How to get rid of Dry and Cracked Lips

In the case of sore, swollen and bleeding lips general practitioner Dr Alan Greene MD recommends the use of a waterproof barrier to try and break the wetting and drying cycle, caused by the conscious or unconscious licking of the lips, by applying a layer of waxy waterproof agent to the lips.

Dr Greene says: “When this doesn’t work, occasionally a small amount of over the counter strength hydrocortisone cream can decrease the inflammation enough so that a waxy lip cream van then be effective.”

However dermatologists advise that any steroid based treatments should be kept to a minimum as repeated applications of steroid formulas can serve to worsen the effects of skin thinning and add to the problem over time.

Never pull lose skin on the lips, by the nature of the skin structure on the lips it will strip in one piece, bleed and take an age to heal.

Prevention is better than cure!
As with most skin problems prevention really is better than cure, and the best forms of defence for dry chapped lips starts from the inside out.

A healthy diet rich in skin boosting anti-oxidants is a great way to ward off initial skin deterioration that can leave lips prone to cracking and bleeding, fresh fruit and vegetables, lean meats and oily fish are great sources of the vitamin minerals and other nutrients skin needs.


The Food Pyramid see our Food Pyramid for recommended daily amounts.

You should ensure a good intake of vitamins A (think orange fruits and vegetable such as mangoes, apricots, peaches, sweet potatoes and carrots or eat a liver based meal once a week) B (up your intake by adding grains such as oats and rice to your diet) C (found in citrus fruits, kiwis and sweet peppers) and E (which nuts and seeds are full of) as well as choosing foods rich in healing Zinc and Selenium. Foods containing essential fatty acids like Omega 3 can also help to boost skins natural ability to retain moisture and repair itself.

External defences are also important, especially if lips are already showing signs of vulnerability. Women who are experiencing symptoms of skin thinning should pay particular attention to their lip care routine to ensure the problem does not escalate to causing cracked and bleeding lips.

Don't leave lips out!
Including the lip area in a daily beauty routine is imperative. An anti-ageing facial moisturiser can be applied on and around the lips too.

Pick a good barrieer lip balm with SPF. Something that is waxy, water repellant and oil based is good.

In Winter you wouldn't go out without clothes so don't expect your lips to go naked either.
The wind and cold weather loves to wreck lovely lips.  Years ago people wore scarves and whilst this is not always a good look  its a good idea to pull your scarf up around your face whilst outsdide but there is a warning with this tip - take care to ensure your lips do not become wet from breath condensation and air  regularly.

If lip cracking and bleeding is recurrent or severe then you should seek advice from your GP to rule out infection or a deeper root cause to the problem.