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Dry skin on lower Lip?

For the last few years I have been dealing with dry skin only on my lower lip, it does not affect my upper lip at all. My lower lip will will dry and the skin will flake off. Or it can actually be peeled off if i use lip balm. I have been taking multi vitamins for atleast a year daily, with no change. I use lip balm daily just to hide it (Burts Bee's). I drink water like a guppy (4-5 cups a day). Im really at a loss here as I cant seem to figure out what could be causing it. Any professional advice?
9 Responses
Avatar universal

This could be a part of Cheilitis, which is a medical condition involving inflammation of the lip. Or a bad case of Chapped lips , a condition whereby the lips become dry and possibly cracked. It may be caused by the evaporation of moisture.

Lip balm can often provide temporary relief, though it should not be used extensively.  One should avoid licking their lips as saliva contains the enzyme amylase, which can damage the already compromised lip tissue.
Honey can be used on the lips as a natural remedy.

Cheilitis is associated with many conditions from Vitamin B12 deficiency, iron deficiency anemia, be a symptom of allergies.can also be caused by taking the (retinoid) drug Isotretinoin (brand name Roaccutane).

Applying protective paraffin-based ointment (such as Vaseline) or lip balms to the lips is normally very effective. Also take Vitamin B supplements.

If nothing works you can have a biopsy done to find out the cause.

Some causes of the symptoms you mention, could be lip biting, lip licking, Vit.B2 deficiency, smoking, overexposure to sun and ill fitting dentures. In extreme cases, this could be due to bacterial or fungal skin infection.

You need to drink plenty of water daily – around 1.5 – 3 litres per day and eat a balanced diet. Do not keep your lips dry; apply lip balm which contains sunscreen – preferably a medicated one.

If the symptoms still persist, consult your skin specialist or dermatologist.

Let us know about how you are doing and if you have any other doubts.


Avatar universal
How long should i do as you suggest before going to see a doctor? As I mentioned above, I take multi vitamins daily and use lip balm daily as well.
This is it url=https://www.burtsbees.com/webapp/wcs/stores/servlet/ProductDisplay?productId=-88&catalogId=10051&storeId=10001&langId=-1&categoryId=10001&subCategoryId=-108]Here[/url]

The few things u mentioned that peaked my intrest were licking my lips. I dont think i do it alot, but i may do it more than i think. I also will pick at the flacking skin and peel or brush it off. Is this a "no no" ? Shouls i just use lip balm and let it fall off on its own?

Also, if its a bacterial or fungal skin infection how would i know this. Are there any common treatments i could try to see if there is any improvement?
Avatar universal
Sorry, link to lip balm i use is
Avatar universal
Any info would be much appreciated.
Avatar universal
I also suffer from this.  It is a daily problem.  It gets obsessive to rub it off and I use Aquaphor buttemporary.  It is bothersome no one understands. Im to the point where I cant take it anymore.  I drink LOTS of water and its still there.  I have no luck finding a dermatologist who acceptshould my
Avatar universal
I'm going to try honey now this minute
Avatar universal
I have this same problem. I have been coping with it for over two years with no cure in sight. I've tried Vitamin B, Honey, Aquaphor, Burts Bees, Vaseline, drank a liter of water a day (some days a bit less) and the flaking on the lower lip persists.

If our top lip is not getting chapped and only our lower lip is, can this still be a hydration related deficiency? In the two plus years coping with this health concern, I've studied there could be some correlation with the intestinal organs (namely the spleen and stomach). There is an underlying reason those affected with this chronic deficiency cannot produce enough hydration for the lower lip.

I have not sought after any medical advice up until this point. I think it's imperative to seek both a conventional dermatologist / nutritionist for a diagnosis as well as a licensed Traditional Chinese Medicine Practitioner to get the most accurate treatment.

More than anything know that you are not alone. It seems so simple to treat in the beginning. I'm an otherwise seemingly fit healthy male, age 40 at the writing of this draft and initially I thought this would pass. Now it's hard for me to laugh without worrying if I'm going to severely crack my lip lower tissue. After searching the web it seems there is not enough data on these specific symptoms we struggle to live with.

Possible external contributing factors include:

Divorce- this may have affected my life balance.

Loss of loved ones- In the span of 18 months I was divorced. My uncle, grandmother and one of my dogs also died. So I'm not sure if depression can be considered a culprit. Though I feel my grievance was no more significant than others facing the same.

Toothpaste- It was not until I changed toothpaste brands that I started to notice my lower lip dilemma. I stopped using it approximately 5 days after the first use.
(The brand was Toms for those of you who are interested).

Subconcious lip licking- Though I do not lick my lips often, this may happen innadvertantly in conversation with colleagues or at rest.

Non balanced diet- Growing up I ate what tasted good and for me that was anything but salads, onions, cucumbers, tomatoes and shell fish. Even now it's hard for me to incorporate those items in the dishes I consume. Steamed veggies are my preference now.

I listed the above background details to aid any of you who may have or identify with similar lifestyle experiences.

All that stated, I will do my best to post here exactly what if anything can improve this condition. Though we are all unique in some respects I believe there is a general solution to this and it begins with understanding and pin-pointing the root cause of the deficiency.  

Consistency is key. I believe most of us who are affected did not get to this point overnight. It was a process over time that lead to this condition with the exception of an allergic reaction. With this, it will take the same consistency to reverse the degenerative process and regain a well functioning body, inside and out.

I will bookmark and come back to this post after seeking both a medical and Traditional Chinese medicine diagnosis.

I will go to both practitioners on the same day so they both see the same symptoms equally.

At the end of all of this, I hope to get my lip back and help at least one person out there in the process.

If you have read this far I thank you. I really want to help raise awareness and find a cure.
Avatar universal
Do you have an update on your progress for us?
Avatar universal
I also have this and it could be Exfoliative cheilitis. Here is the solution I found. Also a link to a site with info. Hope this helps!❤

Prescribe a topical ointment or cream: Usually a combination of topical antifungal and antibacterial (e.g., nystatin and mupirocin); consider the use of combination antifungal/antibacterial/glucocorticosteroid ointment (e.g., Viaderm-K.C.® ointment) as an alternative.
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