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Dry, Cracked, Swollen Lips
jls58 posted:
My lips have been dry, cracked, and swollen for about six weeks now. I have tried every type of lip ointment available. The corners of my mouth have cracks in them. It is not a pretty site. Can you think of anything that could be causing this or what I could possibly do to make it go away?

markmhb responded:
Dear jls58 ,

When chapped lips are chronic and they resist the more routine efforts used to manage them, it is best to re-examine whether there is something going on other than simple lip chapping.

Lip swelling and dryness may indeed be trivial, but these symptoms can be associated with a wide variety of other disorders-- infection (viral or fungal), allergic (chronic urticaria), auto-immune (erythema multiforme, Melkersson-Rosenthal syndrome, sarcoidosis, or Crohn's disease), or neoplastic (benign or malignant tumor).

You should consult with your dentist for a formal diagnosis. If he is unable to identify the nature of your problem, he may choose to refer you to an oral pathologist for more in-depth investigation.

Good luck!

Mark Bornfeld
Brooklyn, NY
Capriceih responded:
I have the exact same problem except the dryness and the cracking isn't in the corner of my mouth it is in the middle of my bottom lip. I am constantly picking chunks of skin off of my lips...if you found any information you would be willing to share, or if you found a treatment that works (because like you I have tried everything out there and nothing works for any length of time) I would really appreciate it. Thanks
ssp1888 responded:
I have this same issue, for me it has been approx. 3 weeks of lip swelling and cracking/peeling in the corners of my mouth. Copious amounts of Carmex frequently applied has not had any effect on this problem. This is a first for me of experiencing these painful symptoms. I too am interested in follow-up and others experiences.
SimonWic replied to ssp1888's response:
Definitely, definitely recommend this product:

Tastes extremely good, contains Lanolin and anti-swelling agents, protects lips and numbs pain with a "Cooling" effect that is sure to help and protect the lips during conditions like this.

I recommend washing lips morning, afternoon, and night before applying product inbetween.
jazzpollard responded:
I also used to have the same problem and I thought that I was getting a cold sore once, so I got a medicated lip balm for cold sores (can't remember the name and I've torn off the label. It's kept with the other lip balms in pharmacies.) The cold sore was either very mild or just turned out to be very chapped lips, as it never blossomed and went away over night.
I still have that medicated stick and it's much better than normal lip balms. If I get a split or crack in my lips, they usually heal up overnight after an application.
steffanymohan responded:
The lips are very sensitive and have a very thin layer of natural oil that protects it from injury. The best way to reduce chapped lips is to restore moisture to the lips as quickly as possible. Nutritional deficiencies can be the cause of persistent cracked lips. Taking multi-vitamin with proper care can prevent these kind of problems.
phillyfive responded:
I tried everything - went to a dermatologist, a dentist, an internist and an allergist. Tried everything externally, was treated for thrush, had a sample to see if it was herpes, etc. I finally tried to eliminate things from my diet until I was practically living on oatmeal and water. Things were improving, until I ate some edamame. The next day, it was all swollen and cracked and peeling again. So, I discovered that I have a Soy allergy (and legumes as well). And unfortunately, I've now become one of "those people" who have to read every label and ask in every restaurant if the food is made with any soy products. Soy oil and soy protein are the culprits. Eliminate all of that, and see how that improves!
rechlad replied to phillyfive's response:
I am going through the exact same thing. I rarely use soy products. But interestingly, I had a teeny bit soy sauce last night and woke up with burning, irritated lips. I have ate soy products before with no problem. My lip problem started several months ago off and on.
But now it's going on almost a month and I have tried everything. Mornings are usually calm but by the evening, even before dinner, they begin to tingle and itch. My lips are in a constant burning/ itching mode after dinner, no matter what I eat. The itching spreads over my chin and jaw line. I end up grabbing ice and soothing them with ice. It's definitely an allergy but it has not been revealed to me yet.
phillyfive responded:
I had the same situation. I finally tracked it down to a newly acquired soy allergy and an allergy to SPF (usually in lip balm).

By eliminating soy from my diet (it's hard because it's in lots of things and restaurants cook with soy oil) and just using petroleum jelly (Vaseline) on my lips, it finally improved.

But because soy is in so many things, you have to be vigilant. I've now become one of "those people" who has to alert the servers that I've got a soy allergy. It's worth it to let them know so I can avoid foods that will plague me. (Soy lecithin doesn't seem to be a problem though, but soy oil is).

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