You have mentioned that you frequently lick your lips. I believe this may be a major factor. Our saliva contains enzymes which are protein substances that may irritate the lining of the lips. The lips unlike the skin has a thinner outer layer and may easily be irritated.
In your case, refrain from the habit of frequently licking the lips. A consult with a dermatologist may be able to help. A fungal infection may also be an underlying cause. However let me clarify, is the peeling only associated with the lips and does not involve the corners of the mouth? Or did it start from the corners of the mouth and eventually involved the lips?
A differential will be cheilosis. An allergic reaction to certain external factors like cosmetics, facial cleaners, smoke,dust and other unknown triggers may also be considered.Keeping the lips from drying may be helpful in your case but do this with the help of a hypoallergenic lip balms or lip colors and not by licking the lips.
Drink plenty of water. Is the area itchy when the episodes occur?
Do you have any known allergies?
Starting 3 months ago, similar things happened to my lips. Small blisters, almost too small to see, would form on the upper edge of my upper lip, and in the corners. They would burst after a day or two, then the skin would peel off to lots of pain and itching. Then more blisters, peeling, etc. Repeat cycle every 2 days or so. The blisters spread to my lower lip. I was prescribed strong antihistamines, anti-fungal creams in increasing strengths, and Valtrex - none of which had the slightest effect.
Background: I do not smoke, I exercise frequently, I eat a diet rich in vegetables, lean proteins, and unrefined foods. I do not lick my lips, I do not have any allergies, and I drink at least 10 glasses of water a day.
I eventually had to abandon most commercial lip balms and moisturizers, eat only bland foods in small bites so they wouldn't come into contact with my lips, and drink everything but water with a straw. It was horrible. Several different doctors could not figure out my problem.
I started taking 1000mg of the amino acid L-Lysine 3x a day, 4 days ago, as a last resort (a friend with chronic mouth sores used it successfully) and literally within 12 hours all my blisters were gone. The skin peeled away one final time and the cracked corners of my mouth are nearly healed. It seems like a miracle after these last few months of hell.
Hopefully this advice is useful to someone who's been suffering like I was.
My lips have peeled for years and years now. I do have ezcema, and I think I have some sort of food allergy. Nothing, so far, has ever helped my peeling lips.
This could be due to eczema or cheilitis.
Try the following measures and see if it helps with your symptoms.
1. Drink plenty of water.
2. Use lip balm. Wax-based products like Chapstick provide a protective covering to the lips to prevent free radicals, the environment, and the weather from taking their toll on this sensitive area.
3. Apply sunscreen to your lip area, too. Wear makeup, including lipstick, with an SPF of 45 or higher.
4. Avoid hyperallergenic lipstick or lip liner.
5. Stay away from environmental factors that can damage your skin. Smoking cigarettes or chewing tobacco, drinking alcohol, working with heavy-duty chemicals or fumes, and other factors may irritate your lips and lead to peeling or cracking. Wear a face mask when you're around strong smells or emissions. Don't wash your face with strong or harsh soap. Treat your lips gently to help care for this delicate skin.
Apply calamine lotion at the site of the lesions and see if it helps. You could take some oral antihistamine medications like cetrizine or loratadine. You need to maintain a good personal hygiene .
Anti-itch drugs, often antihistamine, may reduce the itch during a flare up of eczema, and the reduced scratching in turn reduces damage and irritation to the skin.
Let us know if you need any other information and post us about how you are doing.
I suffered a similar problem and recently discovered the cause: it was a reaction to dishwashing detergent residue on my drinking glasses and utensils. You can read my post in the "peeling lips" thread for more details. Hope this helps!
I tried to include a link in my previous post, but it was stripped out. The thread where I posted my details is topic # 521272.