Dry lips are not only annoying but also offer a poor aesthetic image. Dry lips are common in many individuals at some point in their lives. The cure for dry lips is difficult and thus preventive measures are the best way to avoid the condition. For those who have dry lips, one should immediately start self care methods such as:
Cold Weather: winter is the most common time when individuals develop dry lips. Avoid going out in dry, cold weather without putting on some type of lip wax, balm or lipstick.
Avoid the sun: The rays of the sun can damage the lips and cause development of lines, wrinkling and drying. For those prone to dry lips, avoid the sun or if you are going out often wear a sunscreen based lip balm. There are many lip balms available and those with an SPF > 15 are most effective. There are lips balms available today with a variety of colors and flavors.
Toothpaste: There are a variety of chemicals in your toothpaste like sodium lauryl sulfate. This detergent chemical can be very harsh on the lips. It can cause intense drying of the lip skin. The product is also known to cause contact dermatitis in some individuals. So read the labels on the toothpaste and buy one which is free of this detergent.
Hydration: For those individuals who have persistent dryness, hydration is necessary not only for the lips but for the entire body skin. Drying causes the lips to crack and form painful sores.
Home: If the humidity is low in your house, keep the environment humid and sleep in a cool room
Exercise: If you exercise and are always dehydrated, keep a lip emollient handy and apply it liberally prior to any exercise
Glycolic acid. This alpha hydroxyl acid is known to keep the lips moist and hydrated. However, excessive use of this agent can also result in lip dryness.
Wax: There are many lip wax products. These should be used liberally and frequently through out the day. These help prevent the lips from getting dry and cracking up.
Other compounds which are effective in preventing dry lips are beeswax and petrolatum
(Vaseline). These compounds can be applied at night and the rapidly reverse the condition.
Lipsticks: Today there are many lipsticks and lip gloss which also provide a protective barrier to the lips from getting excessively dry. Use a lip stick and bedsides protecting your lips, you will also look more attractive.
Cosmetics: It you have dry lips, you should avoid excessive use of heavily scented and flavored lips balms and other creams. These will only irritate your lips further and may even cause a contact dermatitis.
Topical steroids: when the lip drying is severe and associate with cracking of the skin, a short course of a mild over the counter topical corticosteroid can be very helpful. The steroid not only decreases the redness and pain, it also prevents further drying of the skin. In most cases, a 5-10 day treatment of a topical corticosteroid will suffice.