Women health

 Why are my lips always dry and peeling?

Even while chapped lips are one of those little health annoyances that can be managed, they may nevertheless be a major source of misery. After all, having dry, peeling lips is pretty much the complete opposite of fun, especially if they become so bad that they start bleeding.

You see, there's a reason why your lips are so severely dry. While it may be as simple as not drinking sufficient water, licking your lips excessively, or consuming salty meals, the actual cause is occasionally a hidden medical issue like skin cancer, allergic responses, or sunburn. If that's the case, no amount of lip balm—yes, even the best kind—can make it better.

It's highly likely that's not what's happening, so stop panicking before it's too late. Ife J. Rodney, MD, a board-certified dermatologist and the founding director of Eternal Dermatology + Aesthetics as well as a professor of dermatology at Howard University and George Washington University, claims that the majority of cases of chapped lips can be treated in a matter of weeks without the help of a dermatologist. According to Doris Day, MD, & Adam Friedman, MD, peeling can occasionally be a consequence of the physiological structure of your lips.

But it's always a good idea to be able to distinguish whether you are experiencing normal winter dryness or something more serious. Dermatologists explain some of the main causes of all that peeling and dryness as well as quick fixes.

Why are my lips peeled off so badly?

Most likely, you don't need to worry about anything. Lips are always dry. Your lips don't contain oil glands, according to Dr. Day. Therefore, it may be incredibly challenging for your lips to keep moisture (which is also why they never break out in pimples!). Since your lips lack oil glands, they also lack the natural moisturizing substances needed to maintain the health and protection of the skin's outermost layer.

In actuality, there isn't much of an outer layer on your lips. Dr. Friedman notes that numerous parts of the lips lack a stratum corneum, in contrast to the rest of our skin (a.k.a. the top layer of skin). This is comparable to our armor, he claims. It is a complexly woven barrier made of dead skin cells, proteins, and lipids. This barrier serves to shield the skin from damage when it is dry and provides part of the body's natural UV defenses. It has an SPF of about five, according to Dr. Friedman. The unknown

Because your lips are inherently more sensitive than the rest of your skin, any dryness or peeling may probably be treated with a few swipes of your favorite lip balm before you convince yourself that you have a major medical condition.

Usually, making the necessary lifestyle modifications will allow you to resolve the issue in two weeks. The dermatologist should be consulted, however, if there is no change or if the condition of your lips worsens over time, advises Dr. Rodney.

She advises keeping an eye out for persistent signs of bleeding, significant cracks or fissures, pain, and peeling that don't go away for several weeks if your lips are naturally dry. You might need to contact your doctor if the skin on your lips is regularly flaking off or if a medicated balm does not seem to be making the dryness go away.

Despite this, there are still several more causes for your peeling lips, ranging from your diet to a more serious medical problem. Let's go over each one in detail.

1. You eat a lot of meals that are spicy or high in salt.

Pretzels and chips are among your favorite munchies. Your peeling lips may be caused by them. Salty foods can undoubtedly have an impact on the skin there, especially if they have a lot of salt on the exterior and can get up on the lips, according to Dr. Day. She notes that since salt contains water, it can suck the moisture from the lips and just dry them out. Another trigger food? spicy nibbles. Dr. Day says that they can also cause skin irritability and hydration loss.

Use a paraffin wax-based lip balm to soothe the affected area and temporarily avoid eating some salty meals.

2. You've been repeatedly licking your lips.

According to Dr. Friedman, doing this is arguably the worst thing you can do for dry lips. Your lips are made of fats, proteins, and carbs, which are broken down by the enzymes in saliva, the expert claims. When you do that, you are actually digesting your lips.

Treat it by licking your lips to make it cooler. Keep a lip moisturizer on hand (in your pocket, gym bag, etc.) so that you can swipe rather than lick when the impulse to lick arises.

3. Your lips were burnt by the sun.

Keep in mind that the top layer of UV-protective skin on your lips is already disappearing. The skin on your lips will likely peel if you are out in the sun without wearing an SPF lip balm. Sun cooks the water out of your skin, which can make it drier in places that are already prone to dryness, according to Dr. Day. Additionally, when skin cells renew and strive to restore, the inflammation from sunburn can cause your lips to peel.

4. You lack fluids.

According to Dr. Rodney, lips are particularly susceptible to dryness because of the rapid turnover of skin cells there. Although technically this can occur at any time of year, it is more frequent in the winter because dry indoor air can dehydrate your skin, especially the skin on your lips.

Drink additional water to treat it. Women should consume about 11.5 cups of fluids daily, including drinks and food, according to the U.S. National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine. The best drink is water, although other liquids also qualify.

5. You are continually in contact with dry air.

You may get chapped lips if you live in a location with low humidity all year round or if you are simply sensitive to moisture drops that can occur with the changing seasons. Dr. Rodney claims that dry lips may result from the absence of moisture in the air, especially during the winter.

Treatment: Dr. Rodney advises using a humidifier, which is specifically made to add moisture to your surroundings, as it is not much you can do about the air around you. She advises running one around you to obtain some relief, particularly at night and in the winter.

6. Your drug is causing your lips to dry out.

Peeling, and dry lips are common side effects of some drugs. This is a frequent concern, according to Dr. Friedman, for many of his acne medication-using patients. Dry, cracked lips are the most common side effect of Accutane, he informs his patients who are taking it. I advise them to use lip balm so frequently that their pals should inquire about what's in it when they see them applying it so frequently.

But other drugs besides Accutane can also mess with your lips. According to Dr. Rodney, these drugs can also cause problems:

  1. Chemotherapy drugs
  2.  skincare elements like benzoyl peroxide, retinol, or salicylic acid
  3. Antidepressants
  4. Antihistamines
  5. Antibiotics
  6. Certain OTC pain meds

First, ask your doctor if any of the medications you are taking could be the cause of your dry lips. If that's the case and you won't be able to quit taking your medicine anytime soon, heed Dr. Friedman's recommendation to use a moisturizing lip balm to lessen the unwanted effects. A visit to your doctor may be worthwhile if the peeling becomes more severe so you can be sure you're not allergic to anything you're using.

7. A yeast overgrowth is affecting you.

Have you ever had an underbite? Or do you snore while you're sleeping? These aspects may contribute to yeast overgrowth (and in turn, a yeast infection in the mouth area). According to Dr. Day, this kind of illness can result in dry, flaky skin around the mouth and, in rare cases, fissuring (in which the mouth corners develop microscopic fissures).

Your best option for treatment, just like with yeast infections elsewhere, is an antifungal drug that has been prescribed. Consult a physician about skin issues.

8. Your actinic cheilitis is prevalent.

According to Dr. Friedman, this syndrome occurs when the skin has suffered severe damage from long-term sun exposure and is unable to heal itself. Older people are more likely to get actinic cheilitis.

Skin cancer can result from this kind of long-term UV exposure and inflammation of the lips. We certainly see a lot of squamous cell carcinomas in elderly people on the lower lip as a result of that, says Dr. Friedman, because skin cancers may easily develop in this type of dry, cracked area. Dryness and scaly plaques or patches, particularly on the lower lip, are the hallmarks of actinic cheilitis.

Care for it: Topical field therapy or photodynamic light therapy is used in the course of treatment to either trigger an immune response or eliminate damaged skin cells. But first, a skin biopsy will be necessary for your doctor to make a diagnosis.

9. You are lacking in some vitamins.

According to Dr. Friedman, certain vitamin B deficits can cause dry, cracked, angry, or red lips; they are typically followed by a rash that resembles one around the mouth. The majority of instances, according to Dr. Rodney, are caused by a B12 deficiency. According to her, a shortage of B12 leads to dryness and hinders healing. This vitamin aids in cell growth, healing, and turnover.

Dr. Rodney continues, "A vitamin C deficiency can also result in chapped lips, but this is less common because the majority of diets contain the recommended daily intake of vitamin C."

How to handle it: Your doctor can identify your precise vitamin deficit by a blood test and, if necessary, prescribe the essential supplements (or recommend dietary changes). If you don't get enough B12, a B12 or B complex supplement can help you gradually restore your levels.

10. An allergic response or irritating contact dermatitis is affecting you.

According to Dr. Day, an allergic reaction will also result in swelling and diffuse redness around the lips in addition to peeling. Instead of being scaly, an allergic reaction is typically irritating as well. Ingredients in your toothpaste, skincare products, or even makeup could be to blame. Dr. Friedman notes that a common allergen in toothpaste that can cause itchy lips is cinnamonic acid or its derivatives.

The friction on the lips brought on by metal oral implants like retainers, on the other hand, results in irritant contact dermatitis. According to Dr. Friedman, dental implants made of metal or different composite materials can cause lip peeling on a regular basis.

How to handle it: Usually, either problem can be resolved with oral medicine or a topical steroid.

11. You develop lichen planus.

An inflammatory skin ailment is called lichen planus. Typically, it manifests as irritable, purple pimples on the body. But it can also show up on the lips, explains Dr. Friedman. And when it develops, it typically manifests as purple or brownish-colored cracked regions on the lips.

How to handle it: A prescribed anti-inflammatory or topical steroid will be beneficial.

12. You have pemphigus with the paraneoplastic disease.

We're covering all the basics despite the fact that this illness is *very* uncommon. Paraneoplastic pemphigus is an "autoimmune blistering condition associated with underlying malignancy," according to Dr. Friedman. The characteristic of this ailment is an erosive oral disease, however, it can also manifest as a skin rash. Therefore, it is important to consult your doctor if you believe that your lips are displaying signs of a more serious, blistering condition. Your lips will usually bleed and break when you have this illness, which will result in ulcers, redness, and swelling around the mouth.

How to handle it: If you are found to have a malignancy, your doctor will likely recommend steroids and topical antibiotic ointment for the skin lesions and blisters themselves, and they will also likely walk you through any other treatments required to address the malignancy at the root of the problem.

Whew. How much is that? So how can you quickly heal chapped lips?

Absolutely! Restoring the barrier and holding onto the water are the keys to preventing peeling lips that are a result of a minor problem (like a mild sunburn). Dr. Friedman advises using water (not spit!) to dampen your lips and then coating them with something thick for immediate treatment. He suggests paraffin wax-based products. Because you can scoop out even more and really get creative with this, he says, "I personally like the small tins that hold paraffin wax."

One more efficient fast applicator? Lip balm that has sunscreen but no flavor, we're sorry. Dr. Friedman advises avoiding every opportunity to come into contact with probable allergens or irritants.

According to Dr. Rodney, the following elements should be present in every basic lip balm:

  1. Ceramides
  2. Lanolin
  3. Shea butter
  4. Vitamin E

Other products, she continues, "including zinc oxide and titanium dioxide, can aid in mending and repairing while guarding against sun damage."

In order to eliminate dead skin, Dr. Rodney advises using a sugar scrub with 1 part brown sugar and 1/2 part coconut oil. This will help you heal more quickly. Aloe vera, honey, and cocoa butter are a few additional effective treatments, according to her. After you're done, if you're not allergic, you can use petroleum jelly or beeswax to assist stop further moisture loss.

How frequently should I use lip balm?

Dr. Friedman advises using it throughout the day if you feel the want to lick or peeled your lips. He advises using a thick lip moisturizer before going to bed at night. For those who mouth breathes or sleep with their mouth open, this is very crucial. "The airflow will cause the lips to become dry. Additionally, while we sleep, we lose a lot of moisture "says Dr. Friedman. Before going to bed, put on a few coats. Additionally, these dermatologists advise sleeping next to a humidifier to add more moisture to the air while you sleep.

What happens if your chapped lips don't fully heal?

Here, a little patience is necessary. According to Dr. Rodney, most chapped lips take two to three weeks to recover with regular care, so you need to be serious about caring for your pout and just wait a little while.

But Dr. Rodney advises consulting a dermatologist if you've made a number of lifestyle changes and are still having problems. They can delve more deeply into the potential causes of your chapped lips and provide a customized treatment plan just for you.

The conclusion

Usually, it takes two to three weeks for chapped lips to start healing. You should consult your dermatologist if they don't go away or if they continue to worsen over time to determine whether there is a more significant problem.






Post a Comment

Previous Post Next Post