Loss of moisture in lip skin causes chapped lips. The loss of natural oils may happen due to exposure to sun, cold dry winds or even repeated licking. Chapped lips are dry, red and painful. They may split and bleed causing immense discomfort. Lips also are reflection of your good health. People suffering from Anemia too have lighter shaded and less supple lips. If you are eating a balanced diet then you might never face a bad lip problem at all. Including food that contains Vitamin A, E, B-carotene like carrots, strawberries, tomatoes, etc must be eaten daily on regular basis.
Simple care at home can avoid this extreme condition. Following tips can help you take care of your lips, chapped and otherwise:
- Ensure your body is not deficient in B vitamins, iron or essential fatty acids. These deficiencies can cause scaling of lips and cracking of lip corners. Take a multivitamin/mineral supplement after consultation with your physician.
- Hydrate your body by drinking plenty of water. Dehydration can cause dryness of lips. Increase your water intake during winter to keep your lips look fresh. You can also humidify the rooms to deal with winter dryness.
- Rule out allergy to lipstick dyes.
- If in spite of water intake your lips seem dehydrated, apply cool wet cloth to hydrate lips. Also try to seal in the moisture with a lip balm. Apply lip balm every hour or two to treat dry lips and to keep them healthy. Use balm with spf of at least 15 to save your lips from sun damage.
- Don’t lick your lips, it will cause more chapping. Licking lips doesn’t moisturize them.
- Lip lickers also tend to be lip biters. Biting lips removes their protective covering which causes further drying.
- Some people are allergic to flavoring agents in toothpastes and mouthwash. Check with your physician if that could be your problem.
- Creamy lipsticks can act like balms and prevent your lips from chapping. Avoid using lipsticks that can dry out your lips.
- Use a soft toothbrush to softly buff your lips to remove the deposit of dead cells that will cause more drying and flaking.
- Chapped lips are also susceptible to infections. Apply over-the-counter antibiotic ointment to avoid infection.
- If your chapped lips are due to drooling in the night, you can use zinc oxide ointment that acts as a protective agent.
- You can also try applying clarified butter or milk cream before going to bed for a few days.
- Other remedies that you could try are – rub a slice of cucumber on your lips, apply neem extract, and use aloe vera gel. A saline bath is also seen to help some people.
- Vitamin A is also important for repair of skin. Ensure that your diet includes vitamin A rich ingredients like carrots, tomatoes, green leafy vegetables, whole grains and legumes. You can also have a vitamin rich juice made up of 1 tbsp. of water cress, carrot and spinach juice, 2 tbsp. wheat germ oil, one glass of tomato juice, and 1 tbsp. of nutritional yeast.