How Can I (Finally) Find Lasting Relief?
We’ve all experienced the uncomfortable feeling of chapped, cracked or dry lips. In fact, it is one of the most common oral health conditions seen during the winter months. Unlike the rest of our skin, our lips do not have oil glands – and they actually lose moisture 3-10 times faster than the skin on the rest of the body, including the face. Overall, dry, chapped lips are not a concerning health issue. However, an oral health professional will always address the presence of dry chapped or cracked lips to ensure there are no other more serious underlying health issues.
Dry, chapped or cracked lips due to weather conditions, sunburn or the common cold are considered normal. However, chronically chapped lips may be a sign of other health concerns. The following are some health issues that could be contributing to dry, chapped or cracked lips that do not appear to be healing:
- Vitamin C Deficiency: can lead to swollen, bleeding gums and dry lips.
- B Vitamins Deficiency: specifically vitamin B-12 (Riboflavin) can cause cracked lips that have difficulty healing. Angular cheilitis is a severe and very uncomfortable lip condition in which cracks and sores are present in the skin at the corners of the mouth when there is a B vitamin deficiency. Taking a B complex vitamin daily helps the body maintain healthy lips and helps the body cope with daily stress.
- Vitamin A: Vitamin A is stored in the body. Too much Vitamin A can cause dry lips.
Other causes of dry, chapped lips include:
- Menopause; due to decreasing estrogen levels
- Certain medications prescribed for thyroid conditions, high blood pressure or acne
- Facial creams containing benzoyl peroxide, Retin A or Salicylic acid
- Chemotherapy drugs
- Lipsticks containing propyl gallate can cause the skin on the lips to develop sensitivity
- Toothpaste containing sodium laurel sulfate can cause the lips to become dry and inflamed if there is an allergy present
- Food Allergies
- Mouth Breathing
So… what really works to alleviate dry chapped lips?
Diet and nutrition are key factors in helping the skin on the lips stay healthy from the inside out. However, when chapped, dry lips develop due to external factors like cold windy weather and licking your lips, and soothing lip balms work best. Lip balms work to help keep moisture in the lips thereby allowing healing of the skin. A few remedies that work really well in alleviating dry chapped lips are:
- Beeswax – one of the most effective
- Coconut oil
- Natural honey
- Petroleum Jelly
Don’t forget to show your lips some extra love this winter.
Winter is just beginning. It would be a great idea to keep some of these all natural balms nearby just in case you develop dry chapped lips. They also make great stocking stuffers for the holidays. Keep your lips, teeth and gums healthy over the winter and the holiday season!
Maple Dental Hygiene Care wishes everyone a very blessed holiday season. May the New Year bring blessings of peace, good health, prosperity and love for every one!
Visit Maple Dental Hygiene Care today.