Apply a non-irritating lip balm (or lip moisturizer) several times a day and before bed. If your lips are very dry and cracked, try a thick ointment, such as white petroleum jelly. Ointment seals in water longer than waxes or oils. Slather on a non-irritating lip balm with SPF 30 or higher before going outdoors.
See a dermatologist if your problem persists. Chapping that doesn't heal, despite regular use of lip balm, can be a sign of infection or a more serious problem, like cancer or a precancerous condition called actinic cheilitis.
Chapped lips are the result of dry, cracked skin on your lips due to cold or dry weather, sun exposure, frequently licking your lips or dehydration. You can treat chapped lips at home with the use of lip balm or ointment to ease any discomfort.
Chapped lips are typically caused by environmental exposures that lead to irritation, including saliva and licking your lips, spicy foods, and cold, dry weather, says Dr. Zeichner. The common cold and sun damage can also cause chapped lips, he adds, as well as medication like cholesterol-lowering agents.
“Dehydration, weather changes, certain lip balm ingredients (like menthol, camphor, phenol, and salicylic acid), vitamin deficiencies (specifically iron, zinc, and Vitamin B12), sun damage, and lip-licking can all cause dry lips,” explains Jennifer Weiss, a PA at Marmur Medical.
Vaseline is known as an occlusive, which means it can hold in moisture . If you use Vaseline on your lips before they're dry and chapped, you may be able to stave off dryness. However, petroleum jelly isn't all that effective at restoring moisture once it's been lost.
What does it look like? Solar cheilitis predominantly affects the lower lip because it tends to be more prominent. The homogenous pink color of the healthy lip (Figure A) is replaced with non-homogenous white/gray, pink, red, or brown areas and the normally sharp vermillion/skin border becomes less distinct (Figure B).
Vitamin B-3 Without enough vitamin B-3 or niacin, a person may experience dry, cracked lips or tongue and a red, swollen mouth. A deficiency of this vitamin can also lead to dermatitis. People can get niacin in their diet by eating beef, pork, halibut, tuna, poultry, whole grains, dairy, and green leafy vegetables.
Aloe vera. Aloe vera has a number of uses and is best known as a home remedy for sunburns. Its anti-inflammatory properties and soothing effect make it a great choice for treating chapped lips, too. You can buy organic aloe vera in a gel form, or you can use fresh aloe vera from the leaf of an aloe plant.
Chapped lips should heal in two or three weeks, but you should consult with your dermatologist if the problem persists. Chapped lips that do not heal can be a sign of an allergic reaction, yeast infection or something more serious, like actinic cheilitis.
“If chapped lips continue for two to three weeks even after you've started moisturizing regularly, are staying hydrated, and avoiding licking, you should see a board-certified dermatologist,” Dr. Browne suggests.
Health issues like low stomach acid, poor nutrition, and an unhealthy gut can lead to chapped lips. If you are dehydrated, the body will absorb water from the remaining body to hydrate its cells. This can cause constipation and dry skin and lips.
Taking a B complex vitamin daily helps the body maintain healthy lips and helps the body cope with daily stress.
Being under stress for a long period of time, with accompanying symptoms such as low mood and tiredness, can result in cracked lips. As well as this, a poor diet which is low in iron and B vitamins may lead to lips becoming dry and sore.
Lip cancer often looks like a mouth sore that won't heal. In people with light skin, this sore may appear reddish. In people with darker skin, it may appear dark brown or gray. Lip cancer can look different for everyone, so if you notice something strange, you should call your healthcare provider for an appointment.
Cheilitis is an inflammation of the lips. It may be acute or chronic, involving the vermilion and/or surrounding skin of one or both lips.
Vitamin deficiency is the most common cause of cheilitis. The absence of vitamin B2 in the body slows down the metabolism of fats, proteins, and carbohydrates and decreases energy production. Thus, increasing the intake of B2 and eating foods like eggs, milk, and lean meat may help reverse the problem of cheilitis.
Use it as a lip balm
Keep your lips winter-safe by applying a coat of Vaseline on them overnight. Keeping it on overnight will seal in the moisture and soften and smoothen your lips.
So, should you use chapstick or Vaseline? Both! Chapstick moisturizes dry lips, and Vaseline helps in sealing the moisture in and keeping the skin barrier intact. While you can get away with using just chapstick, there is no point in using Vaseline without applying chapstick first.
The primary benefit of coconut oil is its moisturizing effects. This makes it ideal for chapped lips. Your lips are particularly sensitive to moisture loss because the skin is thin, and they're exposed to the elements more so than other parts of your skin.
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 precancerous condition that can lead to squamous cell cancer of the lip is actinic cheilitis. Symptoms include: Scaly whitish patches on the lip. Dryness or peeling that won't heal.
Dry/chapped lips: Dryness in the body due to climate, dehydration, tension, anxiety, fear. Cracked or peeling lips: Heartache, worry, dryness in the body, feeling cold. Discoloration or faded colour in the lips: Lack of proper circulation throughout the body.