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How to Treat Chapped Lips?

Updated on September 9, 2014

If you are reading this article, chances are, you are dealing with chapped/dried lips. This condition is very irritating but thankfully quite easy to get rid of. They usually aren't too serious either. This article will go through what you need to know about this condition but most importantly, how to stop it as soon as possible.

Licking your lips may seem like a quick way to get rid of the dryness but it actually dries your lips even more. Our acidic saliva can also cause redness and small wounds. Using lip balm is a much better idea.
Licking your lips may seem like a quick way to get rid of the dryness but it actually dries your lips even more. Our acidic saliva can also cause redness and small wounds. Using lip balm is a much better idea.

How often do you get chapped lips?

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What causes chapped lips?

Knowing what causes dried lips may help you understand why you have a "red ring" around your lips, at this moment in time. Being aware of the causes will prevent you from making the same mistake again, too.

Usually, dried lips are caused by one of the following reasons (or a combination):

  • Licking your lips too often
  • Eating a lot of hot and/or spicy food
  • Lack of humidity in the air (especially in winter)
  • Eating too much acidic food
  • Using irritating toothpaste
  • Breathing through your mouth
  • Infections or sicknesses
  • Not drinking enough water

Lips may show rough texture and small flakes and bumps.
Lips may show rough texture and small flakes and bumps.

The symptoms of chapped lips

There are symptoms that many people experience when dealing with chapped lips. Symptoms include the following:

  • Redness surrounding your lips
  • Cracked, chapped and dried lips
  • Bumpy and uneven lips
  • Lips may have tiny "flakes" around them
  • Tiny wounds or cuts around your lips
  • Pain when opening mouth

Regardless of the cause or symptoms, it is not hard to fix this problem that has been driving you crazy!

Below are easy methods to treat chapped lips. Some have results that are more obvious but others have less noticeable effects. To get the best result, use a variety of methods.

Each method has a rating out of ten: cost (how much it costs), efficiency (how fast you start seeing results) and effectiveness (how noticeable the results are).

10 is the cheapest, most efficient and most effective; 1 being the priciest, least efficient and least effective.

Method 1 - Apply lip moisturizer frequently

Purchase lip moisturizers such as chapsticks, lip balms, petroleum jellies, etc. Apply some (not too much) when you feel the need to. Apply once every hour or two should be enough. Applying some before going to bed is always a great idea because the moisturizer can work its magic without interruption or disturbance.

Cost: 5/10 (price varies between brands but are generally not too pricey)

Efficiency: 7/10 (works quite quickly but not instant)

Effectiveness: 9/10 (results are very obvious if applied correctly)

Method 2 - Drink plenty of water

Keeping yourself hydrated is one of the best ways to chase away those dried lips. Drinking a glass of warm water every hour or two can be rewarding: not only to your lips but to your overall wellbeing. Make sure you receive at least 7 - possibly 8 glasses of water each day. The more, the better.

Cost: 9/10 (most of us already have plenty of water in our home, anyway)

Efficiency: 5/10 (this method takes a reasonable amount of time but you will see results)

Effectiveness: 6/10 (not easy to miss the results though not as obvious)

Method 3 - Gently spread olive oil around your lips

If you have some spare olive oil from your kitchen, don't be afraid to apply some of that stuff around your lips. Pour a few drops into a towel and gently tap your lips until the oil is applied evenly. Be careful not to apply too much: just enough to smoothen and lubricate your lips to get rid of that annoying dryness. Use some once or twice a day and you should start seeing results.

Cost: 6/10 (buying a small bottle of some doesn't cost too much)

Efficiency: 6/10 (doesn't take too long)

Effectiveness: 8/10 (wonderful results)

Method 4 - Wash your lips with warm water

Gently run some lukewarm water into a clean cloth and softly rub the cloth around your lips to remove any flakes or possibly bits of food or dust that could be irritating your skin. Do not use hot water as that may burn your skin which could lead to more irritation. Spend around 3-5 minutes cleaning your lips.

Cost: 9/10 (not much at all)

Efficiency: 10/10 (very efficient; everything happens right away)

Effectiveness: 3/10 (slightly helps but better than nothing)

Method 5 - Adjust your diet

Acidic foods such as citruses should be avoided as the acid can be irritating. Hot and spicy food may also lead to lip-licking which is never good. Always eat plenty of fruits and vegetables. With the right diet, your issue should be under control.

Cost: 8/10 (we all eat food, anyway)

Efficiency: 2/10 (the results take time)

Effectiveness: 2/10 (not obvious but it's good for health anyway)

There we have it: the five best methods to treat chapped lips. Feel free to have some creativity when performing each method. I should also mention that one of the hardest things you have to overcome is lip-licking or any other bad habits that you are use to. It may be up to the will to go against your bad habits.

If your lips are not getting better after some time, further help can be found at any local skin clinics. They may recommend better equipment or other treatment if your conditions are very serious. Good luck!


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    • profile image

      Jada Roberts 2 years ago

      I hope this works .....

    • Frederick Green profile image

      Palis Pisuttisarun 3 years ago from Bangkok, Thailand

      Thanks Carlon, for the comment. I'm glad I Have written something a little new. Loving your hubs too!

    • Carlon Michelle profile image

      Carlon Michelle 3 years ago from USA

      Wow I learned a lot. I would have never thought to read an article about chapped lips but thanks to the hopper, I happened upon this one. Smile!