Closeup of man biting his dry chapped lips.

Do you find no matter how many times you slather on the Chap-Stick, your lips are still taught, painfully dry, and splitting?

Cracked, dry lips can really put a damper on your smile, and overall comfort. Here’s a few great tips on how to get to the bottom of what may be keeping your lips from being healthy and kissable year-round.

There are a bunch of factors that lead to less-than-supple lips: exposure to UV rays, cold weather, too much caffeine, smoking, allergies, hormonal imbalance, excessive licking of the lips, mouth breathing, and dehydration, to name a few…

Cold weather is hard on skin and lips. Covering your mouth with protective clothing like a scarf while exposed to the elements will help prevent dry lips. Indoor heat can dry out your lips, skin, and nasal passages too. To stave off the dehydration, use a humidifier, especially at night, to keep moisture in the air.

In addition to cold weather, you should take some precautions during the summer. The sun has powerful UV rays that can wreak havoc on your lips. Using a lip balm with sunscreen will help prevent sunburned lips, dryness, and eventually, peeling. Doing so will keep your lips more robust, come winter.

Diet also plays an important role in ensuring your lips are supplied with nutrients that nurture your skin to naturally balance oil production. Omega-3 fatty acids, found in fish have been shown to keep the skin hydrated and restore its natural oils – so consuming more fish can help. If you prefer, there are fish oil pills available over the counter. Carlson Labs is one of our favorite Omega suppliers… Their product has zero fishy taste — and instead tastes like fresh lemons… No gross-out, and the results are immediately noticeable.

Staying hydrated helps the body function properly.  To avoid chapped lips, you should drink plenty of fluids – especially water. Caffeine causes the body to dehydrate – so if you’re a coffee lover, drink your coffee, but drink a lot of purified water, too.

Do you have a bad habit of licking your lips? Or maybe in an emergency effort to moisturize your lips, you’ve been tempted to lick them… Well, don’t. The saliva evaporates quickly, leaving the drier than they were before.

Dry lips can be caused by contact allergies. If you’ve been just recently experiencing this issue, and just started using a new lip or facial product, you could be allergic to it. Also, being allergic to certain foods can cause dry lips. If you think you’re allergic to something and you can’t pinpoint what it is, you may need to go see an allergist to be tested. Not to mention, if you’re congested from a sinus attack brought on by allergies, your lips can become chapped quickly. You should take the necessary precautions to ensure your lips stay hydrated.

Mouth breathing can be a temporary issue caused by nasal congestion. However, in some cases, it could be a constant problem that should be evaluated by an ear, nose, and throat specialist. You could have a deviated septum which means that you’re not able to breathe an equal amount out of each nostril, leaving you to compensate by breathing through your mouth.

Avoid smoking. Smoking not only dries your lips out, but it also dries out your mouth – which is another entirely different problem that comes with serious side effects. Ask us about perio therapy – one of our top solutions for dealing with this.

And now (drum roll, please…)

Here are our top remedies for dry lips:

Removing dead skin cells will allow your lips to bring out new, healthy layers. The good news here is that there’s no need for expensive beauty products. This can easily be done with a handful of ingredients that you likely already have in your home.

Cane sugar, honey 🍯🐝, and coconut oil, make a great exfoliation elixir. For severely chapped and bleeding lips you can throw in a few drops of lavender oil for its antiseptic properties. Be sure to scrub very gently to avoid bleeding and prevent further damage. Exfoliating can be done a few times a week followed up by a good moisturizer.

Moisturizing will help prevent dry, chapped, painful lips. Beeswax, petroleum jelly, coconut oil, cocoa butter, shea butter, and glycerin are all great ingredients to use in a lip serum. Apply multiple times a day, and apply a heavier layer at night.

Call us, we can help. The #RHDDream Team at Rolling Hills Dental are here to help you with all of your oral wellness needs. If you have any concerns about your dental health, give us a call today at (865) 983-4444. We look forward to meeting you!

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