The problem of dry lips is very common, especially at certain times. It is not only annoying but also can cause pain and discomfort. Dry lips are characterized by the presence of cracks, redness, dryness, increased sensitivity and sloughing of the skin. It seems to be a difficult to avoid, but actually it is not! Dry lips can be treated with a series of tips which are very easy to follow!
Why Are My Lips So Dry?
Feeling of dry lips is quite uncomfortable, but it gets worse when other symptoms such as cracks, peeling and pain happen.Factors influencing drying and cracking of the lips are a lot. The following are the main triggers of lip dryness that will help you to clarify your doubts.
1. Body Dehydration
Dehydration is one of the most common causes of dry lips. Lips have no sebaceous glands like the rest of the skin, therefore, lips are more likely to lose moisture. If the weather is dry, the tendency to suffer from dry, chapped lips is greater. You should not wait to be thirsty. Thirst is a late sign of dehydration, so drink at least 8 glasses of water a day to make sure your lips are well hydrated.
2. Licking Lips
The habit that many people have of constantly licking their lips merely worsens the problem of lacking water. Saliva coating is effective only for a few seconds, as the water evaporates and then dryness returns. Furthermore, when water saliva evaporates, more moisture from the lips will lose, so it ends up being worse. If you have this habit, it is better to stop.
3. Lack of Protection
Why are my lips so dry? You asked. Maybe the reason is lacking of protections! In the following cases, you have to protect your lips more cautiously:
- Cold weather: Dry and cold wind cause dry and cracking lips. The contrast to a warm and dry atmosphere is also a factor that leads to dry lips. Therefore, protect your lips in cold weather!
- Hot weather: In summer, hot weather and dry wind are common. In addition, there are other factors that will cause dry lips such as increased sun exposure and drinking dehydrating beverages. For this reason, please protect your lips properly in summer.
- Prolonged outdoor exposure: Prolonged exposure to wind, cold, and heat coupled with the exhausting sports activity will increase the likelihood of lip dryness. If you don’t give enough protection to your lips under these circumstances, your lips will surely become very dry.
Some toothpastes contain an irritant for lips that can cause dryness. This ingredient is called sodium lauryl sulfate. Avoid toothpastes that contain sodium lauryl sulfate and opt for another brand or prepare a natural toothpaste. Some fruit acids, especially citrus fruits, are also irritants for lips. Besides, cinnamates that used in chewing gums, sweets or toothpastes can also irritate the lips. In these cases, check the ingredients or the product label before buying.
Some allergies may be accompanied by dry lips such as allergies to cobalt and nickel. The guaiazulene found in some toothpastes or propyl gallate or phenyl salicylate found in some lipsticks can cause irritation and allergies. Avoid lipsticks and toothpaste with these ingredients. Certain food ingredients such as food dyes can also cause allergy and dry lips. If you are not sure about your allergen, check with your doctor.
6. Breathing Through Mouth
When you breathe through your mouth, lips have more contacts with more air, so they will dry out easily. Some conditions and diseases may let you breathe through the mouth such as sleep apnea, sinusitis and colds. In such cases, it is necessary to consult your doctor and receive medical treatments.
Certain drugs used to treat depression, anxiety, pain, severe acne, colds, and nasal allergies often cause lip dryness as a side effect. If you doubt that your dry lips are caused by some drugs, consult your doctor for suggestions.
8. Causes Little Known
It can happen that the causes mentioned above are not your case and you wonder, why are my lips so dry? There are other less common causes of lip dryness:
- Vitamin B12 deficiency
- Niacin deficiency. It causes cracks especially on the sides of the mouth
- Yeast infection
- Hypervitaminosis A
- Certain blood disorders such as Kawasaki disease
- Sjogren’s syndrome: autoimmune disease that manifests with various symptoms, including dry lips
- Macrocytosis: condition characterized by increased size of blood cells
- Sexually transmitted diseases (STDs) such as AIDS
Tips for Treating Dry Lips
1. Choose Appropriate Lip Products
Select the right product for your lips: Before buying any lip balm, think about your situation. If you need to be outdoors, choose one with sunscreen; if you have problems of cracking for a long time, buy a balm containing cocoa butter or other nutritious agents. If your lips are looking unhealthy, choose a lip balm which can make your lips spark healthy glow.
2. Use a Humidifier at Night
You can buy an air humidifier at many supermarket and drug stores. Turn on it at night to keep the humidity level between 30% and 50%, and it will work efficiently especially in winter. In this way you will increase air humidity and therefore prevent drying of your lips
3. Use a Skin Lotion
Using a skin lotion helps create a film to keep moisture, therefore it can help prevent and treat the problem of dry lips. Those skin lotions that contain ingredients such as shea butter, vitamin E, and coconut oil are especially effective.
4. Avoid Certain Food
Foods high in acid or other irritants should be avoided. For example, tomatoes are very high in acid, so avoid eating it. Some other irritating foods including peppers, mango peels and sauces should be removed from your diet.