Causes of Cracked Lips
Lip cracking happens to many of us, especially in the winter months. This situation, which we do not like aesthetically, is actually physically uncomfortable. Lip cracking; It is a condition characterized by the formation of visible cracks and crevices on the surfaces of the lips, sometimes bleeding and pain of these cracks. The skin of the lips is the thinnest and most sensitive part of the skin that surrounds the body and does not contain sebaceous glands. Therefore, it is more susceptible to damage. Lip cracking, which often has no serious causes, in some cases may indicate an infection.
Why Do the Lips Crack?
The most common causes of cracked lips are dry and cold weather, exposure to dry and hot air indoors, sunburn, certain medications, exposure to wind, licking of the lips and breathing through the mouth. Colds, dehydration (fluid loss) and nutritional deficiencies can also cause cracked lips.
Dryness and cracking of the lips can vary depending on the underlying disease, disorder and condition. Along with lip cracking, the following symptoms may also appear in the mouth:
* Painful wound
* Herpes (may cause recurrence)
* Dry mouth
* Muffled voice
* Flushing and swelling
Other symptoms that may develop with lip cracking can be listed as follows:
* General feeling of illness
* Rash on the body
* Nasal congestion and problems with the nose
Seen with cracked lips, briefly confusion or loss, fainting, findings may indicate serious underlying problems such as urination.
An allergic reaction to cosmetic/chemical products that come into direct contact with the lips, such as lipstick or lip balm, or come into indirect contact with the lips through our hands is also one of the causes of lip cracking.
Can Cracked Lips Be a Harbinger of Disease?
When you contact a doctor with a complaint of cracked lips, the following questions may be asked to you for diagnosis:
• How long have you been experiencing lip cracking?
• Do your lips crack more when you use products such as lipstick?
Are there any products that have come into contact with your hands or lips that you have recently started using?
• Do you have any other complaints other than cracked lips?
• Are your chapped lips getting worse day by day, or do you often have this problem?
Cracking of the lips does not cause long-term problems. Chapped lips become open to infections such as bacteria or fungi due to the irritation that occurs. Sometimes the loss of fluid in the body is manifested by cracking of the lips. After being diagnosed, treatment should be applied accordingly. Severe dehydration can cause consequences such as kidney failure, bacterial infections, electrolyte imbalance, fungal infections.
Actinic cheilitis, on the other hand, is a condition that usually develops as a result of chronic sun exposure, which can progress to skin cancer if left untreated; it can occur with dryness, discoloration and flaking of the lips.
On the other hand, cheilitis, which is characterized by severe dryness of the lips and cracks, may be due to inflammatory diseases or infections such as Crohn's. Dental trauma, excessive saliva production can also cause cheilitis. The use of braces, dentures and pacifiers predisposes to this.
Some medications are also among the causes of Decapitated lips. Vitamin A, retinoids, drugs containing lithium substances and drugs used in chemotherapy treatment can cause excessive dryness and cracking of the lips.
Smoking, again, irritates sensitive skin with its smoke, increasing the likelihood of drying out and cracking.
In general, people with a dry skin structure are also more prone to lip cracking.
What Is Good for Cracked Lips?
The best protection against lip cracking is to maintain the moisture of the lips. To avoid experiencing dry lips, try to maintain lip moisture by drinking plenty of water. Also, listen to these recommendations against lip cracking:
Choose the Right Lip Moisturizer
Instead of popular brands, give preference to lip balms that are suitable for your lip. Because some lip balms may contain substances that dry out the lips, which can cause irritation or allergic reactions. Some people may think that when they use these products, they experience sensations such as tingling, burning, and that the products work. But don't let that fool you. These sensations can be an indication that the lips are irritated. Avoid using lip products that contain cinnamon, mint, citrus, eucalyptus, camphor, menthol, lanolin, oxynoxate, oxybenzone, phenol, propyl gallate and salicylic acid substances. Sunscreen ingredients such as castor seed oil, ceramides, demithicone, hemp seed oil, mineral oils, shea butter, titanium oxide or zinc can be good for chapped lips. Perfumed, cosmetic products can also irritate your lips or cause allergic reactions (contact eczema). Several times a day and before going to bed, apply these products to your chapped lips and let them soften.
Also Protect Your Lips from the Winter Sun
Make sure that your lip balm is sunscreen. Even in winter, your lips can crack. The sun dries out your chapped lips more easily, which can trigger cold sores. Be careful to use products with SPF 30 and higher sunscreen. You can apply your lip balm every 2 hours while you are outside. Covering your mouth with a scarf when you go outside also helps protect your lips from cold and dry air.
These Foods Can Help
Foods such as aloe vera, coconut oil, honey, cucumber, and green tea can help reduce inflammation. Products containing these nutrients may prefer natural ones, but it should be remembered that cosmetic products can lead to contact eczema.
Drink Plenty Of Water
You need to consume water for your overall health. Water is a source of life that your dried and cracked lips also need. You can moisturize your lips by drinking water frequently during the day.
Be Gentle With Your Lips
Some people may constantly bite and lick their lips for reasons such as tics. In other words, people do not realize that they are doing this. Licking dry lips may seem like a savior for the moment, but it actually creates a vicious circle. Saliva destroys the moisture of the lips, as it evaporates, your lips actually become drier. Do not bite your lips and irritate them either.
Use a Humidifier
It can be useful to have a humidifier at home, especially if you breathe through your mouth while sleeping. You will breathe more easily and prevent your lips from drying out and cracking.
“How does lip cracking go?" while thinking, try to implement these recommendations at home. If your lips continue to crack when you follow these recommendations for 2-3 weeks, contact a dermatologist.