ADVERTISEMENT

How to fix your dry, flaky chapped lips once and for all

You might notice them more in the winter because the dry winter air and the indoor heaters do a pretty good job of sapping out moisture from your skin.

While you might associate chapped lips with winter, you can get them at any time. That's because your lips chap when they're not exposed to enough moisture, which dehydrates them and ends up drying them out, says Shereene Idriss, M.D., a dermatologist at Union Square Laser Dermatology. You might notice them more in the winter because the dry winter air and the indoor heaters do a pretty good job of sapping out moisture from your skin.

You might be tempted to lick your lips as a quick fix—that's moisture, right?—but resist the urge. Your spit dries quickly, which can leave your lips drier than before. That can make chapped lips even worse.

If your lips are prone to chapping, you need the right tools to deal with it. First, that means prep work. You don't want to slather on any kind of lip balm or ointment right on top of the flaky skin, since that can block the product from absorbing in, says Dr. Idriss.

ADVERTISEMENT

That's why you need to exfoliate your lips first. Your lips are very delicate, so you don't want to use a rough exfoliant like you would with thicker skin, she says. Try a lip exfoliating ointment with natural fruit acids instead, says Tsippora Shainhouse, M.D., a dermatologist in Beverly Hills and Clinical Instructor at the University of Southern California.

Then, you're ready to bring on the balm. Look for lip products with natural ingredients like cocoa butter (say, Palmer's Cocoa Butter Formula Lip Balm), shea butter, argan oil, coconut oil, or avocado oil, which will help moisturize the dry skin on your lips, says Dr. Shainhouse. You can also reduce the pain and flakiness by putting Vaseline on around once an hour, says Dr. Idriss.

If your chapped lips are really bad, you can get an over-the-counter steroid cream like hydrocortisone. But keep this to a minimum, because it could thin your lips, leaving them vulnerable to fungal infections, says Dr. Idriss. Another option is to ask a dermatologist for a prescription cream if the pain gets unbearable, says Shainhouse.

You should also be wearing sunscreen on your lips, even during winter. “Lips have thin skin and very little melanin, so they have minimal innate protection from aging and damaging UV rays,” Dr. Shainhouse explains

As for prevention? Don’t rinse your mouth with alcohol-based mouthwash, which can make the dryness worse, and avoid licking your lips, she adds. You can also consider placing a humidifier in your bedroom, which will help keep the air in your room moist as you sleep.

JOIN OUR PULSE COMMUNITY!

Unblock notifications in browser settings.
ADVERTISEMENT

Eyewitness? Submit your stories now via social or:

Email: eyewitness@pulse.ng

Recommended articles

Why your breasts get sore before your period and what to do about it

Why your breasts get sore before your period and what to do about it

How to spot and handle a pathological liar

How to spot and handle a pathological liar

3 places to visit to get free AC during this heat wave

3 places to visit to get free AC during this heat wave

Did you know your saliva can treat pimples and acne scars?

Did you know your saliva can treat pimples and acne scars?

Aphasia: Types, causes, symptoms, and treatment options

Aphasia: Types, causes, symptoms, and treatment options

5 ways to use coconut oil for glowy skin

5 ways to use coconut oil for glowy skin

Dyslexia is not a disability, here's what to know

Dyslexia is not a disability, here's what to know

DIY Recipes: How to make the best waffles

DIY Recipes: How to make the best waffles

Early warning signs of dementia you shouldn't ignore

Early warning signs of dementia you shouldn't ignore

The ugly history behind the famous 'Ghana Must Go' bags

The ugly history behind the famous 'Ghana Must Go' bags

5 harmful chocolate bars  available in Nigeria but recalled in other countries

5 harmful chocolate bars available in Nigeria but recalled in other countries

How to deal with suicidal thoughts when they come

How to deal with suicidal thoughts when they come

ADVERTISEMENT
ADVERTISEMENT