBA from Duke University, an MD from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, completed a residency in dermatology at the University of Minnesota, and completed a dermatopathology fellowship at Washington University in St Louis. Dr. Pierre-Louis is board certified in dermatology, cutaneous surgery, and dermatopathology by the American Boards of Dermatology and Pathology.There are 8 references cited in this article, which can be found at the bottom of the page. This article has been viewed 198,644 times.
Dry, cracked lips are a common problem during colder months and allergy seasons. While not usually dangerous, they can be annoying and painful. There are many options for treating cracked lips, from changing your day-to-day habits to investing in balms and creams.
Estheticians Teach Us How To Treat Dry Lips
Karen Kagha, MD, FAAD, is a Boston-based board-certified dermatologist. She is currently a Cosmetic and Laser Fellow at Harvard Massachusetts General Hospital.
Chronic dry lips are a condition I’ve dealt with for as long as I can remember. Nothing I use, do, or try works for more than a day or two . Name one lip product, and Ive probably tried it, ran to the store even, bolstered by my hopes it’ll cure this persistent, annoying problem. Other people seem to fare just fine, with no excessive dryness or cracking to be seen, and that’s not even considering what time of year it is. Bring winter into the mix and yeah, I’m done for.
Is this something you’re dealing with, too? It must be, as I’m sure most people dealing with smooth, normal lips don’t spend too much time pondering why. It just is the way it is, right? Or so I thought. It didn’t make sense to me. I’ve tried it all. Lip scrubs? Check. Medicated balms? Check. Masks? Check. Serums? Check. Sleeping Masks? Check. Rather than accept defeat, I consulted two expertsSusan Ciminelli and Natarsha Bimsonto get answers once and for all.
Meet the Expert
- Susan Ciminelli is a celebrity esthetician that specializes in holistic beauty. Her clients include Jennifer Lopez, Kate Moss, and Cindy Crawford.
- Natarsha Bimson is an esthetician and the founder of Violet Hour Skin in Santa Monica, California. She specializes in age-prevention skincare.
How Do You Get Rid Of Peeling Lips
Q: My lips are so dry all-round the year. Now my lips are almost peeling and I cant bear the pain. Ive tried many lip moisturizers but none of them worked for me. Im still wondering how to heal my lips?
Expert AnswerMost people are aware of the fact that the skin of the lips is extremely sensitive and prone to get affected if proper care and attention is not given. , cracked, chapped and dry lips are all few conditions that cause extreme pain and irritation to the sufferer unnecessarily and are usually easily curable.
Peeling lips is another similar problem, where the skin of the lips begins to peel out due to dryness and lack of moisturization which later causes a burning sensation and irritation on the skin of your lips.
The pain caused due to peeling lips is sometimes absolutely unbearable and the sufferer feels helpless about it. Therefore, this article deals with the causes of peeling lips and measures to treat and heal them naturally, so that you become aware of the simple methods by which you can easily take care of your lips.
Run A Humidifier At Night
When youre at home, a good way to combat the drying winter weather we mentioned above is to run a humidifier. It will pump needed moisture into the air and help your lips retain their hydration.Think about it: while youre sleeping for eight hours, cool or warm air blows directly on your skin. So when you wake up, your skin may be dry and peeling. Protect your lips from the drying effects of the air within your home by running a humidifier and adding a layer of our Lip Tint Conditioner before you hit the pillow.