Stephen J. Schueler, M.D.

Overview Symptoms Treatment Home Care warning signs Prevention Complications Underlying Cause

Lips Chapped Underlying Cause

The lips are covered by a thin layer of skin. This allows the lips to be flexible during the movement associated with eating and speaking. The lips must remain moist in order to be flexible. Special glands in the skin, called sebaceous glands, produce oil to protect the skin from becoming dry. Chapped lips occur when the sebaceous glands are unable to produce enough oil to keep the lips moist.

Causes of chapped lips include:

  • Allergies to cosmetics, soaps or lotions
  • Dehydration
  • Exposure to sunlight
  • Exposure to wind
  • Licking the lips too often
  • Dry air
  • Medication
  • Smoking

Last Updated: Dec 7, 2010 References
Authors: Stephen J. Schueler, MD; John H. Beckett, MD; D. Scott Gettings, MD
Copyright DSHI Systems, Inc. Powered by: FreeMD - Your Virtual Doctor

PubMed Lips Chapped References
  1. Food and Drug Administration, HHS. Skin protectant drug products for over-the-counter human use; final monograph. Final rule. Fed Regist. 2003 Jun 4;68(107):33362-81. [12785379]
FreeMD is provided for information purposes only and should not be used as a substitute for evaluation and treatment by a physician. Please review our terms of use.