Your lips are one of the most sensitive areas of your body. Everything from cold, dry weather to sun exposure to licking your lips can make this skin feel dry and chapped. Heal your dry, chapped lips in one to two weeks by following these six tips.
- Choose non-irritating lip balm: Many brands and styles of lip balm are available today, but some are better than others. Don’t assume that stinging or tingling means the active ingredient is working. These sensations indicate that you’re irritating your lips and should try a different product. Always shop for fragrance-free, hypoallergenic options. Even an ordinary petroleum jelly is a good option for treating cracked, dry lips.
- Apply lip balm several times a day: Anytime your lips feel dry, don’t hesitate to apply lip balm. Keep some in your pocket or purse so you always it when you need it. The best times to slather up include right when you wake up, after eating, and before going to bed. You can also apply lip balm under your lipstick to seal in moisture.
- Protect your lips from sun exposure: Sunburned lips are incredibly painful. To prevent this, apply SPF 30 or higher lip balm before going outside, especially in the summer or if you’re going skiing. Reapply the protective lip balm every two hours to provide continued protection.
- Drink more water: Your lips are one of the first things to suffer when you become dehydrated. In fact, think of chapped lips as a reminder to reach for your water bottle.
- Break the habit of licking, biting, and picking at your lips: When your lips feel dry, licking them is a natural response. However, your lips only become drier as your saliva evaporates. Biting your lips as a nervous habit can bring on cold sores and other irritation. If your lips start to peel, you may be tempted to pick at them, but this only delays the healing process. When you catch yourself licking, biting, or picking at your lips, stop and apply lip balm instead.
- Run a humidifier: Dry air is a common cause of chapped lips in the winter. Running a humidifier adds moisture to the air and combats this symptom. Humid air is vital while you sleep, so run a portable humidifier in your bedroom at night.
In most cases, you should see a noticeable difference after a week or two of following this advice. However, if at-home care isn’t enough, it’s time to visit a dermatologist. After all, your chapped, cracked lips could be caused by something other than dry air or dehydration. You could have allergies, an infection, or a pre-cancerous skin condition, all of which a dermatologist can help treat.
Arlington Dermatology is pleased to provide patient-centered care for all ages. Whether you need help managing a chronic skin condition or want to look younger with restorative laser treatment, we can help. Contact us online or call our dermatologist at 847-392-5440 today.