What causes painless, worn-out lips that turn red?
The condition is known as chapped lips. Chapped lips are an indicator of lack of water in the body. In most cases, the cause is absence of moisture from the lips. Lips get chapped often when the air is dry, in periods of excessive heat and sometimes due to excessive licking.
Lips have an oily film on the surface that guards them against moisture loss. However, when licked excessively, lips can get dry and worn-out. This is because some enzymes in saliva (usually used in the digestion process) irritate the lips and use up the lip’s moisture. It is believed that petroleum jelly can heal dry worn-out lips.
However, lip balm can only provide short-term relief. It only aids in preventing moisture loss, but does not repair worn-out and dry lips. The good news is, there are tips you can consider to treat and prevent dry, worn-out lips.
Use lip balm containing petrolatum or beeswax when going out in the cold, during a dry weather or use lip balm that contains sunscreen when going out in hot weather.
If you lick your lips often, stop it. Saliva vapourises quickly, leaving the lips drier than before you licked them. If you tend to lick your lips, avoid flavoured lip balm, as it may tempt you to lick your lips even more.
Adequate and frequent hydration also helps prevent cracked, dry and worn-out lips. Drink plenty of fluids and avoid contact with irritants or allergens such as fragrances or dyes, commonly found in cosmetics, such as skincare products.