Men's Life Today
Say Goodbye to Cold-chapped Lips
By Dr. Josh Zeichner
I recently saw a patient who complained to me that he heard a joke that cracked him up. In fact, he laughed so hard that his lips literally split.
You may know the feeling. Just as our skin can get dry and sunburned, so can our lips. And because there are fewer oil glands in our lips than there are in our skin, lips can dry out even more easily.
Other common causes of chapped lips include:
- Cold weather and wind
- Allergies to fragrances or additives in balms (even in those labeled as “natural”)
- Irritations (e.g., chronic lip-licking)
- Long-term sun exposure, which causes dry and cracked lips that can be precancerous
Luckily, there are ways to avoid chapped lips. Lip balms are primarily made up of petrolatum and dimethicone (similar to skin moisturizers), and some also contain sunscreens. They come in wax form to be easily spread on the lips for a smooth feel. Contrary to popular belief, there are no addictive ingredients in lip balms -- the satisfaction of having smooth lips after application is what makes you want to use more.
And now some tips to prevent a parched pout:
Photo Credit: @iStockphoto.com/SabrinaPintus
- Drink lots of water
- Use lip products that contain sunscreen
- Avoid licking your lips
- Steer clear of your lips while shaving, so as not to overly exfoliate the skin around them