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Chapped Lips : Lips Become Chapped and Dry Skin
What is going on in the body?The surface of the skin holds a certain amount of water. When the water content decreases, the skin becomes dry, itchy, and uncomfortable. Some people have extremely sensitive skin that is easily irritated. Since a person's lips are often exposed to elements such as cold and moisture, the lips may become irritated before other parts of the body do.
What are the signs and symptoms of the condition?Lips that are chapped usually have the following qualities: · roughness · dryness · redness · peeling · cracking · sensitivity · tenderness
What are the causes and risks of the condition?Some individuals have a genetic predisposition to dry skin. As people age, their skin tends to become drier. Dry air, resulting from winter's low humidity and the use of indoor heat, can cause skin to dry out. Long, hot baths and showers can also make skin dry.
Following are factors that increase a person's risk of chapped lips: · prolonged exposure to cold, dry weather · sunburn or windburn · smoking · a history of a skin disorder, such as eczema · a habit of licking the lips frequently · certain medications, such as those used to treat acne · allergic reactions to cosmetics or skin care products · dehydration
What can be done to prevent the condition?Some cases of chapped lips can be avoided by eliminating the cause of the condition. For example, chapping from an allergic reaction to a skin care product will go away when the individual stops using the product. Other measures to prevent chapped lips include the following: · avoiding frequent licking of the lips · avoiding unnecessary exposure to cold weather, sun, or wind · applying lip balm frequently · eliminating any skin care products that may be triggering an allergic reaction · avoiding smoking · drinking plenty of water
What are the treatments for the condition?Chapped lips are treated the same way they are prevented, following the guidelines for avoiding exposure to the elements.
What are the side effects of the treatments?There are no side effects to treatment, unless an individual is allergic to lip balm. Those individuals should choose unscented or hypoallergenic products.
What happens after treatment for the condition?After chapped lips heal, no further treatment is needed.
How is the condition monitored?Any new or worsening symptoms should be reported to the healthcare provider.
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