Chapped or dry lips are common in the fall and winter months , when humidity is low. Cracking and peeling can be painful. According to Henry Chan, in a publication written for the Midwest Chapter of the Society of Cosmetic Chemists, the skin on our lips is much thinner than the skin on our face; the top layer of the lip is only 3 to 4 layers thick, while the skin on the face is 15 to 16 layers thick.  Skin on other parts of our body is protected by sweat and body oil as well as hair follicles. Our lips do not have any of these, leaving it much more open to the environment. Smoking also contributes to dry, chapped lips.
The best way to prevent chapped or dry lips is to use a gel or ointment type of lip balm; preferably one containing moisturizers and sunscreen. Many of the wax-based balms can be used as protection, but these should be used regularly beginning when your lips are healthy – they do not provide much help once your lips are chapped and dried.
Generic Name: EMOLLIENTS - TOPICAL Natural Cold Sore Top Uses
This medication has 2 types of ingredients (emollient,
keratolytic) that work together to treat or prevent dry, rough, scaly, itchy
skin (e.g., eczema, keratosis, xerosis). Dry skin is caused by a loss of water
in the upper layer of the skin. Emollients are substances that soften and
moisturize the skin and decrease itching and flaking. Emollients/moisturizers
work by forming an oily layer on the top of the skin that traps water in the
skin. Petrolatum, lanolin, mineral oil, and dimethicone are common
Lactic acid, salicylic acid, and urea are keratolytics.
They increase moisture in the skin by softening/dissolving the horny substance
(keratin) holding the top layer of skin cells together. This helps the dead
skin cells fall off and helps the skin keep more water in. Higher strengths of
urea are used to treat corns, callous, and some nail problems (e.g., ingrown...
Hands - chapped and dry
To prevent chapped hands:
Avoid excessive sun exposure or exposure to extreme cold or wind
Avoid washing hands with hot water
Limit hand washing as much as possible while maintaining good hygiene
Try to keep the air in your home humid
Use mild soaps or non-soap cleansers
Use moisturizing lotions on your hands regularly, especially if you live in a dry climate
To soothe chapped and sore hands:
Apply skin lotion frequently (if this doesn't work, try creams or ointments)
Avoid putting your hands in water unless necessary
If your hands don't improve, contact a dermatologist
Very strong hydrocortisone creams (available by prescription) are recommended for badly chapped hands
Wear gloves for doing everyday chores (cotton is best)
For related information, see eczema and contact dermatitis .
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