In winter, the air contains little moisture, so the top layer of the skin can easily dry out. Under the influence of the cold, the blood vessels also contract, and the skin is also little nourished from the inside. The result is dry, rough skin that flakes easily. The lips are particularly sensitive to this phenomenon because they contain almost no sebaceous glands. That’s why cracked lips are so frequent in the cold.
Another cause of dry lips is exposure to sunlight (UV radiation). This can happen in the summer, but also on a sunny winter day, and especially in the high mountains, for example during a winter sports holiday.
Some medicines can also cause dry lips. Pee tablets, for example, but also vitamin A-like medicines that are prescribed for acne.
- Avoid licking the lips: With dehydrated lips, many people tend to lick the lips with the tongue to moisturize them. This does not help, on the contrary, this causes the lips to dry out even more, and the skin around the lips can also be irritated by the action of the moisture, and a stubborn type of eczema may develop around the lips. This eczema is called lip licking dermatitis.
- In cold weather, try to breathe through the nose as much as possible.
- Protect your lips with a scarf.
- Check that the humidity in the house or at work is not too low.
- Too little fluid intake can cause your lips to dry out as well, so make sure you drink enough throughout the day.
- Avoid irritating foods. Citrus and other acidic foods, salty foods, spicy foods, and very salty foods can irritate the lips.
- Dry lips can be prevented by regularly smearing the lips with a lip balm. If necessary, ask your pharmacist for advice. Use a lip balm with UV factor when it is sunny and in the mountains. Avoid lip balms that contain menthol or are flavored with mint or citrus, which can irritate the skin.
- No skins pulling off the lip, that only makes it worse.
- In the case of medicines that cause dry lips, the amount per day can sometimes be slightly reduced in consultation with the doctor.
- If the fissures are severe and do not respond to the above advice, consult your doctor. With persistent eczema around the lip, it may be necessary to use an anti-eczema ointment with corticosteroids. These are prescribed by the general practitioner. Do not use these types of ointments too often around the lip, side effects may occur.