Dry Lips – Causes, Treatment

Dry lips

Dry, chapped lips are a very unpleasant phenomenon that occurs especially in winter. Some people are so affected by the problem of “dry, chapped lips” that the skin on their lips cracks deeply and even begins to bleed. Anyone who is struggling with dry, chapped lips should consider the following advice, which is appropriate for treating the “dry, chapped lips” problem.

What are dry, chapped lips?

Dry, chapped lips primarily affect the delicate and very sensitive skin in this area. In the first stage, the lips are just dry. If they continue to dry out, dry, chapped lips lead to injuries as the skin tears.

This can lead to clearly visible wounds, especially in the corners of the mouth. In some cases there is also inflammation caused by dry, chapped lips.


Dry and chapped lips are primarily caused by air that is too dry. This air causes dry, chapped lips because the skin can no longer be supplied with sufficient moisture from the outside.

In addition, many people practice moistening dry, chapped lips with their tongue many times a day. However, the resulting film of saliva does not lead to an improvement in the symptom of “dry, chapped lips”. On the contrary, it dries out the lips even more.

Another cause of dry, chapped lips is improper care. Many people who are affected by the fact of dry lips use conventional cream for the lips as well. Moisturizers with preservatives in particular contribute to the fact that chapped and dry lips get even worse.

diseases with this symptom

  • Perioral Dermatitis


Dry, chapped lips should be treated as there are different stages of chapped lips. In the advanced stages, dry, chapped lips can become extremely uncomfortable and noticeably impair the quality of life. In the beginning, dry lips are hardly noticeable. The skin on the lips only feels a little dry and the lips tighten, especially when smiling. If lips that become noticeable in this way are not treated with appropriate measures, the problem can continue to grow.

In the next stage, dry lips are already visible to other people. The lips then form small scales, which are particularly noticeable in women who use lipstick. The color of the lipstick sticks to the skin cells so that they stand out particularly clearly. If the lips dry out even further, deep tears may appear, which can even bleed. But even the scraped off skin cells lead to bleeding; a common symptom of dry or chapped lips.


Dry lips occur as a result of various diseases and usually do not lead to major complications. Problems can arise if the dry lips persist for a long period of time. This can lead to skin irritation, inflammation and pain when eating.

Chapping lips as a result of dehydration can lead to infection and the formation of painful cysts in the corners of the mouth. In addition, chronically dry lips promote diseases such as herpes or existing inflammation in the mouth area. Inappropriate treatment with certain home remedies or medical care products can further irritate dry lips and cause scarring as a result.

Babies and small children with dry lips are at risk of partially swallowing the applied cream, which can lead to nausea and vomiting , but also to allergic reactions and other complications, depending on the care product. Dry lips can also be an indication of underlying problems such as general dehydration or an allergy, which in turn pose various risks. Due to the possible complication, dry lips must always be discussed with the family doctor.

When should you go to the doctor?

Normally, dry lips do not require medical or drug treatment. Dry lips are usually caused by skin that is too dry and brittle. To counteract this appearance, the affected person can resort to moisturizing creams or ointments. In most cases, a significant improvement can be seen after two to four days. However, such freely available funds do not always help.

It is quite possible that there is no significant improvement even after prolonged use. It is not uncommon for the corners of the mouth to tear, so that the whole thing can become a painful affair. In such a case, a doctor should be consulted immediately. If there is an infection behind the dry lips, a visit to the doctor is also recommended. Under certain circumstances, viruses and bacteria spread throughout the body, which can lead to a flu-like infection.

If you want to avoid these complications, you should seek medical treatment immediately. Appropriate medication can bring about an improvement within a short period of time. So if you permanently suffer from dry lips, you should not delay a visit to the doctor for too long. If there is a serious underlying disease behind it, early treatment is of great importance.

Treatment & Therapy

However, dry, chapped lips can be treated successfully, although they are very uncomfortable and in some cases lead to painful complications in wound healing. The treatment methods are based on the one hand on changing the external environment and on the other hand on the care of the lips.

Since the humidity of the environment plays a crucial role in this problem, it is worth changing it indoors. There are special devices that can increase the humidity in the room. In this way, the dry skin on the lips can be noticeably improved.

In addition to this measure, the right care of the lips also plays an important role. The choice of care depends on the severity of the symptom. If you only have minor problems, you can get along very well with a conventional care stick for the lips. In worse cases, a care product can be chosen that also has wound-healing active ingredients and is therefore very effective against dry or chapped lips.

Outlook & Forecast

Overall, the prognosis for chapped lips is very favorable in most cases. Dry lips are not always a sign of illness. If the lips only get chapped in winter because they don’t tolerate the change between heating air and cold, the prospect is very good. The problems usually disappear with the end of the cold spell without treatment. Dry lips can often be eliminated beforehand with creams, lip balm or other care products.

If the dry lips are due to a vitamin or mineral deficiency, appropriate intervention is required. Without an adequate supply of nutrients, the lips usually remain chapped.

Low fluid intake often leads to dry lips as well. In this case, however, the lips often become supple again within a day or two if the body receives enough water. In the days and weeks that follow, the skin on the lips regenerates if you continue to drink enough and other factors such as nutrition also look good.

The prognosis is less favorable if the dry lips appear as a symptom of a serious illness. Even then, however, there is usually marked improvement as treatment of the underlying disease progresses. In addition, in this case too, symptomatic treatment of the dry lips is often possible, which can at least bring relief.


Dry, chapped lips can also be combated with preventive measures. Here, too, it is about the humidity and the right care. However, experts warn against using a lip balm too eagerly against chapped lips. If used too frequently, it can even contribute to the development of the problem of dry lips in the long term.

↳ Further information: Home remedies for dry, chapped lips

You can do that yourself

Dry lips are often an indication of a lack of fluid in the body. It is therefore advisable to drink enough. In the best case, the liquid requirement is covered by herbal teas or water. Two to three liters a day are suitable.

An old home remedy for chapped lips is olive oil . It not only has a moisturizing effect, but also cares for and stresses dry lips. Olive oil is particularly effective in combination with egg yolk. To do this, the ingredients are mixed and a thin layer is applied to the lips. If necessary, this can be used daily. A quark mask for the lips also provides additional moisture. Proper care of the lips is also important. Many care sticks only provide moisture for a short time and dry out the lips in the long term. Milking fats such as vaseline ensure a beautiful shine and long-lasting moisture.

In summer it is important to protect not only the facial skin but also the lips from UV rays. In the pharmacy or drugstore there are lip care sticks with UV light protection factor. Sunburn on the lips should be avoided, as this also dries out the sensitive, brittle skin In winter, the dry room air is more of a problem. It is advisable to air the room regularly to ensure a good indoor climate. Furthermore, plants in the room and humidifiers can improve the conditions.

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Hello! I am Lisa Newlon, and I am a medical writer and researcher with over 10 years of experience in the healthcare industry. I have a Master’s degree in Medicine, and my deep understanding of medical terminology, practices, and procedures has made me a trusted source of information in the medical world.