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Chapped Lips and Dehydration

Are you fed up with chapped or cracked lips? Does it hurt to smile because your lips are so dry? 

There are lots of ways to address this frustrating feeling, but focusing on hydration can be one of the best and easiest first steps. 

Not sure what chapped lips and dehydration have to do with each other? Need help moisturizing your lips once and for all? 

Read on to learn everything you need to know.

 

 

Chapped Lips and Dehydration

Dehydration is often the first culprits for experiencing chapped lips. When your body is lacking in fluids, your lips are one of the first places to show that you need some extra moisture in your life.

winter time woman covering mouth

Chapped lips in winter have a particularly strong link to dehydration. When the cold weather sets in, the air also tends to get dryer. With a lack of humidity, dry air will pull moisture from your body, including from your lips. Cold weather can also suppress your body’s thirst signals. This, in turn, can lead to drinking less water, which increases your risk of becoming dehydrated.

 

 

Other Causes of Chapped Lips

In addition to dehydration, there are plenty of other issues that can cause chapped lips, including the following:

 

Nutrient Deficiencies

Certain nutrient deficiencies have been linked to dry, chapped lips. If your diet is low in any of the following vitamins and minerals, you might be more prone to chapped lips, as well as other health problems:

 

  • Iron: Iron plays a role in skin health and wound healing; iron deficiency anemia can also cause a condition called angular cheilitis, which causes the sides of the mouth to become dry and inflamed [1]
  • Zinc: Zinc deficiency affects skin health and can cause dryness, especially around the mouth [2]
  • B Vitamins: If you’re deficient in vitamin B9 (folate), vitamin B2 (riboflavin), vitamin B12 (cobalamin), or vitamin B6 (pyridoxine), you might develop dry or chapped lips [3,4,5,6]

 

Fortunately, there are some products available (like our delicious IMMUNITY Lemon Ginger) that are both hydrating and include vitamins like Vitamin B12 so you can get hydrated and support your vitamin intake.

 

Hot Weather

Chapped lips in winter are to be expected. Chapping can occur at any time of the year, though. This includes during the summer months. 

If you’re located in a hot place and are out in the sun often, you might be more prone to chapped lips. Your lips can get sunburned and dry out, especially if you’re in a place that’s hot and dry (remember, dry air pulls water from your body, including your lips).

 

Sun Exposure

sunlight

If you’re regularly exposed to the sun or spend a lot of time outdoors (regardless of the weather), it’s always a good idea to apply a lip balm that contains sunscreen. Your lips are part of your skin, after all. Cover them up just like you would any other part of your body that’s exposed to the elements on a regular basis.

 

Mouth Breathing

When you breathe with your mouth open, your lips are potentially more prone to dryness and chapping. This is especially true if you breathe with your mouth open while you sleep.

 

There are lots of reasons why someone might breathe through their mouth, including the following [7]:

 

  • Allergies
  • Asthma
  • Deviated septum
  • Enlarged tonsils
  • A history of finger or thumb-sucking
  • Sinus polyps
  • Birth defects

 

Do any of these sound familiar? If so, it may be a good idea to check in with your primary care provider to address them. 

 

 

How to Help Chapped Lips

Chapped lips are a pain (sometimes literally, especially when they crack). The good news, though, is that there are lots of strategies you can use to get rid of this issue. Here are some of the most effective ones:

 

Stay Hydrated

Hydration is one of the most important things to prioritize if you’re struggling with chapped lips.

Make sure you’re drinking lots of water every day. You can keep a water bottle on hand or set reminders on your phone so you don’t forget to drink. If it’s chilly where you are, consider adding in some soups and/or broths into your day for some hydrating and warming liquids to help with hydration.

 

Get Enough Electrolytes

In addition to consuming plenty of fluids, make sure you’re also getting enough electrolytes. If you aren’t consuming enough potassium, magnesium, or sodium, you could still be prone to dehydration even if you’re technically drinking lots of water. 

If you have a hard time drinking plain water and need more electrolytes in your life, try adding a flavored electrolyte mix to your water bottle. This gives you a nice flavor boost and helps you meet your daily mineral needs.

 

Apply Lip Balm

Lip balm can work wonders for soothing dry, chapped lips and restoring moisture. A great idea is to keep a tube or container of lip balm on hand at all times and apply it liberally throughout the day. Try to be proactive when you can and apply it before your lips feel dry, too. This will help to prevent dryness and chapping from occurring in the first place.

lipbalm

When shopping for the best lip balm for winter chapped lips (or chapped lips at any time of the year), some great moisturizing ingredients to look out for are:

 

  • Shea Butter
  • Cocoa Butter
  • Beeswax
  • Sweet Almond Oil
  • Macadamia Oil
  • Jojoba Oil
  • Tocopherol (Vitamin E)

 

Ingredients like menthol, camphor, mineral oil, lanolin, and petroleum can be irritating and might make chapping worse.

 

Take Care Not to Lick and Pick

Resist (though it’s hard) the urge to lick or pick at your lips. When they’re chapped or dry, it’s tempting to do this to try and restore some moisture or get rid of the flaky skin. This will often just make the problem worse, though. 

When you feel the urge to lick or pick at your lips, apply some lip balm instead. This will provide some much-needed moisture and can soothe any discomfort you may be feeling.

 

Use a Humidifier

If you live in a place with very dry air, using a humidifier can help to make up for it. Run it while you’re sleeping to keep your lips (and the rest of your skin) moisturized. A humidifier can also help with mouth breathing at night, too.

 

Cover Your Lips in Cold Weather

If you have to go out when the weather turns cold, consider covering your lips with a scarf. This will help to reduce exposure to the cold air, which can help minimize chapping. As an added bonus, it also helps to keep your face extra warm!

 

 

Say Goodbye to Chapped Lips Today

It doesn’t matter if you’re dealing with winter chapped lips or chapped lips at any other time during the year. Either way, these suggestions are great steps to add into your routine. Give them a try today to restore moisture and restore your smile!

 

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Lime
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Caffeinated Variety
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Variety
Watermelonade
Blood Orange
Lime
Grapefruit
Lemonade
Iced Tea Lemonade
Fruit Punch
Pink Grapefruit
Orange Mango
Caffeinated Variety
Raspberry Lemonade
Orange
Lemon
Lemon Ginger
Hot Apple Cider

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Sources 

[1] Wright, J. A., Richards, T., & Srai, S. K. (2014). The role of iron in the skin and cutaneous wound healing. Frontiers in pharmacology, 5, 156. https://doi.org/10.3389/fphar.2014.00156
[2] Maxfield L, Crane JS. Zinc Deficiency. [Updated 2020 Jul 2]. In: StatPearls [Internet]. Treasure Island (FL): StatPearls Publishing; 2020 Jan-. Available from: https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/books/NBK493231/
[3] Federico JR, Basehore BM, Zito PM. Angular Cheilitis. [Updated 2020 Sep 29]. In: StatPearls [Internet]. Treasure Island (FL): StatPearls Publishing; 2020 Jan-. Available from: https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/books/NBK536929/
[4] Peechakara BV, Gupta M. Vitamin B2 (Riboflavin) [Updated 2020 Jun 25]. In: StatPearls [Internet]. Treasure Island (FL): StatPearls Publishing; 2020 Jan-. Available from: https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/books/NBK525977/
[5] Kim, J., Kim, M. J., & Kho, H. S. (2016). Oral manifestations in vitamin B12 deficiency patients with or without history of gastrectomy. BMC oral health, 16(1), 60. https://doi.org/10.1186/s12903-016-0215-y
[6] Brown MJ, Ameer MA, Beier K. Vitamin B6 Deficiency. [Updated 2020 Oct 3]. In: StatPearls [Internet]. Treasure Island (FL): StatPearls Publishing; 2020 Jan-. Available from: https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/books/NBK470579/
[7] Mouth breathing: Causes, symptoms, and complications. Medical News Today. https://www.medicalnewstoday.com/articles/319487