Chapped Lips & Pregnancy
When you're pregnant, you expect to have to deal with heartburn, stretch marks and weird food cravings, but you may be surprised to have to deal with ongoing chapped lips, too. If your chapped lips are especially persistent or if you have cracks in the skin at the corners of your mouth, see a dermatologist. You could have a fungal infection that requires medical treatment.
Chapped lips appear when your lips get dried out, leaving tiny fissures in the skin on your lips that can be painful and hard to heal, explains Kansas City dermatologist Audrey Kunin in "Allure" magazine. Pregnant women may be especially prone to chapped lips as part of their overall dry skin issues.
Some women have to deal with dry skin, including chapped lips, during pregnancy because the dramatic shifts in hormone levels can slow down your skin's oil production and reduce its elasticity, explains WhatToExpect.com, a pregnancy and parenting information resource. Women who are pregnant during winter may be even more prone to dry skin and chapped lips.
There are a few things you can do to help prevent chapped lips during your pregnancy, says MayoClinic.com dermatologist Lawrence E. Gibson. Drink plenty of water to keep your lips and the rest of your skin hydrated, and consider running a humidifier at night to keep your lips from drying out. Avoid licking your lips, which can make chapped lips even worse -- apply balm instead when your lips feel dry.
Sometimes, chapped lips can be caused or exacerbated by ingredients in skincare and lip products, whether you're pregnant or not, says Kunin. Avoid lip balms that contain fragrance or flavors -- cinnamon-flavored or scented lip balms can be especially irritating. And stop using lip balms that contain lanolin to see if your chapped lips improve -- lanolin can be irritating for some people.
Lip balm isn't addictive -- using the wrong lip balm won't cause you to need more lip balm, says Kunin in "Allure" magazine. But lip balms that contain super-moisturizing ingredients like hyaluronic acid, petrolatum, shea butter and dimethicone will give you the best results. Kunin says you may also want to avoid waxy balms in favor of more viscous ones since waxy balms may not be able to get deep enough into cracks in your lips to moisturize them effectively.
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