Chapped lips, also known as cheilitis, are a form of inflammation that makes the lips to crack, peel or fissure. This makes even the least of lips’ movements uncomfortable and painful. Failure to seek treatment early may progress the condition to a chronic stage where they become extremely painful and bleeding can also start. The condition is characterized by dry lips, cracking or pain whenever the lips are strained, like when eating.

5 Shocking Things That Can Cause Chapped Lips

Chapped Lips Causes

Chapped lips can be triggered by a number of factors. They range from the simple habits like smoking to serious conditions, such as skin issues. Staying in the know may help you determine what is causing your chapped lips. Some of these possible causes of chapped lips include:

1. Dehydration

So many times you have been advised to drink sufficient amounts of water for you to stay healthy. But how many times have you followed this advice? Well, as it turns out, dehydration might be the cause of your chapped lips. From science, you will learn that unlike any other part of the skin, lips do not have oil glands. This means that they can’t stay moisturized on their own. When your body is hydrated, then they are moisturized in the process. Take sufficient amount of water (at least eight glasses of clean water per day) and indulge in foods that have high water content such as watermelons. I need not to mention all the other myriad benefits of staying hydrated.  

2. Inhaling from the mouth

Yes, you heard it right. When you keep your mouth open and use it to breathe (for too long), then the passing air makes the lips to dry out quickly. This especially affects people who have nasal allergic reactions and congestion problems. Until the condition is healed, be sure to keep your lips hydrated both from the inside and the outside (by applying lip balm). The same advice applies to people who snore as they sleep. Keeping your mouth open all night long is bound to leave you with chapped lips in the morning.

3. Licking the lips

Experts say it takes 21 days to break a habit. If you have the habit of licking your lips, then your 21 days should start right now. The thing is, if you are always licking your lips, they become dry. If you lick them again, then they become drier than they had been; and the cycle continues. This may be attributed to the fact that saliva is not a moisturizer and dries out very fast leaving the lips yearning for some moisture. Biting, chewing and picking lips will also cause the same condition, and in worse situation trigger bleeding. As I said, if you want to have beautiful lips, then you need to drop the licking habit.

4. Your Everyday Toothpaste

This will definitely come as a surprise to many. What you need to realize is that some ingredients found in most toothpastes are not gentle on the lips. Take sodium lauryl sulfate for example. You will find it in most toothpaste products even though it has been associated with lip irritation. Alcoholic ingredients found in the toothpaste can as well trigger chapped lips. To counter this, change your usual toothpaste to a different one. Ensure you know the ingredients they contain and their possible side effects.  

5. Overexposure to the Sun

The same way you apply sunscreen to the skin to protect it from the harmful sun’s UV rays, should be the same for your lips. Okay, you don’t apply sun screen to the lips but a moisturizer. The lips have a very delicate skin that needs to be looked after all the time. Invest in a good lip plumper or lip balm that you should apply before stepping out into the open.  The same procedure should be applied at all times including winter. If your house is too dry, use a humidifier to moisten up the air. This is good for healing chapped lips by keeping them moisturized.

Apart from applying moisturizers on the lips, you also need to watch what you eat. When you lack some nutrients in the body, you may suffer from chapped lips. Eat plenty of fruits and vegetables often to get a good supply of nutrients for the day. However, don’t eat too much of the citrus fruits as they may cause chapped lips. The acidic content in most of these fruits can cause chapped lips. Excess intake of vitamin A will also trigger the same effects. If you are taking more than 25000 IU per day, then you need to lower your dosage.


Most people suffer from chapped lips. By knowing what is causing you condition, then you will be able to deal with it effectively. The above guide will help you through. Don’t forget to keep your body hydrated always and take other possible remedies for curing chapped lips. Seek the help of a doctor if your condition doesn’t improve.

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