Dry lips are more than a cosmetic problem
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Dry, chapped lips do more than mar an otherwise picturesque smile. Dry lips can be painful, especially when they crack and bleed. They tend to occur more often during the cold winter months, but sun exposure can also dry out a pout. “Lips are unbelievably thin, and unlike other areas of the skin, the lips have no oil glands so they tend to dry out easily,” says Sam Rizk, MD, a facial plastic surgeon in New York, NY. “The lip borders may become cracked and peel from excessive dryness caused by the weather, cold air, dry air, indoor heating, or exposure to chemicals and from certain medications.” Some of your habits and choices, even those you think are good for lip health, may be making matters worse. Read on to find out 7 reasons why your lips are dry and chapped.
Lip-drying mistake: Licking your lips
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It may seem counterintuitive, but licking your lips dries them out. “Saliva contains enzymes that dry out and irritate the skin of the lips,” says Neil Sadick, MD, founder and director of Sadick Dermatology and clinical professor of dermatology at Weill Cornell Medical College in New York, NY. Break the habit by choosing and using a moisturizing lip balm whenever you feel the urge to lick.