Your Chapped Or Flaky Lips Could Indicate More Than Just Superficial Damage!

From chap-sticks to lip-balms and lipsticks, we use a variety of products in an attempt to shield our beautiful lips from the weather and repair them simultaneously. Yet there are times when our lips refuse to cope with any of it and still continue to wear and tear, chapping and drying out! But, what if that is our body trying to convey a message to us?

Let's face it - the human body is all things wonderful and weird at the same time. Our body can hint us about our health in the subtlest of ways, so much so that we often fail to notice it. This article brings to you 9 possible conditions that your chapped lips could be trying to tell you. Read on to find out more!

9 Causes of Chapped Lips and How to Get Rid of Chapped Lips

Causes and How to Get Rid of Chapped Lips

1. Deficiency of iron, zinc and B vitamins
2. Dehydration
3. An allergic reaction
4. Kawasaki disease
5. Thyroid disorders
6. A yeast infection
7. Herpes
8. Impetigo
9. Sun damage

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1. Deficiency Of Iron, Zinc And B Vitamins

You might be giving your lips utmost care from the outside - using balms and other products that allegedly provide all-round protection of lips. But that is not just the case. What you eat and what nutrients get absorbed in your body also count. Iron, zinc and vitamin B complex are three of the most important nutrients our body requires to carry out everything right from our micro to macro-functions. A part of the B complex is Vitamin B2, more commonly known as riboflavin, a deficiency of which will cause your lips to swell up along with cracking and chapping. Hence, if and when you have dry and chapped lips, try eating vitamin-rich foods, especially riboflavin-rich foods like eggs.

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2. Dehydration

Now, this is a no-brainer. When the amount of water in our body reduces, almost all our biological functions start to get impaired. Lips are no exception to this. As we get dehydrated, our lips also tend to lose the water content and minerals, thereby becoming chapped, dry and often flaking out. If you're someone who's physically very active or have medical conditions like diabetes, you have a higher chance of getting dehydrated. Once again, the only way to protect your skin, as well as body, is to rehydrate yourself by drinking lots of water and replenishing your body with natural minerals. Stick to the good old ‘8 glasses of water a day' rule as much as possible.

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3. An Allergic Reaction

Our lips are sensitive areas which require a lot of care. But more often than not, we don't realize that until the condition is extreme and getting out of hand. Dryness and chapping may be your lips' way of showing you that some or the other product you're using or food you're consuming is not suitable for you. Certain medications can also have this effect. Allergic reactions around the mouth are usually manifested first on the lips as they are sensitive - making them dry, flaky and puffy. That's why you should not ignore it but take the necessary measures to curb the allergy or allergen.

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4. Kawasaki Disease

Chapped lips could be an indication of this very dangerous disease which must be treated as soon as possible, else it may turn lethal. The largest incidence of this dangerous disease has been seen in infants and kids. Kawasaki disease or KD is a type of illness which causes the blood vessels to swell and cause problems with the lymph nodes.

If untreated, it may go on to in turn cause heart diseases in the patient. Although lethal, this condition can be treated with timely diagnosis and proper care. That is why you should not ignore yours or your child's chapped lips. Some other symptoms of the disease include rashes and peeling skin, fever, redness and swelling in the eyes, hands and feet or even tongue, throat-irritation, etc.

If you doubt someone close to you is suffering from the condition, ask them to seek professional medical help.

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5. Thyroid Disorders

Do you know why thyroid disorder is considered one among the most dreaded diseases? This is because it cannot be diagnosed properly, especially during the initial stages. Once detected, it is not easy to manage either. Hypothyroidism is one such condition which causes your lips to chap and dry. When our thyroid gland falls short of making the required amount of hormone, it is called as hypothyroidism.

In this condition, the top layer of the skin becomes thicker, you start itching that part of the skin which eventually becomes dry. Dry and chapped lips may be an indication that it is the onset of your thyroid disorder or that it has already begun. Hence, consult your doctor immediately.

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6. A Yeast Infection

If you've ever had a yeast infection, you'd know it isn't such a pleasant experience to go through. The fact that yeast can sometimes grow uncontrollably at a fast pace is also no consolation, right? Saliva is one such thing which can act as a catalyst in triggering that sort of fast multiplication and if you have a yeast infection around your mouth, you already know your lips are in for some bashing.

If you have chapped lips, especially with little cracks near the corner of your mouth, then chances are that you have or are about to have a yeast infection. In such a situation, it's best to avoid licking your lips and the areas around it so as to prevent saliva from aggravating the situation.

Drinking lots of water and keeping yourself hydrated are important preventive measures you must follow. Although if you encounter excessive redness and chapping as a result of the infection, do consult your doctor at the earliest.

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7. Herpes

Even though Herpes is an STD (sexually transmitted disease) and isn't usually characterized by chapping of the lips, there are still chances that your lips indicate an underlying Herpes infection. Cold sores are a more common occurrence with Herpes - they are much more painful and may cause blisters on the skin.
Although don't brush the possibility under the carpet. If your lips are flaking out way too much or are uncontrollably chapped, it is highly advisable to consult a doctor. Better be safe than sorry!

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8. Impetigo

This must be a comparatively new term for a lot of us. Impetigo is actually an infection caused by bacteria which can show up on any part of our body, but it has been commonly observed around nose or mouth, on the arms or buttocks. To make matters worse, it sometimes itches and itching only intensifies the infection, spreading it further on the skin.

You might have seen cases with stacks of little red spots or blisters on a person's skin around the mouth. Dry and chapped lips could indicate Impetigo and hence, you must take necessary measures to avoid it at all costs and nip it in the bud before it takes root.

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9. Sun Damage

The atmosphere and weather around us also significantly affect our bodies - both externally and internally. We all have suffered sun damage on our skins to some extent, isn't it? If once it was a tan, another time it was a burn. Hence, it is clear how adversely the sun can affect the lips.

During the harsh winters, the sun along with the winds causes our lips to dry out and chap, sometimes to the extent that it becomes extremely painful. If you're going through the same, make sure you use a good-quality lip product to keep it from chapping. But if your condition does not improve, do schedule a visit to the doctor.


The health of your lips could point out to other underlying health issues and hence, it should not be ignored. It could be something as simple as dehydration to something as serious as thyroid disorders or Kawasaki disease, but why afford loss when you can always prevent it with timely diagnosis?

At the end of the day, it is only a qualified medical practitioner who can examine you and confirm the presence or absence of these medical conditions. So keep the apple away and visit your doctor today!

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