Written by Emily McBride (last updated January 3, 2022)
Having chapped lips is a pain. You are usually are constantly reminded of the pain, whether you are talking, eating, drinking, or just sitting. Having cracked lips is even worse; cracked lips are especially common in the winter, at the same time that you want to enjoy hot drinks or soups, which further adds to your pain. Chapped lips are usually caused by a lack of moisture, either on the outside of your body (due to weather and humidity) or on the inside of your body (due to dehydration).
Most people know that cold air and wind can make your lips chapped. Spending a lot of time in the outside of the winter will make you feel like your skin and lips have dried out. However, heat can also dry out your lips. Whether you are spending too much time sunbathing or cranking up the heat too high in your car, the heat could also be doing your lips a disservice. Heat can lower the amount of moisture in the air, and therefore, the amount of moisture on your lips.
One common cause of chapped lips is dehydration. Make sure that you are drinking enough water—eight full glasses a day (sixty-four ounces) is a good amount to try for.
Being careful of the weather and staying hydrated can help you prevent chapped lips, but there are also some things you can do to help them feel better. Use a soft-bristled toothbrush to remove the dead upper layer of the skin on your lips. Use chap-stick with sunscreen in it. Put lip balm on your lips before you go to bed.
There are a few other factors that could contribute to your dry or cracked lips. If you have a habit of licking or chewing on your lips, break the habit! Whether this is causing or just aggravating your dried lips, you will benefit by leaving them alone. Limit the amount of acidic or spicy foods that you are eating because they could make your lips hurt worse. Also, try taking multivitamins. Vitamin B deficiencies can cause cracked lips. If the problem is still not going away, you might be allergic to some of your chap-stick, lip balm, or other cosmetics. Discontinue use and see how it affects your lips.
If you are still having problems, try going to a dermatologist. He or she will most likely be able to find the problem and help you get the treatment you need.
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