Prevent Chapped Lips This Winter

Dry, cracked lips are painful and unappealing. Here are some tips to help keep your lips hydrated, so you’ll be ready for all those kissable moments under the mistletoe.

Why do my lips crack?

The cool weather can dry out your lips and cause them to peel. The raw skin can break apart and cause cracking, roughness, or bleeding. Since your lips are always exposed to wind, sun, and saliva, they’re prone to dehydration. The skin on your lips is also thinner than on other parts of the body, and it has no oil glands to secrete protective oils.

How can I prevent chapped lips?

  • Exfoliate: After you’re done brushing your teeth and tongue, rub your toothbrush gently along your lips. The bristles will exfoliate your skin to help keep it smooth. Facial exfoliators can also be used on your lips. Exfoliating your lips will remove dead, dry skin.
  • Moisturize: A lip balm with beeswax, shea butter, or petroleum jelly is best for keeping your lips hydrated. Beware of common lip care ointments like Carmex and Blistex, because they can actually remove the moisturizing layer of skin on your lips, so you feel like you need to constantly reapply the product.
  • Drink water: Water will help keep your body and skin hydrated, which might prevent your lips from cracking and chapping.
  • Don’t lick: Licking your lips will actually leave them drier than before. As saliva dries, it damages the protective layer of skin and dehydrates your lips. You should also try to breathe through your nose to prevent constantly drying out your lips with breathing.
  • Humidifier: Using a humidifier indoors can moisten the dry indoor air and help keep your skin hydrated.
  • Sunblock: Your lips lack melanin to protect them from sunlight. Apply a sunblock product to your lips to prevent sunburn and further dryness.
  • Avoid lipstick: If your lips are chapped, leave off the lipstick for a few days. Matte lipsticks are very drying. Look for lip products with vitamin E or glycerin, or combine lipstick with a moisturizing lip balm.

Healthy, beautiful lips will always be ready for the mistletoe and holiday smiles. To make sure your breath and teeth are also ready for action, visit Dr. DeFinnis. Contact Back Mountain Dental in Trucksville, PA at 570-763-4360 to request an appointment. We welcome patients from Scranton, Wilkes-Barre, and the surrounding communities.

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