Medical questions & health advice by board certified doctors
"Why do lips patch together when you close them for a while?"
I've noticed my lips patch themselves together if I keep my lips dry and closed long enough. Why is this?
You are correct that sometimes changes in your skin, specifically dehydration, can cause your lips to stick together. This simply reflects the decrease in moisture in the skin during dry times. Your lips are naturally moistened by your oral mucosa, and if your keep your lips pressed together, you may not get adequate moisture. If you have concerns about changes in your skin, the best thing to do is speak with your primary care physician. He or she can evaluate your skin and recommend moisturizers as needed. It is important to take care of your skin, and skin on the face is particularly vulnerable to sun damage or age damage. In addition, if it looks like you have any areas of skin concerning for malignancy such as melanoma or basal cell carcinoma, your physician can refer you to a dermatologist for a more thorough skin exam and biopsy as needed. Depending upon your age, skin type, and sun exposure, it might be important for you to undergo annual screening exams to make sure that you don't develop any skin cancers. In any case, it is always important to wear sunscreen on your face, and it may be helpful to use a lip moisturizer that also includes sunscreen. Again, please talk to your doctor if you have concerns about changes in your skin.
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