Health

Reasons why your lips are always dry

No one is immune to dry lips, especially since we spend a lot of time in air-conditioned environments. Your pout can sometimes feel dry to the point that it is getting itchy, sore or swollen. If that happens, it could be a sign that something is not right.

DEHYDRATION

Cracked lips, dry eyes, headaches and dizziness are all signs of dehydration. Make sure you are drinking at least eight glasses of water per day.

BREATHING THROUGH YOUR MOUTH

The constant inhaling and exhaling of air dries out your mouth, throat and the delicate skin on your lips. Mouth breathing can also lead to other conditions like bad breath or dry cough.

ALLERGIC REACTION

If your lips are starting to itch and swell, it could be a sign that you are allergic to an ingredient in your lip care or cosmetic products. Certain ingredients that are added to lip balms and lipsticks to nourish and hydrate - like beeswax or vitamin E - may end up causing irritation.

LICKING YOUR LIPS

Your saliva contains a digestive enzyme called amylase that helps to break down food, but it can start to dry out and irritate the delicate skin on your lips if you are constantly licking them.

MEDICATION

Certain medications have a dehydrating effect that can cause dry lips as a side effect. Oftentimes, applying lip balm a little more frequently can remedy this. If you experience more discomfort, check with your doctor for alternative medication.

STRONG TOOTHPASTE

If your lips feel like they're burning when you brush your teeth, certain ingredients in your toothpaste may be causing some sort of irritation. Switch to a milder toothpaste.

VITAMIN B DEFICIENCY

Besides helping to regulate your metabolism and provide energy, vitamin B is also essential for maintaining healthy skin, hair and nails. Try incorporating more vitamin B-rich foods like eggs, red meat, whole grains and green leafy vegetables in your diet.

This article first appeared in Shape (www.shape.com.sg)

WELLNESS & BEAUTY