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Cracked Lips and Lip Balm: Separating Fact from Fiction

Understanding the Cause

By shanmuga priyaPublished about a month ago 3 min read
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Each colder time of year it's something very similar: The breeze whips. Your lips break. So you go after lip balm and miracle — is it truly making a difference?

Lip skin is thin, so it needs some additional protection, said Dr. Heather Rogers, a dermatologist in Seattle. Furthermore, lip balm is truly an outstanding and advantageous product to add that layer of covering.

Be that as it may, some lip balms can worsen bothering and dryness, inciting the requirement for more, Dr. Rogers said. That is the reason it means quite a bit to know what to search for and what to stay away from while applying specific items to your lips.

Why do lips get dry?

As well as being thin, the skin on your lips comes up short on moisture-locking qualities that different areas of skin have, like hair follicles, oil organs, and a thick layer of dead skin cells, Dr. Rogers said. That makes lips "so delicate and sensitive," she added.

At the point when our lips are presented with natural stressors like UV light, air pollutants, cold or hot temperatures, and certain food sources and beverages, they can become dry and aggravated, said Dr. Sam Awan, a dermatologist in McKinney, Texas. Licking your lips, which you're probably going to do when they're dry, can deteriorate the issue because the digestive enzymes in saliva can cause aggravation.

That is the reason dried lips are so normal, Dr. Awan said.

What to search for, and keep away from, in a lip balm?

The best lip balm contains ingredients that draw in moisture (known as humectants), add moisture and oil (emollients), and form a defensive obstruction to seal in moisture (occlusives), Dr. Awan said.

Search for items that contain petroleum jelly (usually listed as petrolatum or white petrolatum on labels), castor oil, and glycerin, Dr. Rogers said. The American Academy of Dermatology suggests lip balm that contains ceramides, hemp seed oil, dimethicone, mineral oil, and shea butter. Coconut, avocado, and extra-virgin olive oils assist with supporting dried-out lips, as well, said Dr. Danny C. Del Campo, a dermatologist in Chicago.

Utilize a lip product with an SPF 30 or higher if you intend to be outside, even in winter, Dr. Del Campo said. This won't just safeguard against the UV damage that can cause dryness, but additionally the harm that causes sun-related burns and, possibly, skin cancer.

Dr. Awan said individuals frequently enjoy the cooling, shivering sensation from ingredients like peppermint oil, camphor, and menthol, yet they can cause irritation so you ought to stay away from them. The academy additionally recommends keeping away from things with fragrance, flavorings (like mint, citrus, and cinnamon), salicylic corrosive, eucalyptus, and lanolin (a fat derived from sheep's wool that the American Contact Dermatitis Society named the 2023 Allergen of the Year).

Dr. Rogers said numerous well-known lip balms contain these lip-worsening substances. While they may temporarily soothe your lips, they can eventually cause such a lot of irritation and dryness that it makes the need to reapply the lip balm much of the time.

For this reason, it could seem like your lip balm is worsening your dried lips or that you're dependent on it, Dr. Awan said.

Alternate ways of preventing chapped lips

Alongside utilizing lip balm, remaining hydrated can prevent dried lips, Dr. Del Campo said. Drink a lot of water (your necessities can differ depending upon your age, exercise habits, and the environment you live in) and utilize a humidifier while you're sleeping during the colder time of year, Dr. Awan said.

Applying a thick layer of lip balm with moisturizing ingredients like petrolatum or shea butter before sleep time will nourish your lips and prevent drying, Dr. Rogers said. Assuming that your lips peel, don't pick at them or utilize an abrasive lip scrub, which can remove healthy skin and aggravate dried-out lips, she said.

However it very well may be a tough habit to break, Dr. Del Campo said, do whatever it takes not to lick your lips.

What to do when nothing is making a difference?

If your lips remain exorbitantly dried out in the wake of attempting lip balm with non-irritating elements for a few weeks, it tends to be useful to see a dermatologist, particularly if there is crusting in the corners of your mouth or on the other hand if your lips are painful or itch, Dr. Del Campo said.

These could be indications of an allergic reaction or a yeast or bacterial infection on your lips, he said. In these cases, dermatologists can recommend medication.

"Whenever you have inflamed red lips, pain, extreme cracking, or excessive dryness that you can't leave a mark on with your over-the-counter products, it's really smart to get a consultation," Dr. Awan said.

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About the Creator

shanmuga priya

I am passionate about writing.

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