7 Ways Chapped Lips Could Be A Sign of Something Else

MILAN, ITALY - FEBRUARY 26: A model is seen backstage ahead of the Cristiano Burani show during the Milan Fashion Week Autumn/Winter 2015 on February 26, 2015 in Milan, Italy. (Photo by Fulvio De Filippi/Getty Images)
Source: Fulvio De Filippi/Getty Images Entertainment/Getty Images

Winter is a hard time for every skin type, whether you're dry or oily. The outdoor air combined with the indoor heat can dehydrate our skin and cause lips to crack, bleed, and peel. Many of us shrug off chapped lips as par for the course, but really, they can be a sign of more significant health issues. Here are seven ways chapped lips could be a sign of something else, something more serious than a dehydrated pout. 

Your peeling and cracked pout can be a sign of a number of things, including dehydration, an allergy, or a vitamin deficiency. Sure, typically, the culprit of chapped lips is licking our lips (using saliva to hydrate our lip’s skin), but that's not always the case. What's a good indication there's a deeper meaning? If you suffer from chronic dry lips, and your chapped lips seem like they're impossible to hydrate and even cause you pain, you might want to seek some medical attention. 

If you suspect that your dry pucker is being caused by something more serious other than winter's dry and cold weather, take a look at these seven common, but more alarming causes of chapped lips. 

1. A Yeast Infection

Did you know that your cracked lips may be a sign of a yeast infection? This is especially true if you have cracks around the corner of our mouth. "We all carry yeast on our skin," said Dr. Shawn Allen, a Boulder, Colorado, dermatologist according to CNN. Cracked lips may mean you are producing too much yeast. This yeast can grow with warm, moist saliva generated from licking your lips. Your best cure is to hydrate — drink lots of water and avoid licking your lips. 

2. An Allergic Reaction

If your lips look like you just came back from a filler appointment, this may be an allergic reaction. You could have an allergy to the lip products you're using, like shea butter, beeswax or castor oil. You could also be allergic to certain foods. Take note of what you're eating and using, and adjust until you find the right product for you. 

3. Dehydration

Dry lips, mouth, and eyes are all signs of dehydration. To avoid dehydration, it's recommended that you drink eight to twelve glasses of water a day. If you're diabetic or an athlete, drink even more! Dehydration upsets the natural balance of minerals in our bodies, wreaking havoc on our skin. 

4. Sun Damage

Sun and wind exposure, especially during the winter months, can cause painfully chapped lips. If you're out and about in the dry, winter air then be sure to use a lip product with plenty of sunscreen. 

5. A Vitamin Deficiency 

Vitamin B2, or riboflavin, is necessary for things like cell function, the metabolism of fats, and maintaining normal levels of amino acid homocysteine in the blood. If your lips your lips are cracked and swollen, it may be from a riboflavin deficiency. Eat plenty of vitamin B2 rich foods like eggs and lean meat. 

6. Too Much Vitamin A 

On the flip side, dry lips can mean you're intaking too much vitamin A. Vitamin A toxicity can occur if you're taking too many supplements — you should be careful in taking vitamin A supplements because most of it should come from your diet. If you have too much vitamin A in your system, your skin and lips can begin to peel and crack. 

7. Medication

If you're taking medication for hypothyroidism, acne, or high blood pressure, you could be having an allergic reaction to these medications, causing your lips to dry out and puff up. Consult your doctor if you think this is the reason behind your dry lips. 

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