Mildly chapped lips are uncomfortable enough, but when your lips become so dry and damaged that they crack, the situation can become painful. When the cracking extends to the corners of your mouth, it's a good idea to make an appointment with your dermatologist to rule out the possibility of an underlying health condition. If your cracked lips are a once-in-a-while problem, treat them yourself with a few remedies and preventive steps.
Press a warm, wet washcloth against your lips for about five minutes after showering or bathing to soothe soreness and hydrate your lips.
Combine a little lip balm with a sprinkle of sugar, then rub the mixture over your cracked lips once a week to exfoliate them.
Apply a viscous lip balm that contains ceramides, chemicals that help repair your skin barrier to heal cracked lips. Choose a balm that doesn't contain fragrances or lanolin to prevent irritation, and use it whenever your lips feel dry..
Stop licking your lips. When your saliva evaporates, your lips are even drier and more susceptible to damage.
Use a humidifier to restore moisture to your lips while you sleep, especially if you tend to breathe through your mouth while you're sleeping.
Drink plenty of water throughout the day -- ideally eight to 10 glasses -- so that your body doesn't become dehydrated.
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If your cracked lips are very painful, look for a lip balm that contains an external analgesic to relieve pain.