Chapped lips, or cheilitis simplex, is inflammation of the lips or the skin around the lips. One of the more common causes of chapped lips can be attributed to dryness (chapping) or excessive exposure to the sun. Dryness and sun exposure could result in rapid drying of the lips and results in cracking, fissures, or peeling of the lips.
This time of the year, cold temperature and winds play a large role in chapped lips. Oddly, excessive lip licking causes drying of the lips. This occurs as the lips cause excessive friction over the lips. The cold, dry winter air causes further irritation and then you see the typical red and irritated chapped lips.
Chapped lips can occur at any age and the best way to take care of your lips is prevention. Moisturize frequently throughout the day as to protect your lips from the elements. At night, lather up your lips with a natural lip balm to protect your lips from getting dry as you may sleep with your mouth open. The air that moves past your lips when you sleep will causes an uncomfortable level of drying by the time you wake up in the morning. This is especially common in the winter during stuffy nose season.
There are other causes of cheilitis which may be a sign of a more serious underlying medical condition which may require medical attention. These other causes are beyond the scope of this article. If you are unsure of the type of cheilitis you may be suffering from, have a discussion with your primary care doctor or family medicine physician.
For now, think about what's best for your lips and protect them from harm. Find a natural lip balm and keep them moisturized.
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