Dry Lips: Could It Be Cheilitis?

The lips are the most prominent feature on the face. We don’t have to list the reasons why it’s essential to take care of your lips – so it definitely seems like a problem when the lips are sore, rough, and cracked.

The skin on the lips is thinner, with only 1/3rd of the cellular layers compared to the rest of the human body. There are also no moisturizing sweat glands on the surface of the lips. That’s why even licking your lips can dry them out and cause damage. That’s why it is essential to protect the lips.

With that being said, sometimes, it may seem that no matter how well you try to maintain your lips by slathering on lip balm, they still end up being scaly and itchy. If you are experiencing itchy and chapped lips, it might be a sign of a condition known as “cheilitis.”

Cheilitis may cause an itchy and burning sensation and sometimes pain and can be due to a variety of factors that are either internal or external. The most common reasons for cheilitis are chronic sun exposure, eczema, and infection. It is essential to note that there can be a variety of factors that can co-exist for any person affected by this condition. Irritation, food allergies, fragrances, cosmetics, and even oral hygiene products are the common culprits of cheilitis.

So how can you tell if you have cheilitis?

For evaluating eczematous cheilitis, there would have to be an assessment of atopic diseases, a history of the irritants or allergens you face, and patch testing. Patch testing is a vital component to detect allergic contact cheilitis. Patients who have a negative patch test are diagnosed with irritant contact cheilitis or atopic cheilitis.

So what can you do to prevent or pacify the condition?

  1. Moisturize.
    As the saying goes, prevention is better than cure. Medicated lip balm can help prevent dry lips from dry air, mouth breathing, and the constant licking of the lips. If the balm has SPF, it can also protect the skin on the lips from harmful UV rays that can dry out the lips further.
  2. Avoid potential allergens.
    The primary method of treatment should be to remove the suspected irritant from the environment the patient is exposed to. Patients should try to avoid using lip balms with flavoring, lanolin, and other potential allergens. Instead, try using medicated lip balms that are simply for dry skin.
  3. Iron dietary supplements.
    The condition cheilitis may arise as a result of an iron deficiency. Iron dietary supplements can help correct the defect and also contribute to the prevention of itchiness and dryness of the lips.
  4. Drink plenty of water.
    Dry lips are commonly caused as a result of dehydration. Make sure to stay hydrated and keep the lips healthy by drinking around eight glasses of water per day.

If your skin condition continues to persist, the help of experienced dermatologists in the Villages FL need to be obtained. Fortunately, one of the best skin care specialists in the state is available to cater to your needs, right in your town – Johnny Gurgen Dermatology. Dr. Gurgen is experienced, professional, and guarantees each patient receive the treatment they need for healthier skin and an improved lifestyle. Are you suffering from a skin condition that just won’t go away? Contact Johnny Gurgen now to schedule an appointment!