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dry lips

– LUSCIOUS Lips are a vital feature of the face & looks. One of the common problems with them is dryness, skin peeling or the lips getting darker the age. Medically the lips are covered with a mucous membrane which is thinner than the normal skin & more addition, there are no oil glands to keep them lubricant & naturally protected. This makes them extremely vulnerable to chapping & hence darkening, more so by the sun. the cold,dry wind of winter also takes its toll. Air-conditioned environments are drying as well. Licking & biting adds to the injury, other reasons for dry chapped skin includes:

  • Toothpaste : especially the colour component of the face
  • Lipsticks: especially the red ones. The dye in it causes allergic reactions
  • Lip balms & chapsticks-though it’s ironical ,but it’s true, especially the flavoured ( cinnamon ) & coloured ones 
  • Soaps-though its relatively uncommon cause. But the lips have a delicate skin, they start reacting before the rest of the skin 
  • Tobacco & smoking
  • Vitamin B-complex deficiency :this occurs especially when you take some antibiotics without vitamin  supplements or if you go in for the crash dieting
  • Bowel infestation
  • Skin diseases like eczema, sun allergies etc.
  • Fruit acids ( present in the juice ) or you may be allergic to part of the fruit. 


  • The best thing is to take preventive measures i. e ,use emollients & cold creams, natural oils or petrolatum & during the day apply a lip balm with the sunscreen. 
  • Start using a lip balm 10-12 times in a day till they soften & then apply 3-4 times daily.
  • Stop licking your lips. Keep them well moisturized
  • Slick on your favorite lipsticks, apply sunscreen over it. They help protect your lips. However if your lips dry & chapped, stop using any lipstick, wait till your lips recover completely & ten restart using one, one at a time to find out which brand or shade is responsible. Sheer colour shades are always preferable to dark red ones. 
  • Change to a toothpaste without any colour .i e. white one. 
  • Stop using soap & shift to a face wash.
  • Use petroleum jelly or Vaseline frequently or may be edible sunflower oil several times a day its good to apply Vaseline at night. 
  • Can also use 1% hydrocortisone cream at bed time for a few days. 
  • Avoid biting chapped lips. Chewing away the protective mucous membrane can make the lip swollen & painful & may lead to an infection.
  • Avoid using drying skin care products containing alcohol or belittle peroxide such as astringent for acne reams of your lips. 
  • Take vitamin supplements. 
  • Eat plenty of green vegetables & fruits. 
  • It should feel allergic to a certain fruit. Cut it into small pieces then eat it. 

In spite of all these measures, if your lips don’t improve, then you probably need to see a dermatologist. 

Dr. Rupa Adatia
Consultant Dermatologist & Cosmetologist 

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