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Dry chapped lips
Old 08-03-2016, 09:14 PM   #1
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Dry chapped lips

I've always had a problem with needing to use lip balm to keep my lips from drying out. In general I find that I need to apply it in the morning, after brushing my teeth, and then every couple of hours each day.

In the past few weeks, I've found that my lips are so dry that they feel like they are going to crack and bleed. I've been applying heavy layers of lip balm, and finding that I need to reapply it almost every 15 minutes. I've tried the Trader Joe's lip balm, and recently added Aquaphor Lip Protectant with SPF.

While the balm and Aquaphor temporarily relieve the symptoms, it's been very painful to deal with. The average temperature where I live has been about 80 degrees, and the humidity has been around 62%, so not particularly dry or hot weather.

Has anyone ever experienced a severe increase in dry, cracking lips that otherwise has only been a minor issue previously? Any suggestions beyond the balm and Protectant on what to try?
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Old 08-03-2016, 09:33 PM   #2
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Have you had a doctor look at it? A few months back I had a case of chapped lips. Nothing weather-wise could have caused it as far as I could tell. I waited for it to go away but it kept getting worse. I thought I might have gotten some strange skin infection or something.

So after 4 or 5 weeks of this I go to the doc. He said it was actually a mild fungal infection cause by "excessive nocturnal slobbering". They usually see it in Oldtimers who take their dentures out at night. My teeth are fine but I do wear an anti-teeth grinding appliance at night that just barely keeps my mouth from closing thus causing me to "run my mouth" all night.

The cure for it (and I am expecting this to recur from time to time) was applying some some over-the-counter athlete's foot cream before bed.
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Old 08-03-2016, 09:37 PM   #3
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I have always used a lot of chap stick. I use Burt Bees now because there's no wax in it. I just started taken a new medicine for an ear infection with the loss of hearing-- prednisone. It's only for 3 weeks but it has really dried out my mouth. My dental hygienist pointed this out to me. So have you started any new meds or supplements? Good luck!
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Old 08-03-2016, 09:41 PM   #4
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I believe another possible cause of that is hypothyroidism.
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Old 08-03-2016, 09:43 PM   #5
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My DW just went through this last month and the dermatologist told her to use this: https://www.aquaphorus.com it worked like a charm.
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Old 08-03-2016, 09:44 PM   #6
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I always had dry, chapped lips when I lived in California. In fact, my skin would get so dry that my face would bleed! It was awful. I tried a humidifier, I nearly bought out Chapstick, and had tons of lotions. Nothing worked. What finally solved the problem for me, forever, was moving to a climate with more humidity (which I did for other reasons). In my case there was nothing wrong with me other than delicate+dry skin. I just do better in a climate that isn't so dry.
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Old 08-03-2016, 10:50 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Ready View Post
and recently added Aquaphor Lip Protectant with SPF.
This would be the problem for me -
I have a skin reaction to sun protection chemicals that resembles chapped lips. The regular Aquaphor is fine, anything with 'SPF' will get the reaction.
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Old 08-03-2016, 11:01 PM   #8
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I have this issue if I am exposed to winter conditions like up far up North, or when here sometimes get a cold spell ~20F lasting 3 weeks.

I have never heard of this in warm weather that is not a desert.
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Old 08-04-2016, 07:30 AM   #9
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I use Chapstick several times a day. Also need lotion for my hands.

One time I did an experiment and stopped using lotion for several months to see if my skin would adapt and provide its own moisturizer. My hands dried out, cracked, and bled.

Went to dermatologist and they recommended lotion. I guess I am stuck with this routine. It is true when I vacation in Florida my skin is fine without lotion.
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Old 08-04-2016, 07:45 AM   #10
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Old 08-04-2016, 08:46 AM   #11
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I too use Chapstick several times a day. Have done so for years. I always assumed it was because I have mild allergies and maybe do a fair amount of breathing through my mouth (as well as nose when it's not plugged up).

When the lips get aggravated, it is often because I have neglected applying Chapstick. I imagine a lot of sun and wind does not help the situation.
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Old 08-04-2016, 08:49 AM   #12
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I think air conditioning is a major source of aggravation for dry lips, skin and eyes.
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Old 08-04-2016, 08:50 AM   #13
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Thanks for all the replies so far. I'm starting to think it's time to visit a doctor, since the condition has gone from being very moderate to extreme in just the past few weeks.

I'm not on any new medications. I do swim every day, but I've been a swimmer for years now and never had any problems. I'm thinking there is an underlying infection that may be causing it.

Would a dermatologist be the right type of doctor to see for this condition?
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Old 08-04-2016, 09:02 AM   #14
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Another lifetime lipbalm user here.. My experience has been that some brands actually make this worse; specifically the softer, smoother less gunky feeling ones.

Old school, black wrapper, wax ladden chapstick seems to be the best. Applying immediately out of the shower when skin is still damp is also a good help.
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Old 08-04-2016, 09:17 AM   #15
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Another lifetime lipbalm user here.. My experience has been that some brands actually make this worse; specifically the softer, smoother less gunky feeling ones.

Old school, black wrapper, wax ladden chapstick seems to be the best. Applying immediately out of the shower when skin is still damp is also a good help.
Yes agree some brands will actually dry out your lips so you have to apply more. Another issue may be sunburn. Sunburnt lips feel dry, but are actually burned.
I have had good luck with Bonnie's Balm which is all natural and Burt's Bees.
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Old 08-04-2016, 09:30 AM   #16
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try caking on carmex
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Old 08-04-2016, 09:38 AM   #17
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Yes agree some brands will actually dry out your lips so you have to apply more. Another issue may be sunburn. Sunburnt lips feel dry, but are actually burned.
I have had good luck with Bonnie's Balm which is all natural and Burt's Bees.
Not a lip problem but I used to suffer from dry skin. Several cortisone treatments yearly. Finally a doc told me the same thing about otc skin creams. Many contain drying agents to make the product feel like it did something.

For skin I use Bag Balm, works great, 100% lanolin. I might go with a lip product mentioned above first.
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Old 08-04-2016, 10:46 AM   #18
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I second Carmex. I was very surprised how much better it worked for me.
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Old 08-04-2016, 10:49 AM   #19
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A fairly simple suggestion humbly submitted: chapped lips are often an early, common indication of dehydration. You may require more water than others due to living situation (AC, temperature extremes, high winds, dry climate, exercise, salt intake etc. all can raise your water intake requirement). If you generally don't drink a lot of water, you may try that as your first source of fixing the root cause rather than treating the symptom. I know for me, when I start to feel my lips cracking, I drink more water and the problem usually resolves.

I also use Blistex with SPF 15 for being in the sun and apply Burt's Bees lip balm before bed.
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Old 08-04-2016, 10:56 AM   #20
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I've found lansinoh (nursing lanolin) very helpful in extreme cases, but I'd talk to your doctor to make sure there isn't an underlying medical cause.
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