Winter is coming and that means cold temperatures, wind and oh yes, chapped lips. Dry skin may be the most frequent skin condition to flair up in the general population during these colder months because of the sudden drop in humidity and overexposure to those dry winter winds. Although this can be an annoying and unattractive problem, it is generally easy to treat and clears up quickly.

So what are “chapped” lips anyway? Chapped skin is tissue that lacks proper moisture and literally dries out. The dry skin develops fine lines, tiny cracks and can become red or irritated when left untreated. People who have chronic dry lips due to allergies or perhaps frequently lick their lips can develop chapped lips all year round.

Without treatment chapped lips can become uncomfortable or even painful. As the dry tissue begins to develop tiny cracks it can lead to irritation and even infection over time. Remember that any cut that is exposed to bacteria is at risk for infection and the mouth and face is a notorious “hot spot” for germs and bacteria.

Treating the problem is a simple process but does require frequent application throughout the entire day. A simple lip balm is the best remedy for chapped skin because it contains wax or lanolin that will seal in moisture and provide a protective barrier for the skin to heal. This is almost in place of applying a band aid over a paper cut. Sealing in moisture will allow the skin to begin the process of re-hydrating. Since chapped lips can be a chronic problem in winter, it is smart to apply a lip balm before going outside even if you do not have chapped lips. The thick coating will lock out the drier air and keep your lips feeling their best.

Tips to prevent chapping:

During the winter apply lip balm daily to prevent chapping from occurring.
Once chapped lips have formed, apply lip balm frequently throughout the day (especially after eating or any activity where the lip balm might have been diminished or removed)
Avoid “flavored” lips balms if you are prone to licking your lips or when applying lip balm to children. This will not only remove the balm entirely but increase the dryness at the same time.
Cover up your lips when going outside – even if it is only for a few minutes. A simple scarf or ski mask will protect your lips, cheeks and nose from the dry air.

Want more great tips on beating the winter dry skin battle? Check us out online at http://www.bellaninainstitute.com!

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