What Causes Dry Lips

If you’ve ever experienced dry, chapped lips, you know how uncomfortable it can be.

Not only can it be unsightly, but it can also make it difficult to speak, eat, and even smile.

While dehydration is a common cause of dry lips, there are several other triggers that you may not be aware of.

In this article, we will explore the common reasons behind dry lips and provide helpful prevention tips to keep your lips healthy and moisturized.

What Causes Dry Lips?

Dry, chapped lips can be uncomfortable and unsightly, but they are a common issue that many people face.

Some of the most common triggers of dry lips include environmental factors, such as exposure to cold and windy weather; lifestyle habits, such as licking your lips or smoking; and medical conditions, such as dehydration or skin allergies.

Exposure to the sun’s UV rays can also cause dry lips, as can a lack of hydration.

In addition, certain medications can cause dry lips as a side effect.

The good news is that there are ways to prevent dry lips from occurring, such as avoiding excessive sun exposure and staying hydrated by drinking plenty of water.

Using a lip balm with SPF protection can also help prevent dry, cracked lips.

It is also important to avoid licking your lips, which can actually make them more dry and chapped.

If you do experience severely dry, cracked lips that do not improve with proper hydration and use of lip balm, it is important to seek medical attention, as this could be a sign of an underlying medical condition.

Prevention Tips

Dry, chapped lips can be uncomfortable and even painful, but thankfully, there are several prevention tips that people can follow to keep their lips healthy and hydrated.

One of the most important preventative measures is to stay hydrated by drinking plenty of water throughout the day.

Additionally, protecting your lips from the sun’s harmful rays by wearing lip balm or lip sunscreen can prevent them from becoming dry and chapped.

Using a humidifier in the home can also help to keep the air moist and prevent dryness in the lips.

When it comes to treatments, it’s important to avoid licking your lips, which can actually make them drier.

Instead, use a lip balm that contains ingredients such as petrolatum, beeswax, or shea butter.

These ingredients create a barrier that locks in moisture and prevents dryness.

It’s also important to avoid harsh toothpaste or mouthwash, which can cause irritation and dryness in the lips.

Finally, limiting your intake of spicy, salty, or acidic foods can also prevent dryness and irritation in the lips.

By following these prevention tips and using effective treatments, people can keep their lips healthy and avoid the discomfort of dry, chapped lips.


In conclusion, dry lips are a common issue that can be caused by a variety of factors.

One of the most common causes is dehydration, which can easily be remedied by increasing water intake.

Exposure to harsh weather conditions, such as extreme cold or wind, can also dry out the lips, so it’s important to protect them with a scarf or lip balm that contains SPF.

Another common trigger is certain medications, as well as medical conditions such as eczema and diabetes.

The application of a good-quality lip balm with emollients, humectants, and occlusives can help soothe and protect dry lips.

Additionally, exfoliating your lips once or twice a week with a gentle scrub can help remove dead skin cells.

Avoiding licking, biting, or picking at your lips can also help prevent further dryness and damage.

Finally, maintaining a healthy diet with plenty of vitamins and nutrients can help promote healthy skin, including the delicate skin on your lips.

By following these tips, readers can prevent and treat dry lips for optimal health and comfort.


What are the common triggers of dry lips?

Common triggers of dry lips include weather conditions, dehydration, lip licking, certain medications, and habitual lip biting or picking.

What weather conditions can cause dry lips?

Cold and dry weather conditions can cause dry lips. Low humidity levels can also lead to dry lips.

What are some habits that can cause dry lips?

Some habits that can cause dry lips include excessive licking of the lips, breathing through the mouth, exposure to dry air, or not drinking enough water.

Are there certain medications that can cause dry lips?

Yes, some medications such as acne treatments, antihistamines, and diuretics can cause dry lips as a side effect. It is important to talk to your doctor if you are experiencing dry lips or any other side effects while taking medication.

How can I prevent dry lips?

You can prevent dry lips by staying hydrated, avoiding certain foods and products, using lip balm regularly, protecting your lips from the sun and wind, and maintaining good oral hygiene.

How often should I apply lip balm to prevent dry lips?

To prevent dry lips, lip balm should be applied as often as needed throughout the day, especially after eating or drinking and before going to sleep.

What are some natural remedies for dry lips?

Some natural remedies for dry lips include applying coconut oil, honey, aloe vera gel, or using a sugar scrub to exfoliate dead skin. Drinking plenty of water and staying hydrated can also help combat dry lips.

What type of lip balm should I use for dry lips?

When choosing a lip balm for dry lips, look for products with natural emollients like shea butter, cocoa butter, or coconut oil. Avoid ingredients like menthol, camphor, or phenol that can actually worsen dryness and irritation. Consider using a lip balm with added SPF to protect your lips from the sun’s harmful rays. Always choose a lip balm with a good balance of ingredients to ensure your lips receive the proper nourishment they need to stay healthy and moisturized.

Can drinking water help prevent dry lips?

Yes, drinking plenty of water can help prevent dry lips. Not drinking enough water can cause dehydration, which can lead to dryness of skin including your lips. So, it’s important to drink enough water to keep your body hydrated and your lips moist.

What should I do if my dry lips become extremely painful?

If your dry lips become extremely painful, it is recommended to apply a thick layer of a high-quality lip balm or ointment containing ingredients like petroleum jelly or shea butter. Avoid licking or biting your lips as this can worsen the condition. If the pain persists or your lips become severely swollen, it is advised to consult a healthcare professional.

Can avoiding certain foods help prevent dry lips?

Yes, avoiding certain foods can help prevent dry lips. Foods that are high in salt and spicy foods can cause dehydration, which can lead to dry, chapped lips. Additionally, consuming too much alcohol can also contribute to dehydration and dry lips. Avoiding these foods and making sure to stay hydrated can help prevent dry lips.

Is it possible for dry lips to be a sign of a medical condition?

Yes, dry lips can be a symptom of a medical condition such as hypothyroidism, diabetes, or Sjogren’s syndrome. It is important to consult a healthcare professional if you have persistent dryness or severe symptoms.

How can I protect my lips from the sun to prevent dryness?

To protect your lips from the sun, use a lip balm with SPF 30 or higher. Reapply the lip balm frequently, especially after swimming or sweating. You can also wear a wide-brimmed hat to shade your face and lips from the sun.

Can using certain toothpaste or mouthwash cause dry lips?

Yes, certain toothpaste or mouthwash may contain ingredients that can irritate or dry out the lips, such as alcohol or flavoring agents. It is recommended to avoid such products or to apply a lip balm before or after using them.