How does lip cracking go?
Lip cracking, which we frequently encounter especially in cold winter months, can become an important problem due to the pain and bad appearance it gives. Also, non-healing lip cracks may be the harbinger of different diseases. Lips are soft and delicate and can easily dry out and crack under certain conditions. This condition, which causes discomfort and bleeding, is not usually caused by a serious problem. It is important to find the cause of the cracking and understand ways to speed healing, as it negatively affects the quality of life of the person.
What is lip cracking?
Lip cracking is an expression used for a breakdown or scar in the integrity of the lip skin. Delicate lip skin can easily dry out and crack in cold or dry weather. Lip cracking can be painful when it lasts for a long time. It may also cause complaints such as bleeding or burning. The most common reason for lip cracking is inflammation of the lips, which is called cheilitis in the medical literature. Recovery of the inflammatory condition can often be accelerated by some applications that can be done at home. However, sometimes it may be necessary to see a doctor determine the underlying cause and treat the condition.
What causes lip cracking?
Lip cracking is a problem that can be seen in all seasons, although it is mostly a problem encountered in winter. If lip dryness, which is the first stage, is not intervened, the cracking problem occurs. Because lip cracking often develops slowly, it can be difficult to determine the exact cause. Knowing the possible causes can help determine the best way to prevent and treat cracks that may occur. The most common causes of lip cracking include:
- Licking, sucking, orbiting the lips: The skin of the lips are sensitive and can be easily irritated. People who frequently lick, suck, bite, or break dry skin are more likely to experience lip cracking. Breaking these habits by using a lip balm to soothe the lips often improves the lips.
- Mouth breathing habit: Mouth breathing prepares the ground for lips to contact more with air and thus dry and crack. Factors such as nasal septum curvature, hay fever, and the common cold are among the reasons for mouth breathing.
- Insufficient fluid consumption and dehydration: The body uses water to keep the skin moist. Not having enough fluid in the body to meet the needs is called dehydration. If there is not enough fluid in the person’s body, changes such as dryness or cracking begin to appear on the skin. In case of not drinking enough fluids regularly during the day, mild dehydration symptoms such as lip cracking can be seen. Dehydration can also occur after an illness that causes high fever, diarrhea, or vomiting.
- Cold, windy, and dry weather conditions: Cracking lips can also occur due to irritating weather conditions such as cold, dry weather, or strong wind. Changes in weather conditions can cause cracks in the corners of the lips. The cracking in the corners of the lips is manifested by burning and pain due to smile and stretching during chewing.
- Sun exposure: The sun’s rays can damage the delicate skin of the lips, causing cracks and sores. However, this situation usually occurs after prolonged exposure.
- Allergies: The skin of the lips can react to the ingredients in some products. Toothpaste, floss, lip balm, lipstick and other make-up materials, moisturizers, and braces can be counted among the triggers of allergies. If you notice symptoms such as inflammation, dryness, or redness of the lips after using a new lip product or one of the other products listed, you should stop using the product.
- Side effects of some drugs: Many drugs used in the treatment of diseases such as depression, acne, high cholesterol, hay fever can cause lip cracking as a side effect.
- Vitamin or mineral deficiency: Although not as common as other causes, lip cracking can be caused by a lack of a vitamin or mineral in the body. The deficiency of some B group vitamins such as vitamin A, B2, B3, B6, iron, or zinc in the body can cause symptoms such as cracking and inflammation in the lips.
- Lip injury: Injuries are another common cause of cracking. It is more common in people who engage in contact sports such as football or hockey. Mouth bumps and lip biting are other important causes of lip injury. In case of injury, bleeding and swelling are seen in addition to the cracked lip.
As can be understood from all these, there are many causes of lip cracking, and the determination and elimination of the factors causing the cracking constitute the most important step of the treatment.
How does lip cracking go?
Some applications can be done at home to prevent lip cracking or to accelerate healing in case of cracking. Some of these can be listed as follows:
- Protecting lips: Exposure to cold air, dry air, wind, and sun can cause lips to dry and crack. For this reason, you can apply lip balm or Vaseline on your lips before going out. This provides a protective barrier to keep your lips moist. It will be useful to use a sunscreen lip balm to prevent sunburn. Also, natural moisturizing oils such as olive oil, coconut oil, castor oil can be used.
You should avoid licking, sucking, and biting your lips. It is helpful to use a moisturizing lip balm to break the licking habit. It should be ensured that the moisturizer used is quality and natural product that does not contain chemicals such as colorants and fragrances.
- Increasing fluid intake: Drying and cracking of the lips due to fluid loss are more common in individuals who do not consume enough fluid. For this reason, taking plenty of fluids during the day helps prevent cracking.
- Applying cold compress: If bleeding occurs due to cracking, a cold compress can be applied to stop the bleeding quickly.
- Honey: Honey is a healing food with antibacterial properties that is good for lip dryness and cracking. For this purpose, some real honey is applied to the lips as if using cream. It is kept for 15 minutes and washed with warm water. This application accelerates the healing process by feeding your lips.
- Aloe Vera Gel: Aloe vera gel is a herbal ingredient that is frequently preferred in the treatment of euphoria cracking, with its protective and therapeutic properties of cracks on the lips. You can get rid of cracking by applying a small amount of aloe vera gel to your lips regularly for a few days.
- Cucumber: Frequently preferred in skincare, cucumber can also be preferred to provide moisture support to the lips thanks to its high water content. Sliced cucumbers can be left on the cracked lip for 10-15 minutes.
- Saltwater: Saltwater helps keep the wound clean during the healing process. For this purpose, a tablespoon of salt is added to a small glass of warm water. A cotton cloth or cotton ball is dipped in this mixture and applied to the lips. During the application, there may be burning and pain on the lips, but these disappear after a few minutes.
- Natural peeling: The peeling you will prepare with powdered sugar and lemon juice helps to remove the dead skin on the lips. After mixing a tablespoon of powdered sugar with a few drops of lemon juice to the proper consistency, it is thoroughly absorbed by massaging the lips. After this application, a moisturizing lip balm must be used to prevent the lip from cracking again.