Chapped lips, also known as cracked lips, is a painful condition where the lips become cracked and sore. The lips may also peel and have some redness around the outside of the lips. In extreme cases large cracks can occur which can also cause bleeding. Chapped lips is a very common condition and it is most common during winter. Let’s take a look at what causes chapped lips.
Why do why do lips get chapped?
Chapped lips occur because the layer of oil that usually coats the lips is no longer present to protect them. The lips then quickly become dry and they are prone to cracking. This is most common in the winter months or in areas with low humidity because the air is dry, which causes the moisture in the lips to dry out. The layer of oil may also be removed by other causes, such as excess licking of the lips.
The commonly used treatment for chapped lips is lip balm, but this mostly only provides relief from the symptoms. The best treatment is lanolin, which has been shown to accelerate the healing and repair of dry and cracked lips.
Did you know?
Dry lips can create the urge to lick the lips. However, this isn’t a good idea because the enzymes in saliva can further irritate the lips.
Many people use petroleum jelly to treat chapped lips, but this only provides relief and does not repair the cracked lips.