What is the reason for dry chapped lips? Get an insight on the causes, symptoms, home remedy and treatment of severe chapped lips.
Dry Lips Causes
What causes dry or chapped lips? This is a common question that can strike your mind when you noticed that the skin of your lips is becoming dry than normal. The question might be the beginning of your stress to find out what could be the reason behind your chapped lips.
Having dry scaly lips can really annoy you especially when it affects your beautiful appearance. In addition, cracked and scaly lips can embarrass you to your friend. This can make you feel low hence it might lower your confidence as well as self-esteem.
Your lips can develop dry skin due to various factors or reasons. These causes range from harmless to more serious health condition. It is important for you to have a basic knowledge about the causes that can make your lip appear scaly.
Being conversant with the general knowledge about the causes of chapped lips can help you to make the right decision whether to seek the help of your medical doctor or not. In case of chronic dry and cracked corners of the lip (angular cheilitis), it is advisable to visit your doctor for diagnosis and treatment.
Some of the dry lips causes include the following:
- Dry weather condition
You can develop dry and cracked lips as a consequence of being exposed to dry environmental condition. Your lips have a delicate thin mucous membrane that can easily become dehydrated when you are exposed to dry weather condition.
- Body dehydration
The dehydration of your body can show up symptoms such as chapped lips. Body dehydration can occur when there is an inadequate amount of body fluid. Serious body dehydration can lead to dry skin and cracked lips on your mouth.
- Lip licking
Licking your lips frequently is a bad habit that can encourage chapped lips. Frequently licking your lips may remove all the skin oil from your lip and encourage dehydration. Also, the saliva can stick to the surface of your lips that can encourage more drying up.
- Hot shower or bath
Your lips can develop scaly skin after taking a hot shower or bath. The hot water and soap can remove the skin oil from the delicate mucous membrane of your lips. This can encourage the skin of your lip to loss water and become dry.
Sunburn on your face can be the reason behind your dry lips. The sunlight has harmful UV rays that may damage the delicate skin on your lips. Direct and long exposure of your lips to sunlight can lead to the formation of dry patches on your lip.
Sun damage on your lips can also result in the development of sunspots or premature age spots. Sunspots on your lips can be in a form of dry dark spots, white patches, freckles, and wrinkles.
- Cold sore on lips
The infection of a cold sore is one of the dry lips causes that can affect you. Cold sore or fever blister is a viral infection that is characterized by yellow blisters that burst, ooze out and crust over. Cold sore infection can make your lips to appear dry with bumps.
- Allergic reaction
You can develop dry lips due to an allergic reaction. Exposing the skin of your lips to a harsh chemical such detergents, poison ivy or any other household chemicals can lead to dry patches on your lips.
- Certain medication
If you develop dry lips after the use of certain medication, these could be its side effects. The use of strong antibodies to cure the underlying infection in your body might have side effects of developing scaly lips.
- Deficiency of Vitamin B
The deficiency of vitamin B in your body might show up symptoms of dry scaly lips. Vitamin B complex has several functions in your body. This includes maintaining soften and supple skin. Deficiency of these vitamins might lead to a condition known as angular cheilitis on your lips.
- Fungal infection
Oral thrush is a fungal infection that usually affects the mouth cavity. The overgrowth of yeast in your mouth can lead to the development of dry patches on your lips. Severe infection of oral thrush may result in cracked lips.
- Skin infections
Skin infections are common dry lips causes. Eczema, psoriasis, and rosacea on your lips are some of the skin infection that can lead to chapped lips. Usually, these skin infections on your lip can show up as dry scaly patches.
- Sudden change of hormone
A slight change on the hormone in your body might have a direct effect on your lips. Stress, anxiety, pregnancy, and menstruation period are common causes of sudden change of body hormone that can lead to dry lips.
- Too much of Vitamin A
The intake excess of vitamin A might lead to toxicity in your body that has a consequence of dry lips. Vitamin A usually occurs in high amount in most of the food we eat. Taking a diet with a lot of vitamin A can lead to skin problems on your lips that include dry patches.
- Cancer of the lip
Cancer of the lip is a rare cause that can lead to chapped lips. This condition may also show up other symptoms such as severe bumps on the oral cavity that can bleed easily.
- Other underlying infection
You can develop dry lip due to other underlying condition in your body. The common underlying infections that can make your lips to appear dry include:
- Kawasaki diseases
- Std infections
- Kidney infection
- Liver infection
- Tuberculosis and others
In case you noticed that you have dry lips that are accompanied by other strange symptoms such as fever, headaches, chills, skin rash, vomiting or any other, it is advisable to seek the help of your doctor for diagnosis and treatment.
Dry Lips Vitamin Deficiency
The deficiency of vitamin in the body is one of the dry lips causes. Vitamins play a critical role to maintain your body health including your skin. Vitamin B complex has major functions that are correlated to maintain your skin soft.
The deficiency of vitamin B complex can result in various skin problems on various parts of your body such as dry and cracked skin on the lips. Chronic deficiency of vitamin B in your body might lead to a serious lip condition known as angular cheilitis.
Vitamin B deficiency and angular cheilitis usually characterized by symptoms such dry lips, bleeding lips, and cracked corners of the lips. These symptoms are always painful and they can frustrate you through severe pain and irritation on your lips.
The deficiency of the following vitamins may lead to chapped lips. They include:
Vitamin B-2: This vitamin is also called riboflavin. The deficiency of riboflavin in your body can result in dry, scaly or flaky lips. Your lips can develop sores, bumps, and leathery skin when there is inadequate intake of vitamin B-2 into your body system.
You can prevent the deficiency of vitamin B-2 in your body by eating foods such as lean meat, beans, dairy products, nuts, and green leafy vegetable. Alternatively, you can include in your diet vitamin B-2 supplements.
Vitamin B-3: The common name for this vitamin B-3 is Niacin. This type of vitamin is necessary for healthy skin. The deficiency of niacin in your diet may lead to dry, scaly, cracked lips. Also, dry lips can accompany other strange symptoms such as redness and inflamed tongue with bumps.
Vitamin B-6: The deficiency of vitamin B 6 or pyridoxine is one of the common dry lips causes that are usually associated with other skin disorders such as dermatitis and itchy skin rash. According to foods and nutrition, it is advisable to take about 1.3 milligrams of pyridoxine in a day for you to have healthy skin.
Vitamin A: The presence of vitamin A in the body is linked to chapped lips. However, excess intake of this vitamin can result in toxicity that has a consequence of dry skin of the lips. You should not include the supplement of vitamin A in your diet because most of the food you take has adequate a mouth that can keep your skin health.
Zinc: this is a mineral and it is not a type of vitamin. The deficiency of zinc in your body can lead to dry lips. You should ensure that your diet has about 15 to 20 milligrams of zinc. This can help to prevent the problem of dry skin on your lips.
Dry Chapped Lips that won’t heal
The symptoms of dry chapped lips that won’t heal could be an indication of more serious health problem that needs medical concern. You should not ignore the problem of having scaly lips that persist for more than three weeks but instead seek the help of your doctor for diagnosis and treatment.
Angular cheilitis is a known lips condition that is usually associated with cracked corners of the mouth. This condition can develop into chapped lips that won’t heal easily without the use of medical treatment.
Also, other underlying condition in your body that are related to body dehydration can lead to dry chapped lips that might persist for quite long before healing. Kidney infection and diabetes are some of the underlying serious conditions that can lead to dry chapped lips that won’t heal easily.
In case you notice that your dry and chapped lips have persisted for more than three weeks, it is advisable to visit your doctor who can help in the diagnosis and treatment of your health problem.
How to get rid of Chapped Lips Fast
If chapped lips are becoming bothersome, you can get rid of it fast using the following simple procedures that include:
- Wash your lip
Washing your lips with a suitable skin moisturizer cleanser can help to soften the lips fast. The process of washing the skin of the lips can also help to exfoliate dry scales from your lips.
How to do it:
- Get 1 cup of warm water into the basin
- Add 1 teaspoon of skin moisturizer cleanser into the water and mix
- soak the washcloth in the water on the basin
- use the soaked washcloth to wash your lips by rubbing it gently
- pat dry it with a washcloth and apply a petroleum jelly
- Exfoliate your lips
Use a suitable skin exfoliator on your lips such as sugar scrub. Exfoliating your lips can help to remove dry scaly to leave you with soft and moisten lips.
How to do it:
- mix 2 tablespoons of white sugar with 1 teaspoon of raw honey in a small bowel
- soak a cotton ball into the mixture
- scrub it over your lips gently for 5 minutes
- rinse your lips with warm water
- sugar scrub can soften your lips instantly
- Moisturize your lip
Use suitable lip balm to moisturize the skin of your lips. Ensure you use a lip product that is free from skin irritants such as acids and fragrance.
How to do it:
- wash your lips with warm water
- pat dry it with a washcloth
- apply a skin moisturizer directly to your lips
- repeat to apply it each time you feel that your lips are becoming dry
- Drink plenty of water
If your dry lips causes include dry weather and body dehydration, you can drink plenty of lean water to keep your body dehydrated. This can help to moisten your skin including your chapped lips. Ensure you drink 8 to 12 glasses of water daily.
Dry Lips Home Remedy
You can get rid of dry lip using various home remedies. This treatment method can work effectively for harmless dry lips causes such as dry weather, fungal infection, and sunburns. You can try the following treatments that include:
- Aloe Vera
You can apply Aloe Vera gel or cream on your lips three times daily. Aloe Vera has medical values that can help to soften your dry lips. Also, the antiseptic nature of Aloe Vera can help to cure a fungal infection that may cause your lips to become chapped.
- Olive oil
Olive oil is an excellent skin moisturizer can that can help to treat your chapped lips. The medicinal properties of olive oil can help in the healing of dry and cracked lips. You can simply apply it several times in a day to your affected lips until you get a relief.
- Lemon juice and raw hone
A mixture of lemon juice and raw honey is an effective remedy that can help to cure your chapped lips. The citric acid in the lemon juice can help to exfoliate dry scales from your lips while raw honey is a skin moisturizer.
To use it, simply mix 1 teaspoon of lemon juice with equal amount of raw honey. Apply the mixture to the affected area of your lips twice daily until your lips soften.
- Apple cider vinegar
Washing your lips with a solution of apple cider vinegar is an effective home remedy that can help to remove dry scaled from your lips. Apple cider vinegar has the antiseptic abilities that can help to cure skin infection that might cause dry skin on your lips.
You can apply the diluted solution of apple cider vinegar directly to the affected parts of your lips two times daily until your chapped lips get soften.
- Drinking water
Taking 8 to 12 glasses of water is the best home remedy that can help to relieve dry lip caused by the dry environmental condition and body dehydration.
- Skin moisturizer
You can apply suitable skin moisturizer to your lips such as petroleum jelly. Most of the lip balms are formulated to lock in skin moisture and prevents the drying of the lips. You can use the appropriate lip balm to moisturize your chapped lips.
Dry Lips Treatment
For more serious dry, chapped or cracked lips that are likely to advance into a complicated health problem, you can go for medical treatment by visiting your doctor. your doctor will determine the dry lips causes by using suitable diagnosis method before giving you the accurate medical treatment.
Some of the methods that your doctor might use to treat your dry lips include the following:
- Prescription of oral drugs that can help to cure the underlying condition that causes dry skin on your lips.
- Prescription of medicinal ointment cream that can help to soothe and soften your chapped lips.
- Laser treatment which is a type of skin surgery that uses a beam of light to remove the top layer of the skin from your lips that are affected by dry scales.
According to medical advice, it is advisable for you to protect and prevent the skin of your lips from forming dry scales. Ensure you avoid the habit of licking your lips, skin irritants, foods with a lot of vitamin A, harsh lip makeups, and spicy foods and finally practice good skin hygiene to protect your lips.
Sources and reference
- Causes of dry lips: https://www.livestrong.com/article/202212-how-to-get-rid-of-chapped-lips-in-40-minutes/
- The causes of chapped lip:https://www.bustle.com/articles/133706-7-ways-chapped-lips-could-be-a-sign-of-something-else
- Dry lips vitamin deficiency: https://www.livestrong.com/article/99053-treatments-severe-chapped-lips/
- Dry chapped lips that won’t heal: https://www.everydayhealth.com/chapped-lips/guide/
- How to get rid of chapped lips fast: https://www.wikihow.com/Get-Rid-of-Chapped-Lips
- Home remedies for dry lips: https://www.top10homeremedies.com/home-remedies/home-remedies-for-chapped-lips.html