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Chapped Lips

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Chapped Lips
Learn to keep chapped lips at bay. Hydrate the lips and stay away from the harmful effects of the sun and wind.

Cold weather, dry weather and other conditions can take their toll on your lips. Dry red and cracked lips are unsightly. Chapped lips can also bleed, if left untreated for long. They are painful when you eat and drink. Find out how you can prevent suffering from this unsightly skin condition. Learn how to care for chapped lips.

Chapped lips

Chapped lips are dry and tender. They are caused due to lack of moisture in the lips. Once lips are chapped, their ability to retain moisture is further reduced thereby leading to a worsening chronic condition. It is essential to take adequate care of the sensitive skin of the lips.

Cause of chapped lips

Dry weather: Living in a dry place can make your skin parched and craving for hydration. It is essential to get enough water to keep your skin and lips adequately hydrated.

Outdoors: The sun and wind also have a drying effect on your skin and lips. Sunburn can also rob the lips of moisture and cause chapping.

Vitamin deficiencies: Deficiencies of riboflavin or other Vitamin B group or iron can lead to chapped lips.

Lip licking: This is a habit that can lead to chapping of lips on account of the loss of natural oils. The chemicals in saliva work on the sensitive skin on the lips and causes them to chap.

Smoking: The natural oil from the lips is lost.

Other causes: Allergic reaction to cosmetics such as lipstick or lip gloss. Ill-fitting dentures and lip biting can lead to chapping of lips. A diet lacking in essential fatty acids can also lead to dry and chapped lips.

Caring for chapped lips

Taking care of chapped lips is a two-fold process - hydrating them and sealing the moisture in. Hydration of lips can be undertaken by using lip balms and skin moisturizers containing Vitamin E or aloe vera. Greasy substances such as those containing petroleum jelly or beeswax can go a long way in coating your lips with sufficient moisturizing agents.

You can go in for lip balms made with Shea butter or jojoba oil to help slough away dead skin cells. Avoid licking your lips to avoid dehydration of lips. Drink plenty of water in dry weather to keep the body and skin adequately hydrated. Use a humidifier if you live in an extremely dry place.

Remedy for chapped lips

  • Regular use of sunblock on the lips before going out into the sunny outdoors. A sunscreen with SPF 15 or more can keep the effects of the sun's UV rays at bay.

  • Use a base of petroleum jelly or lip balm on your lips before you apply lipstick.

  • Use cool saltwater compress on chapped lips to keep them cool and moist. This can be done at bedtime. This can be followed up with a rich coat of lip balm containing lanolin or petroleum jelly. You can go in for medicated lip balm containing menthol, camphor and phenol.

  • If you notice any allergic reaction to lipstick, change your brand or avoid using lip cosmetics till the problem of chapped lips is addressed. Go in for moisture-enhanced lipsticks rather than dry matte lipsticks.

  • Use of a skin exfoliator on the lips regularly goes a long way in sloughing off dead cells and keeping the lips soft and smooth. A simple lip exfoliation routine would be to use your toothbrush to gently brush the lips.

  • If the problem of chapped lips persists, consult a dermatologist for possible Vitamin deficiencies or skin infections or disorders.

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