Do you have dry, cracked lips and no idea why? You may be experiencing a vitamin deficiency.
Vitamin deficiencies can cause all sorts of health problems, and dry lips is one of them.
I’m aware of how unpleasant it is to have chapped lips, therefore I’ll go through the symptoms, causes, and treatments of vitamin deficiency in this post.
Since there are lots other causes of dry lips, I’ll also be giving you a handy checklist to help you determine if it’s really a vitamin deficiency that’s causing your dry lips.
So let’s get started!
Symptoms of chapped lips
Before we get into the causes of dry lips, let’s first take a look at the symptoms.
If you have any of the following symptoms, it’s likely that you have a vitamin deficiency:
- Dry lips
- Cracked lips
- Chapped lips
- Bleeding lips
- Swollen lips
Do you have any of these symptoms? If so, read on to find out the possible causes of your dry lips.
What causes extremely dry lips?
Chapped lips are often caused by external irritants, such as as licking your lips or fancy food and warm, dry weather.
But if you’re experiencing dry lips even when you’re not exposed to any of these irritants, it could be a sign of an underlying health condition, such as a vitamin deficiency.
The usual cold and heat can lead to cracked lips, as are some medicines such as cholesterol-reducing medicines.
There are many possible causes of vitamin deficiencies, including:
- A diet that lacks essential nutrients
- Certain medical conditions
- Certain medications
So if you think you may have a vitamin deficiency, it’s important to see a doctor to get tested. Read here for the best online vitamin deficiency tests.
Deficiencies that cause dry lips
Now that we know the symptoms and causes of dry lips, let’s take a look at the specific vitamins that can cause dry lips.
The most common vitamin deficiency that leads to dry lips is a Vitamin B12 deficiency.
Vitamin B12 is an essential nutrient that helps keep your red blood cells healthy.
A lack of Vitamin B12 can lead to anemia, which can cause all sorts of health problems, including dry lips.
Other vitamins that can cause dry lips include Vitamin D and Vitamin E.
Vitamin D is necessary for bone health, and a shortage might lead to osteoporosis.
Vitamin E is a vitamin that protects your cells from harm by combating oxidation.
Vitamin B12, Vitamin D, and Vitamin E deficiencies can all cause chapped lips. However, the most prevalent vitamin deficit is Vitamin B12.
Other causes of chapped lips
Vitamin deficiency causes chapped lips. But Vitamin D and Vitamin B12 are not the only possible causes. For example, sun exposure, dehydration, and contact dermatitis can also lead to chapped lips.
Here are some other potential causes:
- Hormonal changes
- Reactions to medications
- Exposure to harsh weather conditions or sunburn
- Licking your lips too much
- Wearing lipstick or lip balm that contains irritants
- Using cosmetics or skincare products that contain irritants
So make no mistake about it, there are many potential causes of dry lips.
Skin picking & licking
If you picked or licked your lips, it would make them chapped.
The saliva on your lips will dry out the natural moisture, and make them more susceptible to cracking and bleeding.
If you can’t stop licking your lips, it might be a sign of an underlying medical condition, such as anxiety or OCD.
Anxiety or OCD can also cause you to pick at your lips, which can lead to bleeding and swelling.
I highly suggest to check with your doctor if you have any of these symptoms.
Too much vitamin A
Vitamin A is an essential vitamin for good vision, a strong immune system, and healthy skin.
But too much Vitamin A can actually be toxic, and lead to a condition called hypervitaminosis A.
Symptoms of hypervitaminosis A are similar to those of Vitamin A deficiency, and include dry lips, dry skin, and hair loss.
Vitamin A toxicity is rare, but it can be serious if not treated promptly.
If you have any of these symptoms, it’s important to see a doctor right away.
As mentioned earlier there are lots of causes of chapped lips, and one of them is contact dermatitis.
Contact dermatitis is a skin condition that’s caused by an allergic reaction to something you’ve come into contact with.
The allergen could be anything from cosmetics to fragrances to metal jewelry.
If you think you might have contact dermatitis, the best thing to do is visit an allergist or doctor.
They’ll be able to test you for allergies and prescribe the appropriate treatment.
But if you have any of the symptoms I mentioned earlier, and you’re not sure what’s causing your dry lips, it’s a good idea to get tested for a vitamin deficiency.
You can order online vitamin deficiency test here to find out if you’re lacking in any vitamins.
Treatment of Dry Lips
Now that we have discussed the symptoms, causes, and treatments of dry lips, let’s take a look at some home remedies that can help.
Here are some things you can do to soothe your dry lips:
- Drink plenty of water: Dehydration is one of the most common causes of dry lips, so it’s important to drink plenty of fluids.
- Use a humidifier: A humidifier can help add moisture to the air, which can help your lips stay hydrated.
- Avoid licking your lips: Licking your lips might feel like it’s helping, but it actually makes them drier.
- Use a lip balm or petroleum jelly: A quality lip balm or petroleum jelly can help lock in moisture and protect your lips from the elements.
- Exfoliate your lips: Gently exfoliating your lips can help remove dead skin cells and make them softer.
- Use a mild soap: Washing your face with a mild soap can help remove any irritants that might be causing your dry lips.
Finally, my most important advice is to consider taking vitamins supplements if you believe you may have a vitamin deficit.
You can get B12, D, and E supplements. Ensure that you read my in-depth guide on vitamin deficiency and supplementation.
Getting enough of these vitamins will help prevent dry lips and other health problems.
Foods rich for Dry Lips
You can also get Vitamin B12, D, and E from food.
Here are some foods that are rich in these vitamins:
- Vitamin B12: liver, fish, eggs, dairy products
- Vitamin D: fatty fish, mushrooms, fortified milk and cereal, egg yolks
- Vitamin E: sunflower seeds, almonds, hazelnuts, spinach, broccoli
Green leafy vegetables, such as spinach and kale, are also good for healthy lips and oral health because they contain Vitamin A.
Foods are always a good choice because they’re natural and have other nutrients that are good for your health.
But if you don’t like the foods on this list, or you’re not getting enough of these vitamins from your diet, supplements are a good option.
Dry lips are a common problem, and there are many potential causes.
The most common cause of dry lips is dehydration, but other causes include Vitamin A deficiency, contact dermatitis, and using cosmetics or skincare products that contain irritants.
If you have dry lips, there are several things you can do to treat them.
You can drink plenty of fluids, use a lip balm or petroleum jelly, exfoliate your lips, and use a mild soap.
You should also consider taking vitamins if you think you may be deficient in Vitamin B12, D, or E.
Eating foods that are rich in these vitamins is also a good idea.
If you have dry lips, try these home remedies and see if they help. And if you think you may have a vitamin deficiency, get tested and consider taking supplements.