|Classification and external resources|
Chapped lips or Cracked lips is a condition whereby the lips become dry and possibly cracked. It may be caused by the evaporation of moisture. Often the lips become dry because the layer of oil that is naturally produced by the body to coat the lips is removed or is lacking. Causes vary, but the most common cause of chapped lips is due to cold weather conditions.
Symptoms of chapped lips may include the lips being dry, burning, red and swollen, small cracks, and peeling of the skin on the lips. If the skin on chapped lips becomes extremely dry, stretching of the lips may cause large cracks, which may be painful and/or bleed.
The main cause of this problem is the absence of moisture from the lips, which can make them dry out very quickly, leaving them chapped. This happens often in the winter season when the air is dry. Lips normally have a very thin oily film on their surface that provides natural protection against moisture loss. However, in some cases, this film is removed, sometimes due to excessive licking habits, and this causes the lips to become chapped.
Adequate hydration is the first line of defense against chapped lips. Lip balm can provide temporary relief. It is often believed that petroleum jelly can heal chapped lips; however, it only aids in preventing moisture loss, but does not repair or penetrate the lips. Medical grade (USP) lanolin accelerates repair of lips  and is used in some lip repair products. Certain enzymes present in saliva (normally used for digestion) irritate the lips, and the evaporation of the water in saliva saps moisture from them.  For these reasons, licking one's lips should be avoided. Nasal sebum may also be used as a remedy.
- Angular cheilitis — a more severe condition involving an infection and deep cracking around the mouth.
- Dorfman J, The Center for Special Dentistry.
- "Journal of the American Academy of Dermatology", Volume 56 , Issue 2 , Pages AB94 - AB94
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