Cheilitis is a condition commonly known as chapped lips. This condition is caused by dry weather, constant biting or licking of lips, or a lack of vitamin B in the body. Chapped lips can be easily treated with a few topical solutions or a supplementation of vitamin B.
A lip balm can effectively moisturize the skin and treat chapped lips. The lip balm may contain different substances, but to prevent additional irritation, a lip balm that is fragrance free is the best option. The lip balm should also have a sun protection factor of at least 3, as even the sun can dry the lips.
The lip balm should be applied several times per day, whenever the patient feels the lips are dry. The patient should avoid licking or biting the lips, as this will remove the balm and may also dry the lips.
Petroleum Jelly or Vitamin E
Petroleum jelly works in the same way as a lip balm. It can nourish the lips and help the skin to regenerate. The petroleum jelly should be applied generously, several times per day.
Alternatively, vitamin E oil can be used. However, vitamin E is more difficult to apply when the patient is not at home.
Chapped lips can also be caused by the lack of sufficient water in the body. The patient should drink at least 1.5 liters of water per day. Caffeine drinks or alcoholic beverages are not considered beneficial liquids, as they can result in dehydration.
A dry environment may also have negative effects on the skin and lips and may delay the healing of chapped lips, so an air humidifier should be used.
Vitamin B Supplementation
Some people experience chapped lips due to an internal problem, namely the deficiency of vitamin B. The patient can get vitamin B supplements to solve the problem and this should solve the problem, so the chapped lips will also be treated.
Blood tests can determine the exact vitamin from the group of B vitamins that is lacking from the body, or the patient can simply get a pill containing the vitamin B complex. Riboflavin or vitamin B2 deficiency is often the cause of chapped lips, so the patient may get vitamin B2 supplements.
Preventing Chapped Lips
Preventing chapped lips is always easier than treating them. The patient should learn what triggers this condition and try to avoid these factors. If windy weather is the main cause for chapped lips, the patient should use an extra rich lip balm.
Chapped lips caused by frequent biting or licking of lips can be prevented by controlling this behavior. Typically, this behavior is triggered by stress, so removing the elements that are stressful can go a long way. Therapy or even medications can be used to reduce stress. Alternative treatments such as acupuncture, aromatherapy or yoga can also be efficient in preventing or eliminating stress.