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Chapped Lips

What are Chapped lips?

Chapped lips are characterized by dry texture of the lips and may possibly crack due to loss in moisture or evaporation of moisture in the lips. It is sometimes accompanied by swelling and redness that is often sensitive to touch. This condition is most common during cold condition in weather. The natural oil produced by the body that contributes in protecting and coating the lips is often not enough or could have been removed. The lips are protected from moisture loss by a thin oily film found on the surface of the lips.


There are however, different type of chapped lips in the form of severity and when medical attention is needed. Ordinary dry lips may be due to exposure to weather while other form of chapped lips may be due to an underlying condition and could be a symptom of such underlying condition.

Lips are soft muscle and visible part of the mouth. It functions for the articulation of sound and speech and serves as passage for nourishment. Lips are also defined as tactile sensory organ.

CHAPPED LIPS

Picture : Difference between Normal and chapped lips

Dry Chapped Lips

Dry chapped lips are described as scaly or flaky in appearance and may also have fissures or cracks. It is often painful, irritating and unsightly. Most people suffer from this condition especially during winter season or cold season when the lips tend to dry out of moisture. Unless indication of a persisting health condition, dry chapped lips can be remedied at home and may be prevented.

Causes of Dry Chapped Lips

  • Weather condition – extremes in climate can cause lips to dry and chapped. During cold season or winter season lips are more prone to dry and chapped.
  • Exposure to sunlight or heat – too much exposure to sunlight or heat may cause the lips to dry as the moisture of the lips is loss due to evaporation.
  • Frequent lip licking – licking or wetting the lips frequently may only cause further dryness as the moisture of the lips are more likely to evaporate.
  • Smoking – cigarettes that regularly or frequently come in contact with the lips will harm it condition causing the lips to dry further.
  • Dehydration – improper hydration of the body also contributes for the lips to dry. It is important that our bodies should be properly hydrated to continue proper function and good condition of bodily areas affected by insufficient supply of water in the body most especially the skin and particularly that of the lips.
  • Pregnancy – it is common for pregnant women to suffer from dry chapped lips due to changes in hormones brought by pregnancy.
  • Allergic Reaction – allergy to food and allergy on cosmetic products that comes in contact with the lips will cause it to dry and chapped as a reaction to allergen and irritants.

Chronic Chapped Lips

Chronic chapped lips occur when the capacity of the lips to retain moisture is lost due to cycles or repeated occurrence of dry chapped lips. However, it also a symptom of underlying condition such as chelitis and herpes simplex virus 1. Chelitis is a condition where the demarcation between the lips and skin pigment disappear due to whitish formation. Herpes simplex virus 1 on the other hand causes the lips to have red sores and peeling.

Causes of Chronic Chapped Lips

  • Malnourishment or nutritional deficiency
  • Dehydration
  • Too much exposure to sun, wind and cold

Extremely Chapped Lips

Severe chapped lip is a suggestion of a serious medical condition. It is often associated with severe diet deficiency and a malfunctioning immune system in the body. It cannot be cured with treatments that are common with dry chapped lips and chronic chapped lips nor can it be remedied with simple solution such as those that can be used for simple dry chapped lips. This type of chapped lips is occur with cracks, sore, redness and swelling and may sometimes bleed. In this case of chapped lips, medical attention and treatment is required.

Causes of Extremely Chapped Lips

  • Malnutrition
  • Further damaged from dry chapped lips

Symptoms of Chapped Lips

  • Flaky skin on the lips
  • Constant lip licking
  • Painful lips
  • Sometimes may appear swollen
  • Visible cracks or fissures

Diagnosis of Chapped Lips

There is no diagnosis for dry chapped lips except for the symptoms it is manifesting. Dry chapped lips normally happen especially during cold and winter season. This condition usually occurs and lasts for two days or until lips moisture is properly addressed.

Treatment for Chapped Lips

  • Apply lip emollient such as unflavored lip balm and petroleum jelly
  • Apply vitamin E ointment
  • Increase fluid intake

Chapped Lips Remedies

  • Rub a slice of cucumber
  • Increase fluid intake
  • Avoid frequent lip licking

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