There are several reasons that cheilitis may develop in an individual. One of the most common has to do with poor nutrition. A lack of a proper amount of iron in the bloodstream, or a deficiency of Vitamin B12 can set the stage for the development of cheilitis. When there is evidence that the root cause of the chapped lips comes from improper diet habits, adding vitamin supplements may help. However, the best long-term solution is to change eating habits and incorporate foods that will supply the minimum daily amount of iron and B12 on a continuing basis.
Another potential cause of cheilitis is an allergic outbreak. Like any part of the body, lips may be impacted by the introduction of certain compounds into body, on the skin, or in the general environment. In cases where there is no apparent cause for the chapping, looking into recent changes in the use of skin products, including lip balm or makeup, may be in order. Once the allergen is identified and removed from use, the condition of cheilitis should begin to heal.
Cheilitis may also occur as a reaction to prescription medication. While this is a relatively rare occurrence, an outbreak of chapped lips should be reported to the physician immediately. A medical professional will be aware of how to deal with this type of situation. Often, the condition will clear up as soon as the medication is discontinued and the physician substitutes a different medication.
In very rare situations, cheilitis may be a sign of a serious health condition. If the incidence of chapped lips appears to be taking place for any reason other than frequent exposure to wind, and does not seem to heal with the use of over the counter lip balms, do not hesitate to seek medical attention immediately.