Everyone in the world has experienced this problem before. Cracked, chapped and dry lips happens to people at least once in their lifetime, but can actually occur frequently depending on many factors. Usually the most common factor, however, is the evaporation of moisture from the lips or the dehydration of the body. Although chapped lips are not so much of a big problem, if not taken care of the lips can crack and bleed, causing pain and discomfort.
Here is everything you need to know in order to get rid of the problem and avoid it in the future.
Causes of Cracked, Chapped and Dry Lips
As has previously been mentioned, the most common cause of this problem is the lack of moisture on the lips. This happens because the protective layer of sebum (oil) that the body produces to coat the lips for its protection is removed, missing, or lacking. Frequent licking of the lips is one of the many causes behind the disappearance of this layer of oil.
Most commonly, chapped lips occur in cold weather conditions, especially when the air is dry. However, hot environments, dry environments and windy environments can also exacerbate this problem and cause lips to become chapped faster due to the rapid evaporation of moisture.
Chapped lips are not a very big issue to begin with, but if they are not taken care of they can become cracked. Cracked lips are painful because the fissures may deepen and become cuts which can then bleed.
Symptoms of Chapped Lips
It’s very easy to determine if your lips are chapped. It begins with dry lips and eventually the skin starts peeling off and other symptoms such as swelling and a burning feeling may occur. When the skin becomes very dry, large painful cracks which can bleed may occur.
Dealing with Chapped Lips
The most common treatment or remedy for chapped lips is, of course, the ever popular lip balm. There are many brands available on the market which claim to be effective in providing relief from dry lips and preventing further chapping in the future. A tube or jar of lip balm or even petroleum jelly can prove to be quite helpful in dealing with chapped lips. Medicated balms are available for problematic cracked lips. Note however that petroleum jelly only prevents the further loss of moisture—it does not help to heal or penetrate the lips to provide moisture.
Another remedy is to drink a lot of fluids which can help to keep the body hydrated from the inside. This will allow the lips to gain more moisture as well, preventing the lips from drying out too quickly.
When lips are chapped, dry or cracked, it is important to avoid a few things.
Drinking or consuming acidic beverages is not advisable. It is also imperative to avoid licking the lips because certain enzymes in the saliva can provide further irritation as well as accelerate the evaporation of moisture from the lips.