Medical questions & health advice by board certified doctors
"Anything I can do for my chapped lips?"
I've tried vaseline and chap stick along with some other remedies, but nothing seems to help my chapped lips. Is there anything else I can do to keep my lips from drying out? Would a dermatologist be able to help me out?
I am sorry to hear that you are having such persistent trouble with chapped lips! I recommend going see your primary care doctor who can provide additional advice. The most common cause of chapped lips is persistent irritation to the lips, most commonly due to a habit of constantly licking the lips or biting or picking at them. If you have these habits, it is very important to try to break the habit, as this is what is driving the problem. Chap stick and other moisturizing ointments can help reduce the itching and irritation and help your lips heal. However, sometimes more severe cases will require prescription steroid creams to help with the inflammation. Steroid creams should never be put on the face without talking to your doctor first, as over use can lead to excessive thinning of the skin of the lips. If the cracking and chapping of your lips is primarily at the corners of your mouth, then this might be a different condition, called angular cheilitis. Angular cheilitis is often due to fungal infections of the skin at the corners of the mouth, but it may also be the result of a vitamin deficiency. Start by talking to your primary care doctor!
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