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Chapped lips: Causes, Symptoms and Treatments

What are Chapped Lips?

  • Chapped lips are a common condition that only occurs for most people. But some people may develop a more severe form of chapped lips called cheilitis. Cheilitis can be caused by an infection, characterized by cracked skin at the corners of the lips.
  • You can usually treat dry lips with simple treatment and preventive measures. If your lips continue to be severely dry and cracked, you should consider make an appointment with a dermatologist.

Causes of Chapped Lips:

  • Chapped lips are typically caused by environmental exposures that lead to irritation, including saliva and licking your lips, spicy foods, and cold, dry weather. The common coldand sun damagecan also cause chapped lips, he adds, as well as medication like cholesterol-lowering agents.
  • Allergic or irritant contact is another common cause of chapped lips, where exposure to an external product causes a true allergic reaction or a direct irritation to the skin. But most of the time, chapped lips are caused by dryness, and wind is a prime culprit.
  • Chapped lips can also be associated with a variety of underlying medical conditions, including thyroid diseasevitamin deficiencies, and inflammatory bowel disease.
  • Angular cheilitis, or inflammation in the corners of the mouth, is another common condition that can cause dry or chapped lips.

Symptoms of chapped lips:

You may experience any of the following symptoms on or around your lips:

  • Dryness
  • Flaking
  • Scales
  • Sores
  • Swelling
  • Cracks
  • Bleeding

How to Treat Chapped Lips:

  • Chapped lips can sometimes heal on their own, but if that isn’t happening after a day or two, try using a lip balm.
  • Stay away from products that contain fragrance, camphor, menthol, and salicylic acid, because these ingredients can cause irritation of the skin, leading to disruption of the skin barrier and loss of hydration, which can make chapped lips worse. You also want to avoid exfoliating lips that are already dry and irritated because that can lead to more harm than good.
  • If lip balms are not helping, visit your dermatologist. You can also try 1 percent hydrocortisoneto treat chapped lips if they are not improving on their own after a few days of using lip balm.
  • If you’re looking for a natural home remedy for chapped lips, try coconut oilbecause it spreads easily without dripping. “The same types of products you use for dry skincan often be used for the lips.

How to Prevent Chapped Lips?

Here are three simple ways to prevent chapped lips and keep your lips smooth and hydrated.

  • Avoid licking your lips.People sometimes lick their lips to reduce the feeling of dry lips, but saliva actually worsens the situation.
  • Pay attention to your lips.If they start to feel dry or itchy, apply a lip balm early.
  • Skip spicy foods.If you have sensitive skin, try to avoid spicy foods, which can irritate the lips. 

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