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Chapped Lips and Vitamin Deficiencies

Chapped Lips and Vitamin Deficiencies Chapped Lips and Vitamin Deficiencies Chapped Lips and Vitamin Deficiencies


Some vitamins are essential for bones, others for cell growth, and still others like vitamin E, are supporters of skin. Your lips, which have extremely sensitive skin, depend on vitamins to keep them healthy and prevent them from drying and chapping. Chapped lips can not only be frustrating and painful, deficiencies of some vitamins such as B vitamins may even make them crack.

B Vitamins

Lack of some vitamins, particularly B vitamins, may cause chapped lips. Vitamin B-2, also called riboflavin, is a B-complex vitamin that is needed for the maintenance of healthy hair, nails and skin, including your lips. The Vitamins and Health Supplements Guide explains that deficiency of vitamin B-2 may result in cracked lips. Another sign of riboflavin deficiency is inflammation in the mouth. Not enough vitamin B-9, or folic acid, may also result in chapped lips. If you lack either riboflavin or folic acid, you may want to consider either taking a B-complex vitamin or incorporating vitamin B-rich foods, such as beans, poultry and whole grains, into your diet.

Vitamin C

One job of vitamin C is to help produce a protein called collagen. Collagen works with elastin, both of which are necessary for strong and healthy tissues, including your skin. A lack of vitamin C can lead to troubles with chapped lips. Citrus fruits such as oranges and grapefruit contain large amounts of vitamin C, as do vegetables like green turnips, leafy greens, broccoli and potatoes.

Vitamin E

Vitamin E, which is essential for skin, is found in lotions and creams used for stimulating skin health. If you don't get enough vitamin E daily, you may find yourself with irritated, chapped lips. Vitamin E is an antioxidant, which means it protects your DNA from free radicals. Free radicals are harmful components that cause inflammation. They tend to build up from habits such as smoking, which can also result in chapped lips. This vitamin helps keep skin moisturized, a necessity for healthy lips, and it also protects the outer layers of your skin from ultraviolet rays, which can lead to damaged and cracking lips. Oils, nuts and seeds are all naturally rich in vitamin E. Over-the-counter vitamin E supplements are also available.


The U.S. Food and Drug Administration provides you with recommendations on how much of each vitamin you should obtain daily, based on a 2,000 calorie diet. Adults and children down to the age of four years are advised to consume 1.7mg of riboflavin, 400µg of folic acid, 60mg of vitamin C and 30 IU of vitamin E every day.

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