A smiling face dispels unhappiness, exudes confidence and warmth and makes you feel welcome. Sporting a smile is the best way to give the perfect first impression. But smiling is also next to impossible when you have chapped lips.
Usually, giving your lips some TLC with a good lip balm, coconut oil, olive oil or any other natural balm can work wonders. Maintaining soft lips during dry summer, autumn and winter can be more difficult, but a bit of petroleum jelly or the wide variety of organic products available in the market can help you overcome this issue.
But if you find that you have chapped lips all year round and using any of these products is not helping much, then the problem might be more deep-rooted. You should definitely see a doctor or dermatologist find out if you have an underlying condition. The following are some of the underlying reasons due to which you may have chapped lips.
Drinking very little water can lead to dehydration, which can suck the moisture out of your skin and lips. If you’re dehydrated, you’ll likely have wrinkled and dull skin along with chapped lips. Drinking at least two litres of water every day is therefore necessary.
Vitamins, minerals and antioxidants play a huge role in maintaining skin health. And when it comes to the lips, nothing’s more important than B vitamins, zinc and iron. This is also the reason why you’ll find that people who have anemia or other nutritional deficiencies have dull, wrinkled skin and perpetually chapped lips.
3. Stress tics
Licking your lips, biting them or chewing on them - often until they bleed - are all nervous tics that stressed or anxious people have. These not only leave the lips dehydrated but can also injure them, which leads to chapped lips that never go away. If you have any of these tics, you may want to consult a doctor about dealing with them.
4. Thyroid dysfunction
Chapped lips that don’t go away despite all the care in the world may be a sign of low thyroid function. You might want to consult a doctor and get your thyroid levels checked to see if your lips are chapped because of hypothyroidism. Taking medications and following a proper treatment protocol for hypothyroidism can help improve the condition of your lips.
5. Gastrointestinal diseases
If you have gastrointestinal issues like inflammatory bowel disease, gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD) or Crohn’s disease, you may have chapped or cracked lips. You must understand that the gastrointestinal tract begins with the mouth, which is covered by the lips, so naturally, if something’s wrong with the system it may show on your lips too.
6. Spicy food
Consuming too much spicy food regularly can lead to dehydration, gastrointestinal issues like indigestion and even inflammation of the lips. These can, in turn, lead to your lips being chapped. Take a break from the spicy food to give your lips the chance to heal.
This disease causes inflammation in the lips and can be acute or chronic in nature. Everything from sun damage and infections to dental trauma or excess saliva production can cause cheilitis. It leads to severe dryness of the lips, which causes cracks to appear on the corners of the mouth and on the lips. Consult a dermatologist immediately if you see the signs.
For more information, read our article on Home remedies for chapped lips.
Health articles on News18 are written by myUpchar.com, India’s first and biggest resource for verified medical information. At myUpchar, researchers and journalists work with doctors to bring you information on all things health.