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Treat Severe Chapped Lips With Vitamins

I envy  people who have rosy lips because I’ve had severe chapped lips for as long as i can remember. I tried exfoliating and applying lip balm for years but the condition remained the same. Instead of lipsticks i always use tinted lip balms and lip gloss to cover my chapped lips. I was doing everything right but it just doesn’t work. 🙁

The lip balm sometimes causes more peeling and some of them just sits on top which is really uncomfortable. Over the years, I even tried coconut oil, olive oil, ghee, and other home remedies too. Finally i just gave up. I comforted myself that i may have eczema lips and there is no treatment for it.

I read many websites and forums which suggested to use nipple crack cream for this. There were many people facing the same problem on the forum. But I couldn’t find those creams anywhere.

What Are The Causes Of Chapped Lips?

Chapped lips occur when the skin on the lips becomes very dry. The lips may hurt, crack, and even bleed in severe cases.

  • Exposure to sun, wind, cold and dry air can be the causes of chapped lips.
  • Breathing with your mouth open
  • Licking your lips frequently
  • Reaction to skincare and cosmetic products
  • Dehydration.
  • Vitamin Deficiency
  • Various disorders like thyroid disorders, fungal infections, and autoimmune disorders can cause chapped lips. They also prevent healing or slow the whole process down.

In normal cases you can heal chapped lips quickly in less than a week by moisturising your lips with a good lip balm.

My experience

When i consulted the doctor for fatigue and brain fog, they checked my haemoglobin (CBC test). Even though i was taking iron and multivitamins, the result came back as low haemoglobin count. Doctor said that my body was not absorbing the vitamins and minerals due to deficiency of Vitamin B12 and Vitamin D.

I started taking the prescribed vitamins. Six months later, the blood levels came back as normal. You may have to continue the vitamins for some time depending on your results. Mine were too low so i have to continue for a year. My lips are all healed now. I still continue with my routine of exfoliating and applying a lip balm as always.

If you have tried everything and still have chapped lips and is not due to lip eczema, then it could be the deficiency of any of the below vitamins.

Vitamin B-2

Lack of some vitamins, particularly B vitamins, may cause chapped lips. Vitamin B-2, also called riboflavin, is a B-complex vitamin that is needed for healthy hair, nails and skin, including your lips. Deficiency of vitamin B-2 may result in mouth or lip sores, according to the University of Maryland Medical Center. Good sources of riboflavin include dairy products, eggs, green leafy vegetables, beans, nuts and lean meats. Adults eating a 2,000-calorie diet and children over four years old require 1.7 milligrams of riboflavin.

Vitamin B-3

Niacin, or vitamin B-3, is another B-complex vitamin needed for healthy skin. Insufficient dietary niacin, may result in dry, cracked lips, dermatitis and red, swollen tongue and mouth, according to the National Resource Center on Nutrition, Physical Activity and Aging. They recommend consuming 13 to 20 milligrams of niacin per day.

To get enough niacin in your diet, eat foods such as tuna, halibut, beef, pork, poultry, cereal grains, been, green leafy vegetables and milk.

Vitamin B-6

Vitamin B-6 deficiency is also related to skin disorders, dermatitis and cracks at the corners of the mouth. To get enough B-6, also called pyridoxine, in your diet, Colorado State University recommends adult men and women up to age 50 should consume 1.3 milligrams per day.

Food sources of B-6 include meats, whole grains, legumes and green leafy vegetables.

Vitamin B12

Vitamin B12 can be found in animal liver, kidneys, beef, sardines, tuna and clams. Include these to prevent vitamin B12 deficiency. In case you are vegetarian, You may include fortified cereals, dairy and eggs in your diet. Deficiency in this vitamin may cause anaemia and other neurological disorders.

Zinc

The National Resource Center on Nutrition, Physical Activity and Aging lists rough, dry skin, cracked lips and tongue among the signs of zinc deficiency. Your diet should provide 10 to 25 milligrams of zinc each day. Consuming 100 milligrams of zinc per day can be toxic.

Foods containing zinc include whole grains, beef, pork, turkey, beans, nuts and cheese.

Vitamin A

This vitamin is related to drying of the skin and lips when consumed in excess.  There are two sources of vitamin A, retinoids which comes from animal foods and carotenoids which comes from plants.

Foods high in vitamin A include dark-green leafy vegetables and yellow-orange fruits and vegetables, beef, calf and chicken liver, eggs and milk products.

chapped lips

Lip Balms And Lipsticks

Lip balms that may help are  Maybelline baby lips, Burt’s Bees Tinted Lip Balm, La Roche-Posay Nutritic Lip Balm for Very Dry Lips

L’Oreal Paris Color Riche Moist Matte Lip Color, I really love these lipsticks as they do not dry my lips. After trying so many brands this was the one that suited my chapped lips.

How To Prevent Chapped Lips?

Make sure to drink 10-12 glasses of water everyday. Increase your fluid intake as dehydration is one of the main causes of chapped lips and one which can be easily treated.

Have a balanced diet. Deficiencies in vitamins may be difficult to pinpoint while it also takes time to cure it.

Don’t lick or pull your peeling lips.

Use a soft bristled baby brush to exfoliate twice a day.  Apply Vaseline on your lips before exfoliating.

After exfoliating apply a moisturising lip balm that has sun protection.

Use a lip balm with beeswax or petrolatum on your lips to help heal them quickly. Oil based lip balms will also protect your lips from further chapping. But in some cases it just sits on top making it uncomfortable though. It varies from person to person.

Try changing your toothpaste and lipstick brand just in case you are allergic to certain chemical ingredients in them.

Guaiazulene and sodium lauryl sulfate commonly known as SLS in some toothpaste may cause chapped lips or interfere with the effectiveness of other treatments.

7 Comments

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  1. I know this is kind of an old thread but I just wanted to ask if any of these supplements: Vitamin B2(Riboflavin) or Vitamin B6(Pyridoxine) will for sure cure, smoothen, & soften my chronically chapped/dry lips. I’m 20 years old and the chapped lip problem started to occur after I recovered from an eating disorder (Anorexia Nervosa) at age 17, back in 2014. Before the eating disorder, my lips were always very full, plump, soft, and pink and I didn’t really need to wear much lip balm because of it. Now, after the e.d., my lips were becoming cracked, dry, and chapped and even my top lip(which is naturally much fuller than my bottom) began to shrink before my eyes. I noticed all of this back in 2014. Most drugstore and high-end lip balms never work against my chapped lips and its caused me to feel kind of depressed. Please, if you can ever read and respond to my message, I would really appreciate it. Thank you.

    • If you have a deficient in any of the above vitamins and minerals, Supplementing them will definitely help with the symptoms. Over time these symptoms will disappear completely. Include probiotics in your diet and make sure to drink 2.5-3 litres of water depending on your workout and lifestyle.
      Continue to exfoliate and moisturise your lips regularly.
      I advise you to consult a doctor for expert advise.

      Detailed explanation and personal experience has been mailed to your id.

  2. Hello PeppyBlog. I’ve commented before but I just wanted to give you some information about my recent visit with my dermatologist and ask if any supplements are left to cure my chronic chapped lips. My last dermatology visit was absolutely useless and disgraceful. I wasted co-pay and 20 minutes of my life talking to her because she insisted that there is absolutely NO CURE for chronic dry cracked lips and this is something I’d have to deal with for the rest of my life. These words came out of her own mouth. She also insist that there are also no vitamin supplements that can help with skin or lip moisture and that anyone who claims to moisturize skin from the inside out is delusional. She was so disrespectful and showed no compassion for my skin concern. My lips have been dry, crusty, ugly, and chapped since age 16 after my anorexia nervosa and still haven’t recovered from it. She even made me feel like I was hallucinating by saying there’s nothing wrong with my lips and suggesting that I might have body dysmorphia. I wish I would’ve secretly recorded the entire appointment to expose her for negligence of a patient. I’m 20 years old and before the chronic dryness started to occur, I ALWAYS had naturally big, plump, soft, full, supple pink lips. But after the eating disorder, they started to shrink in size and became very dull looking, chapped, dry, and cracked. I don’t have a before and after photo for proof but this is evidently based on true facts because I know my body better than anyone else and rightfully so. I apologize for the excessive long rant but I just wanted to beg you and ask if there’s any vitamin supplement or moisturizer that will transform my lips into soft, supple, and smooth again like they used to be 4 years ago. I’ve tried EVERY drugstore, high-end and prescribed cream, chapstick, balm, ointment, and medication you could think of. Also Vitamin B6(Pyridoxine) broke me out heavily so maybe you could recommend another vitamin B supplement for dry lips. I would very appreciate if you’ll receive my message and respond. Thank you so much in advance.

    • I am so sorry to hear that and thank you for letting me know. I think a general physician might be able to help you better in case of vitamin deficiency or hormone problems like hypothyroidism related dry lips. You may need to do a blood test to determine the exact cause of your condition. Pinpointing the exact cause is extremely difficult in conditions like hair fall and chapped lips. Do not take separate vitamin supplements on your own. You may not even be deficient in vitamin B for all we know. Remember, Overdose of vitamins also cause dry chapped lips.

      Few other things that have an effect on our lips,

      Are you always in an air conditioned environment?
      Do you use humidifier at night?
      Are you having good fats in your diet?(almond, peanut, avocado, cod liver oil)
      Are you taking multivitamins? Could it be a symptom of multivitamin overdose?
      Are you using a lip balm with Spf? ( Some people may be allergic to the spf ingredient)

      Plump smooth lips depends on collagen. Poor diet such as consuming sugary drinks and sweets, stressful lifestyle, smoking, sun bathing/tanning can destroy your collagen. Loss of collagen leads to thin lips.

      If are non vegetarian, try bone broth soup as a natural collagen supplement. It also helps heal inflammation and support your immune system. It may take up to four-six months to rebuild collagen and see results. OTC collagen supplements are also available.

      if you are vegetarian, Include sulphur rich foods to stimulate collagen production. (Cabbage, Cucumber, Celery, Swiss Chard, Turnips, Kale, Broccoli, Daikon radish, Watercress, Mustard Greens, and Asparagus)
      Vitamin A ( Cod liver oil,carrots) also help in collagen production
      Try to include aloe vera juice or tofu which are super foods that help stimulate collagen production.

      As your lips are already chapped, take care while having acidic foods(citrus fruits) which may irritate the skin and delay healing.

      Try an spf free lip balm for 1-2 weeks to confirm whether you are allergic to it.
      Go for lipsticks that are free from alcohol, silicone oil , wax and lip plumpers( cinnamon, caffeine, ginger, wintergreen, menthol and different forms of capsacin) as they may irritate and dehydrate your lips.

      Hope that helps.

  3. PeppyBlog, with all due respect, I’ve literally tried EVERYTHING that you suggested and recommended. I daily condume fish, eggs, chicken, brown rice, vegetables, beans, and fruits. I rarely ever eat out. I’m only 20 years old so the word collagen shouldn’t even be included with this because I’m very young. My lips didn’t start getting extremely chapped until after I recovered from my eating disorder at age 16. Only 4 years! Its obvious that the eating disorder possibly depleted me from some vitamins because of cold skin and dryness. My lips are the only part of my body that hasn’t fully healed from persistent dryness. Vaseline, petroleum jelly, Aquaphor, Lanolin, Burts Bee’s, Hydrocortisone, Spf 15 or 30 lip balms have NEVER healed my permanently chapped, crusty, & shrunken lips. No use of makeup either. I remember when you previously mentioned that taking one of the B vitamin supplements helped you, so it could help in my case since its an internal issue not external. I’m going to insert a photo of how damaged they look with & without lip balm and hopefully again, you can notice if any certain B vitamins that will help plump, smoothen, and soften my lips again. Please.

  4. I’ve finally decided to purchase Vitamin b2 (Riboflavin) supplements from my local health food store. My dermatologists are mainly concerned with treating the chapped lips rather than reversing it permanently and the usage of vaseline, petrolatum, Aquaphor, and lanolin won’t cure the dryness for good. I’m hoping the riboflavin will not only soften & smoothen my lips but also help with my dry eyes, cracking, splitting nails, and brittle hair.

    • Let me know how it goes. I really hope it works for you. Your lifestyle and diet seems fine as your skin looks healthy in the photos so stick with it. It may take some time to see results.
      The vitamin B that my doctor prescribed was methylcobalamin (B12). This is what was prescribed based on my test reports. i am not sure whether i mentioned this before. I did take folic acid along with it. So i am not sure which one actually worked on my chapped lips. Sorry i couldn’t be of much help.

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