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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,


  • 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.


Join The Conversation
pandacn pandacn 8 years
i've had this problem for the longest time and even though i don't have scientific data, i've always felt like chapstick/lip balms are addictive and make matters worse. it seems like the more you use lip balms, the more my lips rely on them and they are even more chapped when i don't use chapstick. i'm very well hydrated otherwise and i almost never lick my lips, so i never know how else to treat my chapped lips!
curious-jane curious-jane 8 years
My lips regenerate at least once a day ... they're not really chapped but always feel like they are... i wonder what i could do about this :(
scapegrace-girl scapegrace-girl 8 years
My lips are almost ALWAYS chapped, its so irritating.On the other side, my arms are unnaturally soft.My friends are so freaked out by it:).
sweetpeabrina sweetpeabrina 8 years
I swear by Eucerin's Aquaphor. I put it in a little lip balm container from the container store. I'm allergic to an ingredient in some lip balms and this is the only one that is perfect for me.
girlgreen girlgreen 8 years
i hate dry lips. i made my own lip scrub using olive oil and sugar and i use it while i'm in the shower to cut down on the messiness. it really helps if i use it every day!
amariexxo amariexxo 8 years
Has anyone tried the polysporin lip balm? i have really chapped lips and im considering trying it out...
jennjennnbubba jennjennnbubba 8 years
the elements and lip licking are my main causes. Luckily, I am a balm addict so I keep my lips pretty moisturized these days.
Shev3237586 Shev3237586 8 years
I gently exfoliate my lips each night with my toothbrush.
emalove emalove 8 years
I don't usually get chapped lips because I'm constantly applying lip balm or gloss!
Talldiva45 Talldiva45 8 years
Yeah, chapped lips affect everyone at some pt. Especially in the winter. I found a chapstick that really works for me - just plain old ChapStick w. moisturizer and spf 15. It works really well and is cheap! Give it a try if you haven't.
neonbee neonbee 8 years
I also got a humidifier and so far, I don't see any results. My lips still get chapped even though I use lip balm constantly.
chameleon7 chameleon7 8 years
Also medicated products can dry out your lips too. I got an humidifier a while back and I am not completely sure if it working.
BraveFool BraveFool 8 years
I just got a humidifier and it's changed my life. Really. And I can't function without at least three different kinds of lip balm on my person at all times!
OHmeetsBK OHmeetsBK 8 years
Love Rosebud Salve.
SugarKat SugarKat 8 years
I ♥ lip balm!!! I'm addicted to it too! I love Burt's Bees, Mary Kay, and my new Tarte one!!!
aimeeb aimeeb 8 years
Water! Water!
starangel82 starangel82 8 years
If it weren't for Carmex, my lips would always be cracked and dry. Fortunately, they are soft and totally kissable!
ThePerfectScore ThePerfectScore 8 years
ThePerfectScore ThePerfectScore 8 years
chapped lips are a deal breaker for me. If a guy has chronically chapped lips I can date him. haha I love a guy who can whip out the chapstick! Kisssable lips are a plus and I pride myself on always having soft lips.
skigurl skigurl 8 years
uh i hate chapped lips mine are always dry and occasionally chapped/flaky in winter...i can always tell after skiing or spending time in the sun they're worse i live for my blistex
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