Help for Dry Chapped Lips
Wind, sun and dry winter air increase the risk of getting chapped lips. Because lips have no oil glands, they can dry out easily and become chapped, according to the American Academy of Dermatology.Chapped lips are annoying and sometimes painful. Dry, chapped lips may even peel or become cracked.Fortunately, there’s much you can do to help chapped lips.
Apply moisturizing balm. Chapped lips are often due to dehydration, says Sandra Read, M.D., a dermatologist in Washington, D.C. The Mayo Clinic recommends using an oil-based lubricating lip balm containing beeswax or petroleum to help rehydrate and soothe the lips.
Avoid licking your lips. “Saliva evaporates quickly, leaving your lips more dry and chapped than before,” says Dr. Read. The more you lick your lips, the drier and more chapped they will get, according to the AAD. If you tend to lick your lips, the Mayo Clinic suggests avoiding flavored lip balm, which could temp you to lick more often.
Cover your lips outdoors. Sun and wind can make chapped lips worse. Before going outdoors, apply a balm with a sunscreen of SPF 15 or higher, advises Read. The AAD says that you should cover your lips with a scarf or wear a hat with a mask that covers your lips in the winter. This is especially important on windy days, notes the AAD.
Stay hydrated. Replenish the moisture in your lips from the inside out by drinking plenty of water. If you’re prone to chapped lips, use a humidifier to keep the air in your home moist, recommends the AAD.
Be patient. Healing chapped lips takes time. Rehydrating and protecting your lips from the elements should help your lips recover in two to three days, says Read.
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