Winter is a cold and brutal time of the year, but especially for your skin. Cold air, bitter winds, heated air indoor, low levels of moisture, and numbness all lead to dry and tight skin. Of all the areas of skin, t he skin of the lips is perhaps the most overlooked. It is also the one area that will show damage fast. The cold weather can make our skin dry and itchy, however it can lead to cracked, bleeding and painful lips. The lips are so badly affected by cold because they are actually a highly specialized skin type that is very thin and delicate-lips dry out up to ten times faster than other skin on the face so they need some extra care and attention to protect them. Winter lip care is just as critical as putting on your jacket and earmuffs, but far too many people overlook them, which is why we wanted to give you some local skin care assistance with these handy winter lip care tips here at Kouris M.D. Cosmetic Plastic Surgery:
Winter Lip Care Tips
Here are some valuable tips you can follow this season for winter lip care:
- Avoid licking your lips. I t is natural to lick your lips to moisten them and it seems logical to do so, but you are actually doing more harm than good because it wicks more moisture out of your lips, can cause upper skin cells to freeze in extreme cold, and puts enzymes from your saliva on them which is not beneficial either.
- Stop scratching and picking at your lips when they are dry. Having loose dry skin on your lips is annoying, but picking at it leads to sore and more pain than before, and it also opens the door for infections to take hold. So, keep your hands off your lips! This is one of the hardest of the winter lip care tips for people to follow but it is one of the most important since just about everyone does this at some point during the long winter months.
- Treat cracks and sores as soon as possible. If you let cracks and sores go without care and treatment, they can get worse and possibly get infected. This leads to a lot of pain and difficult with things like talking and eating, or it may even lead to the development of a cold sore.
- Use ointment-based lip balm. This helps to create a protective barrier that locks the moisture in the skin cells and all this helps to soothe and heal cracks and sores. Look for healing ointments and lip care products that have built-in sunscreen to protect against strong sun and reflective glare in winter that can compound dryness of the lip.
- Avoid lip balms and other products that use camphor, eucalyptus, and menthol. With their cool tingling sensations, they can feel good at first, but they can simply dry out the skin more easily and make the problem worse in the long run. Your lips will feel dry and sore a few hours after applying it, so you put on more, reapply a few hours later and the vicious cycle continues. Our lips eventually become so dry that they crack and bleed or the lips start to react to so much camphor, eucalyptus, or menthol.
- At night, before bed, apply a good moistening lip balm. Many people are mouth breathers, especially in the winter when sinus congestion and head cold are more common. Sleeping with an open mouth all night will really dry out the lips and exasperate the dry and painful condition. Also, consider setting up a humidifier at night in the bedroom to combat the hot dry air of a heated home, which will speed up the drying out process.
For years, we have been offering local skincare assistance to the area and we see many of our patients complaining of dry, chapped, painful lips every winter. These tips will help you have a holiday season that is fun and pain-free. Your lips will thank you!
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