Dry lips

Synonyms in a broader sense

chapped lips, chapped lips, sunburn on the lips

English: dry lips


Dry lips are a symptom of dry and possibly cracked skin consistency in the area of ​​the lips due to various causes.


Dry lips can be caused by the various causes arise and depend individually on the person concerned.

The mouth and throat area must be sufficient for healthy lips saliva be moistened.
The most common cause of dry lips is one too little daily fluid intake. If the fluid content of a person is too low, this also affects the saliva, which can still be produced viscosity (Toughness) increases and is therefore no longer so fluid and accordingly dry lips result.
Also stressful situations reduce salivation. In a stressful situation, the Sympathetic our nervous system is activated and less so Parasympathetic nervous systemwhich is responsible, among other things, for saliva formation. In stressful situations, the body does not expect food to be consumed and therefore reduces saliva production.
If a person is increasingly under stress and tension, this can manifest itself in dry lips.

Figure causes dry lips

Figure dry lips: symptom and causes

Dry lips

  1. Angular rhinitis
    (inflamed, torn
    Corners of the mouth) -
    Angular cheilitis
  2. Cold sore -
    Herpes labialis
    (by the herpes simplex
    Virus (HSV) triggered
  3. Tear -
  4. Lip red -
    Labium, pars intermedia
  5. Lip skin -
    Labium, pars cutanea

    A - Too little daily
    Fluid intake
    B - Stressful situations
    (Sympathetic nervous system
    is activated)
    C - vitamin deficiency, especially at
    Vitamin B2 and iron deficiency
    D - Extreme temperatures
    (very cold or high temperatures)
    E - infections especially of
    Herpes Simplex Virus (HSV)
    F - common cold - cold weather deprives
    of the skin (epidermis) Humidity
    G - Frequent use of the
    Lip care products leads to
    Habituation effect
    H - As a side effect of a
    Chemotherapy (drug
    Treatment of cancer)

You can find an overview of all Dr-Gumpert images at medical illustrations

A rarer cause is one Vitamin deficiency. Mainly a lack of Vitamin B2 (e.g. through pronounced Alcohol consumption) and a Iron deficiency, which increases in women due to the Menstrual period occurs can lead to dry lips.

The lips are essential compared to the rest of the skin more sensitive across from extreme temperatures.
Especially very cold temperatures can cause lips to dry out. Temperatures that are too high or changes between warmth and cold too quickly can also attack the lips. Also plays humidity a role and often leads to dry lips in the winter months since the dry ones Heating air damages the lips and removes fluid.

Also Lip care productswhich are actually supposed to have the opposite effect, can lead to the lips drying out if used too often, as the body demands more and more of the product applied through frequent use.
One speaks of a Habituation effect, the cause of which has not yet been fully clarified. The lips can also dry out through constant moistening with the tongue, as the surrounding area removes additional liquid from the lips.

Often times, dry lips also occur as a side effect chemotherapy on. The goal of chemotherapy is to kill rapidly dividing cells so that the tumor cells are eliminated. However, since not only tumor cells divide quickly in our body, but also, for example, our cells in the mouth and lips, this leads to the strong side effects of chemotherapy, which in the case of the lips can lead to dried out lips.

Iron deficiency as a cause of dry lips

Iron deficiency can be one of many causes of dry lips. If this is the trigger, the dry areas are often in the area of ​​the corners of the mouth. Inflammation (angular cheilitis) and tears (rhagades) occur in this area. Presumably this is due to a lack of enzymes that depend on iron. If these enzymes are inhibited in their function due to an iron deficiency, cell division in this area no longer functions properly. Since a high rate of cell division can also be observed in the area of ​​the lips, the symptoms of the disturbed cell division can become noticeable here particularly quickly.

Read more on the topic: Dry corners of the mouth

If there is an iron deficiency, there are basically four mechanisms by which it can arise. On the one hand, too little iron can simply be absorbed with food. This can often be observed, for example, in vegetarians or vegans, since easily usable iron is mainly contained in meat and other animal products. This mechanism is by far the most common. Furthermore, the body can have an increased need for iron. This is the case, for example, in pregnancy. Another possibility is that the body cannot absorb the iron from food. This happens, for example, in the context of some intestinal diseases. Finally, bleeding can lead to an iron deficiency. These can appear externally or internal bleeding, especially from the gastrointestinal tract, can occur. The latter can often go unnoticed, especially when they are small.

Iron deficiency in the baby

If dry, chapped and sore lips appear in the baby, the cause is usually harmless. Often it is Weather influencessuch as cold air. In babies, too, dry lips can occur due to malnutrition. This is especially true if iron or Vitamin B12 absence. However, the symptom of dry lips can also hide an underlying condition. For example, this can also indicate the presence of atopic eczema (Neurodermatitis) Clues. If dry lips do not appear on their own, but there are other symptoms such as fever, a skin rash, or changes in the mucous membranes, this can be KawasakiSyndrome cause. This is a Vascular inflammation (Vasculitis), which is likely caused by a child's immune system reacting to certain bacterial toxins.
Fortunately, this condition is rare, but it can cause serious complications. Therefore, it is imperative to consult a doctor if besides dry lips other symptoms occur. In such a case, the so-called Sjörgen syndrome be the cause of dry lips. This disease is an autoimmune disease, i.e. a disease in which the affected child's immune system turns against their own body.


dry lips

Are symptoms of dry lips roughened to cracked skin surfaces in the area of ​​the lips, which on the one hand are perceived by the patient as uncomfortable or even painful.
If chronic dehydration occurs over several days or weeks, the lips often crack open and bleed. Chapped, dry lips usually heal relatively difficult. It depends on where the lip is torn. Since lips are usually heavily used mechanically, the protection required for the healing process is missing in this area, which delays it Wound healing or causes it to be torn open again.


Dry lips are one Eye diagnosis. Rarely do patients see a doctor with these symptoms. For prolonged dry and chapped lips or continuous bleeding for a long time, however, a doctor is usually consulted.

The examination is usually limited to visual diagnostics. Depending on whether so-called Rhagades (small ulcerations mainly on the Corners of the mouth) can be seen or whether it is just one that spans the entire lip dry skin acts, the doctor will presume one Vitamin deficiency (at Rhagades) or assume a fluid-related cause. A precise survey of the sick about previous infections, chemotherapy or radiation treatment and dietary habits limit this Cause of dry lips continue on.


what to do with dry lips

Therapy depends on the cause. In the vast majority of cases, it is sufficient to increase the daily amount of fluid by dry lips to reduce. Depending on the symptoms, if there is a defect, the missing ones should be Vitamins can be supplied over a certain period of time and appropriate eating habits are changed and supplemented.
Treatment of viral infections (e.g. Herpes virus) will with Acyclovir carried out. With purely psychogenic causes of dry lips, a change in living conditions or e.g. autogenic training recommended.
With long-term use of lip care products or lipsticks, which lead to dried out lips or allergic reactions, the products should be discontinued. If the cause of dry lips is unclear, a treatment attempt with simple vaseline Fat cream can be tried 1-2 times a day. It is often not necessary to use the numerous care products offered and advertised by the cosmetic industry.

What to do with dry lips

Treatment of dry lips sets both in the Lip care , but also takes a look into the personal environment and tries to minimize damaging factors. Often times, the trigger for dry lips is one too low humidityso that it can be adapted in your own home. Just in winter is created by the Heating air often dry air. The dry air in turn leads to dry lips for many people. This can be done by Dehumidifier, one Water bowl in the room or occasional ventilation of the room can be reduced.
One requirement for healthy lips is one adequate hydration, because the skin and the lips become tense due to insufficient fluid intake brittle. Therefore, depending on the physical activity, you should adjust the fluid intake to your daily needs. Also a Vitamin deficiency can be the cause of dry lips; you should consult your doctor, who can then prescribe specific vitamin supplements. For example, it can be during the Menstruation in women due to the Iron deficiency increased occurrence of dry lips.
In addition, of course, lip care in the form of Creams, Anoint or Lip balm sticks not missing. One should use preparations with this mineral oil do without, as tests have shown that these will dry out the lips even further. Lip balm sticks shouldn't be used too often, otherwise they will do just the opposite and turn into one again Dehydration to lead. Before using care products is also helpful Lip peeling. This can be done, for example, with a toothbrush in circular movements. The peeling removes old skin particles and reveals new skin, which can promote healing.
Avoiding extreme temperatures. With strong Exposure to sunlight should therefore be a UV protection can be applied, even in very cold temperatures the lips are attacked and should be protected by care products.
stress can also lead to dry lips, for example this helps autogenic training. If necessary, an individual's sensitivity to certain food make the lips chapped and cracked. Until the healing process on the lips is complete, you should avoid these foods. Proven Home remedies for local application on the lips are for example: honey or a mixture of Honey and cottage cheese, furthermore helps olive oil, Cocoa butter, Marigold ointment or vaseline to apply to the lips and let it soak in for a while. It is also important that the person concerned should avoid moistening their lips with their tongue, as this will again draw liquid from the lips.

Dry lips during pregnancy

During pregnancy, there are some changes in the woman's body that do not necessarily have to be triggered by the pregnancy itself, but are often associated with it.
For example, lips may become dry while a woman is pregnant.

This can be an indication that the pregnant patient is iron deficient. In this case, the gynecologist should draw blood from the patient to see if the dry lips are caused by the iron deficiency. Another cause can be a lack of fluids.
A pregnant woman can have dry lips as an indication of a lack of fluids, since pregnancy not only leads to an increased feeling of hunger but also an increased need for fluids.

Read more on this topic at: Iron Deficiency During Pregnancy

Many young women do not drink a full liter a day, which most women do not find bothersome.

During pregnancy, however, the woman needs more fluid and also produces less fat due to increased sweating and the changed hormonal balance.
This means that pregnant women, for example, often have clean skin because the oestrogens ensure that the sebum glands, which cause many pimples during puberty, for example, produce less fat. However, this can also lead to the skin drying out, as many patients are not used to taking more care of skin care during pregnancy.

The lips are particularly sensitive and therefore dry lips can occur in a pregnant woman. A sufficient amount of fluids and increased personal hygiene are therefore essential during pregnancy.

Read more on this topic at: Dry lips during pregnancy

Dry lips during a cold

Lips may become dry during a cold.

This can have several causes. On the one hand, many patients get a cold when it is very cold and the cold weather not only weakens the immune system but also the skin (epidermis) Removes moisture. Since the lips are particularly sensitive, many patients often suffer from dry lips in cold temperatures, and the subsequent dry heating air also removes moisture from the lip.
In addition, the cold weather can cause the patient to develop a cold. In this case, the dry lips and the cold are not directly related, but both have the same cause, namely the cold and the associated loss of fluid.

However, there are other causes that cause a patient to experience dry lips and a cold. On the one hand, a patient who does not drink enough fluids can have dry lips and on the other hand ensures that his immune system is weakened. This can lead to dry lips and a cold.However, it is also possible that a patient who always drinks a lot of tea during a cold in order to promote healing, has moist lips with which he then goes out into the cold air.
Moist lips combined with cold air cause the lips to dry out very quickly. Therefore it is better to dab your lips before you go into the cold air and additionally with a pure greasy cream without additives (for example petroleum jelly) cream. However, it is important to know that the common cold does not in itself cause dry lips and that dry lips are not a sign of a cold either.

Dry lips in the baby

Many babies have a tendency to have dry lips, which can sometimes be exacerbated by drooling or licking their lips with the tongue.

This can have several causes. Mostly it is because the dry heating air or the cold air outside still poses a challenge for the delicate baby skin. Since the lips dry out very quickly, it is important to always care for them adequately.
On the one hand, it is important that the baby drinks enough, as dry lips can also indicate a lack of fluids in babies. Most of the time, babies' dry lips have a harmless cause and disappear on their own within a few days.

In rare cases, however, dry lips in the baby may indicate a worse condition. It is important to watch out for other symptoms such as fever, frequent coughs or other symptoms. In this case it is essential to consult a pediatrician. Mostly, however, the dry lips have a harmless cause, but they can also cause pain to the baby if the lips become so dry that they burst open and start to bleed.

The right therapy is important here. Never Synthetic creams should be applied to a baby's dry lips, as they usually only worsen the symptoms. In addition, babies often run their tongues over their lips and thus run the risk of swallowing some of the creams. However, it is particularly suitable lanolin from the pharmacy, which is actually used for sore nipples in women. Since the children can swallow this cream without any problems, there is no risk of intolerance reactions. In babies who only have dry lips now and then, you can try to moisten their lips with a few drops of breast milk and let them be absorbed. This often helps with babies' dry lips. If the lips persist, however, a pediatrician should be consulted so that he can examine the baby and recommend a special therapy.

Dry lips in children

Dry lips in children are not uncommon, especially in the winter months.

The constant alternation between cold air outside and the dry heated air in the rooms means that a lot of moisture is withdrawn from the sensitive skin of the lip, which then leads to the children getting dry lips.
Colds, a lack of fluids or an accompanying symptom of other diseases can lead to dry lips in children. It is important to treat them adequately and to prevent the lips from cracking and becoming bloody.
Frequently used skin care creams or care sticks on the drugstore often contain artificial ingredients, which ensure that the skin of the lips temporarily shines but does not receive any additional moisture.

With dry lips in children, it helps above all that the children drink enough fluids and that you explain to the children that they should not moisten their lips with their tongue as often as possible when they are in the fresh air, as this creates a vicious circle comes and the lips are getting drier. If these simple measures do not help, a cream can also be used, with pure fat such as vaseline or Bepanthen offers.

Dry lips and lipstick

Many patients suffer from dry lips, especially in winter.

These are not only painful but also annoy many patients for aesthetic reasons. Some patients try to hide dry lips with lipstick.
The only problem is that the dry lips are only concealed with lipstick but not treated, on the contrary. Many lipsticks just worsen the lip's fluidity and cause the lips to dry out further. Therefore lipstick is not recommended as a form of therapy for dry lips.
With only slightly dry lips, however, patients can use lipsticks, which are lipid replenishing and thus give the lip sufficient moisture.

Lip balm is even better, which can be very helpful for mild dry lips. However, it is important to know that many patients are sensitive to different lipsticks and that lipstick leads to dry lips. This may be because the lipstick is drawing moisture away from the lip. It is important here to use lipsticks that also have a lip balm, i.e. have a slightly moisturizing effect. This means that the lips do not become dry even after long-term lipstick but look healthy for a long time.

Dry lips and burning

Many patients suffer from dry lips that also sting.

This can have different causes. Usually it is because a patient generally suffers from dry skin and the sensitive lips are therefore one of the first to be affected. The weather, such as a cold winter wind, can also cause dry lips. It is important to treat dry and burning lips as long as possible.

First of all, it helps to ensure adequate fluid intake. Even in winter, a patient should consume around 1-2 liters of liquid, preferably water. Increased coffee consumption can dry out the lips. As a further measure, it is important to ensure that the lips are regularly filled with pure fat (for example petroleum jelly) be creamed. It is important not to use lipstick or creams that additionally dry out the lips. If dry, burning lips occur in the long term, the patient should consult a doctor so that he can present further therapy options.

Further information on the topic can be found here: Burning lips


dry lips

Dry lips is a symptom that can have a variety of causes. The most common cause is too little drinking during the day, which causes the mouth and throat, which is otherwise always kept moist, to dry out.
In some cases there is also a Vitamin deficiency to blame for too dry or chapped lips. This is often one Vitamin B2 - or one Iron deficiency, which must be balanced with supplements and a change in daily diet. A mentally stressful and long-lasting lifestyle can also lead to a constant stressful situation and thus to chapped, cracked and dry lips. If cosmetic and lip care products are used for too long, there is a habituation effect that makes larger and larger quantities of the product necessary.
In the other case, the lips also react with dehydration. Also infections especially from Herpes Simplex Virus In addition to the well-known ulcerations on the outside of the lips, they also cause the lips to dry out.

In patients with chemotherapy In the vast majority of cases there is also small inflammation of the lips, which is almost always associated with dry lips. Irradiation in this area can also lead to this. Climatic conditions are also very often to blame for dehydration.
Particularly cold outside temperatures lead to the unprotected lips drying out or tearing open. The lips are for this reason with appropriate Fat creams (e.g. Vaseline) or in high mountains with appropriate sun protection factor containing lipsticks.

Dry lips are treated according to the underlying cause. In most cases, it is enough to increase the amount you drink or to stop using care products that have been used for too long. A vitamin deficiency should be compensated for as quickly as possible and stressful life situations should be changed if possible. Dry lips are usually a harmless symptom that can sometimes be triggered by serious causes.