Dry And Chapped Lips? Here’s How To Treat Them

The majority of us have had chapped lips at some point or another, regardless of the season. Chapped lips are caused by dehydration and inflammation, but there are methods to prevent and repair dry, irritated lips.

While you might be tempted to keep licking your lips or putting lip balm to your lips for short-term relief, these practices might actually make the situation worse.

So, here is all you need to know about chapped lips, including what causes them, how to prevent having dry lips, how to cure them if they become chapped, and what to do if they simply won't heal.

Understanding Chapped Lips

It is pretty much what the term implies. It's a general term used to refer to lips that are dry, flaky, cracked, and painful. The skin of your lips is one of the most delicate and environmentally exposed parts of your body.

Lips are continuously exposed to environmental elements, such as lip licking, cosmetics, and cold temperatures, and do not have as many oil glands as other skin types.

When it comes to chapped lips, there are many levels of severity, starting with the standard dryness that a quick brush of lip balm fixes. Then there are chapped lips that are more severe, which can involve skin peeling, larger significant cracks, and even bleeding.

What causes chapped lips?

Although many individuals link chapped lips to cold weather, there are a multitude of additional causes for lip dryness. The most common of the reasons are listed here:

Licking your lips constantly: The worst thing you can do for dry lips is probably licking them constantly. Your saliva contains enzymes designed to break down the lipids, proteins, and carbs which are what your lips made of. When you do that, you are really digesting your lips.

Dehydration: Dehydration is perhaps the most typical cause of dry lips. The secret to healthy, radiant skin and plump, healthy lips is proper hydration. The skin of your lips is actually one of the first parts of your body to exhibit signs of dehydration since it is so thin compared to other parts of your face.

Eating salty and spicy food: Foods high in salt, especially those with a lot of salt on the exterior that may get up on the lips, can undoubtedly have an impact on the skin there. Since salt absorbs water, it can suck moisture from the lips and simply dry them out. Spicy snacks are another food trigger. They may also result in water loss and skin irritation.

Low Humidity: You may get chapped lips because of dry air, whether it's because you live in a location with low humidity all year long or you're just sensitive to moisture dips that can occur with the changing seasons. Dry lips may result from the absence of humidity in the air, especially during the winter.

Excessive exposure to sun: That top layer of skin with integrated UV protection does not exist on your lips. Hence, if you go outside in the sun without using an SPF lip balm, there's a good risk that your lips may peel. Your skin might get drier in regions that are already naturally dry because the sun burns the water out of it. Additionally, the irritation from a sunburn can cause your lips to peel as skin cells struggle to regenerate and turn over.

Vitamin deficiency: Different vitamin B deficiencies can cause dry, cracked, angry, red lips; they are typically accompanied by a rash that resembles one around the mouth. The most common cause is a B12 deficiency. Lack of B12 results in dryness and sluggish healing. This vitamin aids in cell development, healing, and turnover in your body. Chapped lips might also result from a vitamin C deficit.

Allergy: Allergies or product irritability are additional factors to be aware of. This condition is referred to as contact cheilitis and is often an allergic reaction to food flavorings, scents, and lipstick pigments. Patch testing can be done by your dermatologist if you suspect you may have this condition but are having trouble identifying the specific cause.

How to avoid or treat chapped lips?

Lip balm use is the most recommended method for preventing chapped lips. Using balms or ointments to hydrate and soothe chapped lips is one of the effective treatments. The most crucial factor in selecting the finest products is to stay away from scents and flavors since they can aggravate the skin even more.

 Additionally, steer clear of lip balms with menthol, salicylic acid, and camphor since they might irritate your lips. Lip balms containing white petrolatum, lanolin, shea butter, beeswax, and ceramides are ideal since they all help to retain moisture.

Other effective components for treating chapped lips include mineral oil, hemp seed oil, castor seed oil, and dimethicone, a silicone derivative that creates a barrier.

There are other effective preventative measures also, such as:

·       Don't lick your lips, use irritating makeup, spend as little time in chilly or hot, dry air, and stay out of the sun as possible.

·       A cool-water humidifier may also be used to maintain humidity in your space.

·       Rule out any underlying issues that have a quick fix. This includes getting tested for allergies and having your actinic cheilitis examined by a dermatologist.

·       Drink lots of water and fluid to keep yourself hydrated.

·       Keep your lips away from metal objects. Your lips could become irritated by paperclips, jewelery, and other commonplace metal items.

Depending on the degree of your symptoms and if the dryness or irritant has been adequately treated or eliminated, the healing time for chapped lips can range from days to weeks.

With the proper at-home remedies, lightly dried out lips can get better in only a few days, however more severely chapped lips—those that are cracked and bleeding—will take longer to recover.

It is recommended to contact a dermatologist to make sure this isn't something more dangerous, such early precancerous lesions, if chapped lips don't heal after a week or two of using these sorts of conservative methods.