Chapped lips are common this time of year. Winter’s cooler, dryer weather and frequent lip licking are some of the causes that can aggravate this condition. Fortunately, applications of a lip balm several times daily and at bedtime can help significantly. It’s also advisable to apply a non-irritating lip balm with SPF 30 before going outdoors. Use products that are fragrance-free, hypoallergenic, and contain one or more of the following ingredients: Castor seed oil, Ceramides, Dimethicone, Hemp seed oil, Mineral oil, Petrolatum, Shea butter, Sun-protective ingredients, such as titanium oxide or zinc oxide, or White petroleum jelly.
If your lips are feeling chapped and irritated, it’s best to avoid products containing the following ingredients: Camphor, Eucalyptus, Flavoring (cinnamon, citrus, mint, and peppermint flavors can be especially irritating to dry, chapped lips), Fragrance, Lanolin, Menthol, Octinoxate (or oxybenzone), Phenol (or phenyl), Propyl gallate, and Salicylic acid. Avoid picking, biting, and lip licking. As saliva evaporates the lips become drier! A humidifier in your bedroom can be beneficial – especially if you’re a mouth breather.
If your chapped lips don’t improve within a couple of weeks, schedule an appointment with your dermatologist. Persistent chapping can also be caused by allergies, infections, and precancerous sun damage. (Adapted from AAD.org)