Healthy Habits for Bonsall and Fallbrook Folks: Chapped lips – not exactly kissable


Last updated 9/13/2019 at 10:40pm

Kathy Magerkurth photo

Plain, boring lip balms and moisturizes are effective in treating chapped lips.

Special to Village News. Chapped lips can happen at any time to anyone making the lips dry, scaly or even sore. Some of the main culprits of this condition include dehydration, sun exposure, smoking, constantly licking the lips, possible vitamin deficiency, weather and breathing through the mouth. As a result, the lips might crack, peel, flake or feel tender.

There are a few home remedies that can help chapped lips. These include:

1. Exfoliation is important to remove the dead skin cells off chapped lips, which can be done by creating a paste with sugar and honey.

2. Coconut oil is a natural moisturizer.

3. Castor oil is effective at hydrating.

4. Aloe vera gel can help with any pain from chapped lips.

5. Cucumber juice rubbed lightly on the lips helps hydrate.

6. Petroleum jelly is effective when applied several times during the day.

7. Water is generally recommended, at least eight glasses per day.

Moisture in the body is a must to keep the lips fresh and smooth. Winter is a hard month for the lips as the skin is literally breaking from this lack of moisture. There's a lack of humidity and the air is dry. Licking the lips only makes the problem worse because once the saliva dries, it reverts back to dryness over and over again.

Certain lipsticks and products contain chemicals and allergens that can dry the lips. Medications can be drying too, which is why the plain, boring lip balms and moisturizes are more effective. When it comes to flaky skin on the lips, the best idea is to just let it be don't pick at it and force it to be removed when it is not ready to come off yet.

Look for moisturizes that have a waxy protectant and vitamin E. Topical steroids can also be used. Sometimes a person finds a lip balm they love and almost become addicted to applying it due to the fragrance or taste; however, sometimes the constant application of ointment can cause further irritation. For those with sensitivities, there are hypoallergenic lip balms. If all else fails, a dermatologist can recommend a solution.

Having chapped lips is a common problem as lips are constantly exposed to the weather, to movement, to foods and beverages, to talking, kissing and to women's lipsticks, liners and glosses.

Plump and luscious lips are in fashion, but not the type that are dry, flaky and irritated. Keep that smile vibrant and lips moisturized. It's another reason to drink water, eat healthy and practice good self-care.

Megan Johnson McCullough holds a master's degree in physical education and health science, is a candidate for her doctorate, is a professional natural bodybuilder and is a National Academy of Sports Medicine master trainer.


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