Lips are the most delicate and soft organ in our body and they have very soft surface layers of skin. They are more prone to attack from extreme climates like hot and cold than any other part.
Lips are exposed to hot rays of the sun as well as cold wind and dry air and hence subject to dehydration. If they lose moisture from their cells, lips become fragile and develop tiny cracks and splits. These tiny cracks are called chapped lips and are often painful. It is not good to lick your lips often, since it burns the saliva, dehydrating it further.
Exposure to sunlight, cold weather and dry air are the main cause for the formation of chapped lips. When the lips become dehydrated, it may develop cracks. Sometimes, vitamin deficiency may cause this problem. Taking prolonged medications like retiniods can affect your lips. High doses of lithium and Vitamin A may also cause some problem. High fever and oral infection can also attack the lips making it chapped. Heightened stress may activate the dormant virus (herpes simplex) to cause cold sores and chapped lips. Rarely, yeast infection in the mouth can cause chapped lips.
The lips may develop tiny cracks or blisters in and around. It may become dry and reddish. Sometimes, the skin may start peeling away causing irritation and pain. In severe infection, it may bleed.
Self Care at Home :
You can apply sunscreen lotion while going out in sunny weather and cold weather. Use indoor humidifier when the weather is dry or cold to soften your lips. Drink plenty of fluids. Lip balms like Carmex can very well be used for treating cracks. Any moisturizing lotion like Vaseline is enough to prevent sores and cracks. Apply lip balms containing AloeVera or Vitamin E to make it soft. Do not use flavored balms which will tempt you to lick your lips often, leading to dehydration.
Pictures of Chapped Lips :
Images, Pics, Pictures and Photos of Chapped Lips
You can consult your doctor and stop using medications that trigger chapped lips. Check the ingredients labeled in toothpaste, since this may cause chapped lips. Some drugs like prochloroperazine may give rise to sores in lips. Sometimes, chapped lips are indicative of skin disorder like psoriasis or lupus.
Cheilitis is a condition in which there is painful inflammation on the lips which is more common in diabetic patients and autoimmune disorder patients. Actinic cheilitis also known as “farmer’s lip” causes chapped lips when the skin is exposed to severe sun damage. It can be precancerous condition and hence you need to check with your doctor if lips do not heal by self care remedies.