Chapped lips during the winter months happens to many of us. It’s typically blamed on the cold air that steals moisture from our skin.
But what about those of us who constantly have dry, chapped lips that just don’t seem to heal? Here’s a list of causes for your chapped lips with suggestions on how to possibly clear up the condition for good.
Dehydration – Most of us don’t get enough water in a day – we hear that a lot. But did you know that your body handles water differently if drunk during a meal? It doesn’t hydrate you as well or do all the things within our body that water is supposed to do because, in a way, it’s processed as food. So the question you really need to ask yourself is if you are getting enough water between meals. If not, it might be causing your lips to dry out.
Vitamin deficiency – Multiple vitamin deficiencies can contribute to chapped lips. Have your doctor do a blood test and check your vitamin levels. Be on the look out for vitamin D3, B vitamins and iron.
Periodontal disease – According to Dr. Oz, a good dental cleaning may help solve the problem with your lips. Bacteria could have made its way from your mouth to your lips and be causing the dryness and discomfort.
Allergies – You might be allergic to an ingredient in lipstick called propyl gallate. According to DoctorOz.com there are many things we put on our lips that we might be allergic to including ingredients in our toothpaste. Some products that we put on our lips contain phenyl salicylate which can also cause the problem. Eliminating one thing at a time might help you find the culprit.
Coffee – Drinking coffee (or some teas) can chap your lips in two ways. One way is that it contributes to dehydration in your body which can dry your skin and lips. The other way is that when you drink coffee it can get on your lips and, because coffee is acidic, it can severely dry out your lips in addition to irritating and damaging the skin because of the acid. So you either need to be very careful to protect your lips from exposure to your coffee or you need to give it up and switch to an herbal coffee.
Nickel Toxicity – Do you put metal objects in your mouth like paperclips and pens with metal on them? Or do you have an expander or retainer that has metal? If so, your body could be reacting to the nickel. You might have to wait until it’s time to remove the expander (unless you haven’t gotten in yet and you should request one made from titanium instead) but you could get a different kind of retainer that doesn’t contain toxic metals. If nickel toxicity is causing your chapped lips, you might need a cleanse or to purchase a specific supplement to pull the nickel from your body. Seek a naturopathic physician who helps people eliminate heavy metal toxins.
The most likely cause of your chapped lips is you licking them. This dries them out and prevents healing. Most people who lick their lips don’t even realize they’re doing it. Pay close attention to yourself to see if you lick your lips. Ask friends or family if they notice you doing it. Once you stop your problem will most likely go away completely. Once you realize you’re doing it, it’s fairly easy to stop because you’ll be more aware of it. But if you just can’t lick the habit, try getting a lip balm with taste so that you’ll realize you’ve licked your lips when you taste it. For some people, this helps them stop licking their lips.
Don’t give up! Keep trying until you figure out what is causing your chronic chapped lips and then take necessary action to heal them.