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How to get rid of chapped lips

Close-up of a person drinking water.

Chapped lips are common. The condition can be caused by the weather, licking your lips, foods, and certain lip product ingredients. Learn how chapped lips occur, and what you can do to heal them.

What are chapped lips?

Chapped or cracked lips are terms commonly used to describe dry or peeling lips. Dryness, redness, itchiness, flakes, and cracking are common symptoms of chapped lips.

Related: How to care for sensitive skin


There are many reasons your lips can become chapped. Be sure to consult with your doctor to address your concerns.

Your lips don't contain oil glands like other parts of your skin, which means they can dry out and crack easier. The following are reasons your lips may get dry, and common causes of chapped lips: 

  • Licking your lips.
  • Not drinking enough water.
  • Not using a good lip balm.
  • Breathing through your mouth.
  • Contact with irritants or allergens.
  • Eating lots of salty or spicy foods.
  • Using medications that dry out your lips.
  • Lack of vitamins.

5 methods for relief

Often, chapped lips will heal on their own. However, there are many things that you can do to heal and prevent dry and cracked lips. The following are 5 ways to help:

1. Start with lip balm. The first step to take is to apply an unscented and unflavored lip balm. A gentle lip balm will moisturize your lips and allow them to heal.

2. Hydrate and use a humidifier. Water has a ton of benefits, so drink plenty of water. You can also use a humidifier to provide moisture to your lips while your indoors.

3. Leave your lips alone. When your lips are dry or chapped, leave them alone so they can heal. Don't peel, bite, or exfoliate them because it'll cause more irritation.

4. Try a natural remedy. Aloe vera, coconut oil, honey, and green tea can help your lips heal. The great thing is that you find these items in your kitchen or at the grocery store.

5. Stay inside. Avoid excessive sun exposure, and going out in cold weather. (Source: MedlinePlus)

Frequently asked questions

Do lip balms with plumping ingredients cause dry lips?

Yes, they do. According to Dr. Adam Friedman, lip balms that claim to help your lips look bigger have irritants that increase blood flow and cause it to swell. 

Can chapped lips be a sign of something serious?

If your lips are constantly chapped and won't heal, it can be a sign of a serious medical condition. Contact your doctor immediately to get treatment and care.

What are the most important vitamins for chapped lips?

A sufficient amount of iron and B vitamins are the most important (Source: Can Fam Physician).

Bottom line

Chapped lips can be painful, unattractive, and annoying. Learning how to treat dry lips quickly will help relieve your lips and allow them to heal. Also, be sure to apply lip balm regularly to avoid dry lips in the future.

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Featured image courtesy of Pexels.