Q & A Library
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.
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:
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.
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