If Your Lips Are Always Chapped You May Have This Scary Condition

Get thee to the doctor!

Peeling Or Chapped Lips? Something You Eat Might Be To Blame Cheangchai Noojuntuk / 123RF

During the winter months, chapped lips come with the territory.

The cold air whips across our mouths leaving that delicate tissue inflamed and raw. Sure, the flush of color can look good, but talk about the ouch. What good is looking babely if you are in constant turmoil?

Even warm weather can't totally banish chapped or peeling lips. When I was a kid I was basically a walking ulcer. I was all anxiety and all stress all the time.


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A post shared by Sarah Pearce Body shop at Home (@pin88ky) on May 10, 2020 at 11:09pm PDT

My mom smeared enough Bag Balm on my face that it is nigh on miraculous that a passing dairy farmer did not try to herd me into his trailer.


Stress is a huge factor when it comes to our lips.

Nervous lickers, chewers, and flickers know: A quick chomp on the lips is great for reducing that stress, but not so great for like, just existing in general.

There are countless ways to keep your lips silky smooth like the proverbial baby's bottom. Drink as much water as you can without drowning yourself. Hydration is key.

Your body likes being moist (giggity). 

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Another sure fire way to banish chapped lips is by regularly exfoliating them.


This doesn't mean taking a scouring pad or loofa to your mouth. I mean, I guess you could if you were feeling very dramatic, but to be clear, I do not endorse this.

Beauty companies like E.L.F. make stellar, super cheap exfoliating lip scrubs that remove dead skin cells and leave your mouth made moisturized, too. 

But what if none of these work? You could drown in water and medicated lip balms and still wake up to find some scholar trying to translate your lips thinking they had found ancient buried papyrus scrolls. 

This might be the result of Exfoliative Cheilitis.

While we're talking, It might also be time for you to get a restraining order against that scholar who keeps breaking into your home while you're asleep, too. 


Sufferers of this skin condition have lips that peel constantly, appear cracked, chapped, red, or swollen.

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This is a direct result of your body's sensitivity to highly acidic fruits, booze, vinegar, and other acidic goodies you might ingest on the regs. 


If you think you might have EC, high you to an allergist!

Get tested.

Once you figure out what's causing the reaction, you can come up with a plan. For some that means avoiding certain foods, for others it means taking OTC prescriptions.

But fret not if you think you've got it, EC is totally manageable.

You'll be back to puckering a perfect pout in no time. When that happens, hit me up and I'll make out with you in celebration. 

Rebecca Jane Stokes is a writer living in Brooklyn, New York with her cat, Batman. For more of her work, check out her Tumblr.
Editor's Note: This article was originally posted on June 24, 2016 and was updated with the latest information.