Does Drinking Water Help With Chapped Lips?

Woman holding glass of water (cross-processed)
A woman is drinking a glass of water. (Image: David De Lossy/Photodisc/Getty Images)

Chapped lips can cause a great deal of pain, especially if you don’t treat them right away. When they become so chapped that they bleed and crack, it can increase the risk of infection. Increased water consumption is essential when it comes to effectively treating chapped lips. In fact, drinking water helps to keep your whole body hydrated, including your lips.

Rehydrate Lips By Drinking Water

It's true: Water helps to hydrate the inside of your body. The small amount of water left on your lips after a cool sip, however, can linger on your lips and maintain fluid balance. MedlinePlus recommends drinking additional fluids during winter months because the cold air tends to zap the moisture right out of your skin and lips.

Licking Dries Out Your Lips

While you may be tempted to lick your lips, but don’t do it. Licking your lips actually makes them drier than they were before. Saliva quickly evaporates on your lips, which causes them to dry out rapidly. Avoid wearing flavored lip balms because they may make you more tempted to lick your lips. To prevent your lips from dehydrating, drink water and avoid licking them.

Soothe Dry Lips with Topical Treatments

Aside from water, you can apply topical treatments to your lips to help lock and seal in moisture. Lip balm, lipstick, beeswax and petroleum jelly are all recommended topical treatments by MedlinePlus. They add a layer of protection over the surface layer of your lips to protect from the cold, dry air. Topical treatments also help provide moisture to your dry, chapped lips. Some lip balms are formulated with sunscreen for added protection from harmful sun rays that exist year long. For additional protection, cover your lips with a scarf before heading out into the brutal cold winds that can destroy your lips.

Other Helpful Hydration Remedies

Another way to get water to your lips is to place a humidifier in your office, bedroom or living room. A humidifier can help restore moisture in the air, which can help keep your lips and skin moist. Avoid allergens that may be in cosmetic or skin care products. Allergens can cause irritation and dry out your skin. Breathe through your nose so your lips are less likely to dry out. Breathing through your nose prevents air passing back and forth over your lips.

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