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Why do we have cracked lips?

Updated on December 7, 2011

Most of us have experienced cracked lips at one point of time. You typically see dry or peeling skin on your lips, and when you touch your lips, you can feel the roughness of your skin as it is devoid of moisture.

I have experienced cracked lips on certain occasions and it can feel uncomfortable and make me feel conscious at times. There were even occasions when I started to peel the cracked skin from my lips and it was definitely not a pretty sight when blood came oozing out. There are simple reasons for having cracked lips, but there could also be more serious causes of cracked lips which are caused by certain medical conditions.

There are reasons for having cracked lips and treatments for them. This article gives you more information on the causes and solutions.


Why do we get cracked lips?

Not drinking enough water is usually the top cause for cracked lips.

Not drinking enough water affects your skin. The skin on your lips are thin and sensitive, which explains why sometimes your lips are the first to show signs of dryness. Ensure you have at least 6 to 8 glasses of water a day. Drinking water is one of the quickest way to hydrate your body. I find that when I make a conscious effort to take in enough water, I see a huge improvement in the condition of my cracked lips and also the speed at which they heal.

Cold or hot weather can cause your lips to become dry, as they tend to dehydrate you easily.

People who experience this kind of extreme weather condition may find it useful to apply a lip balm or lip moisturizer to help to lock in moisture. Avoid licking your lips as it can cause them to become even drier as the saliva evaporates.

Vitamin deficiencies can cause lips to peel.

Lack in certain vitamins such as B Vitamins, Vitamin E, Vitamin C, Vitamin A can lead to dry lips. Essential vitamins are necessary for maintaining moisture in your skin and helping to heal them. A multivitamin pill can be beneficial in this case, supplemented by a B-complex vitamin pill.

Products you use on your lips can lead to cracked lips.

You may be allergic to certain ingredients in your lip balm or lipstick, so you may want to consider switching to another brand to see if the condition of your lips improves. Smoking is also one of the causes of dry lips.

Medical conditions can also cause dry lips, and they can be one of the hardest to identify and treat.

Medical conditions such as diabetes, Kawasaki Disease, sexually transmitted diseases can lead to cracking lips, and you need to consult a doctor if the dryness is persistent or even painful.

There are many products out there that can help with cracked lips. If you have more severe lip dryness, you may want to consider a hydrocortisone ointment which is a steriod cream. They can be drying and hence should not be a long term basis. Many over-the-counter lip treatment or lip balms can also be very effective. It is best to avoid flavored lip balms and go for one with highly moisturizing ingredients. The best tip for everyone is to drink lots of water to hydrate yourself. Good luck!

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    • kaitlincolee profile image

      kaitlincolee 6 years ago

      Hi infoforum, thanks for dropping by! And remember to drink up!

    • infoforum profile image

      infoforum 6 years ago from Universe

      I am having cracked lips :( It's winter here and I don't drink water. Hardly one glass a day :(

    • mljdgulley354 profile image

      mljdgulley354 6 years ago

      Very informative hub. Thank you for sharing this information.