It is often observed that make up of lips is given more importance than lip care itself. This is not the right attitude because lips need specific attention as their outermost protective layer is very thin. They contain no sweat glands and few oil glands therefore they are prone to dryness and chapping. Cracked dry lips can be painful and can develop infections also.
Let us first consider the factors that can lead to dry lips.
Dehydration can cause dry lips. Drinking too much coffee and alcohol can cause the body to dehydrate and the first symptoms manifest in dry lips.
Extremes in temperatures both hot and cold can cause lips to chaff. The outer protective layer of the lips is thin and us unable to handle extremes in temperature very well. It cracks and this can also hurt.
Overworking and stress can cause general body breakdown. The lower immunity leaves in the body manifest in minor infections and lips are a first casualty. This can cause dry lips which can crack and turn out really painful.
Irritation and allergic reactions to certain lipsticks and foods can also cause cracked lips. Contact eczema can also be a cause of this problem. This needs investigation by a professional doctor.
Some medications can also cause the body to dehydrate, causing dry lips.
A few medical diseases can have the lips drying as a side effect. This also needs to be investigated by a doctor.
Some common sense remedies and precautions that need to be followed daily to prevent dry lips are as follows.
Hydrate the body well by drinking at least eight glasses of water everyday. Dehydration is a common cause of the problem and drinking water is a simple solution.
Use a good lip balm which should create a moisture barrier reducing dehydration from the lip area. Lip balms with antiseptic properties are also good for cracked lips where infections may have set in.
Eat a diet rich in Vitamin C and Vitamin B, E and various minerals to counter lifestyle problems and boost immunity levels. Check out our article on Healthy Diets also.
Some home remedies to counter dry cracked lips and help moisturize these lips are as follows.
Mix 5 ml of glycerine with 5 ml of lime juice and 5 ml of natural rose water in a bowl. Apply this mixture daily in the morning/ evening to hydrate and disinfect the lips. Let it stay on till it is absorbed or evaporates naturally. Keep the bowl in a refrigerator and re use this mixture for three days before creating a fresh batch.
Another home remedy to cure dry cracked lips is to simply mix equal quantities of nutmeg, turmeric powder and fresh butter and apply to lips. The turmeric acts as an natural antiseptic and the butter helps the cracks to heel.
In case, you find trouble finding the above ingredients, try the following remedy. Take slightly warm to hot water in a bowl and dip a cotton wool in in. Squeeze the water out and apply the hot cotton wool on the lips. Do this six to eight times and provide hot fomentation to the lips. Follow this up with a mixture prepared with an equal quantity of glycerine / Vaseline and honey. Apply the same with a cotton swab and leave on for an hour or so. Try this every alternate day for 10 days to find relief from chapped lips.
Super Tip: While buying lipsticks, do check if the manufacturer offers some kind of barrier protection and hydration of the lips. Many good brands would contain ingredients which would help moisturize the lips and protect them from minor infections. These kind of lipsticks can be useful as a daily defence against cracked dry lips. Many (colourless) lip balms also contain glycerine and antiseptic properties and even men can use them to moisturize their lips. This problem is not specific to women and men are equally prone to same.
I hope you found something useful. In case dry lips are not caused by a serious medical treatment , they can be treated well with home remedies and herbal techniques. Try them to keep you lips moisturized and safe.
Originally posted 2009-03-26 14:24:42.