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How Do I Prevent Chapped Lips?

Lip balm may offer some relief from chapped lips.
Some lipsticks contain moisturizers and sunscreens, which can help protect the lips from chapping.
A woman with chapped lips.
Article Details
  • Written By: Lainie Petersen
  • Edited By: Melissa Wiley
  • Last Modified Date: 28 July 2014
  • Copyright Protected:
    2003-2014
    Conjecture Corporation
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Preventing chapped lips is typically a matter of choosing and regularly using a good lip balm. Other things that you can do to keep your lips in good condition include avoiding lip products and cosmetics that irritate your lips and addressing certain behaviors, such as mouth breathing and habitual lip licking. If you notice that your efforts to prevent chapped lips are ineffective, you should speak to a doctor about your concerns.

Perhaps the easiest way to treat chapped lips is by keeping them moist through the use of a lip balm or moisturizer. When choosing a lip balm, read its label carefully. If you know that you are sensitive to any of its ingredients, don't buy or use it. Both beeswax and petroleum can make excellent bases for lip balm, as they can seal in moisture, protecting the lips against drying winds. Keep in mind that both flavors and fragrances can irritate your lips and that flavored lip balm may actually contribute to an unconscious tendency to repeatedly lick your lips, making your problem worse. Another consideration should be protecting your lips against the sun. Lips have very little natural protection against ultra violet (UV) radiation, so choosing a lip balm with a good sunscreen can go a long way toward keeping your lips in good shape.

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If you wear lipstick or lip gloss on a regular basis and have a problem with chapped lips, you may wish to investigate whether cosmetics are contributing to your problem. Sensitivity to the dyes or other ingredients used in these products can cause chapped lips. Try not wearing any lip cosmetics for a few days to see if your lips improve. If they do, you may wish to switch the brand of lipstick that you use. If you use multiple brands, you may have to try wearing a different lipstick or lip gloss for a day or two at a time to determine whether it is causing your chapped lips.

Some behaviors can contribute to chapped lips, including licking your lips as a nervous habit. Unfortunately, by repeatedly wetting your lips, you can cause them to dry out as your saliva evaporates. Mouth breathing can also contribute to chapped lips, though this may be unavoidable if you have a sinus infection or cold that results in a stuffy nose. Finally, if you live in a particularly dry climate, try using a humidifier in your home to keep the air in your environment moist.

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