Skip to content

Causes of chapped lips: Treatment

Causas de los labios agrietados: Tratamiento con Colágeno

You don't appreciate how nice it is to have soft, hydrated lips until you have dry, chapped lips. We've all been in that situation, and we know that the only thing on your mind when your lips are sore and burning is how you can ease the pain.

What Are Chapped Lips?

The uncontrollable urge to lick your lips. Unfortunately, we all know that familiar feeling. These are indications that you are experiencing chapped lips.

Chapped lips, also known as cheilitis, occur when the skin on the lips becomes dry and irritated.

The reason you never hear of a cracked nose or cracked cheeks is that the skin on our lips is different from the skin on the rest of our face. This is due to the lack of oil glands in our lips. And, since our lips have fewer oil glands, they aren't able to retain as much moisture as the rest of your body, making them more prone to dehydration and irritation.

How are chapped lips diagnosed? Chapped and chapped lips can be easily diagnosed by a dermatologist with a quick visual examination of the mouth. You will know you have chapped lips if your lips feel dry and you experience other symptoms such as:

  • inflammation
  • Scaly, peeling, or cracked skin
  • bleeding

What are the causes of chapped lips?

Many people think that chapped lips only happen during the winter months, but this is not necessarily true. You can experience chapped lips at any time of the year, especially if you are not taking care of your lips. Apart from cold or dry weather, there are many factors that can cause chapped lips for weeks. Everything from certain vitamin deficiencies. Children who wear braces and adults who wear dentures are also more prone to developing dry mouth and lips.

Some of the more common risk factors or causes of chapped lips include:

  • dry or cold weather
  • Indoor dry air
  • dehydration
  • lick lips
  • Yeast infection (angular chylitis)
  • Diet, salty foods, or vitamin deficiency
  • Medication (drug-induced chylitis) or allergic reaction
  • Lipsticks, lip balms and other cosmetics
  • Sun exposure
  • Thickening of the salivary glands (glandular chilitis)
  • Eczema (eczematous chylitis) 1

How to prevent and cure chapped lips

Here are some tips from dermatologists to prevent and treat chapped lips:

1. Apply lip balms throughout the day

Soothe, prevent, and heal chapped lips by frequently applying lip balm, petroleum jelly, or another type of lip salve. Generally speaking, when the lips and mouth are properly hydrated with lip balm, chapped lips heal on their own.

According to dermatologists, the best ingredients you can find in lip balm to heal a chapped lip are:

  • ceramides
  • Dimethicone
  • Mineral oil
  • Petrolatum
  • shea butter
  • oxide titanium oxide and zinc oxide
  • collagen

2. Check if your products are not irritating ingredients

There are some ingredients that are often added to balms and moisturizers that can make chapped lips worse.

Here are some of the ingredients you should stay away from to prevent chapped lips:

  • Fragrance and flavor (min, cinnamon, mint and citrus in particular)
  • lanolin
  • camphor
  • menthol
  • Salicylic acid
  • Octinoxate or oxenbenzone
  • phenol
  • Propyl gallate 1

Along with these irritating ingredients that can be commonly found in lip balm, certain medications can increase your chances of chapped lips. Medications like lithium, retinoids, and chemotherapy drugs can make your lips more prone to irritation.

3. Use a humidifier

Your skin has more in common with your houseplants than you think. Our skin is often sensitive to the environment in which we live. The air in our home or office can be dry, especially during the winter months. To prevent dehydration and drying out our skin, run a humidifier to keep air circulating through humid living spaces. The American Academy of Dermatology also recommends turning on a humidifier at night, especially for those of us who breathe through our mouths in our sleep. 1

4. Avoid Licking Your Lips

When badly chapped lips are really bothering you and you don't have any lip balm, lip balm or Vaseline on hand, it can be tempting to lick your lips. While you may experience immediate relief, frequent lip licking can make things even worse.

The problem with licking dry lips is that the saliva evaporates quickly. Once your saliva is dry, it absorbs even more moisture from your skin, which can lead to severely chapped lips.

To avoid licking your lips and making your lips worse and chapped, carry lip balm with you wherever you go. You can leave your favorite fragrance-free lip balm in your car, purse, gym bag, and office so it's always within reach.

5. Don't Exfoliate Chapped Lips

Our first reaction to dry skin is often to exfoliate flaky skin. However, exfoliating chapped and chapped lips can make things worse, leading to redness and irritation. Instead, treat dry lips by regularly applying lip balm or a moisturizing lip cream. You can also run a humidifier to minimize dry indoor air.

6. Use sun protection on your chapped lips (summer and all year)

It may seem strange to apply sunscreen to your lips, but it should be an important step in your morning skincare routine, especially if you suffer from dry, chapped lips. In fact, chapped lips caused by sun exposure are so common that it is known in the medical field as actinic cheilitis.

The American Academy of Dermatology explains that prolonged sun exposure can cause sun damage, which can lead to dry, chapped lips. While frequent sun exposure is often associated with the summer months, sun damage can cause chapped lips all year long. 1

Our Most Recent Post


Recommend our Products and Earn Rewards for You!
Older Post
Newer Post

Leave a comment

Please note, comments need to be approved before they are published.

Edit Option
Notify Me
is added to your shopping cart.
Product SKU Description Collection Availability Product Type Other Details
My Cart (0)

Before you leave

Take advantage of our First Purchase discount!

10% discount

Enter the code below at checkout to get your First Order discount


Continue buying
Recommendation 6