ETERNALLY CHAPPED LIPS?
Eastern Medicine May Have The Answer
Are your lips perpetually chapped? If so, you’ve probably run the gamut when it comes to chapstick. But really, chapstick isn’t doing that much to keep your lips moist in the long run.
If anything, chapstick is a great temporary measure to keep your lips from cracking, but if you’re constantly greasing up your mouth, there’s a chance you may have deeper health issues at work.
What Your Chapped Lips Are Trying to Tell You
If your lips are constantly drying out, that could indicate other underlying health issues, like dehydration or even vitamin deficiencies in your body. We’ve covered a few common causes of eternally chapped lips below and how you can deal with them naturally with Eastern Medicine.
1. Your Body Is Really Dehydrated
Did you know dry lips could be indicative of problems in your digestive tract? When your body gets dehydrated, it pulls water from other parts of the body to keep your cells hydrated. Eastern Medicine also teaches that your mouth is key to telling you the state of your digestive system.
Drinking water is helpful, but might not be enough to rehydrate your body. When your lips get chapped, or you feel them drying out, try adding electrolytes to your water. Other fun ways to hydrate include adding lemon juice to your water, or grabbing coconut water when you’re out! You can also add yin tonics like cut marshmallow root or slippery elm to your water bottle!
2. You Have Excessive Saliva In Your Mouth
Excessive saliva can be relatively harmless, unless it persists. If it’s a recurring problem, you may have hypersalivation, which can have serious health implications. If that’s the case, you should see a medical professional.
If you’re not dealing with hypersalivation, then your excessive saliva may stem from overstimulated salivary glands. They can go into overdrive when you eat spicy or acidic foods. Take a break from these intense foods to give your chapped lips a break.
3. You’re Experiencing Some Spleen Issues
Eastern Medicine and Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM) teach that your spleen helps regulate the health of your lips and mouth, and is believed to help transform water and food into blood and qi. So, dry and cracked lips imply that there’s an issue with your spleen’s ability to metabolize fluid.
Acupuncture treatment helps if there’s qi stagnation, but a more proactive way to help out your spleen is to switch up your diet. Try consuming broths, stews, and spices like ginger or turmeric. These warm foods are believed to aid your spleen, so avoid cold foods and dairy products to give your lips a break!
4. You’re Eating Too Much Spicy Food
In case you didn’t get the memo, spicy foods just exacerbate chapped lips, especially if you already have skin issues. When your lips are chapped, they’re covered in a layer of dry skin, which makes it difficult for your lips to absorb the moisturizing elements in say, lip balm.
By eating spicy foods, you’re irritating your lips even more, which can cause inflammation and further irritate your lips. To push that point a little more, TCM teaches that excessive “heat” can also lead to chapped lips.
TCM specialists can detect if you have too much heat just by looking at the state of your lips. Bright, red lips indicate excessive heat. The solution is to just avoid hot and spicy foods, as they can cause inflammation. Make a point of consuming high-quality fats throughout the day instead, like salmon, fish oil, and coconut oil.
If you’re not too partial to eating coconut oil by the spoonful, one helpful tip is to try adding it to your coffee in the morning. It makes the stuff a little more palatable and it actually compliments the flavor of the drink!
5. You’re Exposed to The Elements Too Often
Cold weather and excessive sun both work together to dehydrate your body. Your lips are more sensitive than other parts of your body simply because the skin is thinner. Over exposure to cold weather (or the hot sun) can cause them to dry up and crack!
If you think your surroundings and climate are too dry, they may also be the root of your chapped lips problem. One workaround is to buy a humidifier (or three) for your home. Keeping the air moist will prevent your skin from drying out, leading to happier, healthier lips!
6. You’re Not Getting Enough Nutrients
Chapped lips may also be due to a lack of essential nutrients in your body. Specifically, you might not be getting enough vitamins in your life! Here are some common vitamins and minerals that can cause chapped lips:
- B vitamins
You should talk to a medical professional before consuming these vitamins as supplements just to be sure, but if you’re experiencing chapped lips often, there may be a vitamin deficiency in the works.
Do you have any other solutions to chapped lips you want to share? Drop them in the comments!