Lip Balm Addiction is Apparently Very Real

I've been known to the hit the ChapStick (or the Vaseline, or the Burt's Bees...) pretty hard. My lips get super chapped so, so easily. Like, if I have just one glass of wine at dinner, my lips are the texture of tree bark for the next three days, no matter how much water I drink to try and combat the effects. But I have nothing on these lip balm addicts profiled by Kelsey Miller at Refinery29.

Apparently, lip balm addiction is a very real phenomenon. Dermatologist Dr. Janet Prystowsky told BuzzFeed that often people who become dependent on lip balm "develop a sensitivity to components in it. This sensitivity leads to a reaction in the lips that adds to a chapped feeling in their lips which makes them think they need to use more lip balm." For some, this dependence can seriously affect the quality of their daily lives. Take this testimony, which Miller culled from the website Lip Balm Anonymous (yes, it exists), a forum for those who suffer from extreme lip balm dependence:

I’ve been fired from my job at the call center. Every time I pick up the phone, I smear Chapstick on my face and the telephone. Struggling with this problem for all of my life has led me to accept that a day without [lip balm] could kill me. After trying to go cold turkey last week, I found myself running to a store at 2 a.m., unable to bear it any longer.

And you thought your love of EOS was bad. Miller also profiles comedian and writer Kerri Doherty, whose relationship with Burt's Bees Original Peppermint went from puppy-love to full on obsession. "If it became absorbed into my lips even a little bit, I would have to reapply. If I didn't, I would start licking, licking, licking my lips. I felt anxious and sick. It was all I could think about until I got some more."

Her wake-up call came during a work meeting when she had to literally flee in order to purchase some ChapStick from a nearby Duane Reade. When she returned to work the bemused looks of her coworkers alerted her to the fact that she had accidentally smeared a stick of sunblock all over her lips instead of balm.

So maybe it isn't the same as mainlining heroin on the regular (or, like, ever — don't use drugs, kids!). But a lip balm dependence, like Obsessive Compulsive Disorder, can seriously affect one's life and should be taken seriously. Head on over to Refinery29 to read the rest of Miller's article and learn more about lip balm addiction.

Images: Nakupenda/Fotolia; Giphy