6 Major Causes of Chapped Lips and How to Treat Them

The repair: Suppose past lip balm.

In case your lips are tremendous chapped and peeling, chances are you’ll discover that your common lip balm isn’t sufficient, even in the event you reapply it liberally. The dermatologists SELF spoke with advocate upping the ante by utilizing an ointment containing occlusive substances, like petrolatum and dimethicone, which utterly coat and seal the pores and skin to lock in moisture. Vaseline, or petroleum jelly, is a primary instance, nonetheless, simply needless to say whereas it would assist lure any water that’s already within the lips, it doesn’t in itself add hydration or provide any sort of reparative properties that can deal with dryness, Dr. Perez factors out.

You’ve gotten a few choices: You’ll be able to apply petroleum jelly on high of a lip balm that incorporates hydrating substances, notes Dr. Westbay; shea butter and jojoba oil are good ones to search for, she says. Or you can take a mild, very plain moisturizer (that’s fragrance-free and doesn’t comprise “actives”), dab that onto your lips, then apply a coat of petroleum jelly over high, Dr. Perez says. Ideally, she suggests in search of a moisturizer with ceramides, substances which might be well-known for his or her skin-barrier-strengthening properties.3 Her high decide: CeraVe’s Moisturizing Cream ($7, Amazon).

To make your life a little bit simpler, you may also go for an all-in-one product that’s each occlusive and incorporates hydrating substances. For instance, CeraVe’s Therapeutic Ointment ($20, Amazon) depends on petrolatum but in addition has ceramides and hyaluronic acid within the combine, Monika Kiripolsky, MD, a board-certified dermatologist in Beverly Hills, tells SELF. Dr. Westbay says Aquaphor Therapeutic Ointment ($15, Amazon) is a pleasant alternative, too, because it incorporates panthenol, a humectant that pulls water into the higher layer of the pores and skin: “It’s a extremely efficient combo for optimizing water content material and locking it in the place it’s wanted,” she explains.

The issue: lip licking

Always licking your lips (and by the identical token, drooling in your sleep) can also be a possible drawback. “Not solely can enzymes in saliva break down the pores and skin, however lips continuously getting moist after which drying out additional breaks down the barrier and results in chapping,” Dr. Kiripolsky says.

It may be a vicious cycle at that; it is sensible that when your lips really feel dry chances are you’ll innately wish to lick them to moisten them. However that is so frequent that the following chapping and irritation is sometimes called “lip-licker’s dermatitis,” Dr. Westbay provides.

The repair: Maintain your lips coated, day and (particularly) evening.

We all know, it’s simpler stated than carried out, however Dr. Westbay suggests attempting to be as conscious as potential of how typically you’re licking your lips. Retaining them recurrently coated with lip balm might help as a result of in the event that they really feel much less dry, chances are you’ll be much less tempted to lick. There’s no set rule concerning how typically it is best to swipe on lip balm; Dr. Westbay says as typically as you are feeling is required is ok. Simply ensure you undoubtedly apply it earlier than mattress. Not solely can this counteract the dehydrating drool we talked about above, however the quantity of moisture that naturally evaporates out of the pores and skin (often known as transepidermal water loss or TEWL) is increased at evening, she notes, making it prime time to load up on hydrating merchandise—on your lips, face, and physique.4

The issue: allergic or irritant contact dermatitis

In much less scientific phrases, a sure ingredient your lips are uncovered to could also be triggering an allergic response or just creating irritation. “This causes irritation that impairs the pores and skin barrier, resulting in extra dryness, in addition to redness in some pores and skin tones, burning, and itching,” Dr. Westbay explains.

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