Dry lips not going away?

There are a few myths when it comes to irritated and chapped lips. A very common one is that they're predominantly due to cold or harsh weather. Although cold temperatures can contribute, chapped lips are often down to angular cheilitis. This is a very common condition that occurs from yeast that is present in saliva. Eating, drinking, talking and all other saliva inducing things done with your mouth can cause little pockets of saliva to build on your lips- especially around the corners of your mouth and crevices of your lips. As saliva contains yeast, the build up of this yeast in the corners of the mouth and the grooves of the lips can cause sore, chapped and flaky skin to form.

How can it be avoided?

Well firstly, prevention is always better than cure! Brushing your teeth twice a day, regular flossing and using an anti-septic mouthwash will help keep the yeast in your mouth at low levels that make it unlikely to trigger irritating chaps and sores on your lips. A little trick which can help protect your lips is to apply coconut oil to your lips (paying particular attention to the corners of the mouth and the grooves of the lips) after brushing your teeth. The oil will act as a line of protection between any yeast present in your saliva and the grooves and corners of your mouth. In addition to good oral hygiene, a well balanced diet will do you a world of good in preventing angular cheilitis. Especially avoid overly processed foods and ensure that your fruit and veg intake is consistently high!

But what if you've already got angular cheilitis?

Well not to worry! You may be surprised to know that any over the counter athlete's foot cream will help get rid of angular cheilitis. Keep an eye out for athlete's foot creams containing butenafine as these will be most effective. Ideally you want to be applying the cream on your lips daily- once in the morning and once at night before bed. Good luck!