Winter is almost upon us. And in these drier, colder months, the air seems determined to crack our skin open. Dry skin can be a pain, but dry, cracked skin can be even worse.
I spent years suffering from dry lip corners every winter season. The worst thing about cracked lip corners is that you have to keep opening and closing your mouth every time you eat, every time you talk, even when you smile or laugh. It is awful.
I also tried everything. For years, Vaseline was my go-to. And I still love petroleum jelly for many reasons, most of all to seal a blister. But I have since discovered more concentrated healing solutions, especially those for healing cracked lip corners fast.
Table of Contents:
- What Causes Cracked Lip Corners?
- 5 Quickest Ways to Heal Cracked Lip Corners
- Petroleum Jelly
- Coconut Oil
- Aloe Vera
- See a Doctor
- How Nature Helps and Heals
- Oils to Heal Your Skin and Wounds
What Causes Cracked Lip Corners?
The medical term for cracked lip corners is angular cheilitis. It is typically caused by a buildup of saliva in the corners of your mouth. The saliva then attracts fungus or bacteria, and you get an infection. The infection worsens every time you lick your lips, adding to the saliva. Your skin then cracks and often bleeds.
Left alone, the condition typically resolves itself within two to three weeks. The problem is, who can leave it alone? You cannot help but lick your lips. I always find myself toying with the corners of my mouth with my tongue. It is an unconscious act I only catch myself doing once I’m doing it.
This reapplication of saliva to the affected area can make the infection worse and drag out your recovery time. It is not only frustrating. It is also painful.
Often, angular cheilitis is brought on by the cold weather, when we drink less water and become more dehydrated. We lick our lips a lot when out in the wind, and the infection begins. The condition can also be caused by smoking, an iron deficiency, and even improperly fitted braces.
You need to know not only how to treat it, but also how to prevent it once you’ve treated it so you can avoid getting stuck in this painful and irritating cycle.
5 Quickest Ways to Heal Cracked Lip Corners
The fastest and easiest way to heal cracked lip corners, especially if it is really bad – bleeding and breaking open repeatedly – is to apply petroleum jelly and keep applying it until the corners have healed up.
It is just a good idea to always have a jar of petroleum jelly on hand for any cracks or blisters in your skin as it acts as a barrier against further infection and allows your body to get to work healing.
If you do not have petroleum jelly on hand, or the cracks are not too bad, I would apply coconut oil. While petroleum jelly will protect your skin, it has no healing properties. Coconut oil has antimicrobial properties that will fight both fungus and bacteria in the infection while also protecting your skin.
Aloe Vera is, let’s say, a cross between coconut oil and petroleum jelly, and if you have a plant on hand, you can apply it to your lip corners and expect solid results. It not only has healing properties, but it also has a more gelatin-like quality to protect your skin while it heals you.
Fight bad bacteria with good bacteria. The live and active cultures in yogurt will get to work healing your infection when applied regularly to the corners of your mouth. You can put it on at night and remove it in the morning.
See a Doctor
If you don’t seem to be healing or you feel like you’ve tried everything and the infection keeps coming back, see your dermatologist for an anti-fungal or antibacterial ointment that will wipe it out and that you can keep on hand for next time.
How Nature Helps and Heals
My first instinct, whenever I am ill or have a skin condition, is to turn to nature. I love my doctors, and I am grateful for modern medicine. On the rare occasion, I get a bad headache or some sort of acute muscle pain, I take an over-the-counter pain reliever without batting an eye. I am not against allopathic medicine by any stretch of the imagination.
Having said that, I try to turn to naturopathic remedies first primarily because I know naturopathy is more likely to get to the root of my problem rather than merely mask the pain or treat symptoms.
I am also much less likely to become addicted or have secondary issues caused by plant medicine than by prescriptions. Thus, try plants first. Turn to doctors when all else fails. That is my motto.
Oils to Heal Your Skin and Wounds
To that end, I have included a link below to some oils to think about adding to your plant medicine cabinet. They can offer a range of heal and healing from calming stress to treating cracked and dry skin.
Essential oils have been around for centuries, and when used for minor aches and pains or as preventatives, they can be extremely beneficial. Check out the link above to see what each of the oils may offer you. A word of caution: never apply essential oils topically undiluted!
Moroccan argan oil is one of my favorite oils on earth. It is a great preventative for dry and cracked skin, keeping your largest organ hydrated and smooth, so you hopefully never have to worry about angular cheilitis again.
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