Your lips look red when compared to the rest of your face because it is covered by a“transitional skin” that lacks a stratum corneum, a tough outer layer.
The skin of your lips is like that of the inner surface of your mouth and nose. Unlike them, your lips don’t hang out in warm, moist, protected surfaces. So, your lips have a hard time if the weather turns dry or cold.
The term chapped or cracked is commonly used to describe dry lips. Chapped lips can cause the skin on your lips to peel, crack or even bleed.
Symptoms of Chapped Lips
If you suffer from chapped lips, you may experience any of these common symptoms in or around your mouth.
Causes of Chapped Lips
Below we give you the leading causes of chapped lips.
Licking. When your lips feel dry, you lick them. Saliva from your tongue can further strip the lips of its moisture, causing more dryness.
Dehydration. Always stay hydrated. When you don’t drink water during the day, your lips may become dry due to dehydration.
Improper Care. If you don’t take care of your lips, it may become dry and chapped. To prevent it, apply a lipbalm that has sunblock for extra protection. In winter keep your lips moisturized with beeswax or petroleum jelly.
Poor Sleeping Habits. Having air continuously passed over your lips dries them out.If you snore or have sleep apnea, you may have this problem and frequently wake up with chapped lips.
Toothpaste. Sodium lauryl sulfate present in toothpaste can be irritating enough to cause dryness and chapping of your mouth. The dehydrating alcohols present in toothpaste also cause chapping.
Citrus and Cinnamates. Citrus fruits and tomato sauce, can irritate your lips. Cinnamates used in gum, candy, and toothpaste and have the same effect.
Too Much Vitamin A. If you’re consuming more than 25,000 IU of vitamin A, then you may suffer from chapped lips. Deficiency of certain B vitamins may also cause chapped
Allergies. Allergies to nickel and cobalt may cause chapped lips. If you consume too much vitamin B12 supplements, you may develop an allergy to cobalt. The presence of guaiazulene or propyl gallate in your toothpaste or the phenyl salicylate (salol) present in your lipstick, may cause chapped lips. Allergies to figs or red food dyes may also cause chapped lips.
Medications. Propranolol taken for blood pressure, Accutane for acne or wrinkles, or prochlorperazine for vertigo can cause chapped lips.
Medical Conditions. Autoimmune diseases can cause chapped lips. Thyroid disease, psoriasis, Perleche, or angular cheilitis, and Down’s syndrome can lead to your lips becoming dry and chapped.
What Health Problems Do Chapped Lips Indicate?
Everybody gets chapped lips at one time or the other, but if the condition is persistent, it may indicate a serious underlying problem. If your chapped lips don’t respond to home treatments, then it’s better to consult your doctor.
Kawasaki Disease. It mainly affects children under the age of 5 and can lead to heart damage if left untreated. Kawasaki disease can cause fever, irritation of the throat, chapped lips, swelling of the neck and redness in the whites of the eyes.
Pellagra. It occurs due to niacin or vitamin B3 deficiency. This condition can affect your lips, gums, and tongue. The symptoms include diarrhea, mental confusion, and dermatitis. If left untreated it might lead to death.
Angular Cheilitis. It’s a common inflammatory condition that affects the corners of your mouth. People with sensitive skin, those who are elderly and malnourished are likely to suffer from this condition.
Top Ways to Cure Chapped Lips
Your lips don’ have oil glands, and they are always exposed to the elements. So, if you don’t take care of them, you’ll pay the price. To kiss your chapped lips goodbye, and score a truly gorgeous, soft lips try one, or all our chapped lips treatment.
- Use lip balm; choose a lip balm that is high in emollients. Petrolatum locks in the moisture and dimethicone seal off splits and cracks in your drying lips. You can check for these ingredients in your lip balm. Lip Ointments are also a good choice.
- Apply your lip balm or cream before you put on your lipstick or lip gloss not after. You need six to eight coats during the day, so reapply often.
- Protect your lips: wear a scarf or ski mask that covers your mouth when you go out in the cold. Choose a lip balm with sun protection year around.
- Drink enough water: water fights the dehydration that causes chapped lips.
- Avoid licking your lips: you may lick your lips to moisten them, but it dries them out even more. Usually, saliva contains acids that break down food; these can also irritate your lips.
- Stop peeling/biting flaky skin: the skin covering your lips is soft and delicate. So, if you pick your lips, it will bleed and hurt, slow the healing process and cause more irritation.
- Exfoliate; if your lips are chapped badly, it is better not to exfoliate, but instead,apply plenty of balms. If the dryness is not severe, then use an exfoliator like ILIA Balmy Nights Lip Exfoliator. If you have sensitive skin, it is wise to use a clean, soft toothbrush and gently brush your lips back and forth.
- Use a humidifier: turn on the humidifier at night, it helps keep your skin and lips moisturized.
- Breathe through your nose: take measures to breathe through your nose if you have problems such as sleep apnea.
- Condition your lips: Use lipsticks with conditioners like macadamia oil, vitamin E, and shea butter.Applying zinc oxide ointment before bedtime prevents them from drying out.Instead of matte lip colors use moisturizing lipsticks. If you must go matte, then use a lip conditioner before. Try Tarte Rainforest of the Sea Lipsaver Treatment Primer with coconut oil.
- Toothpaste: Use toothpaste that doesn’t contain artificial These chemicals can cause allergic reactions making your lips flaky.
- Avoid citrus: Take a pass on eating grapefruit and drinking orange juice. Avoid putting any other citrus fruits near your mouth; they can cause more dryness.
- Keep away from allergens: Ingredients like eucalyptus, menthol, and camphor can dry out your lips and irritate them. So stay away from them if you have dry skin. Some of you may be allergic to plant based oils and moisturizers like beeswax, castor seed,shea butter and soybean oil. So, switch to the petroleum based product instead.Sometimes fragrances can cause allergic reactions. Stick to ones without strong scents or flavors.
- Avoid spicy foods and salty treats.
- If your chapped lips condition is severe, look to treatment with ceramides which help to restore the skin barrier.
Here are some great home remedies which give you relief and contributes to saving money.
Sugar: Mix two teaspoons of sugar with one teaspoon of honey. Apply the paste to your lips. After a few minutes gently rub the mixture to loosen dead skin cells. Wash it off with lukewarm water.
Rose Petals: Take a cup of rose petals and soak them in milk or glycerin for a few hours. Make a thick paste. Gently apply it on your lips before bedtime each night.
Honey: Honey has the potential to moisturize and heal making it the perfect treatment for parched lips. Because of its antibacterial properties, it prevents infection from developing in your chapped lips. Apply raw organic honey to your chapped lips several times a day.
Aloe Gel: apply pure aloe gel onto your mouth. It is rich in antioxidants and reduces irritation and inflammation. Aloe vera is rich in vitamin A and E which naturally soothes and plumps up your lips.
Milk Cream: dairy cream is a nourishing moisturizer. With its water, fat and protein content, it nourishes your dry, chapped lips and restores healing. Apply the milk cream onto your lips and after 30 minutes wash it off with lukewarm water.
Coconut Oil: it’s naturally antibacterial and antifungal. Also, it’s an excellent skin moisturizer. Just apply virgin coconut oil several times a day on your lips to keep them moist.
Shea Butter: Shea butter is rich in the vitamins A,E and F. it nourishes your lips with essential fatty acids and nutrients essential for collagen production. Apply shea butter onto your lips whenever you feel dry.
Castor Oil: it contains a unique and a rare constituent called ricinoleic acid which has skin conditioning properties. Castor oil also contains antimicrobial properties. Gently apply castor oil to your lips several times a day.
Diet for Chapped Lips
Dietary changes cannot cure your chapped lips. But they can strengthen your skin’s ability to heal and resist. Favorable changes in your diet increase your skin’s elasticity and moisture level.
The B vitamins guard your skin against cracking and sun exposure. Vitamin C enhances skin smoothness by promoting collagen production.
The vitamin A promotes overall skin health. The omega 3 fats in your diet have anti-inflammatory properties and help to prevent skin dryness.
Include lots of protein-rich foods such as fish, poultry, peanut butter, and beans. These foods also provide niacin that prevents skin disorders linked with sun exposure.
Include berries, citrus fruits, mangoes, leafy greens, papaya, broccoli and Brussels sprouts in your diet to get vitamin C, beta-carotene, and other antioxidants. Cold water fish such as halibut, salmon and mackerel and flax seeds are top sources of omega 3 fatty acids.
Avoid low nutrient foods such as white bread, candies, and potato chips. Alcohol and caffeine can dry out your skin, so limit energy drinks, coffee, wine, soft drinks, beer, and cocktails. Avoid unhealthy fats such as red meat, fried foods, fast foods and high-fat dairy fats that increase inflammation in your skin.
Vitamins and Minerals That Treat Chapped Lips
It’s a fat-soluble vitamin that strengthens your lips and protects it from toxins, infections, viruses, pollutants, and diseases that can dry your lips. Vitamin A helps in the production of soft tissues, promotes skin cell growth and enhances sebum production thus preventing dryness. Milk, broccoli, kale, squash, pumpkin, eggs, sweet potatoes, collard greens, mangoes, and carrots are the best sources.
Vitamin B3 (niacin)
It is a water-soluble vitamin that prevents chapped lips by retaining moisture in them. Niacin eases pain related to chapped lips, transports blood, oxygen, and nutrients to your chapped lips and brings in healing. Light meat chicken, lentils, enriched pasta, coffee, lima beans, whole wheat bread, beef, peanuts, and salmon are the best sources.
Also known as Cobalamin it repairs your damaged lips, moisturizes your lips and lowers your risk of anemia which prevents your lips from healing properly. Clams, beef, eggs, cheese, brie, roasted turkey, skim milk, salmon and roasted chicken are the best sources
Zinc heals lip cracks, hydrates dry lips and aids in cellular growth. The top sources include oysters, beef, crab, pork, dark meat turkey, dark meat chicken, milk, almonds, cheddar cheese, baked beans, chickpeas, peanuts and fruit yogurt.
DIY Lip Balm
One tablespoon virgin coconut oil
One tablespoon grated beeswax
½ tsp raw organic honey
Two vitamin E capsules
Several drops essential oil (optional)
Melt the wax in a double boiler. When the wax becomes semi-solid, add coconut oil and honey.Blend and stir in the contents of vitamin E capsules. Pour it into a container and cool it. Apply as needed but not in excess.
Best Lip Balms for You to Try
Beessential Orange Ginger Lip Balm
Palmer’s Cocoa Butter Formula Dark Chocolate & Cherry Lip Butter
Rosebud Perfume Co. Smith’s Minted Rose Lip Balm
Avène Cold Cream Lip Balm
Badger Classic Organic Lip Balms
Arrow Boost Color Enhancing Lip Balm
Dior Addict Lip Scrub
Bite Beauty Agave Lip Mask
Lano Lanolin 101 Ointment
Too Cool for School Dinoplatz Lip Balm
Healthy lips make your face even more attractive. With a TLC, your lips can be perfect in no time. So, keep yourself hydrated, banish the lip licking habit, hydrate your lips with a moisture-enhancing lip balm, and exfoliate whenever necessary. Protect your lips and eat a healthy diet.
To beautify your chapped lips,exfoliate your lips gently with raw sugar and olive oil. Run a small towel under hot water. Slowly pass the cloth onto your lips. Keep it on until the towel cools. Once your lips are pre-softened, then it’s time to soften it. Slice a cucumber and place it over your lips for 10-15 minutes. Finally, apply a soothing lip balm.
Try all our health hacks for chapped lips to get smooth and gorgeous pink lips.