Winter weather has settled in for good, and I'm sure you've rebelled by cranking up the heat in your homes, cars, and offices. While the heat keeps us warm, it also takes moisture out of the air causing dry skin. Delicate areas are especially affected, like lips since they don't secrete any oils. The result can be tender or painful chapped or cracked lips. To prevent this uncomfortable problem, keep these tips in mind:
- If your lips are dry, avoid licking them. Saliva will momentarily add moisture but it will evaporate, making your lips even drier. Also, your saliva contains some digestive enzymes, which will irritate sore lips even more.
- Keep your lips moisturized with lip balm. Ones with beeswax, such as Burt's Bees Lip Balm are soothing and long lasting. If you're a fan of the great outdoors, use tinted lip balms with SPF to keep your lips protected from sun exposure, which can also dry them out.
- Add moisture to the air you breathe with a humidifier. Keep it running in your bedroom while you sleep since a heated home can cause you to wake up with dry lips that will crack when you yawn. Ouch!
- Make sure to drink lots of water throughout the day. We tend to forget to hydrate properly since it's cold out, but it's just as important as getting enough water in the Summer. Use Fit's Calculator to figure out how much water you should be drinking each day, and keep a water bottle with you while you work to help you remember.
- Avoid drinking alcohol and caffeine since these can dehydrate your skin.
If you suffer from chapped lips
If your lips are cracked already, apply a topical antibiotic ointment such as Bacitracin or Neosporin ointment to prevent infection. If your lips don't heal, see your doctor since dry lips may be a symptom of an underlying problem such as a vitamin deficiency.