Peeling lips

Peeling lips can cause profound annoyance. Not just this, it may also sometimes indicate an underlying health condition that needs to be addressed. Dry, peeling lips aren’t fun, and there are numerous things you can do about them, provided you get through to the root of the cause. And astonishingly, there can be several potential causes of peeling lips.

Top 08 Signs Your Peeling Lips Are More Serious Than You Might Think

Very dehydrated lips can be the result of common causes such as frequent lip licking, eating salty foods, to more serious health conditions such as allergic reaction, sunburn, or skin cancer. And sometimes lips peeling is just a side effect of using harsh makeup on your lips. 

The crux of the matter is that dry, peeling lips could be caused due to a plethora of factors, and it's crucial to be able to tell the difference between usual lip dryness and something more serious. Let’s discuss what causes of peeling lips can be resolved from drinking water and using a lip balm and what causes need to be checked out by a medical professional.

Why Are You Lips Peeling So Much?

Chances are your lips are naturally dry, and there’s nothing to worry much about. Since your lips don’t have oil glands, it could be very difficult for your lips to retain moisture. The absence of oil glands also implies that your lips don’t produce natural moisturizing elements that are essential to keep your skin’s outer layer hydrated and protected. 

Lips are naturally way too sensitive than the rest of your skin, and any dryness is likely to be combated with a few strokes of your favorite lip balm regularly. If nothing seems to improve even after consistent use of lip balm, consult your doctor and determine the underlying cause of your peeling lips.

That being said, there are plenty of other reasons why your lips may be peeling so much. Let’s walk you through each one of them in brief:

1. You eat lots of spicy and/or salty foods every day

Are you a big fan of junk foods like chips or pretzels? They could be the culprit of your peeling lips. Salty foods, especially those having lots of salt on the top, can touch your lips and affect your skin over there. Salt retains water, so salty foods can absorb water off your lips and dry them out. Likewise, spicy foods can also cause water loss and skin irritation. 

Avoid salty and spicy foods for a while and allow your lips to heal by using a paraffin-based lip balm.

2. You lick your lips quite often

Saliva comprises enzymes that are meant to break down proteins, fats, and carbohydrates, which are what your lips are composed of. When you are licking your lips, you are literally digesting your lips, which is the worst thing one could ever do for lips.

Avoid lip-licking as much as possible. Keep a lip balm always in your purse or pocket, and apply it on your lips whenever you feel the urge to lick.

3. Your peeling lips are a result of excessive sun exposure

Your lips already lack the top layer of the skin that has built-in UV protection. So, if you are out in the sun without any SPF lip balm on, your lips can peel easily. Additionally, inflammation caused due to sunburn can leave your lips dry and peeling as your skin cells turn over and try to restore.

You can try some of your usual home remedies for sunburn for chapped lips or take anti-inflammatory medications such as Advil or Motrin.

Also Read: Battling Chapped Lips Effectively

4. Any of your current medications are responsible for your peeling lips

Some medications easily cause dry, peeling lips. This is common for many people who use acne medications. Keep a lip balm always with you and use them so often that the people in your surroundings start inquiring about it!

5. You have a vitamin deficiency

Vitamin B deficiency can lead to dry, cracked, and peeling lips. And worse? A similar-looking red rash often accompanies them. 

Your doctor will take your blood test to determine what vitamin you are deficient in and prescribe appropriate dietary changes and supplements to overcome your deficiency.

6. You have actinic cheilitis

Actinic cheilitis occurs when your lips have been damaged from chronic exposure to the sun so much that it can’t repair itself. Older adults are more susceptible to actinic cheilitis than younger individuals. Suh type of long-term sun exposure can also lead to skin cancer.

Treating actinic cheilitis involves topical field therapy or photodynamic light therapy to either generate an immune response or destroy damaged skin cells. But first, your healthcare provider will diagnose you via a skin biopsy.

7. You have lichen planus

This is an inflammatory condition that causes itchy, purple bumps on the body, but it can also appear on the lips. When it does, it generally shows up as brownish or purple cracked areas on the lips. Your doctor may prescribe an anti-inflammatory or topical steroid to help you recover from the condition.

8. You have an allergy or contact dermatitis

An allergic reaction will not only cause peeling lips but also swelling and a diffused redness around your lips. It could also be itchy rather than scaly. This is often due to any s[ecific ingredient in your skincare, makeup, or even toothpaste. There are two common allergens called cinnamic acid or cinnamon derivatives, which cause irritating lips most often. 

On the other hand, irritant contact dermatitis is caused due to friction on the lips, usually brought on by metal dental implants such as retainers. 

Consult your doctor and get an oral or topical medication prescribed for you.