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Treatment and Prevention of Dry, Chapped Lips

Updated on November 28, 2014

Everyone has suffered from dry, chapped lips at some point in their lives. Most people do not realize what causes it, much less how to prevent it. Proper treatment of dry, chapped lips is also very important, but with all the treatments available which ones are the most successful?

"If it is cold enough to put on a coat; it is cold enough to put lip balm on your lips." - Dr. Neil Schultz MD, Dermatologist

Causes

There are many factors that are considered when it comes to what has caused your dry, chapped lips. Too much exposure to the cold, wind, dry air, and sun are the main factors that cause dry lips. These conditions can cause your lips to dehydrate and flake. People are most often to suffer from dry lips in the winter months. However, weather conditions aren't the only culprit to cause chapped lips. Some people suffer from dry lips due to a reaction from cosmetics or certain medications. It can also occur when the overall body is dehydrated.

Prevention

Many people's first reaction is to lick their lips. This is the last thing you should do. Although it offers temporary relief, licking your chapped lips just makes them worse. Licking your lips strips away the natural oils thus once your lips are dry, they are even more chapped than before. Another reason is your saliva contains enzymes to aid in the digestion of food thus your saliva is trying to "digest" your lips.

Unfortunately, chapped lips aren't something that is completely preventable. There are things you can do to minimize the risk of developing dry, chapped lips. First is to keep your lips hydrated and moist. Always use moisturizing lipstick and/or lip balm. When choose the lipstick or lip balm, be sure to buy one that is SPF 15 or higher. This will aid in protecting your lips from sun damage. Make sure you apply several times throughout the day.

Keep your lip hydrated from the inside by drinking plenty of water.

Once the fall rolls around, it is time to go the extra mile. Wax based lip balms help protect your lips from the elements. However, it does not help treat dry lips once it has occurred. Wax based lip balms do not contain enough moisture to repair dry, chapped lips once you are afflicted with it.

Taking care of your lips isn't just an external task. Taking a multivitamin also aids in the prevention of dry lips. Lack of Vitamin D, Vitamin B-2, Vitamin E, and Iron can cause your lips to suffer as well. However, keep in mind that too much of a good thing isn't really all that good. Too much Vitamin D can actually cause dry, chapped lips. So remember moderation. Keeping your body well hydrated helps in the prevention process, so be sure to drink plenty of liquids such as water, juices, and milk.

Consider lip care as a part of your bedtime routine. Because some people drool during their sleep, this is the same problem as licking your lips. It is advised to apply an application of zinc oxide to your lips before you go to sleep. Zinc Oxide acts as a barrier to protect your lips as you sleep.

Treatments

So what do you do if you already have dry, chapped lips? There are ten over the counter products that doctors and the FDA suggest using. These include Blistex Complete Moisture, Blistex Medicated Lip Balm, Blistex Medicated Ointment, Carmex, Chapstick Lip Balm, Chapstick Medicated Lip Balm, CortiBalm, Herpecin-L, Neosporin LT, and Neutrogena Lip Moisturizer.

The FDA suggests not using products with salicylic acid on your lips. It has been shown that salicylic acid causes more damage to the lips. Salicylic acid is found in most products are advertise to help with the pain of dry lips. These products may help the discomfort of dry lips, but overall it prolongs healing.

Using a humidifier will do wonders with the treatment of dry lips. Not only does it help your lips but your hair, skin, and nails will look great.

There is a simple emergency home remedy for dry lips. If you find yourself without your trusty lip balm, you can rub your fingers along the side of your nose. Then rub your fingers on your lips. This helps transfer oils to aid your lips in repairing from drying.

Be aware that these treatments are suggested for mild cases of dry lips. If your lips are severely chapped, cracked, or bleeding, it is advised to see a physician. He or she may need to prescribe you medication to heal severe cases.

When do you suffer the most from dry, chapped lips?

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© 2014 L Sarhan

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