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Skin Peeling & Chapped Lips

Skin Peeling & Chapped Lips Skin Peeling & Chapped Lips

Overview

Skin that is dry, flaky and peeling may also be accompanied by chapped, peeling lips. In most cases, peeling skin and chapped lips are not serious and do not require the care of a doctor, says the Mayo Clinic. If chapped lips and peeling skin are accompanied by any other symptoms, contact a doctor.

Types

Peeling skin may be the result of sunburn, skin irritation, skin damage, an allergic reaction, cancer, dry skin, exposure to extreme heat or an infection like jock itch or athlete's foot, says the Mayo Clinic. Chapped lips are rarely the cause of an underlying condition, and are generally due to exposure to harsh weather, lack of humidity in the air, dehydration, an allergic reaction to makeup or skincare products, licking the lips, or breathing with an open mouth.

Prevention/Solution

Determine the cause of peeling skin and chapped lips by considering any prolonged sun or wind exposure, as well as any exposure to dry air or allergens. Remove any items from the house that may be causing an allergic reaction. To counteract dryness in the air, run a humidifier overnight. A humidifier releases water vapor into the air, which is absorbed by the skin cells. Apply petroleum jelly to the skin to help it retain moisture, and use a lip balm containing beeswax to lubricate the lips, suggests Mayo Clinic dermatologist, Lawrence E. Gibson, M.D.

Misconceptions

Drinking water may seem like a logical solution when the lips and skin are peeling and dry. Unfortunately, drinking water will not help rehydrate the skin, says Kenneth Neldner, M.D., a professor and chairman of the Department of Dermatology
at the Texas Tech University Health Sciences Center School of Medicine. Although drinking water is a remedy for total dehydration, it will not create a noticeable difference for an individual who is already hydrated.

Expert Insight

Bathe less often and in cooler water to help combat peeling that is caused by skin dryness, says Hillard H. Pearlstein, M.D., assistant clinical professor of dermatology at the Mount Sinai School of Medicine in New York City, in "The Doctors Book of Home Remedies." Instead of drying the body completely after bathing, blot the skin carefully with a towel, then apply moisturizer immediately. Water is retained in the skin longer if it is moisturized while it is still wet, says Pearlstein.

Warning

See a doctor if peeling skin and chapped lips persist after treatment with home remedies and over-the-counter products. Consult a doctor immediately if you experience additional symptoms like a fever, fatigue, joint pain, muscle pain, a feeling of malaise or weight loss. In rare cases, peeling skin may be the cause of a serious illness, like cancer, toxic shock syndrome or Kawasaki disease. A doctor may run tests to rule out all serious illnesses.

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