Chapped lips is the common term for lips that have become dry, cracked and painful. This very common ailment isn't serious, but it can be painful and uncomfortable. It may lead to difficulty eating, drinking and speaking.
The lips may look dry and red. They may or may not be painful. The lips may crack, split or bleed. Pain may be continuous and can become stronger when the lips come in contact with certain foods or moisture.
Chapped lips are caused by a loss of moisture. Exposure to sun, cold, dry air or wind can deplete the natural oils in the lips. The problem seem to be more of an issue in the cold of winter and the heat of summer. Do you ever wonder why licking your lips never seems to fix the problem? Wetting the lips repeatedly also dries them out because the saliva evaporates quickly and digests the thin membrane that covers the lips, making them drier than before. Dehydration, poor diet or a lack of B vitamins or essential fatty acids can also cause dry lips. Allergies to the dyes in lipsticks can also contribute to this condition.
Severe cracking can lead to infections. If you notice any signs of infection like swelling, feeling hot or abscesses forming, seek immediate medical attention. Determine the cause of chapped lips, especially in the elderly. If it is due to dehydration, increase the intake of water. In severe cases of dehydration, hospitalization may be required.
Herbal treatment for internal focuses on nourishing & detoxifying the body.
Some herbs can be good sources of natural oils that can be mixed to make a good quality, natural application to treat chapped lips. 2 teaspoons of aloe vera gel with 2 drops of chamomile oil and 2 drops of geranium oil will make an effective application. You can experiment with the exact amount of each of the oils until you find one that suits you best.