Chapped & Dry Lips symptoms and causes

Chapped, or cracked, lips is the term commonly used to describe dry lips.

Lips Skin is most thinner and delicate as compared to other body skin. The lips are directly exposed to the outer elements like Sun, cold and dry air, making them prone to dryness, cracking, flaking, and peeling

Chapped lips can be caused by several factors, that include

  • weather
  • excessive licking of the lips
  • certain medications

Chapped lips are a common condition that only occurs for most people. But some people may develop a more severe form of chapped lips called cheilitis.

Symptoms of dry and chapped lips

  • bleeding
  • cracks
  • dryness
  • flaking
  • scales
  • sores
  • swelling

Causes of chapped and dry lips

  • Lips don’t contain oil glands like other parts of the skin. This means lips are more susceptible to drying out and becoming chapped. This condition becomes more worse in case of low moisture whether because of weather or lack of self-care.
  • Little Humidity in the air during the Frwinter season.
  • Frequent sun exposure during summer.
  • Habitual licking is another cause. Saliva from the tongue can further strip the lips of moisture, causing more dryness.

What are the risk factors.?

  • People with dry skin
  • Taking certain medication
  • People who are dehydrated or malnourished

Medications and supplements that can cause chapped lips

  • vitamin A
  • Chemotherapy drugs
  • lithium (commonly used to treat bipolar disorder)
  • Retinoids


Cheilitis is often to blame for severely chapped lips. This is a condition marked by cracked skin at the mouth corners and several cracks on your lips.

If you have this condition, your lips may:

  • be dark pink or red in color
  • have a lumpy texture
  • develop ulcers
  • have white plaques on the surface

Cheilitis is often attributed to infections and inflammatory diseases, such as

  • Crohn’s disease
  • Dental trauma
  • excessive saliva production may also turn a regular case of chapped lips into cheilitis

Bacteria can enter through the cracks and cause infection. Adults and children who have orthodontic braces, wear dentures or use pacifiers are all susceptible to developing cheilitis.

Other causes of chapped lips

  • Angular Cheilitis
  • Bacterial Infection
  • Candida Infection
  • Chronic Lip Licking or Biting
  • Drug Reactions
  • Fungal Infection
  • Hypervitaminosis A
  • Medications
  • Pemphigus Vulgaris
  • Wind Exposure

Dehydration and malnutrition

Dehydration causes symptoms including:

  • lightheadedness
  • constipation
  • decreased urine production
  • dry mouth
  • headache

In severe cases, a person suffering from dehydration may experience

  • low blood pressure
  • fever
  • rapid breathing
  • rapid heart beat


Malnutrition is characterized by many of the same symptoms as dehydration. Additional symptoms can include:

  • muscle weakness
  • decaying teeth
  • bloated stomach
  • bone fragility

Malnutrition causes

Malnutrition can be caused by vitamin deficiencies. factors causing vitamin deficiencies.

  • limited diets
  • alcohol addiction
  • Older adults

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