Chapped Lip Problem

The lips are one of the most exposed skin areas and are very vulnerable to a chapped lip problem or other dry skin related problems. Effective lip care treatments are therefore very important to have on hand. Without such treatments, dry lip related conditions could get worse and cause more significant problems.


Symptoms of Lips that are Chapped 

Dry lips are characterized by peeling of the thin lip skin, cracking that leads to bleeding, soreness, inflammation and tenderness of the lips, and a burning sensation. Severely cracked lips that bleed and are not treated can become infected. In this case, lip treatments would require the use of antibiotic ointments.

Causes of Chapped or Dry Lips

Why do lips become chapped? Lips are unable to form an effective barrier to moisture loss because the skin layers of lips are very thin. In addition, lips do not have the usual protection layer provided by sweat and body oils. Therefore, lips cannot moisturize themselves like skin on other parts of the body. This results in the lips becoming vulnerable to drying out quickly and a chapped problem with the lips develops rather easily.

Preventing Chapped or Dry Lips

The best lip treatments for a chapped or dry lip problem involve practicing proper dry skin prevention techniques. For lips, there are more specific factors at play that are responsible for chapping. Try to avoid the factors mentioned below.

  • Mouth breathing usually caused by a nose blockage, possibly from a cold, will result in the lips becoming dry. This is especially a problem for people who breath through their mouth while sleeping.
  • Licking of the lips contributes to drying of the thin lip skin. Although this process temporarily soothes the lips, it is not a recommended lip treatment for lips that are chapped. The saliva will simply evaporate leading to drying and will strip lips of any existing natural oils.
  • Repetitive lip biting or lip sucking contributes to the problem of dry lips.
  • Overexposure to environmental elements such as the sun or wind, cold weather, dry weather, or low humidity conditions is a major contributor to lip drying.
  • The consumption of certain foods can dry out the lip skin as well.
  • Exfoliation is good, but overuse of exfoliating products is harsh on the sensitive lips and will dry them out.
  • The act of smoking contributes to this lip problem.
  • Allergic reactions to cosmetics used on the lips are possible and these reactions contribute to the problem of lips becoming chapped.

Chapped Lip Treatments

When prevention is not enough, effective dry lip treatments need to be employed. The best chapped lip treatments involve a regiment of gentle exfoliation and moisturizing. Picking of the dead skin to remove it from the lip surface is not an effective chapped lip treatment and may lead to bleeding. To properly exfoliate the dead skin from the lips, a soft washcloth or a soft toothbrush with gentle rubbing can be used. Lip moisturizing treatments involve applying a lip balm, or lip moisturizer product before going to bed and regularly during the day in the winter months. Use of a lip balm base coat prior to applying lipstick is very effective in preventing chapped lips and protecting lips from drying chemicals commonly found in cheap cosmetic products.

There are also a variety of all natural chapped or dry lip treatments that have been suggested to combat dry lips instead of using commercial lip balm products. Examples of these lip treatments are listed below.

  • Massage the lips before going to bed with a little cream of milk with a few drops of rose water and lime juice added.
  • Use a bit of cocoa butter to keep lips moist during the day.
  • Use some honey on the lips. Honey will act as a humectant, drawing moisture to the lips and prevents them from drying out.
  • Nourish the lips and create a barrier to moisture loss by using a bit of vegetable glycerine mixed with vitamin E or wheat germ oil.
  • In addition, to the above recommendations you can mash up ripe papaya into a paste, and apply a generous amount to the lips and surrounding skin for 10 to 15 minutes. Rinse off and apply a lip balm. Papaya contains exfoliating enzymes to help soften and refine lip lines.


By following proper prevention techniques for a chapped lip problem, lips can maintain their healthy appearance year round. However, sometimes factors, which negatively affect lip health, cannot be avoided. In these situations, it is important to have effective chapped lip treatments readily at hand. These chapped lip treatments should be used religiously in order to prevent more serious lip problems from developing.

Other lip skin care resources:

lip treatments | canker sores | cold sores | cold sore treatments | lip plumpers | homemade gloss | angular cheilitis



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