Oral & Vision Health Blog

What Causes Chapped Lips? 4 Reasons Your Lips Are Dry

Flirtatious. Sexy. Hot! Ewww? These are all possible words that come to mind when you see someone licking their lips. Of course, it could just be that their lips are chapped. It’s a common condition, causing some people to never leave home without their favorite brand of lip balm. But there are chapped lips and then there are chapped lips. The latter refers to lips that are so cracked, they peel and even bleed.  

So, in general, what causes chapped lips? While it is, for the most part, a simple condition resulting from dry weather, it can sometimes be a sign of an underlying health issue. Here are four possible reasons your lips are dry:

1) Dry Skin

Did you know that unlike the rest of your skin, your lips have no oil glands? Because of this, they are more likely to dry out in winter. And while licking your lips may at first moisten them, it actually makes things worse. This is because saliva removes moisture as it dries. So, help your lips out by grabbing the best affordable lip balms.

2) Dehydration

We all know that water is good for us. We constantly hear that it’s great for weight loss, vibrant skin and of course, now you know…healthy lips. When you drink enough water, it’s less likely that you will suffer from dry lips. Getting a humidifier may also help to moisten the air inside your home, creating the best environment for your skin and lips.

3) Malnutrition

Being malnourished not only refers to someone who is not getting enough food, but also to someone who is not eating the right types of foods. One of the minor effects of this is lips that are rough. The key is to get the right vitamins and nutrients needed to keep your body functioning properly. Here are some quick vitamin tips for your skin and lips:

  • B-Complex – This is good for healthy skin
  • B-3 and B6 – Due to the sensitive skin on your lips, these vitamins help ward off cracked lips and dermatitis
  • Vitamin A and Zinc – Be sure to include these in your diet since not getting enough can cause chapped lips.

4) Cheilitis

Cheilitis is a condition that causes your lips to become very inflamed; it may also cause cracking at the corners of the mouth. Many cases of cheilitis are due to allergies or a lot of sun exposure. It can also be the product of Crohn's disease or another inflammatory condition. Additionally, people who wear orthodontic appliances, dentures or people who have suffered damage to their teeth, face a higher risk of developing cheilitis.

Just as the condition of your teeth is a vital part of your overall health and confidence, your lips also reflect your health and impact your appearance. If you struggle with chapped lips and are one of the many people constantly licking your lips to moisten them, the solution could simply be to rev up your water intake or to find the right lip balm. However, it’s important to know that there may be underlying health issues that are causing your dry lips, especially if your lips are peeling and bleeding. Be sure to contact your medical provider for guidance.


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