- Your lips may dry out if you spend the day in the sun, because the lips get sunburned very quickly.
- Dryness and wind damage can also dry out your lips and cause chapped lips.
- Avoid lip balms that contain ingredients like camphor, menthol, lanolin, and fragrance.
Almost everyone has experienced dry, chapped or chapped lips.
In fact, “the lips are especially prone to dryness unlike the skin on other parts of the body,” he says Dr.. Brian Toywho is a dermatologist at Providence Mission Hospital He is a clinical professor at the University of Southern California School of Medicine.
This is because the skin on your lips:
- Thin, so it more sensitive.
- It is constantly exposed to the elements, unlike parts of the body such as the feet that are usually protected by shoes or socks.
- It does not contain any sweat glands, which excrete Oils keep the skin moisturized and protected.
Anyone can suffer from dry lips, but certain environmental factors, behaviors, and vitamin deficiencies can make you more susceptible to dry lips, he says. Dr. Nakim Ogunaboa dermatologist with Unionderm.
Here’s what may be contributing to your dry lips, and how to get rid of dry, chapped, and uncomfortable lips for good.
This can happen because the skin on your lips is thinner than the skin on other areas of the body show Signs of dehydration first. So if you’re dehydrated and chapped, a good first step is to make sure you’re drinking enough water.
What to do about it: Make sure you’re drinking enough water: Men should aim for 125 fluid ounces each day, and women should aim for 91 fluid ounces. While water is an important part of that, you can also count liquids like coffee and tea, as well as fluids found in foods like fruits and vegetables.
If you notice that your lips are dry or sore after a day in the sun, it could be a sunburn. Your lips are more likely to burn than other parts of your body because the skin on your lips has none melaninA pigment that protects the skin from UV damage.
If you have sunburned lips, you will notice symptoms that include:
- Sensitivity, stinging, or burning
What to do about it: Use a lip balm with an SPF of at least 15. “A lip balm will protect the skin barrier and reduce moisture loss, keeping lips supple,” says Toei.
If you don’t have a lip balm with an SPF, that’s okay – you can apply sunscreen directly to your lips.
Reapply lip balm or sunscreen every two hourswhich can come off when eating or drinking.
3. Wind damage
Because the lips are exposed to the elements, wind and weather can affect them. can the wind weaken Drying the outer layer of the skin and removing moisture from the skin, making it more susceptible to dehydration. This leads to a condition known as wind burnIt is especially common on the lips.
So, if you’re boating, skiing, or doing other outdoor activities that leave you exposed to the elements, you’ll want to prioritize lip health.
What to do about it: While you are out in the sun, use a lip balm with an SPF. After you are done with your activities while you are indoors, use a lip balm with Vaseline or Aquaphor to restore moisture. These thick balms protect the skin, but they can leave you prone to sunburn, so don’t use them while you’re in the sun.
4. Irritation from cosmetics
If you experience dry lips after switching out your personal care products, cosmetics may be to blame, Ogunabu says.
“Sometimes people are sensitive to some of the ingredients in these products and so their lips become more irritated with use,” she says.
When you feel the need to apply lip balm more frequently – more than every two hours – it could be a sign that your lip products are already over drying your lips Instead of moisturizing it, says Toei.
What to do about it: If you feel stinging or tingling in your lips after use, stop using immediately and wash the product off with soap and water. Choose conditioners that contain healthy ingredients, while avoiding harsh ingredients.
5. Yeast infection
Toei says that yeast infections around the mouth, also known as thrush, can cause lips to become dry and cracked at the corners of the mouth.
If you have thrush, you will notice it symptoms Including:
- Painful cracks in the corners of your mouth
- Redness or soreness in the corners of your mouth
- White spots in your mouth and in the gym
Ultimately, this can lead to a condition called Angle of the lipsPeople get painful cracks in the corners of their mouths. It’s more common in people who drool when sleeping, Toei says, because the moisture allows yeast to thrive.
What to do about it: See your doctor. You will need to be treated with an antifungal cream. Plus, you’ll want to stop drooling, because moisture helps bacteria grow. If you drool while you sleep, talk to your doctor about ways to stop drooling, such as treating seasonal allergies and acid reflux that can cause drooling.
6. Vitamin deficiency
If you don’t get enough vitamin B12, you may suffer from dry lips and cracking in the corners of the lips. That’s because vitamin B12 helps your body cell repairSo if you don’t have enough, it will be difficult for your body to repair the natural damage to the lips.
Vitamin B12 deficiency is very rare, affecting about 6% of adults under the age of 60 in the United States. However, about 20% of people over the age of 60 are deficient. Vegetarians are also at greater risk, because vitamin B12 isn’t naturally available in plant-based products, says Toei. However, there are ways to reach your B12 goal if you are a vegetarian, including eating nutritional yeast and shiitake mushrooms.
What to do about it: Make sure you get enough vitamin B12. Most adults need to eat 2.4 mcg of vitamin B12. To get that, eat more foods like fish, eggs and other animal products that naturally contain vitamin B12; Or breakfast cereal fortified with vitamin B.
Talk to your doctor about whether a vitamin or supplement is right for you. If you have severe deficiency or other underlying conditions, you may also be eligible for B12 doses, so ask your doctor if these are right for you.
When do you see a doctor?
If your dry lips haven’t resolved in about a week, it’s time to see a doctor. You should also see a doctor if you have persistent or severe peeling or cracking, which could make you vulnerable to infection.
In rare cases, dry lips can be a sign of an underlying medical condition, including:
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Takeaway from the inside
Dry lips are common because the skin on the lips is thin and exposed to stresses including sun and wind. However, Toei says, “The lips generally heal very quickly due to the abundant blood supply.”
Therefore, if you have persistently dry lips, you should speak to a doctor. They will help rule out any underlying conditions and help you manage your dry lips.
“Please consider seeing a board-certified dermatologist for further evaluation to make sure nothing else,” Ogunapo says.