Chapped lips are not just caused by sun exposure nor the cold winter as we all thought. Aside from lips chapped by the cold, dry climate, or sun exposure, poor nutrition is also another causative factor. Hence, it can happen all year round.
Lips are especially prone because they don’t have oil glands. Furthermore, they are just 3-5 cells deep, hence the red color as blood vessels are closer to the surface. For these two reasons, our lips are more susceptible to drying out and cracking. And if you’re in a dry climate, this problem could be exacerbated.
Although the weather is a major contributing factor to chapped lips, several factors could be at play as well. If you’re experiencing chronic dry lips, then you should consider other factors.
What are the Causes of Chapped Lips?
Several factors can affect the health of our lips. Although the most common causes are weather and excessive lip licking, other sources could affect them, too.
As previously stated, the climate could affect the health of your lips. Since they don’t have oil glands, the moisture on their surface evaporates readily. This leads to dryness, which can cause the thin skin to break.
This is most prominent during cold weather months – because cold air carries less moisture than warm air. When the humidity level is low, water would readily evaporate, leading to dryness. The oil glands in our skin retain moisture on it, but since our lips don’t have these glands, they’re more likely to dry out.
On the other hand, the hot and dry weather of summer exposes our lips to sun damage. Some of its effects, like dry skin, could cause our lips to feel chapped and may even lead to peeling.
Excessive Lip Licking
Do you remember the times when we young that our mom tells us to lick our lips when they’re dry? It turns out mom was wrong! Too much licking your lips could also cause chapped lips. Because even though our saliva would momentarily moisturize the surface of our lips, the enzymes produced by our saliva glands could wear the thin skin of our lips.
Certain Medical Conditions
Some diseases could also negatively affect the health of your lips. Some conditions such as Crohn’s Disease could affect several parts of the digestive system, including the lips, with inflammation. Furthermore, a skin condition called psoriasis may also lead to lip damage.
Vitamin B deficiency, low zinc, and iron levels also tend to cause lip inflammation and chapping. Yeast infection could also cause angular cheilitis, which is a severe form of chapped lips.
Some medicines may also have the side-effect of drying your lips. This includes chemotherapy treatments, prescription lithium medicine for bipolar disorders, and vitamin A or retinoids. Accutane, a popular anti-acne drug, is also known to have chapped lips as a side effect.
Dehydration and malnutrition could also cause chapped or dry lips. However, this symptom usually comes in conjunction with lightheadedness, constipation, dry mouth, and a headache, which can be felt for both conditions.
When Should You Seek Treatment
Chapped lips usually don’t require a doctor’s visit, but there are instances that it becomes bad enough so that it warrants a look by a dermatologist. So when should you consider visiting a professional who will treat you?
After Two to Three Weeks
Most chapped lips would heal themselves after two to three weeks of self-care. As long as you apply home treatments and avoid a climate that can exacerbate the symptoms, they should heal themselves soon.
However, if it goes beyond the said period, you should see a dermatologist. Some conditions, like allergies or yeast infections, require medicine to target the source of the inflammation. Other reasons, like Crohn’s Disease, involve further testing and management for a more holistic treatment.
Furthermore, a precancerous condition called actinic cheilitis has symptoms such as dry and scaly lips. This merits a full work-up with a board-certified dermatologist so that you can prevent complications in the long run.
Here are some of the other symptoms of cheilitis:
- severely chapped lips
- dark pink or reddish surface
- lumpy texture
- tender and inflamed sensation
- ulcers and surface plaques
Traditional Lip Balms: Do They Really Help?
For most people, their go-to solution for dry chapped lips is the usual over-the-counter treatments, like petroleum jelly and traditional balms. These usually contain ingredients like salicylic acid, camphor, lanolin, beeswax, petrolatum, and paraffin.
While they help our lips feel better and retain moisture, recent studies show that some of these ingredients may cause more harm in the long run, especially when we’re using themfrequently.
Some of the ingredients which may damage our health are parabens, ceresins, dyes, and even some toxic metals. Parabens are a group of artificial preservatives used to extend the life of several cosmetics. However, it has been discovered that they could disrupt human hormones and increase the risk of cancer.
Ceresin is a kind of mineral wax used as an alternative for beeswax in most common cosmetics. There is not much known about this component, but initial studies have found that it could cause cancer in animals when ingested.
There are several other issues that affect traditional cosmetic brands, like the use of palmitate oil. It is extracted from palm trees, the cultivation of which is causing massive ecological and rainforest damage.
CBD Lip Balms – The Better Solution
Instead of going for the old lip balm brands, you should try green, nature-friendly products with natural ingredients for your dry chapped lips. CBD lip balms have anti-inflammatory effects that lessen the risk of infection. They also have additional benefits, like adding a protective layer to your lips, hydration, and, being entirely natural, are safe for use.
Research has also shown the CBD topicals target endocannabinoid receptors, relieving pain, inflammation, and locking-in moisture. They’re also rich in antioxidants, vitamins, and minerals –giving your lips a lot of benefits with every application.
It is recommended that, as long as you suffer from chapped lips, you should apply this balm every few hours throughout the day. It is best to have a continuous layer of balm on your lips to protect them from drying out.
I also suggest that you apply CBD Balms year-round. This will help prevent chapped lips and avoid the hassle of having a dry and cracked mouth. You can even include using it as part of your skincare routine and make it a habit!
Here are other benefits a CBD Lip Balm can bring to your cracked lips:
They have antibacterial effects
According to several studies, CBD has been found to fight off common bacteria. For example, research from the University of Queensland has found that they’re thrice more effective than common antibiotic medicines.
Since our lips have thin skin (only about three cells thick), they’re more prone to UV damage and free radicals. According to research, CBD is suggested to be a good source of antioxidants that serve to protect our lips from environmental damage.
They are rich in vitamins that will nourish your lips
Most CBD lip balm products are rich in vitamins A, B, D, and E. These are essential for skincare and will positively affect your lip health. They also contain omega-3 and omega-6, which helps improve the strength of our skin cells.
It seals in moisture and keeps your lips from going dry
When you have dry skin, your lips may have a greater chance of chapping. If you get your lips chapped due to weather, the use of CBD lip balm will seal in water and moisture in your lips and prevent dryness.
It’s an effective treatment for severely chapped lips
By sealing in moisture, adding nutrients and antioxidants, and fighting bacteria that can cause infection, CBD lip balm application will make your lips healthier, help heal cracked skin, and even prevent damage.
Your Lips and Your Health
In general, chapped lips are caused by changing weather and climate. If you find yourself suffering from this, lip balms are an excellent choice for treating the condition. Just make sure that the lip balm you’re using doesn’t damage your health in the long run.
Users of CBD Lip Balms can swear by its usefulness in treating and preventing additional inflammation of one’s lips. They also have other benefits, like antioxidants, to help you have a healthier pair of lips. I don’t know if any other lip balm could offer the same benefit as these products.
However, if your symptoms persist, then you should consider going to a specialist. A continuous episode of chapped lips could mean something else, and you must catch it before it becomes a serious problem. Remember, an ounce of prevention is better than a pound of cure.