Brrrrr, it is cold and winter can take its toll on your body and cause dry lips. It is very common in young children to walk around this time of year with very chapped lips. Let’s discuss some of the causes of dry lips and the remedies available to treat this pesky problem.
In my orthodontic practice, I frequently see children not only with dry lips, but also present with very dry skin right around the mouth. It appears red, irritated and chapped. This happens because the child licks the dry lips and the skin around the lips in an effort to moisturize them. The saliva temporarily makes the lips feel better, but it then quickly evaporates which draws out the moisture. The lips and skin feel even more dry than before and the lips are then licked again, so the cycle continues. To stop the cycle, discuss with your child why they should stop licking their lips and apply the following products several times a day to help the skin heal faster.
I am a big believer on using skin care products that are non-toxic. What you put on your lips frequently becomes inadvertently ingested so be sure to use products with safe ingredients. Try Babyganics Lip & Face Balm, EcoLips Mongo Kiss Balm, Beautycounter Lip Conditioner Calendula Lip Balm and Dr. Bronner’s Naked Organic Lip Balm. Avoid flavored chapsticks as that can encourage more lip licking especially if your child likes the flavor!
If your child can not stop licking their lips, your friendly neighborhood orthodontist can help break the habit. This is usually a last resort, but there are appliances that can be placed in the mouth to discourage the tongue from sticking out and wreaking havoc on the skin.
Another way to help prevent drying out the lips, is to make sure your child’s lips are protected from winter’s chill and wind. Make sure to cover your child’s mouth with a scarf when they head out in the cold.
Water always comes to mind when thinking of moisturizing and hydrating. Making sure your child drinks enough water is very important in keeping your pout from drying out! Between 6-8 cups of water everyday will help remedy the dryness. Not only is it important to consume water, but to make sure your environment is not too dry too. Household heating systems create dry air which does not help those chapped lips. Place a humidifiers in your house and your skin will thank you