Lips, we all have them – but licking them can also be responsible for something called Lip Licking Dermatitis or Factitious Dermatitis.

With our lips being one of the most sensitive parts of our bodies, you can’t help but notice that as the days get colder, or it’s time the heat comes on in our homes – that lips become dryer may crack, or exhibit much dryness in and around the lips.

In colder regions, they may also appear flakier, red and almost appearing sore. With extreme dryness of the lips, it can lead to bleeding too.

What happens as a result of the dryness is we’re inclined to stick out our tongues and lick them, and the surrounding area (within reason of course) to help alleviate the dryness and moisten them with saliva.

This lip licking leads to an augmentation of the condition and results in a state known as lip licking dermatitis, lip licker’s dermatitis or factitious dermatitis.

Causes Of Lip Licking Dermatitis

Lips have almost no moisture glands in the dermis, causing them to be quite sensitive especially as noted above with climate changes.

When exposed to too much sun, cold air or winds they can become dehydrated and irritable – sometimes accompanied with a burning sensation. As a sense of relief (false relief mind you) we develop a poor habit of moisturizing them with saliva – which in fact cause further burning and more damage to the lips and surrounding areas of the mouth.

Once this becomes a habit, and more frequently a subconscious one, it becomes a much more difficult pattern to break, especially in children.

Stress or nerves are often exhibited through the act of lip licking, thus, creating this an even more difficult habit to break given the variety of reasons associated with the act of licking the lips in itself.

Appearance Of Lip Licking Dermatitis

The skin around the mouth is red, scaly, thickened, and hyperpigmented. The rash involves the perioral area and characteristically includes the border of the lips.

Prevention

The most general way to prevent lip licking dermatitis is to stop licking the lips. Being more mindful after long time sun exposure and especially during the colder climates.

Always wear a lip balm, preferably one that is natural with good active ingredients, that way the lips aren’t directly exposed to the elements and instead the lip balm acts like a protective layer.

If stress is the direct route of the habit of lip licking, one should consider activities that promote stress relief, meditation or yoga as an example.

Treating Lip Licking Dermatitis

Below, are a few natural remedies to utilize in the event that you are suffering from lip licking dermatitis. Please note, there are ointments and other topical creams or injections available in speaking with your family doctor.

Water:

Water is a natural hydrant and drinking adequate water along with many other health issues cures lip licking dermatitis. This condition occurs due to dryness on lips and drinking water can hydrate your body making your lips softer and hydrated.

Aloe-Vera:

The herbal advantages of Aloe Vera has proven and that it makes an incredible healing agent for skin problems and it may also help with the condition of lip licker’s dermatitis. Applying natural aloe vera gel is an amazing solution to reduce inflammation, bleeding and irritation on the lips.

Vitamin E:

Which is abundant in aloe vera helps in eradicating away the dryness and is an essential nutrient for lips.

Olive Oil:

Olive oil is an amazing way to get softer, normal and healthy lips. It is full of omega 3 fatty acids providing essential oils to the lips and surrounding skin. Also, its stale taste would help you to stop licking your lips.

Baking Soda:

Mix baking soda with some water and make a coarse paste. Apply this paste thoroughly on your lips to exfoliate them – removing excess dry skin. Baking soda will not moisturize but provides essential nutrients in order to let the lips breathe and help the lips get rid of inflammation and bleeding and chapped cuts.

Shea Butter:

Shea butter is a source of essential oils and detoxifying components that let the lips hydrate softly. Shea butter not just provides hydration, but also soothes the burning feeling commonly experienced – creating a screen on the lips to keep the moisture intact and let the lips look fuller and flake-free.

Final Thoughts

It is recommended that the natural remedies be applied as often as possible throughout the day, even every hour if that is achievable. These treatments may or may not work for everyone, and the time frame will vary.

Overall, lip licking dermatitis is completely preventable by not licking your lips – and in the event that this habit is taking longer to break, there are natural treatments readily available.

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