Thursday, August 9, 2018

How to Heal Chapped Lips

Cheilitis – also known as chapped lips – is a painful condition that happens when the skin on the lips dries out. In severe cases, lips may even crack or bleed.

Lips don’t have oil glands, so they’re naturally more dry than the rest of your face. They’re also vulnerable to chapping because they’re constantly exposed to the elements. Overexposure to sun, wind, heat, cold, or dry air can cause chapped lips, but they can also be caused by bad habits.

Follow these tips to heal and prevent chapped lips.

  • Choose your lip balm carefully. Since lip balm can sometimes make its way into your stomach, use a natural, beeswax-based lip balm instead of a petroleum-based balm. Beeswax naturally locks in moisture without harming the lips. 
  • Apply lip balm often. Most people need six to eight applications of lip balm throughout the day to keep their lips moisturized. Apply lip balm first thing in the morning, after meals (eating can wear away lip balm), and right before bed to protect the lips overnight. 
  • Keep lip balm on hand. Having trouble remembering to reapply lip balm? Keep a tube stashed in multiple places: your purse, work desk, car, bedside table, etc. This way, you’ll always have lip balm on hand when you need it. 
  • Use lip balm before applying lipstick to hydrate the lips and protect them from drying ingredients. Avoid matte and long-lasting formulas altogether, which can cling to chapped lips and further exacerbate the problem. 
  • Drink more water. Not drinking enough H2O throughout the day can dehydrate skin – and the lips are no exception! Aim for at least 2 liters of water consumption every day. Avoid alcohol and caffeine, which can further dehydrate dry lips. 
  • Use a humidifier. Climate control like heating and air conditioning can lower indoor humidity levels, which in turn can cause skin to dry out. If you crank the heat or the air (or you live in a dry climate), a humidifier will help to restore the air’s moisture to optimal levels for your skin. 
  • Don’t lick your lips. While licking your lips may provide relief in the short term, the habit can actually lead to your lips becoming more parched. As the saliva evaporates, it pulls moisture from the lips. When your lips feel dry, apply lip balm instead. 
  • Don’t pick. Peeling or biting flaky skin can disrupt healing and even lead to infection. Plus, it’s just painful! 
  • Avoid spicy and salty foods while recovering from chapped lips. These types of food can further irritate the mouth and delay the healing process. 
  • Switch your toothpaste. Believe it or not, synthetic flavoring in your toothpaste may be the cause of your chapped lips. Use an all-natural toothpaste without irritating synthetic ingredients to help speed your recovery.  

If none of these tips work, it may be time to see a doctor to make sure that your chapped lips aren’t a sign of an underlying medical condition. Your doctor can also prescribe a cortisone cream, which can help to heal extreme cases of chapped lips.

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