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Healing Relief for Dry, Chapped Lips

This time of year brings a lot of things we love, like cozy sweaters, curling up by the fireplace, and quality time with friends and loved ones. It also comes with frigid temperatures that we try desperately to avoid, so it’s more than likely you have your heating units running…on high. Although the heat offers a necessary refuge, it also causes dry air. Inevitably, where there’s dry air, there’s dry skin. The only thing more uncomfortable and painful than dry skin is dry, chapped lips. The solution? A humidifier.

Chapped lips, also known as cheilitis, is the result of dry skin on your lips due to cold temperatures, dry weather, sun exposure, allergies, frequently licking or touching your lips or dehydration. The Cleveland Clinic explains that the skin on your lips is thinner and more sensitive than the skin on the rest of your body because your lips don’t contain any oil glands. As a result, they are at risk of becoming dry and chapped. Your lips are exposed to the elements more than the rest of your body and can become chapped. Chapped lips are caused by a disruption of the outer skin layer. When this happens, it can cause your lips to peel, itch, crack, bleed, and appear red. Chapped lips can be painful and both the feel and appearance of them are something we all want to avoid.

By the time your lips are chapped, they’re in desperate need of moisture. To begin their repair, it’s important to redeliver their lost hydration. When the air around you is dry, the moisture in your skin evaporates. This causes your skin to be less likely to hold onto new moisture. The Cleveland Clinic suggests that chapped lips can be treated and prevented at home by using a humidifier to prevent dry air. Introducing a humidifier to your space restores lost moisture in the air around you, thereby restoring moisture to your lips. Like the rest of your skin, your lips also require a healthy level of humidity to remain hydrated. The right humidifier will regulate and maintain a proper humidity level inside your home.

While you might be tempted to crank the humidity up to ease your chapped lips, it’s important to know that humidity levels that are too high can adversely affect the skin and do more harm than good. The proper humidity level recommended for a home is between 40% and 60%. The exact humidity percentage you leave your home at is a personal preference, however, humidity that’s too low or too high comes with risk. When too much moisture is present in the air, skin fungus can grow, athlete’s foot can form, and atopic or allergic dermatitis can flare. When humidity levels inside your home are too low, you may experience respiratory issues such as dry cough, wheezing or the exacerbation of preexisting respiratory troubles. Maintaining a proper humidity level in your home is one of the most proactive steps you can take in healing and preventing chapped lips.

Having moisture present in the air is a wintertime necessity. Humidifiers help lock in your skin’s natural moisture, leaving you to see and feel the difference all season long.