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What Causes Chapped Lips and How To Prevent Chapped Lips

What Causes Chapped Lips?

Mr. Bella and I were sifting through some old photos and after looking at each year's school picture, it was obvious that the poor guy spent the majority of his elementary days with chapped lips. It's pretty unavoidable, especially in moisture-depleted Winter months — and especially for that cute little guy who couldn't stop licking his sore, flaky mouth for relief. Poor fella.

Fast forward to the post - grad school years — and a generous supply of Chapstick — and my guy is all better. This got me to thinking. While the causes of chapped lips may seem obvious, what does an expert have to say about this annoying condition?

According to the Mayo Clinic, here are a few main causes of chapped lips:

  • The elements: Wind, air, and sun exposure can leave lips vulnerable. Protect with an SPF and/or apply a petroleum or beeswax lip balm. Oil-based creams work wonders, too. Oh, and don't be afraid to wrap your face up in a scarf for extra protection.
  • Dehydration: Drink plenty of water and consider purchasing a humidifier to keep the air in your home moisturized. Tip: I like adding some essential oil to mine for a therapeutic effect.

To see the rest of the tips,

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  • Lip licking: Such a vicious circle, eh? While you may want to lick your lips for some much needed relief, saliva actually evaporates very fast — leaving your lips all the more irritated. To prevent further lip licking, stay away from tasty flavored balms, which are just too tempting.
  • Open mouth: Sleeping with your jaw wide open or breathing with your mouth ajar can be. . . well, jarring to your lips. Prevent the cracks by applying a balm or cream (see "the elements" above).
  • Irritants: It could be that you are allergic to something in your lipstick or some other beauty product you're wearing. Hello, cayenne pepper experiment? Once you find the culprit, avoid it (obviously), and consider wearing a cream-based lipstick for further hydration.

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