Chapped and Dry Lips

Dry and chapped lips are very common and can happen at any time of the year, with few cases that include severe symptoms such as swelling and bleeding. Here are a few things to keep in mind when you are dealing with dry and chapped lips.

Regular Skin vs Lip Skin

Lips Are Different

Lip skin is unique. It consists primarily of mucous membrane, which has fewer and different glands than ordinary skin. The lip is also unlike other skin in that the outer layer (stratum corneum) is extremely thin or completely absent in most people.

Lips also have almost no melanin, the natural pigment in skin that helps screen out the sun’s harmful rays. Finally, lip skin does not perspire or sweat, which makes it easier for them to become dry versus normal skin.

Your lips’ natural tendency toward dryness and chapping is aggravated by the fact that they are more prominent than almost any other part of your body – and most of the time they are unprotected by clothing and fully exposed to the elements.




Indoor heating and cooling systems can dry out the air and help lead to dry and chapped lips. Low indoor humidity can also be compounded by dry weather outside, which commonly leads to people installing a humidifier to balance the indoor climate for extreme cases.

Sunny hot days can dry out lips, especially when there is low humidity. Even a nice walk can contribute to drying out your lips.

Winter temperatures and the dry air that comes with them are the most common contributor to dry and chapped lips. The higher levels of air pollution that come with cold and dense air also aggravate the lips and respiratory health, which can make a case of dry and chapped lips more severe.




Many people’s lips can become dry when the common winter cold or flu strikes. This lip dryness happens because of people’s tendency to breathe through their mouths when they get sick, inadvertently drying out their lips.

Lip dryness is also a side effect associated with many medications. Medical treatments can affect the body’s ability to maintain its natural balance of moisture and often result in dry, cracked, painful lips. Lip irritation can even be caused by reactions to certain types of food, cosmetics and cigarette smoke.

When you are fighting an illness or have exerted yourself to the extreme, it is easy to become dehydrated, which will also dry out your lips.




Hydration both on the lips and in the body is crucial for healthy, moisturized lips. Drinking enough water is fundamental for maintaining levels in all skin, especially lip skin.

Don’t lick your lips, as counterintuitive as it may seem, the saliva actually dries them out even more. Also, you should not peel dead skin or exfoliate when your lips are dry and chapped. The best way to deliver moisture from the outside is using world class lip care products.



Other Chapped and Dry Lip Tips

Steam a towel and apply to your lips taking deep breaths, dry your face and apply a lip ointment or healing balm for a deep hydration injection to your lips.

Use a humidifier in your bedroom. It is helps keep moisturized both lips and skin.

Apply lip balm before washing your face. Cleansers and exfoliators are great for facial care, but they may be drying out your lips that are more sensitive than the skin on your face.

If you are suffering from dry and cracked lips, avoid spicy or salty food as well as citrus fruits that can dry your lips out even more.

Focus on breathing through your nose. Just a few hours will make a difference on how dry your lips are.



When to Consult a Physician

As soon as you ask yourself if you should see a doctor, you should schedule an appointment. Most people can heal their lips with the products and measures talked about in this article.

Some develop a more severe form of chapped lips called cheilitis which is caused by an infection. If you do not see improvement of your dry and chapped lips within a day or two, you should consult your physician as soon as possible.