Today’s Question: Is the weather the only cause of my chapped lips right now? They are driving me crazy! Cassidy, Claypool
A. Cassidy, as if the winter wasn’t enough of a bummer with the dreary sky and long cold days, add in cracked, dry and painful lips and it’s enough to make you hibernate! While this time of year finds many of us suffering from chapped lips due to the chilly temperatures and bitter winds, the weather is not the only cause of chapped lips. Below I have listed just a few of the many causes of dry lips. In certain cases, persistent chapped lips may need the consultation from a dermatologist.
1. Lack of Protection: Chapped lips are most often associated with the winter months, but you can just as easily get chapped lips on Spring Break or during the summer from the sun. Protect your lips year-round with a petroleum-free lip balm that contains an SPF such as jane iredale’s LipDrink. Not only will you keep them hydrated, but also protected from the elements including the sun’s damaging rays. During the wintertime, try adding a scarf over your mouth, Cassidy, for an extra layer of protection from the wind and cold.
2. Licking Your Lips: Whether due to stress, nerves or just habit, licking your lips will cause them to dry out. While they temporarily may look and feel hydrated, the saliva will quickly evaporate leaving them dryer than when you started. Then, you lick them again and so begins a vicious cycle. Habits like this are hard to break, but staying far away from those flavored lip balms may help you from treating your lips like an ice cream cone.
3. Dehydration: When we are dehydrated, it makes our skin look dull, can cause headaches and chap your lips. Staying hydrated by drinking plenty of water will not only keep your lips kissable, but you will feel better overall.
4. Allergies: Did you know there are ingredients in toothpaste that can irritate your lips and dry them out? Certain lipsticks can also bother your lips and dry them out as well. I’m not suggesting you stop brushing your teeth, Cassidy, or stop wearing lipstick. Just be aware that if your lips are irritated and chapped, it doesn’t hurt to check the ingredients and see if that may a contributing culprit.
So, Cassidy, get crackin’ on what’s cracking your lips and they will start to feel better in plenty of time for that special Valentine. If you have any questions about your skin care, be sure to talk with a medical professional.