5 Things That Can Make Chapped Lips Worse, According To Dermatologists

It’s formally chapped lips season. And allow us to let you know, we really feel your ache.

One of many worst unintended effects of coping with chilly climate is coping with dry, cracked, painful lips. Typically, it seems like no quantity of lip balm may help.

Some folks have even questioned whether or not lip balm is the issue. In response to the professionals, nonetheless, that’s a delusion, so long as your lip balm incorporates the right combination of elements. However extra on that later.

There are, nonetheless, a couple of issues that really can make your chapped lips worse. When you’re one of many many individuals who wrestle to maintain your pout sufficiently moisturized, take word:

1. Licking your lips on a regular basis

You’ve in all probability heard this one earlier than, however simply to implement it another time: Licking your lips after they’re already chapped isn’t doing you any favors.

Though it might appear to be a good suggestion on the time, “because the saliva dries and evaporates, it attracts moisture away from the pores and skin,” Dr. Y Claire Chang, board-certified beauty dermatologist at Union Sq. Laser Dermatology, advised HuffPost.

Excessively licking your already-dried out lips, as Dr. Benjamin Barankin, a Toronto-based dermatologist and medical director of Toronto Dermatology Centre, put it, results in “short-term acquire, long-term ache.”

Dr. Rachel Nazarian, of Schweiger Dermatology Group in New York Metropolis, elaborated: “Our saliva incorporates enzymes that make it efficient for digesting our meals once we eat. By licking your lips you apply the identical digestive enzymes to your pores and skin, and it may well break down lips and make them dry and chapped.”

Licking your lips repeatedly may also get you caught in a cycle of wetting and drying the lips, and might even result in one thing known as “lip licker’s dermatitis,” which Chang described as “an irritant contact dermatitis across the lips characterised by redness and dryness across the lips.”

“The easiest way to deal with dry lips is to keep away from licking and, as a substitute, apply bland emollients often to offer exterior hydration,” Chang added.

2. Cleaning with sizzling water

We’ve been advised that tremendous sizzling water isn’t nice for preserving your pores and skin moisturized, so it solely is sensible that it received’t assist dry lips. In truth, it may well really make dry lips worse, Chang stated.

“Though sizzling water feels good within the short-term, it may well really draw out moisture from the lips because it evaporates,” she added.

Barankin additionally famous that sizzling water strips away the pure oils that hold lips moisturized. To maintain your lips from drying out, Nazarian really helpful utilizing lukewarm water and delicate cleansers when washing your face “to stop your pores and skin from drying out, particularly in arid and chilly climate months.” And that applies to your time within the bathe, too, when sizzling water will are available in contact along with your lips.

3. Publicity to the solar

“Solar publicity can worsen chapped lips, so it is very important put on lip balm with SPF to maintain your lips protected, particularly when out within the solar,” Chang suggested.

4. Flavored lip balms

All three dermatologists we spoke to agreed that fragrances, that are generally present in lip balms, can irritate the pores and skin and enhance the potential for chapping.

It’s finest to keep away from utilizing any merchandise with perfume, Nazarian stated. She urged making use of a lip balm with lanolin or beeswax with no added colours or perfumes to stop evaporation of moisture from the lips. Vaseline, which incorporates white petrolatum, can also be efficient, she stated.

5. Irritating elements

Not all lip balms are created equal.

“I like to recommend avoiding extreme use of lip balms with salicylic acid, which is an exfoliant that removes useless pores and skin cells,” Chang stated. “Too frequent use of salicylic acid may cause irritation and additional dry out the lips.”

Different elements to keep away from are menthol or peppermint ― generally added to lip balms for that cooling, soothing sensation ― Nazarian stated. She additionally really helpful steering away from cinnamic aldehyde, the chemical compound that offers cinnamon its taste, which might trigger irritation in delicate pores and skin.

So what’s the easiest way to maintain lips hydrated?

We’ll begin by saying this: all three dermatologists stated there’s actually no such factor as making use of an excessive amount of lip balm, as long as you’re utilizing one thing with the suitable elements.

Nazarian urged utilizing a product that incorporates hydrating elements (like ceramides and hyaluronic acid) together with elements that seal in moisture (like lanolin, petrolatum or beeswax) for “the proper combo for smooth, hydrated lips.”

Barankin really helpful utilizing a bland chapstick twice a day and urged to not lick or choose at your lips. If you’ll want to put some moisture again into your lips, he additionally stated you’ll be able to put a moist fabric with heat water over the world adopted by a correct lip balm to lock all of it in.

In Chang’s opinion, for those who’re utilizing a lip balm to hydrate and lock in moisture, free from irritating elements, it’s “the extra, the higher.” It’s additionally sensible to drink extra water and use a humidifier at house to maintain moisture within the air through the chilly, dry winter months, she added.

You also needs to word:

When you’ve been treating your lips with care however proceed to expertise irritation and dryness, it could be an indication of an underlying subject, Chang stated.

“Dry, chapped lips can generally be an indication of vitamin deficiencies, inflammatory bowel illness, fungal infections, contact dermatitis, extreme sun-damage, ill-fitting dentures or treatment unintended effects,” she added, noting that it’s “essential to deal with any underlying points and medical situations that could be inflicting dry lips.”

When you’re apprehensive, your finest guess is to seek the advice of with a dermatologist.

Under, take a look at a pair lip merchandise that match the invoice for treating dry, chapped lips:

Vaseline Lip Remedy Unique


Glossier Balm Dotcom


Aquaphor Lip Restore





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