The blustery cold winter give way to cracked, chapped and dry lips. Lips are visible organs of the body that serves for providing essential nutrients to the body for healthy growth and development. Any defect in the lips may cause severe health problems due to inadequate consumption of healthy and nutritious foods.
When we think about skin and body care, lips are usually deprived of nourishment. Biologically, lips require more attention and care, especially during the cold winters. This is because skin consists of some natural oils that helps retain moisture during low humidity and cold winters but lips lack these natural oils. Lips also lack the pigment melanin that increases the risk of burning sensation on the lips and corner of the mouth. In the absence of natural oils and melanin, lips tend to loose moisture that eventually leads to cracked and dry lips.
Exposure to cold winds is an obvious reason for dry lips but when an individual develops dry and cracked lips, vitamin deficiency is also a principal cause. Common vitamins responsible for cracking and chapping of lips are Vitamin A, Vitamin B and Vitamin C. The most common symptoms include pain, loss of moisture, feeling of dryness, tenderness of lips, bleeding and reddishness in lips. Vitamin deficiency tends to take away moisture from the lips and result in dryness and reddishness.
Consistently dry, chapped and cracked lips are signs of a lack of riboflavin. Flax Seed Powder contains essential fatty acids required for the nourishment of the skin of the lips. Vitamin E acts as a powerful antioxidant to protect essential fatty acids and prevent cracking of lips.
Apart from riboflavin, Vitamin B1 and Vitamin B6 also help in providing moisture to lips. Deficiency in any of these vitamins can cause inflammation of lips and cracked lips. Cracked and chapped lips vitamin deficiency can be curbed by drinking plenty of water and consuming vitamin rich food sources like whole-grain cereals, bread, brown rice, fortified bread, red meat, egg yolks, and green leafy vegetables.
The lips are external organs located on the face of human beings. For many centuries, the shape and appearance of lips has been the subject of great discussion. The appearance and garnish used on the lips is also considered to be an important factor in determining the attractiveness of an individual. The lips also perform important functions related to speech, food consumption and sexual response of an individual. The lips are made up of muscles, nerve endings and modified skin cells. Because of their location, the lips are exposed to many more foreign objects and temperature changes than other parts of the skin. This is one of the reasons behind cracked lips. The structure of the lips is also important when it comes to their care, especially when the lips go dry in winter. The structure of the lips makes them slightly more susceptible to infections than other parts of the skin.
In a healthy individual, the lips are supposed to be properly hydrated and should appear to be healthy. Lips that are dull or too shiny are considered to be unhealthy. The problem of cracked lips is a common complaint amongst individuals all across the world.
Cracked lips are caused mainly by environmental factors. Besides health factors and other specific infections are some of the other important reasons for dry lips. Environmental factors that are listed as dry lips causes include humidity, heat and dust. Low humidity conditions tend to cause dry lips and dry skin. This is because there is a natural evaporation of water from the skin when the weather conditions are dry. Excessive cold is another condition that worsens the state of cracked lips. In most climates, one will find that low humidity often coincides with cold temperatures. This has a double-effect on the skin of the individual, particularly on the lips. The condition of cracking lips tends to worsen quickly, as people usually begin to fiddle with their lips when the skin is dry and the lips feel irritated.
Experiencing dry lips during pregnancy is also a common condition observed in many pregnant women. Cracked lips during pregnancy are mainly due to the hormonal changes taking place with the body; however the dry lips symptoms could be easily identified and taken care of without much worry.
When it comes to infections, there is a link between cracked lips and fungus. A particular type of fungus can cause cracked lips and is often responsible for the development of cracked lips in the corner of the mouth. One way of distinguishing between weather related cracked lips and fungus related cracked lips is the presence of cracked lips in the corner of the mouth only. This is usually a telltale symptom that the condition of dry lips is associated with an infection.
Poor hydration and nutrition is another factor in the list of cracked lips causes. When the individual does not nourish the body properly, the skin and the lips will appear to be dry and dull. Nourishment of the skin is related to hydration and also the consumption of important vitamins and minerals. This is how there is a link between chapped lips and vitamin deficiency. It should be noted that chapped, cracking lips should be used as a sign to improve one's diet and one's hydration levels. Therefore one could also consult a dietician when considering intake of vitamins for dried lips to negate the condition of dry lips caused by vitamin deficiency.
Under certain conditions, one may need to use remedies to alleviate the condition of dry lips. Severe dry lips may bleed and may be itchy and irritated. There are now several different types of balms and creams that can be used for the care of the lips. These balms usually add some nourishment to the skin of the lips which helps to improve their condition. The use of these remedies for cracking lips is not harmful to the individual. However, one should be aware of the fact that this is a treatment for the symptom and not for the underlying condition. The improvements in nutrition and hydration that are required for good skin health should be made in any case. The use of topical treatments helps in the interim until the individual has improved his or her health.