The lips are constantly exposed to the aggressions of external agents, but they are also a reflection of other situations such as some drugs or dehydration. Keeping them in good condition and repairing them when they are dry or cracked promotes not only good looks but also comfort.
dry and chapped lips
The lips and face are among the few areas of the body that are continuously exposed to the aggression of external climatic agents: cold, wind, heat, pollution, sun, etc. In addition, it must be taken into account that the skin of the lips does not have the same characteristics as the rest of the skin of the face, since it is much thinner with a minimum amount of sebaceous glands , responsible for the secretion of lipids ( fats) that protect the skin, among other things, from dehydration. The lips are low in melanin , making them vulnerable to the effects of solar radiation. These reasons are the main causes of dry or chapped lips.
Causes of dry lips
Different factors can attack the fine skin of the lips and cause the typical chapped lips:
- Climatic factors such as cold or heat: these two phenomena favor the rapid loss of water in the skin of the lips, causing dryness.
- Sudden changes in temperature: it is a phenomenon that favors dehydration.
- Heating and air conditioning systems: by drying out the environment and reducing humidity, it affects the delicate skin of the lips.
- Tobacco: the contact of the cigarette with the lips contributes to dry them. The best option, for your health, is to stop smoking.
- Vitamin deficiencies: a poor diet with deficiencies in the intake of foods rich in vitamins A, B and C can cause deficiencies of these nutrients and favor skin dryness.
- Improper use of cosmetics in the lip area with very aggressive formulations.
- Pharmacological treatments such as those that may be prescribed for acne, radiotherapy or chemotherapy.
- Breathe constantly through the mouth.
- Constantly moisten the lips with saliva: this reflex action achieves the opposite effect, producing more dehydration and possible irritation of the lip due to the components of the saliva.
How to avoid dry lips
To prevent the lips from drying out, good habits, hydration and nutrition routines must be followed.
- A good lip balm.
- Drinking enough fluids to stay well hydrated, as well as following a diet rich in fruits and vegetables, can be good allies.
- Dry climates, environments that use air conditioning and heating do not help much. In these cases, using a humidifier can be very helpful.
- Avoid biting them, pulling raised skins, nibbling on objects or touching them with your fingers.
Lip area products must be specifically formulated for this area, non-irritating and non-toxic. It is very interesting that lipsticks carry sun protection. At the level of beauty routines, exfoliating the lips once or twice a week helps remove dead cells and promotes cell regeneration, leaving the lips softer, so it is also a good option to treat chapped and dry lips.
Lipsticks or balms rich in mineral oils and vitamins help repair, nourish and hydrate dry and chapped lips, and can be used every day. As we have said, balms with sun protection factor (SPF) are always a plus. Some of the beneficial ingredients in the formulation are: almond oil, coconut oil, shea butter or vitamin E. In the event that wounds or blisters appear, a dermatologist should be consulted as soon as possible, since, in case of of some infection, such as a cold sore , for example, the use of a specific medical treatment will be necessary.
How to heal chapped lips
Chapped lips are not a major health problem, but they are very annoying, uncomfortable or painful. We can do any of these things to repair them as soon as possible:
- Do not apply makeup and keep the skin of the lips clean and dry.
- If the cut bleeds, the bleeding can be stopped by applying pressure with gauze.
- Apply two or three times a day, to the damaged areas, a repairing and healing balm or cream that helps soothe, hydrate and close the crack.
- Avoid contact of the lips with the toothpaste when brushing your teeth.
- Avoid touching the crack with your tongue and fingers, to avoid irritation and superinfection.
- Never pick off the scab that has appeared in a crack as it delays healing.
What you should know…
- The lips are continuously exposed to climatic agents. In addition, their skin is much thinner than that of the rest of the body, with a minimum amount of sebaceous glands, which favors dehydration.
- Cold and heat are two phenomena that favor the rapid loss of water in the skin of the lips, causing dryness.
- To prevent the lips from drying out, good habits, hydration and nutrition routines must be followed.