• University of Phoenix
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Tips to Avoid Chapped Lips
by admin on: September 7th, 2011

As you bundle up during the frigid temperatures of winter, you may find yourself dealing with chapped lips (among other things). Over-the-counter medicines and home remedies are all tried and true, but what causes this cracked, reddened lip ailment and how can you avoid the next bout?

One common cause is a habit of licking your lips. While this is a momentary attempt at keeping your lips moist, you’re actually removing necessary skin oils, causing your lips and surrounding skin to dry our quicker and become inflamed.

Another cause of dry, scaly lips may be an allergy or sensitivity to flavorings additives in toothpaste, candy, chewing gum, and mouthwash. You may also find that your lip area is sensitive to acidic fruits like lemons, strawberries and oranges.

Of course, the quickest remedy for chapped lips is lip balm, otherwise known as chapstick. The best forms are made of bee’s wax. While they may be more expensive than those found in the check-out isle at your local store, your skin doesn’t become as dependent upon them to stay moist, which mean you’ll use less in the long run.

Lip balms with sunscreens will help your lips to stay moist longer too, since they protect from the sun. Reapply this every time you drink or eat to get the full protection. You’ll get some additional protection from the sun if the lipstick is opaque.

Additionally, amping up your nutrition with B-complex and iron will help thwart the dry lips that lead to chapping. Drink plenty of fluids to keep hydrated. Humidify the air at home and in your office at work. Zinc is a well known protector for your skin and lips, so look for products that carry this trace element.

Once your lips become chapped you run the risk of infection. The best way to handle open, cracked skin is with an over-the-counter antibiotic. Additionally, hydrocortisone ointments are helpful to reduce the swelling that causes pain. Using these two alternately and applying liberally will get your lips back into shape in no time.

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