Are Chapped Lips A Major Sign Of Health Problem?

Wednesday, 3 February 2016
 When your lips are dry, you feel uncomfortable it is even worse with chapped lips. Getting rid of dry lips or chapped lips quickly is not easy. Lips that don't respond to lip balm or ointment may be an indication of an underlying illness and medical condition that you do not know.

But what exactly causes chapped lips?

Chapped lips may result from environmental factors such as the wind, exposure to the sun or harsh weather conditions may cause the lips to dry. However, it's not always the weather you have to worry about, but other factors may contribute to lips chapping. Beneath is a list of common reasons for chapped lips. There are also other lip conditions that confuse for chapped lips.

1.  Lips licking
Licking your lips brings momentary relief but has dire consequences on the same lips. Soon after licking the lips feel dry and chapped it only perpetuates the cycle of dryness. Since saliva evaporates, the lips continue to dry.

2.  Dehydration
When you don't take enough water or involve yourself in activities that cause loss of body fluids, then you are likely to have chapped lips. Comparable to the skin the Lips have no oil glands making it difficult to rejuvenate.  If the lips are chapping then, it is a sign of dehydration it just happens to show on your lips. Take lots of water.

3. Unprotected lips

Before leaving the house to protect your lips against sunburn by applying moisturising lip balm with petroleum jelly or beeswax. In winter, your lips have to brave the dry wind. All in all extreme temperatures bring stinging effect on your lips which you may not notice until the damage occurs.

4. Breathing through the mouth

If you have air constantly passing over your lips chapping occurs. The most common condition that forces people to breathe through the mouth is perhaps nasal allergies. Other conditions include snoring or sleep apnea that makes people wake up with chapped lips. Moisturize your lips before going to bed. Consult your doctor to correct the allergy problem.

5.  Citrus And Cinnamates

The acid in fruits can also irritate the lips and cause them to crack more so if they already chapped. Products like tomatoes sauce can cause irritation to already chapped lips. Candy, Gums, and toothpaste contain cinnamates that have irritating effects to the lips. Toothpaste ingredients sulfate and alcohol causes dryness and chapping of lips. You can switch toothpaste. 

6. Excessive consumption of Vitamin A

Taking too many supplements more precisely, vitamin A may prove to be detrimental to your health causing chapped and peeling lips. Take vitamin A in moderation if it is more than 2500 IU you are likely to suffer the consequences of excess vitamin A.

7. Smoking

Smoking draws any natural oils and moisture from the lips leaving them dry and chapped.

Chapped lips due to health reasons

Kawasaki Disease

The disease primarily affects children below the age of 5. Some of the symptoms include fever, chapped lips, throat swelling and irritation. Take the kids for testing to confirm if it is true that they suffer from this disease. The disease is treatable.

Pellagra disease

It is a niacin or vitamin B3 deficiency disease. Primary symptoms include cracking lips, diarrhea, dermatitis and mental confusion. The disease seriously affects the lips, tongue, and gums. It is treated with vitamin B3 supplements although chronic conditions may be hard to treat unless factors causing the issues are sorted out.

Vitamin deficiency and natural oils

When the body lacks vitamin B complex, iron and essential oils it causes chapped lips.

Allergies to ingredients

Taking too many B12 supplements may also result in chapped lips because of one of its chemical compounds called cobalt causes an allergic reaction to some users. So the lips appear dry and crusty. Other allergic reactions may be red dyes in foods.


Certain medications for blood pressure, vertigo, acne or wrinkles may cause chapped lips.

Medical conditions

Medical conditions due thyroid diseases, diabetes or autoimmune diseases may cause chapped lips. Consult your physicians for correct diagnosis and always keep your lips moisturized.


Having gone through an account of reasons for chapped lips it is quite clear that chapped lips may aggravate other lip conditions such as lip licking dermatitis and inflammation of the lips (cheilitis).  Similarly, the persistence of lip dryness, cracking or chapped lips is a clear sign of a health problem especially if you have cracks in the corners of your mouth.  Consider investigating irritants and allergens as a potential cause for lip chapping.

If your lips are chapping more often, invest in finding out the causative factors. While protecting the lips using, sunscreens look for products with SPF that will help you stay longer in the sun. Mineral sunscreens are safer to use than the chemical counterparts. Avoid balms with artificial fragrances.



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