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30-08-2010, 00:14   #1
johnmacward
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Red, sore lips

Can't find a general "Health" section in this magnitude of boards.ie so Men's Health will do!

On and off I keep getting red and sore lips, it looks rubbish and can be, well, sore and annoying.

Sometimes they dry out and I'm tempted to lick them (which is supposed to be a BAD idea). Mostly they're just red and sore. Chapsticks like Burts Bee's don't seem to help or I really don't use them enough.

In general I have a good diet of vegetables and fruit and I tend to go for healthy meats and fish - tuna, salmon, chicken breast etc. In the last few months I have developed a great habit of getting my 2 litres minimum a day of water so dehydration shouldn't be the issue.

I haven't a clue what's causing this, anybody with any tips?
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30-08-2010, 01:06   #2
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Do you suffer from sinus problems, use nasal spray by any chance?
I'm currently experiencing similar symptoms. It's from spilling some of the liquid onto the lips.
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30-08-2010, 01:16   #3
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Quote:
Originally Posted by johnmacward View Post
Sometimes they dry out and I'm tempted to lick them (which is supposed to be a BAD idea).
I like my lips all the time. On the rare occasion on a ice cold day they may crack, but I'd just lick them better. Never knew it could be bad.
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30-08-2010, 01:19   #4
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Human saliva has natural disinfectant in it. Those chapsticks however are designed to dry out your skin in the long run so you'll use/by more.
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30-08-2010, 10:55   #5
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My brother suffers from the same thing fairly regularly. He uses Blisteze for a couple of days and it seems to clear it up. I've no idea if it'd work for everyone though!
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30-08-2010, 13:30   #6
sea_monkey
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what kind of toothpaste do you use?

i notice some types make my lips really really dry
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30-08-2010, 13:41   #7
johnmacward
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Galvasean View Post
Do you suffer from sinus problems, use nasal spray by any chance?
I'm currently experiencing similar symptoms. It's from spilling some of the liquid onto the lips.
More towards the Winter I may have to use one, but at the moment no.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Galvasean View Post
Human saliva has natural disinfectant in it. Those chapsticks however are designed to dry out your skin in the long run so you'll use/by more.
The problem with saliva is that it's a natural enzyme and actually harms the lips. Or so I constantly read. I stick with wax based chapsticks as they're supposed to be pretty decent on the lips. The Petroleum / petrolatum types are supposed to be a no no so I don't touch them. Then again there's always 100 ****ing opinions.

Quote:
Originally Posted by EMF2010 View Post
My brother suffers from the same thing fairly regularly. He uses Blisteze for a couple of days and it seems to clear it up. I've no idea if it'd work for everyone though!
My big problem is never using them for long enough, usually they give a little relief straight off but then my lips dry out a little which I assume is not supposed to happen (but to be fair that could be natural removal of old dead skin, maybe it's actually good - it never hurts when they dry out like that) and then I stop using them. I'll try out my Burts Bee's for a few days rather than just a day!

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Originally Posted by sea_monkey View Post
what kind of toothpaste do you use? i notice some types make my lips really really dry
El cheapo Lidl stuff (Dentalux), but to be fair I used it throughout a good period as well so I'm not sure. Actually to be fair, I recently started using one with Whitening bull**** and maybe thats the difference. Hmmmm....

Last edited by johnmacward; 30-08-2010 at 13:49.
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30-08-2010, 13:46   #8
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By the way, thanks a mill for all the quick replies. It's great getting "grassroots" advice from those who go through it. A doctor is a possibility but @ 65 lids, he's an expensive possiblity.

One other thing, I had a Hep A injection last week. From what I read it should either floor me with sickness OR I should be absolutely fine. But maybe it's a contributor... Ok, obviously we're getting into diagnosis and med advice here so reign me in when needed.
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30-08-2010, 18:17   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by johnmacward View Post

The problem with saliva is that it's a natural enzyme and actually harms the lips. Or so I constantly read. I stick with wax based chapsticks as they're supposed to be pretty decent on the lips. The Petroleum / petrolatum types are supposed to be a no no so I don't touch them. Then again there's always 100 ****ing opinions.
The thing about saliva being a natural enzyme is that it is a combination of different substances, the enzyme being Salivary Amylase, which is there to begin the breakdown of carbohydrates so I'm not quite sure about it damaging the lips.

This sort of drying of the lips happens to most of us at some stage during the year regardless of diet/weather conditions...it only happened to me last week and they were back to normal after 2 days. I'm just gonna put it down to "one of those things".
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30-08-2010, 18:53   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Galvasean View Post
Human saliva has natural disinfectant in it. Those chapsticks however are designed to dry out your skin in the long run so you'll use/by more.

This is true of petroleum based ones, they give short term relief but make the issue worse long term. You can buy beeswax based balms that really work long term and are very soothing short term, but beware if they contain petroleum jelly as well.

Cocoa butter ones are supposed to be good, like this one. And remember your lips can be sensitive to the sun which might be the cause of your dryness, so one like this with an spf might help.

http://www.superdrug.com/Lip-Balm/PA...4G/invt/379131
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30-08-2010, 22:02   #11
johnmacward
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Master of Nothing View Post
This sort of drying of the lips happens to most of us at some stage during the year regardless of diet/weather conditions...it only happened to me last week and they were back to normal after 2 days. I'm just gonna put it down to "one of those things".
It's been so on and off for me throughout the year and it's around this year that it started so there's a good chance I'm deficient in something, allergic to something or doing something stupid. For about 3 weeks recently my lips cleared up and what a difference in pain and appearance. So when it comes back it makes me pissed off! I know it can be ok, I've just gotta stop doing something or start doing something else.
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30-08-2010, 22:18   #12
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Getting there

Today I applied Burts Bee's throughout the day, about 4 or 5 times - basically each time it dried out. My lips stayed cool and didn't hurt and the swelling went down, there's still a little redness but there's a good chance they'll look a lot better tomorrow and I'll go with it for another day or so. This stuff works well. As usual I kept well hydrated throughout the day, 4 pints of water minimum and a good lot of fruits and veg.

My biggest problem in the past was not using enough Burts Bee's. My lips would get bad, I'd apply a little and they'd improve a little and then I'd stop! I'll keep it going until they look normal again.

In regards saliva, I should be clearer about what I read. The overall story is, licking your lips (when they're sore) is not a good idea according to below and elsewhere. The enzyme in saliva can irritate causing more licking (and it's definitely true that you lick them when it's sore) and when the saliva evaporates it can take the moisture with it making the overall problem worse.

If I think it through, when my lips are ok (as they partially are at the minute) I don't feel the need to lick them anyway, hence I don't do much damage. When they are bad I DO, and it does worsen.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Chapped_lips#Treatments

Last edited by johnmacward; 30-08-2010 at 22:20.
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30-08-2010, 23:08   #13
mfceiling
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Don't laugh but..........if you run your finger behind your ear you will get your natural oils on your finger and then put them on your lips....it works...really!!
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31-08-2010, 02:14   #14
Novella
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I recommend Carmex lip balm. It's pretty cheap, between 3 and 4 euro and does the trick for me anyway and I've probably tried every lip balm under the sun!
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15-11-2010, 13:38   #15
johnmacward
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I had to come back and let all know how I got on. Carmex is just about the only thing that works for me so to those who recommended it at the time, kudo's. I ignored your advice at the time but twas wrong.

This frosty weather really fudged up my lips a few days ago, severe cracking, redness, swelling, pain - wasn't nice at all. I splashed them with water a few times and the instant relief was great but the repercussions we're enormous, it kept getting worse.

I put Carmex on one night and everything was improved the next day. I also kept applying small amounts of it through the next day and they we're actually healing! Yes, healing. That never actually happened before - I know they're getting better when they're more pink rather than red, they're smaller in size and I don't feel them anymore.

I was wrong in what I was saying about Burts Bee's (for me anyway). It never actually healed, just gave cooling relief. Carmex has actually healed them to a great degree. The real test is the weather ahead. It's about 2 degrees at the moment.

Cheers for all the advice, your a good bunch!

Last edited by johnmacward; 15-11-2010 at 13:40.
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