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How to Heal or Cure Chapped Lips

How to Heal or Cure Chapped Lips How to Heal or Cure Chapped Lips

Overview

Chapped lips are more than a cosmetic concern. They can cause considerable pain and are vulnerable to cracking and infection. The lips do not contain oil glands like the rest of the skin, which means they lack natural protection against harsh environmental elements. While chapped lips are most common during the dry, cold months of winter, they can occur year-round. Most cases of chapped lips can be successfully cured at home with a few lifestyle changes and frequent moisturizing.

Step 1

Hydrate your lips by drinking at least 64 ounces of fluid each day. The Mayo Clinic also recommends running a humidifier inside your home to moisten the air, and turning central heating down during the winter.

Step 2

Stop licking your lips. While licking may temporarily soothe chapped lips, it actually contributes to dryness and can make chapping significantly worse. The Mayo Clinic suggests avoiding flavored lip balm if it makes you more prone to licking.

Step 3

Moisturize and protect your lips by applying lip balm regularly throughout the day. Lawrence E. Gibson, M.D. of the Mayo Clinic states that an oil-based lubricating cream or balm that contains petrolatum can help soothe chapped lips and protect them from additional chapping during cold, dry weather. Lip balms containing sunscreen are available at most pharmacies and will help protect the lips from sun damage. Andrew Weil, M.D. recommends using a lip balm that contains beeswax, turmeric, or calendula.

Step 4

Check products you commonly use for ingredients that may be irritating or drying to your lips. Lipsticks with propyl gallate are a common cause of chapped lips, and toothpastes that contain sodium lauryl sulfate are drying and irritating to sensitive skin, according to Andrew Weil, M.D. Consumption of certain foods, especially those that are spicy, minty, or acidic, may also cause lip chapping.

Step 5

Use a 2% hydrocortisone cream on chapped lips that fail to improve after several weeks of lifestyle changes and moisturizing. DERMAdoctor recommends applying the ointment as needed, up to four times daily. Hydrocortisone cream is available in most pharmacies and retail stores.

Step 6

Visit your doctor for evaluation and advice if you wake up each morning with dry, sore, or chapped lips. This may mean you are breathing through your mouth during sleep instead of through your nose. Nasal blockages, such as those caused by allergies or infections, are the most common cause of mouth breathing. Treatment of the underlying cause will help heal chapped lips. Applying a thick layer of lip balm to your lips before going to bed at night can also help.

Step 7

Ask your doctor for a blood test to check for vitamin B6 deficiency if your chapped lips are accompanied by cracking at the corners of your mouth. Merck states that other signs of vitamin B6 deficiency include a red tongue, tingling in the hands and feet, a scaly rash, and seizures. Daily supplementation will restore your blood levels of B6 and cure your chapped lips.

Step 8

Try alternative treatments to heal your chapped lips. Applying glycerin, wheat germ oil, or vitamin E oil to the lips may help lock in moisture and prevent additional drying of your lips. Honey may also help chapped lips, as it acts as a humectant and draws moisture into the skin.

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