Chapped Lips

Chapped Lips: Causes and Treatments

Meaning of Chapped Lips:

Condition of chapped lips is called Cheilitis. This is a type of skin disorder. In this condition, lips may appear dry, having cracks and with scales. Lips can become chapped in any season but this condition becomes more severe in the months of winters. The temperature is low in those months of winters and wind is dry. The dry wind draws the moisture out of lips. Due to excessive dryness, sometimes fissures appear on the lips which can bleed also. Skin of lips lack oil glands and due to this reason, lips lack the ability to retain moisture. Lips are the very prominent part of facial features.

Whenever you are in a conversation, other person constantly watches your lips. Healthy and rosy lips are indicator of your robust health. To keep the lips moist and shiny and to prevent dryness, you should take regular lip care. Usually, we forget to take care of lips while taking care of other parts of body. With severe condition of chapped lips, it becomes difficult to even smile. Chapped lips can become a clinical condition if ignored for long.

You can see splits, cracks and bleeding in lips. Chapped lips become dry and rough. Lips become sensitive, tender, peel and flake. If you apply lipstick on lips, it makes them look worse. Lips react more aggressively to conditions like harsh and dry wind, harmful sunrays because skin of lips is more delicate than other parts of the face. Lips can become chapped during cold and warm weather as well. Dry, sore and cracked lips can be painful while doing many routine activities like eating, smiling, kissing and talking. In summers also, one should apply a mild lip balm containing sunscreen agent. We sometimes lick our lips, thinking that it will make them moist but in actual licking makes lips drier.

Chapped lips condition is unsightly and uncomfortable but not life threatening at all.

What are the Causes of Chapped Lips?

 There are some very common factors which cause condition of chapped lips.

Chapped lips are mainly caused by dry weather and harsh winds.

Dehydration caused by any illness like diarrhea or fever is also a reason for chapped lips. Excessive use of chemicals, soaps and cosmetics makes lips dry. When lips are exposed to sunrays for long, condition of lips becomes bad. There are certain medications which also create dryness in lips. If there is deficiency of any of the Vitamins A, B and C, then also lips become dry. Deficiency of vitamin B2 (riboflavin) and ill-fitting dentures too create this condition. Excessive smoking is a cause of chapping of lips.

What are the Symptoms of Chapped Lips?

There are many symptoms and signs by which you can identify this condition of chapped lips.

In this condition lips appear dry and cracked.

Lips appear red and tender to touch.

In severe dryness, bleeding can also occur from splits on the lips.

Lips become rough and start peeling and flaking.

Increased sensitivity to pain in lips.

There is loss of moisture on lips.

Sometimes, lips swell at the point of split.

What are the Possible Treatments of Chapped Lips?

There are several methods of treatment for chapped lips. Besides, treatment, you should also protect and prevent your lips from getting dry and rough.

First and foremost prevention and treatment you can do is to apply lip balm, containing sunscreen, on your lips whenever you go out in sunny weather. Drinking required quantity of water daily that is 8-10 glasses a day, helps in hydrating the lips.

Do not lick your lips whether they are dry or not because after evaporation of saliva, lips become even drier.

Apply lip balm which contains petrolatum or beeswax and you can apply oil-based lubricating creams also.

You can use humidifier in your home to keep the air moist in home and it prevents lips from getting dry.

Wrap scarves or something on your face when you go out to avoid exposure to sun or harsh dry wind.

You can apply slightly warm ghee (purified butter) on your chapped lips. It helps seal the moisture on lips and act as a natural lip balm.

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