Dry Parched Lips

Dry lips are a common occurrence in many individuals. This annoying ailment is usually transient in duration but in some cases may be prolonged and lead to chapping and cracking of the lips. When the condition is prolonged it may lead to difficulties as is listed in the following article.

Dry lips are a common occurrence in many individuals. This annoying ailment is usually transient in duration but in some cases may be prolonged and lead to chapping and cracking of the lips.

When the condition is prolonged it may lead to difficulty in:

- smiling

- eating

- kissing

- eating

- talking

The causes of dry lips are numerous but the most common reasons are:

Weather: exposure to very cold and dry air is a common cause of parched lips. The condition is most prevalent during the winter months. The same scenarios can occur in very hot dry weather. Excessive wind also dries the lips quickly

Mouth breathing: Individuals who constantly breathe through their mouths also are prone to dry lips. This is more common in the elderly individuals

Dermatitis: Many individuals develop contact dermatitis of the lips. This is most commonly associated with the use of cosmetics. There are many chemicals in lip gloss and lipsticks which can cause an allergic type reaction resulting in dry lips

Drugs. There are some drugs which can cause dryness of the skin and lips. The majority of these medications lead to dehydration. The most common medications include the water pills and blood pressure medications

Acne drugs: Vitamin A derived products are commonly associated with dryness and peeling of the skin

Habitual lip trauma. There are some individuals who continuously bite their lips and traumatize them. The lips have very soft and thin skin and easily become damaged

Dehydration. Loss of water from the body can occur for various reasons including sports and exercises in hot weather. This generally leads to skin and lip dryness



Treatment of dry lips


One should regularly use an oil based cream or ointment which contains petrolatum or beeswax. These ingredients can shield the lips from further drying and help retain the water in the skin. The lip products need to be applied 2-3 times a day

Lip Balms: For those who are continually exposed to the cold windy weather, apply a lip balm, gloss or lipstick. This will shield the lips away from the harsh weather

Sunscreen. Many individuals believe that only the skin needs protection from sunlight. Infact the lips need more sun protection because of the very fragile skin. Lips sticks containing sunscreens are widely available and should be used frequently

For those into the habit of licking or biting the lips, this should be avoided. For night time, there are some special mouth and lip wear devices which can help protect the lips from biting

Miscellaneous Remedies

- Keep the house cool and humid

- Drink lots of fluid and remain hydrated

In the majority of cases, lip dryness can be treated with the above measures. However, if the lips still remain dry and chapped, one needs to see a physician to determine if there is any underlying disorder.

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