Showing dry, irritated, chapped or even bloody lips is a rather common ailment, especially during seasons characterized by extreme, hot or cold temperatures.
However, it is a symptom that is as annoying as it is easily manageable with a few precautions that can be taken to prevent or resolve acute episodes.
Dry and chapped lips
The remedy of choice is obviously the regular use of a cocoa butter, which acts both as a prevention (creating a protective layer, which isolates from the environment) and as a treatment (softening cracks). Finally, there are forms and formulations, so it may be necessary to try more than one before identifying the most suitable one (some sensitive subjects could, for example, suffer from the presence of perfumes or other ingredients*). The application should be repeated several times a day and then again before sleeping. Whenever possible it would be advisable to wash your hands before applying.
Cover your lips with a scarf in case of exposure to cold.
In the hot season, or in the presence of conditions of strong sun exposure (high mountains, warmer latitudes) prefer formulations characterized by a sun protection factor of at least 30.
Drink abundant quantities of water every day and consume foods that are rich in it (fruit and vegetables above all) to effectively prevent dehydration.
Avoid wetting the lips with saliva, because this habit can drastically worsen the symptom (when the lips are dry it may seem natural and a source of relief to wet them by licking them, but this can worsen the problem because the subsequent evaporation of the saliva makes them even drier lips).
Do not try to remove any dry skin that tends to form on chapped lips.
Use a humidifier in your home, bedroom, especially if you breathe through your mouth at night.
*Many people mistake the appearance of symptoms such as burning or tingling at the time of application as a sign of the effectiveness of the product, when they are instead symptoms of irritation of the lips.
WHEN TO SEE A DOCTOR
It is recommended to consult a doctor in the absence of results after 2-3 weeks (it could be an allergic reaction from contact to make-up, detergents, …) or in the presence of abnormal symptoms, such as:
severe pain and swelling (could be a sign of infection)
blisters (could be cold sores )
non-healing cuts on the sides of the mouth (could be angular cheilitis ).
The lips do not contain sebaceous glands like other parts of the skin, this means that they are more prone to dryness and cracking because they are not covered with a thin layer of sebum capable of retaining moisture.
However, it is interesting to note that the problem occurs only in some subjects and not in others.