Chapped lips or cheilitis is a very common but painful and uncomfortable problem. Although harmless, if not treated well, it can lead to more infections and discomfort.
Chapped lips are usually the result of cracked, dry skin on the lips, which can be due to sun exposure, dry or cold weather, dehydration, or frequent licking or biting of the lips. The good news is that you can easily get rid of it with simple home treatments and natural remedies.
Read on to learn more about the causes, symptoms, and treatments for dry, chapped lips.
What are the main causes of dry lips?
Several factors can cause or make dry lips more likely. These include:
- cold or dry weather
- excessive biting or lip licking
- lack of sebaceous glands in the lips
- lack of hydration
- certain medications
- dry air inside
- aggressive products such as salicylic acid and menthol
- poor quality lip balms or lipstick
It is important to note that the lips do not contain sebaceous glands, which makes them all the more likely to become dry and chapped.
What are the symptoms of chapped lips?
Some common symptoms of chapped and cracked lips include:
- peeling and dry skin
- lip scaling
- mild pain
- light bleeding
- sores around the lips and mouth
How to get rid of chapped lips?
Chapped lips can be cured at home with natural remedies, some of which include:
Use a good lip balm
The best remedy for chapped lips is to apply a good quality lip balm. When choosing a lip balm, watch out for ingredients that can make your lips worse.
For example, avoid using lip balms that contain menthol or any other minty flavor. While menthol can relieve discomfort by providing a cooling sensation, it can lead to more dryness, leaving your lips even more chapped and cracked.
Besides menthol, also avoid lip balms containing phenol, camphor, and flavored lip products.
Honey is a highly hydrating product that can help relieve dry, cracked lips. It contains antibacterial and antioxidant properties, which can help prevent infections.
Apply a few drops of honey on your chapped lips and leave on for a few minutes. Wash it gently with water and repeat the remedy several times during the day.
Use of aloe vera gel
Like honey, aloe vera gel is also a very popular natural remedy for treating chapped and dry lips.
It contains minerals, antioxidants and vitamins that help calm the skin and soothe inflammation. Regular use of aloe vera rehydrates the skin and keeps the lips perfectly hydrated.
Use green tea bags
Green tea is loaded with minerals and antioxidants like polyphenols, which help reduce inflammation. To use this remedy, soak a green tea bag in warm water and gently rub the bag over your lips for a few seconds. This will eliminate dryness and also provide exfoliation.
You can also use coconut oil and cucumber to cure chapped lips, as they also contain anti-inflammatory and antibacterial properties, which can help soothe the lip skin and prevent dryness.
Drinking plenty of water and other healthy fluids can also manage dryness, as dehydration is a major cause of chapped and cracked lips.
Use a humidifier indoors
Using an indoor humidifier can moisturize lips and prevent dryness, especially in the winter. Using these devices at home and at work can keep the skin properly hydrated and prevent dryness.
Exfoliating lips can be a great way to get rid of chapped lips. To exfoliate, simply use sugar or look for lip scrubs that contain sugar or baking soda. Exfoliate at least once a week to eliminate dry skin.
Also, avoid peeling or biting the scaly skin. Always remember that the skin on the lips is very delicate and biting and peeling can cause bleeding, irritation and even slow down the healing process. Also, don’t lick your lips.
If the problem does not go away or persists for a long time, consult a dermatologist for more professional treatment. Keep in mind that chapped lips that don’t heal, despite using natural remedies, can be a sign of a more serious skin problem.