Q & A Library

Print this page | Sign up for free e-bulletins
 | Bookmark This Page

Cure for Chapped Lips?

I have chronic chapped lips and have tried many remedies. None have worked. Do you have any recommendations?

Answer (Published 9/29/2009)

Because lips don't contain oil glands, they can easily dry and become chapped, no matter what the season. Cold weather and wind can be aggravators, as can sun exposure or dry air at home or work. Habits can also cause chapping - if you lick your lips a lot, they can dry out. Not being well hydrated can also cause the problem, as can some chemicals you may come in contact with. In addition, chapped lips may be a side effect of some medications, such as Inderal used to treat high blood pressure, and can be a symptom of a number of medical conditions. It might be worth your while to consult a dermatologist, if you haven't already, to see if you can pinpoint the cause.

Related Weil Products
Dr. Weil's Vitamin Advisor for Your Personal Care - Thousands of people have benefited from Dr. Weil's nutritional supplement recommendations, designed to complement your lifestyle and optimize your health. Learn more, and get your free, personalized Dr. Weil's Vitamin Advisor Recommendation today.

In the meantime, Tieraona Low Dog, M.D., an internationally recognized expert in the fields of integrative medicine, dietary supplements and women's health, suggests the following strategy:

  • Drink lots of fluids to stay hydrated.
  • Check to make sure your lipstick doesn't contain propyl gallate.
  • Make sure your toothpaste doesn't contain sodium lauryl sulfate, a known lip irritant.
  • If your lips are more chapped in the morning upon awakening it may because you are breathing through your mouth or snoring (if so, put a thick protective barrier of lip balm on your lips before bed).
  • If you have cracking at the angles of your mouth, be sure you're taking a good multivitamin that provides at least 100 % of the recommended daily intake of B vitamins.

Dr. Low Dog added that if you have tried "everything" else, you might want to apply an over-the-counter hydrocortisone cream 3-4 times per day for one week and then apply your lip balm. I recommend trying a beeswax-containing lip balm, a conditioning lip balm with turmeric, or any type of calendula ointment.

In addition, the American Academy of Dermatology recommends using a humidifier at home to keep the air moist and covering your mouth with a scarf in cold, windy weather.

Andrew Weil, M.D.

Creative Commons License Some Rights Reserved Creative Commons Copyright Notice
A portion of the original material created by Weil Lifestyle on (specifically, all question and answer-type articles in the Dr. Weil Q&A Library) is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-No Derivative Works 3.0 United States License.

The Weil Vitamin Advisor
Get your FREE personalized vitamin recommendation & supplement plan today!

Dr. Weil on Healthy Aging
Your Online Guide to the Anti-Inflammatory Diet. Start eating for your health - begin your free trial now.

Dr. Weil's Spontaneous Happiness
Achieve emotional well-being in just eight weeks! Start your 10-day free trial now!

Vitamin Library
Supplement your knowledge with Dr. Weil's essential vitamin facts. Learn why they are necessary and more.

Dr. Weil's Optimum Health Plan
Your 8-week plan to wellness.
Begin your journey today!

Dr. Weil's Head-to-Toe Wellness Guide
Your guide to natural health.
Use the Wellness Guide today!

Dr. Weil's Anti-Inflammatory Diet
Food Pyramid

Our interactive tool can help improve overall health through diet.

Condition Care Guide
Learn about health conditions from acne to vertigo, and Dr. Weil's view of the best treatment options for each.

Healthy Recipes
Discover a treasure trove of healthy, healing foods and creative, delicious ways to prepare them.

Q&A Library
Over 2,000 questions from you and their corresponding answers from Dr. Weil.

Copyright © 2015 Weil Lifestyle
Information on this web site is provided for informational purposes only and is not intended as a substitute for the advice provided by your physician or other healthcare professional. You should not use the information on this web site for diagnosing or treating a health problem or disease, or prescribing any medication or other treatment.

Ad Choice
Advertising Notice

This Site and third parties who place advertisements on this Site may collect and use information about your visits to this Site and other websites in order to provide advertisements about goods and services of interest to you. If you would like to obtain more information about these advertising practices and to make choices about online behavioral advertising, please click here