With the cooler winter weather coming, there are many skin problems that can make this season unpleasant and bothersome. One of winter’s problems is having dry, cracked, painful, and irritated lips. Why does this issue mainly happen during winter time? Well, this is mainly due to dry weather and unpredictable wind. The humidity in the air becomes low which increases evaporation from both our skin and lips causing dryness and cracking. The layer of skin on our lips is thinner and there are fewer oil glands that help keep our lips moisturized.
Here are ways you can help protect and prevent dryness and cracking:
Do Not Lick Your Lips
Licking your lips may seem like a quick-fix solution to alleviate the pain and discomfort, but this causes more harm than good. This is harmful due to the abundance of bacteria that live in your mouth and tongue. As soon as you lick your lips, the moisture from your lips soon evaporates causing even more dryness and cracking. Instead of licking, apply lip balm or moisturizer to your lips. Petroleum-based ointments are best. Avoid lip balms that contain fragrance, flavors, and alcohol. These products may cause more irritation and can cause allergic reactions. Applying lip balm or moisturizer to your lips before stepping outside can help with prevention. Repeat throughout the day when needed.
Inadequate hydration also may cause your lips to crack. Making efforts to keep your body hydrated during the winter will help prevent dryness. Drinking plenty of water during the day, about eight to ten 8-ounce glasses and consuming fruits and vegetables that are high in water content are advisable.
Vitamins and Nutrition
Some causes of skin dryness may also be caused by vitamin deficiencies. Vitamins such as B-complex, niacin, and riboflavin can help boost and retain moisture. Eating green vegetables, lentils, beans, dairy products, and nuts helps skin to maintain smoothness and moisturize. Taking a multivitamin supplement for those who are constantly on the go is recommended.
To help prevent dryness and cracking, light exfoliation is recommended. You can exfoliate as soon as you wake up, during the day, and at bed time. Once or twice a week is perfectly fine. This will help remove the uncomfortable, flaky and dry skin that builds up over time on your lips. Rub your lips gently with damp soft washcloth or soft bristled toothbrush. Lip scrubs are also fun to try. Natural remedies and exfoliation treatments include common grocery household items.
- Sugar, can be used to exfoliate because it helps scrub away dead skin cells and restores natural skin softness. Mix 1 teaspoon of honey with sugar, mix gently until a paste is formed and apply gently to lips, let paste sit for 15 minutes and wash away with warm water.
- Cucumber contains natural water contents. Cut cucumber into slices and rub onto the lips for 20 minutes. This allows for the natural juices from the cucumber to sit on the lips. Repeat up to 4 times a day to relieve dryness and cracking.
- Coconut oil is a product that has become popular in daily beauty regimens and skin care. Coconut oil is good for skin disorders such as acne, eczema, and dry and cracked skin. Exfoliating with coconut oil will help remove excess damaged skin cells and blocked pores.
Although skin care is difficult to manage during colder weather, it is possible. Discover what works best for you and your skin for a better winter experience. Staying hydrated, moisturizing, maintaining a healthy diet, taking vitamin supplements and exfoliating will help keep those lips nice and healthy and pink. Last, but not least, steer clear from the oh-so-tempting licking of your lips.
The information provided is for general interest only and should not be misconstrued as a diagnosis, prognosis or treatment recommendation. This information does not in any way constitute the practice of medicine, or any other health care profession. Readers are directed to consult their health care provider regarding their specific health situation. Marque Medical is not liable for any action taken by a reader based upon this information.