You don’t have to live with dry, chapped lips all winter long. Here are some tips from the American Academy of Dermatology on how to treat the delicate skin on your lips.
Use non-irritating lip balm. Many people mistake discomfort, such as burning, stinging, or tingling, as a sign that the active ingredients in a product are working. That’s not what’s happening. You’re actually irritating your lips, so you want to stop using any product that irritates your lips.
When looking for products to use on your chapped lips, look for ones that have one or more of the following:
- Castor seed oil
- Hemp seed oil
- Mineral oil
- Shea butter
- Sun-protective ingredients, such as titanium oxide or zinc oxide
- White petroleum jelly
Apply lip balm several times a day. If your lips are very dry and cracked, try a thick ointment, such as white petroleum jelly. Ointment seals in water longer.
Add SPF. Despite the colder temperatures, the sun still shines in the winter. Your lips can get burned since the skin on your lips is thinner and more delicate.
Drink plenty of water. Chapped lips are dry lips. Keep your lips hydrated by drinking water. This hydration is also good for all of your skin.
Stop licking, biting, and picking at your lips. When lips feel dry, it may feel natural to wet them by licking them, but this can worsen the problem. Picking or biting your lips also irritates them, which can prevent healing.
Plug in a humidifier at home. A humidifier in your bedroom can be especially helpful. Dr. Jennifer Lee is also pro-humidifier. “I’m a fan of humidifiers in the bedroom during the winter. I hate waking up with a scratchy throat from dry air or having my face feel dehydrated and tight. The humidifier helps combat the dryness from the indoor heat blowing and the overall lower humidity levels in the weather. It moisturizes the dry winter air, which is extremely important for skincare this time of year.”
When is it time to schedule an appointment?
By following these tips for chapped lips, you should have noticeable improvement in 2 to 3 weeks. To prevent your lips from chapping again, continue applying lip balm whenever it’s dry indoors or outside.
If your chapped lips aren’t healing after 2-3 weeks schedule an appointment with one of our board-certified providers. Your chapped lips could be caused by something besides dry weather.
Visit the American Academy of Dermatology’s post for more information.