Why Do Lips Get Chapped When You're Sick?

Dealing with cracked or chapped lips can be quite annoying. The condition is quite common and is usually the result of a change in the weather. You may develop this problem when you are taking antibiotics or certain medications. It could also be the result of licking your lips too often. The same may be the case when you are sick, and this makes people ask why.

Why Do Lips Get Chapped When You're Sick?

Unlike other parts of your skin, your lips do not have any oil glands. When you are dehydrated, your lips will become dry, and your body tends to get dehydrated when you are sick. Similarly, your skin is already dry during the winter season, and you are at an increased risk of becoming dehydrated if you catch a cold as well. Cold symptoms, like nasal congestion can make you breathe through your mouth, which can also cause chapped, flaked lips. In short, dehydration is the reason why your lips get chapped when you're sick.

Can Chapped Lips Indicate Something Serious?

Why do lips get chapped when you're sick? You already know the answer, but you may be wondering if your chapped, flaked lips indicate something serious as well. As mentioned already, dehydration can make your lips to lose moisture, which in turn will lead to dry, chapped lips. However, your dry lips may sometimes indicate a more serious problem, especially when you have other symptoms as well. For instance, you are likely to have Kawasaki disease if you have dry lips along with symptoms like a fever, swollen lymph nodes, red eyes, red skin on your feet and hands, and red tongue. It commonly affects young children and may lead to heart problems as well.

Your cracked lips may also indicate a deficiency of B-vitamins. It could be the result of a folic acid deficiency. Similarly, you may develop chapped lips when you are deficient in riboflavin. You may develop a vitamin deficiency when you are old or have alcohol dependence.

Your chapped lips could also be the result of an allergy. You have swollen lips when you develop an allergic reaction. That swelling can cause the skin of your lips to peel and crack. You may be allergic to any substance – some people are allergic to a specific food, while others are allergic to dust. Wearing a lipstick can also trigger an allergic reaction and leave you with chapped lips. You should consider talking to your doctor if you have chapped lips along with other symptoms.

Caring Tips for Chapped Lips

It is natural to have chapped lips when you are sick, but other environmental factors can also cause all sorts of problems. You can take a number of steps to prevent and treat your chapped lips. For instance:

  • Protect your lips in cold, dry weather. Be sure to use olive oil to keep your lips moist. With its powerful moisturizing properties, olive oil works amazingly well to lock moisture in your lips and keep them healthy.
  • Make use of some high quality lip balm to keep your lips moist. You should apply it several times a day to soothe away the pain.
  • Increase your intake of water to prevent dehydration. Ideally, you should drink no less than 8 glasses of water a day – you may need more if you are a physically active person or engage in strenuous exercise.
  • Treat vitamin deficiency. As mentioned already, a deficiency of B-vitamins can cause chapped lips, so it may be a good idea to increase your intake of fruits and vegetables to get enough B-vitamins. Be sure to opt for fresh produce and eat raw veggies to load up on vitamins.
  • Avoid licking your lips frequently. When you have dry lips, it is difficult to resist the temptation to lick your lips. But, you should push yourself and make a conscious effort to avoid licking your lips as much as possible. When you lick your lip, the moisture will evaporate in the air, making your lips even drier.
  • Consider exfoliating your lips regularly. Exfoliation can help remove dead skin cells and leave your skin fresh and healthy. Simply apply some lip balm to your toothbrush and rub it on your lips. Be sure to rub softly in a circular motion to get rid of dead cells. Exfoliate for a couple of minutes and do not forget to apply some lip balm after you are done.
  • Limit your exposure to allergens. If you know you have an allergy, take steps to avoid those allergens as much as possible.
  • Be very careful when wearing lipstick. It is worth mentioning that wearing a right type of lipstick can actually help prevent dry lips, but using a wrong one could lead to an allergic reaction. Be sure to check the ingredients of your lipstick to ensure you do not end up making your lips even drier.
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