Chapped lips is a condition that most often occurs during the cold or dry months of the year. It is characterized by dry, red, cracked or painful lips. It is something that can affect anyone and is caused by a number of things, often combined together.
Common Causes of Chapped Lips
The primary factor or cause of chapped lips is the loss of moisture on or around the lips. Most often, this loss of moisture comes from elements such as dry weather, cold temperatures or overexposure to sun. Sometimes, however, it can be related to how frequently you lick your lips.
Allergic reactions may also contribute to chapped lips, as well as periodontal diseases or sores in the mouth. Some allergies that are not very well known include ingredients found in many lipsticks, toothpastes and nickel. Also, some people experience a mild allergic reaction to some citrus fruits that may manifest itself in the form of chapped lips. There are many other slight allergies that may cause chapped lips. Speak to your doctor to see if you may have one of these.
Clarinet or other woodwind instrument players may also develop chapping where their lips touch the reed.
Chronic Diseases that May Cause Chapped Lips
There are also certain chronic diseases that may contribute to chapped lips. Some of the ones that have been directly connected to chapped lips are:
- Sjogren's Syndrome
- Thyroid disease
- Psoriasis or Lichen Planus
- Sleep Apnea
- Other auto-immune disorders
There are some people who suffer from chronic chapped lips, also known as Chelitis. If you think you are one of those people, be sure to consult your doctor or dermatologist.