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Is chapstick really addictive?
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Is chapstick really addictive?

I know this sounds rediculous, but I was wondering if chapstick is addictive. I have been using chapstick daily, multiple times a day for the past 5 years. When I dont use it, my lips become unbearably chapped. I have quit using the nasty flavoured stuff because it just worsens the problems. I have tried using blistex, vasoline, and just weaning myself off of it,
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Melissa:

Chapstick isn't addictive, but putting any moisturizer on lips tends to be habit-forming.

Lips are very psychologically-sensitive areas.  Just thinking about them makes them feel dry.  Whenever a patient complains of dry lips, I have to force myself not to lick them while they're talking.  For some reason, those who complain tend to be young adult women, though sometimes men do too.

The dryness is rarely part of some "disease."  Instead, a person starts licking their lips for no particular reason, then moisturizes, and then the cycle continues indefinitely, as saliva dries out the lips along with the act of thinking about it, and so on.

You might try an OTC or prescription cortisone ointment instead of a balnd mositurizer.  That may reduce the inflammation long enough to help you break the habit.

Otherwise, don't think about it too much.

Best.

20 Comments
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Where then are the "rumors" originating, and is there any truth in them, about chapstick and related products taking off a layer of your lips therefore making them more chapped thus creating an "addictive" cycle of required usage?
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242489_tn?1210500813
Matt:

Good question.  I consider these statements --  there are many like them --  to be a species of "urban legend" (like, "There are alligators in the seweres of New York,"), statements which "everyone knows" but no one can pin down the source of.  There are lots.  "Don't get your scar in the sun" is a good one, often repeated by doctors.

Chapstick is petrolatum.  It doesn't take off a layer of anything.

Best.

Dr. R
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No it's not rediculious to be addicted to chapstick, i used to think it was but i have found so many other people that also have to same problem. My chapstick is always in my right pocket, if i reach down and find its not there i look on a table where i might have left it, and so on, i go into complete panic mode, i have actually had to run to the store and buy some chapstick if i can't find mine. To someone who is not addicted to the stuff this might sound redicilous, but i think it is possible to be addicted to chapstick, i mean no it doesnt have any addicting chemicals in it, but sometimes thats not what makes you addicted to something, people get addicted to things because they like the feeling thay get, or the taste, etc.... people get addicted to sex because they like the feeling and me myself i like the feeling of the smooth chapstick on my lips, i like to press my lips together and feel them slide appart. i love chapstick.
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Leigh-Ann:

Fair enough.  You can call psychological dependence "addiction" if you want.  When I speak to patients about dry lips (or write to them on the web), my lips feel dry.  The mind is complex.  If everyone tells you that Chapstick will make you addicted, then it will.

Dr. R
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I find this an interesting topic. Mainly because I believe your skin really does change with the application of moisturizers. Perhaps not an addiction, but more of an imbalance of naturally produced moisture. I am a desert rat, having lived nearly all my life in the high desert of the American Southwest. I don't regularly use moisturizer of any kind, but have on several occasions tried them. I like the smell of lotions, and the feel of lip balm, so sometimes I get an urge to slather up with moisturizer. But I am convinced my skin and lips are much healthier without added moisture, because very soon after I start using moisturizing products, my skin and lips actually *do* dry out and I find myself "needing" more frequent applications. I don't doubt the psycological "licking" of the lips theory, but I hardly think I subconsciously lick my entire body after putting lotion on. What's your take on this?
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we are doing a sience project on chapstick and we need some info could you posibly find it in your hearts to send us some info to this address ***@**** or ***@**** the info provided will help us greatly!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!            


                           thanx ,  Nicki,Tessie
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i hate chapstick  i 've used it for 8 yrs everyday
i'm convinced it changed my lips  so i resort to stealing it
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I, too, an a Chapstick addict.  With all the new products arriving, I decided to switch brands.  After using Blistex (herbal solution) brand lip balm, my lips began to peel in rather sizeable chunks.  This also happened to my husband.  Although a tube of lip balm should last a good month, I found myself down to the plastic in 2 weeks because I constantly had to reapply the Blistex.  I don't know what's in Blistex, but after going back to Chapstick, my lips healed in about 3 days.  So, I truly believe that the "urban legend" we talk about may be true in some evil brands.  Is it so?
All hail Chapstick!!
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I don't know if my addiction to chapstick follows the psychological definition of "addiction".  Nor is it specifically from the act of licking my lips because I rarely do that.  It's just that once I put my chapstick on it seems to wear off or soak in or something.  It has gotten to the point where I must put Carmex on every morning and every night and I use other chapsticks intermittently during the day.  I'd say every couple of hours or so.  This is to keep them from getting dry and splitting.  I didn't know if this was normal or if my lips have stopped sheilding themselves from exterior facts because they got used to the chapstick sheilding them.  I mean, do lips have their own natural protection?  Or is the constant application of chapstick making them worse?  Does the chapstick moisturize the lips or block them from moisture they might need?  Is chapstick good or bad, and to what point?
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Hi my name is Kris and I just wanted to tell all those chapstick addicts out there that I know many people who are in the same situation as you, so don't let your friends call you weird!! If anything i think that being addicted to chapstick is great! It only makes your lips softer!:)

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I had to apply Chap Stick just reading your comments.  I have one in every room in the house, and had to leave class early once because I couldn't find mine. I don't think it has addictive chemicals but it sure has an addictive feel.
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i agree with all the chapstick lovers.  i am addicted to the stuff as well.  i have a whole make-up bag full, and have at least 5 with me wherever i go, just incase i lose one.  i even had a dream that i lost all my chapstick and my lips shriveled up.  i dont think you can get help for this sort of thing.  it is just something you have to do.  it is good to know that i am not alone in this 'fetish' of mine.
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I LOVE THIS STUFF! I CAN'T GET ENOUGH OF IT!
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I have a tube of chapstick in my pocket right now.  I lived in Egypt for 5 years and since you can't get Chapstick readily over there, I had to resort to the "blackmarket" chapstick and I even had my family "smuggle" it in.  When I started to get low on my supply (every 2 months or so), I would contact someone who would be going back to the States.  I have even gone so far as being friends with someone, just to get them to bring me back chapstick.  anyone who uses Chapstick regularly knows of its addicting power.  FORGET CHOCOCLATE, SMOKING, DRINKING, SEX - WE HAVE CHAPPSTICK.

HAIL CHAPSTICK AND WHITEHALL-ROBINS HEALTHCARE!
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Best healer for your lips is LANOISH---IT IS THE PUREST FORM OF LANOLIN--although, it is about 9 dollars for a large tube (PURPLE TUBE IN THE BABY ISLE FOR MOMS)--and it is sold in the baby isle at your drugstores--it says its for breastfeeding mothers but it ALSO SAYS IN THE ISERT THAT IT CAN BE USED FOR OTHER THINGS LIPS, DRY SKIN, etc---if your a girl it will be easy to buy a tube of this and get a little potgloss container and Fill it up as needed---but it is a little harder for the guys--guess they would look silly with a potgloss container--so, guess chapstick is the next best thing!!  LET ME TELL YOU THIS STUFF WORKS WONDERS MY LIPS WERE DRY, CRACKED, PEELED AND BLEEDED--THEY ARE SO SMOOTH AND LUCIOUS NOW---TRY IT--IT REALLY WORKS GREAT---THE TUBE LAST FOREVER ---HAD MON FOR LIKE A YEAR AND A HALF NOW!!!!!
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I've had to get out of bed at night to apply blistex if I didn't do it before getting in. My friends have noticed that I'm frequently applying it. Tubes of berry blistex everywhere throughout my home, purse, bathrobe pocket. I think it's addictive-my lips feel really dry if I don't have any on. I don't leave home without it!
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i love chapstick chapstick is wonderful and i could not live without the love of my life
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I am addited to Lip Balm. I know its an addition because: I panic when I am without it, I love the feeling of it, my lips hurt if I go about fifteen minutes between applications, if I fall asleepb without lubbing up my lips I will actually get cold sores on the corners of my mouth, I am more likely to me in a bad mood when I forget to take my chapstick anywhere with me.  My addiction may be pyschological, but sexual addictions and nicotine after three days are pyschological as well. I will debate with anyone who tries to deny me of this, especially if I'm without my chapstick.

Jodi
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ok i kno you wont believe me but i hava a serious addiction to chapstick, lip balm, lipstick, etc. i have over 150 kinds of lip balm and am only 12 yrs old!!! my mother refuses to buy anymore so i sneak them. i didnt even realize this was an addiction until i read a magazine article. my friends come over, see my huge basket of lip balm and  just say OMG RENE. if i ever dont have a chapstick (usually i have 5 or 6 with me) in my pocket or on my nightstand at nite, i have a fit and run around school sking people i dont know if i can borrow theirs. its a horrible feeling and thoise of you who arent addicted have no idea what its like for us. i have gone through 12 tubes of watermelon, my fave flavor. i applt lip balm 25-50 times a day, more during school, possibly because of boredom (lol). i think possibly the smell of lip balm is the problem for me. ive learned if your addicted to chapstick its a better possibility you will be addicted to mints or tic tacs, too. i do like mints but its not an addiction.  right now ur probably thinking ok this girl didnt read anything we said, but i need help.
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