Dry lips


Suffering from dry, cracking or peeling lips this winter?

Winter is nearly here and apart from dry skin, dry, peeling and cracked lips is a common complaint. It can affect the upper and lower lip, the corners of the mouth or both. People affected complain of a variety of symptoms and signs including dry lips, cracked lips, peeling lips, sore lips, or even dark lips. There may or there may not be dryness and redness on the surrounding skin around their mouth. A great percentage of people affected don’t think to seek help and try to remedy the problem with lipbalms, Vaseline®, and usually by avoiding cosmetic products such as lipstick and lip gloss. Other people use the latter to camouflage their lips’ appearance.

In medical terms, dry or cracking lips, is called cheilitis. There are a few reasons for getting this including some medications (a common culprit being Roaccutane®), skin conditions causing inflammation of the skin and lips (e. g. eczema), skin allergies (e. g. to lipsticks), vitamin deficiencies (e. g. iron deficiency). It is useful seeing a dermatology doctor to establish the diagnosis and get started on the correct treatment. Blood tests, skin allergy tests and a skin biopsy might be needed.

Christina Vlachou